Friday, October 13, 2006
Maybe they don't realize it, but they do. And it's funny because there are plenty of pro-life women out there. I can only assume they are kidding themselves about the reality of abortion. Perhaps they've never had to make the difficult abortion decision or they've never had a girlfriend who was courageous enough to share her story. They clearly have never had to deal with a daughter, sister or friend in a position of an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy.
This post is about what's going on in South Dakota. I have been visiting the "letter to the editor" sections of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and the Rapid City Journal. This is how I know that pro-life = punishing women.
The letters coming in asking for support of Measure 6 (which would ban abortion in all cases, even rape, incest and health risks to the mother) never talk about women, unless condemning them.
They refuse to acknowledge that women are not built for the sole purpose of incubating a fetus. Hypocrisy practically drips from the pages. One writer, Jaye Grant said that in 1983 the man she was seeing “insisted” on her having an abortion. She now regrets the decision, calling it murder. While she may regret her decision, she still had the opportunity to make one!! Just because she has guilt over her choice does not mean she can make choices for other women. Unfortunately I know several women who have needed abortions *I say unfortunately because while I am pro-choice, I am not pro-abortion*. None of my girlfriends ever mentioned remorse, merely relief at being relieved of an unwanted burden.
I know my own mother would need an abortion now if she became pregnant. She is in her mid 50s, and suffers from diabetes and heart problems. Pregnancy would be extremely dangerous for her and the fetus! But under South Dakota's law, the government not her physician would make the decision, possibly condemning her to death. In fact, this S.D. law could very well be a death sentence. If a pregnant woman found she had cancer, she could not obtain lifesaving radiation because it would endanger the fetus, AND she would be denied an abortion. Sick.
Women have been getting abortions for thousands of years and for varying reasons. Making this medical procedure illegal will only drive women to dangerous situations. Pregnancy is a private matter and medical procedure between a woman and her doctor, and if she chooses, a faith tradition. Not your faith tradition—hers--- if she has one.
More to the point… A woman is more than a fetus (see above graphic, if you need help with this difficult concept). The fetus has a potential to become human. A woman IS human. What’s next, shall we not save women from ectopic pregnancies since those fertilized eggs could technically be considered life? Don't laugh. This is normal procedure in countries like El Salvador, where abortions have been criminalized. If a woman has a fertilized egg in her fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy) doctors do not remove it. Even though these eggs are not viable (as they can not grow or develop) and will only result in serious medical complications for women.
If you want further evidence that restricting abortion is really about punishing women then look no further than South Dakota’s own statistics. The child poverty rates are high, teacher salaries are low, and state-employed social workers are laid off to save money. If S.D. government cares so much about “life” perhaps they’d work harder at fixing these problems and spend less time telling a woman what she can and can’t do with her own body.
This is nothing new. The same people who want to repeal Roe and take back choice also want to deny women contraception, block the HPV vaccine and deny sex education for teens.
Because sluts should be punished. Women with a litter of kids will be too busy for college, education, work outside the home and therefore any progress. Barefoot and pregnant = good. Choice and options are bad.
You want furthe proof?
(click to enlarge this helpful chart. If that doesn't work, you can find it at this blog)
I think it would be great if we lived in a world without abortion. It's a stressful decision for women and I acknowledge that it can be psychologically debilitating. But choice must not be taken away. There are thousands of women's stories that illustrate this point. And I'm not just talking about victims of incest and rape. Of course, if you ask SD State senator, Bill Napoli, a "real rape victim" is pretty rare.
Napoli's infamous quote: "A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."
Access to abortions should not be contingent on a third party’s moral judgment. Especially a third party misogynist butthole like Bill Napoli.