I couldn’t get to sleep the other night. Earlier in the day, I was told that by 9:30 a.m., there were already 18 women in the abortion chamber preparing to end their child’s life.
This happening in our community is terrible. The unborn child is the most innocent of all, and here we are doing the same thing as the Nazis, taking innocent life. The pro-choicers say they only want to help the pregnant woman. Why then in South Dakota did they close their clinic after a new law concerning abortions went into effect?
This law requires the physician to tell the patient the following information:
• The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.
• The pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the U.S. Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota.
• That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional right with regards to that relationship will be terminated.
• A description of all known medical risks of the procedure, including depression and related psychological stress and increased risk of suicide.
Planned Parenthood in South Dakota apparently does not believe that knowledge is good. They closed their doors for good rather than abide by the new law. The president of the regional Planned Parenthood office said “the law is one more terrible, terrible barrier.” Why are they against giving patients accurate information on abortion? I think North Dakota should follow South Dakota’s lead and get rid of the killing mill here in our midst.
I am sending a shorter letter back, but here's what I would say to McCormick if I could say it in full:
Thomas McCormick's letter to the editor (August 21st "ND should follow SD on abortion") was full of misinformation. First, the clinic in South Dakota did not close.
Second, McCormick said that abortion leads to increased risk of suicide. This is false. Just this month, the American Psychological Association released a report examining the relationship between women's mental health and abortion. It evaluated all empirical studies published in English-language peer-reviewed journals since 1989. The data revealed that choosing abortion in the first trimester was no riskier than carrying an unplanned pregnancy to term. Basically, unplanned pregnancies are stressful regardless of the outcome.
No little girl grows up saying, "I can't wait to have my first abortion." It isn't a choice anyone wants to make. But it can be a necessary one.
There are thousands of reasons why women choose abortion, and it's not chosen lightly. It's an expensive medical procedure and it carries a social stigma.
Women don't need biased rhetoric recited to them about "terminating a life." They are adults who can be trusted with complex, moral decisions. Besides, is there really any doubt that women don't comprehend what pregnancy means? Are women delivering babies and acting shocked? "I had no idea THAT was gonna happen, doctor. I wish someone told me 9 months ago that I had a baby growing inside me—I had no idea!"
Pregnancy also carries significant risk. Every year hundreds of thousands of women are diagnosed with post partum depression (who knows how many more are not diagnosed). Knowing that, do we wring our hands and write legislation forcing doctors to warn pregnant women about the psychological risk of carrying to term? Of course not!
Autonomy over one's body is a basic human right. No one could force McCormick to donate a kidney, even if someone's life hung in the balance. We do not make laws like that. Your body is not the property of the state or anyone else. If we want to reduce abortions, we must offer affordable contraceptives, sex education, and more financial options for single mothers or struggling families.
This means supporting places like Planned Parenthood and working against abstinence only education, voting down laws that have no regard to the heath and well being of women, and most importantly, voting against people like Bush. Even now, in his 11th hour in the White house, Bush has proposed that we redefine birth control as abortion, making it harder for women to access basic medical care that REDUCES the need for abortion!
Criminalizing women and pushing them back into alleyways to die alone is not the answer.