October 22, 2016

Straight Talk About Life Choices

By Glenn

Some straight talk from a friend. I didn’t ID her. Life issues tend to bring out the worst in conservatives from verbal abuse to outright violent threats. Ironic no?

When I look at the abortion debate, I think of several things:
1. No woman in the United States has ever been forced to have an abortion. [I’ll add that neither has any man been forced to have one.]
2. Abortion did not start in 1973 with Roe v Wade.
3. Prior to Roe v Wade, women who found themselves pregnant outside of marriage were treated like dirt. There was no assistance for them. No one offered any support. Instead, they were shunned by churches and polite society.
4. Young girls were sent away and after they had the baby, it was given up and when they returned, no one spoke of “the unfortunate incident.” There was no emotional support for a young woman who had been forced to give up her child. People whispered about them and said hateful, hurtful things because they were “immoral”.
5. Abortions occurred. They took place later in the pregnancy because the young women had to find a place to have the abortion. Young women tried to abort themselves with coat hangers. They went to people who had no training, in hidden places and the abortions were performed with ice picks and other assorted devices. Nothing was sterile.
6. Young women died of sepsis and bleeding. Many times, they became sterile afterwards because of the infections.
7. There were no statistics because it was considered a criminal act and the young woman as well as the abortionist faced the legal system if it was reported.
8. The Sunday after Roe v Wade, I remember the priest saying that people were going to have to find another way to deal with pregnant women if we wanted to prevent abortion. I remember him saying we would “have to be kinder to women who found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy”.
9. Repeal of Roe v Wade will not end abortion. It will re-criminalize women as they return to back alley abortionists.

We need positive steps to reduce the number of abortions. No expectant mother should feel alone and compelled to terminate a pregnancy. Every pregnant woman should have access to health care before and after her child is born. Women also need to know that Congress is working to improve job opportunities — more than 20% of women in the United States who have an abortion do so because they can’t afford a baby. To give them an alternative, we should work to remove the restrictions to adoption and to improve the foster care system. In Texas this system is on the verge of collapse because conservatives refuse to fund it. Congress must make sure low income mothers have access to child care so they can work and take care of their families. When women feel part of a community, they will be less likely to turn to abortion as a form of birth control.

Real birth control needs to be readily available to prevent unwanted pregnancies. While conservatives may complain about the “sin” of birth control, the success of reducing the number of abortions is real. Look at Colorado..

“They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

We can either address our problems as Americans together. Or remained locked in an endless name calling match.

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