Friday, February 03, 2006
Too many people have the idea that pro-choice means we are pro-babykillers and that is just not true. They talk about legislation to prevent a mother from having an abortion instead of doing something constructive to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Instead of harping so much on abortion, how about putting your effortsinto PLANNED PARENTHOOD and other educational organizations that will help young women learn not to get into these situations in the first place. This does not include telling men and women when or how they can have sex.
Statistics show that abortion is as big a problem for predominantly christian fundamentalist red states as for anywhere else. 78% of women having abortions report a religious affiliation. Fundamentalist christians don't want to teach their daughters and sons about using protection because they fear it will encourage premarital sex. Well, I went to a Baptist church for a couple of years as a teenager and let me tell you, those kids were as horny as any heathen, and sex education or no sex education, teenage hormones are out of control all too often. We can teach our children abstinence, but unless you chain them up to their bedposts and hire a 24-hour guard you can't guarantee what they are going to do when they are alone with their girlfriend/boyfriends.
Educated and realistic-thinking people actually know how to prevent a pregnancy. As a 51 year old mother who has raised three children, I have taught my three to practice safe sex and how to use a condom and other forms of birth control. We talked about birth control and they have been very responsible and are now in their mid 20s. My kids are pro-choice also, but they all say abortion is not an option they would choose. Kids here in Chicagoland are provided with sex education classes starting at 5th grade. Parents usually follow up at home.
I don't like the idea of abortion, but banning abortion is a wasted effort from a legal standpoint. Women were having abortions far more often in the old days when it was illegal than in the present. Only when it is legal is it safe. I don't want young women to have to resort to dark alleys and unclean procedures again. Banning the procedure is not going to stop women from having abortions. These are our nations daughters and we don't want to see a double tragedy either. Safety of the mother is a big concern. The fundies would say "let her die, it serves her right", which is not a very loving attitude at all.
So, what is the solution then? Kill or jail the desperate woman who has an abortion because she didn't think it would happen to her? Tell her she must give up work and live on the streets and have her baby and not be able to feed it? Instead of a hateful approach, how about a lot understanding on a personal level instead of all this talking about legislation etc. As even conservative President Bush said last night in his SOTU address..abortion rates are on the decline despite abortion being legalized. The decline was greatest for 15-17-year-olds, women in the highest income category, those with college degrees and those with no religious affiliation. Increased efforts are needed to help both adolescent women and adult women of all economic statuses avoid unintended pregnancies. I suggest putting more effort into education and prevention if you really want to do something productive. Where is some of that "christian" kindness and helpfulness? Instead of fighting over legalities, why can't we work together to eliminate the need for abortion entirely..
An Overview of Abortion in the United States