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Jan 26, 2009
(The following is part of our weeklong Roe v. Wade Blog-a-thon)
10. Laws against abortion do not stop abortion; they simply make it less safe. The number of women who get abortions does not change when it goes from being legal to illegal, or vice versa. The only thing that changes is more women die. Every year, 78,000 women die from unsafe abortions.
9. If people want to stop abortion, they should turn to methods that do work. These include comprehensive sex education and safe, affordable contraceptives. Unfortunately, as illogical as it sounds, the people who are most against abortion are also often most against these preventative measures. If they truly wanted to reduce the number of abortions that occur, they would embrace these methods.
8. The politicians “pro-lifers” so ardently support are only after one thing: self-interest. The majority of them are not “pro-life” because they agree with you; they are because they know you will continue to vote for them—and they know that making women remain pregnant not only takes away their power, but it also keeps them busy, in line, controlled, as well as a baking factory for their failing economy. The more people they have to rule over, the more they have to work and buy. Period.
7. Religious ideology is no foundation for any law. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to any citizen in the United States; so why would the beliefs and values of one religion mandate actual laws for all citizens? It would be unfair, unjust and immoral. We do not have laws against eating fish, nor do we have laws that declare it is legal to sell one’s daughter, rape someone, or keep a person as a slave—all things that are promoted in religious text.
6. Reproductive restrictions do not end with abortion. Many people also argue that contraception itself is wrong—another mainly-religious philosophy—and will deny women the protection they need based on this belief. There are legislative acts that allow actual pharmacists to deny women their birth control because of their beliefs; does this not violate the Hippocratic Oath, especially if thousands of women are on birth control because their very lives depend on it (see #2)? Also, since it is my belief that men should not rape women, if I were a pharmacist, would I have a right to deny a man his Viagra just in case he uses it to rape? You never know.
5. Most people who are against abortion will never even become pregnant. If a law would never, in any circumstance, apply to a man, a man creating that law is preposterous. It is akin to men creating laws that ban women from voting, owning property, or showing skin in public—only much more deadly.
4. Women who are raped or victims of incest should not be forced to carry out a pregnancy. Odds are that 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime. Does this mean that 33% of all women should be forced to carry out a pregnancy from this violation? Considering how many people are killed during childbirth (see #2), should we allow this further risk to endured on top of what has already been done?
Many would argue that these women could endure the pregnancy, spending nearly a year of her life simply re-living the rape and its effects over and over again, to give up a baby at the end of it for adoption. However, we all are aware of the fact that there are millions of unwanted children awaiting adoption as we speak who remain unclaimed; in fact, UNICEF estimates that there are 210 million orphans in the world right now. If they have no one willing to be their parent or guardian, why would another baby have a better chance?
My theory is that people who spend so much time, energy, and money on anti-abortion campaigns should instead spend it on the precious children they say need saving so much—the ones who are alive and parentless. Imagine if all the funds spent on all those billboards and flyers and campaigns were instead either spent adopting or donating to places that are overrun with orphaned children… perhaps some actual credibility would be given to these people who claim to love children so much.
Also, there is the fact of the matter of the more than one million homeless youth in America alone. The number one factor for a child being homeless is physical or sexual abuse at home. Perhaps these “child-lovers” should step in and care for these already-born children as well.
3. Reproductive choice can be the only thing that stands between a woman and poverty. There is a reason that the 1 billion poorest people on the planet are female. In sub-Saharan Africa and west Asia, women typically have five to six children, which leaves them powerless to provide for not only their own families, but themselves.
2. Reproductive choice can be the only thing that stands between a woman and DEATH. Women who face deadly consequences of a pregnancy deserve to choose to live. Teen girls, whose bodies are not yet ready for childbirth, are five times more likely to die. Not only do 70,000 girls ages 15-19 die each year from pregnancy and childbirth, but the babies that do survive have a 60% higher chance of dying as well.
During my own pregnancy—which had been unexpected though joyful up to this point—I was horrified to learn that I had preeclampsia only 25 weeks in. While they were able to save both my daughter and me, she was born at 1 pound, three months premature, and was a medical miracle. Most babies at that weight do not survive; and if they do, they suffer severe complications—as do the mothers, including myself. I was then informed that my risk of it happening all over again was extremely high, and that if there were a next time I may not be so lucky. I am fortunate to have access to birth control, but many women—especially young ones—do not. Preeclampsia alone affects 10 to 15% of all women! There are hundreds of other complications that arise besides preeclampsia that can, and will, result in death as well.>
1. Doctors, not governments, should always be the people to make medical recommendations and opinions. Would you allow the government to tell you if you could have a kidney transplant or a blood transfusion? Of course not. The fact that we even consider, let alone allow, governments to regulate a medical procedure is both illogical and foolish.