Why abortion should be safe, legal… and is necessary.*

*The original quote was by Bill Clinton and it went something like, “Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.” I feel otherwise about that last bit, as I will outline here.

I can see now that a lot of my posts here are going to be my adventures as a feminist on facebook… Armies of the status quo and all. So here’s my latest tale.

I received this post from a friend of mine from the FB, who is Republican, and with whom I often clash with on the issues, though I feel, for the most part, respectfully. I recently posted a letter to the governor of the state I live in, New Jersey, about his cutting $7.5M dollars from family planning services because he “morally opposes” them. I shared a link to the article and the letter it inspired in a note on facebook. (You can read that article and my letter to Governor Chris Christie here.) My friend’s following question was posted to my wall, not the note, though I am fairly certain it was inspired by said post.

Wall post, Friday, August 27th, 2010, 9:26 AM EST: Jen, I don’t mean to disrespect your beliefs but would you agree that ideally no or few abortions is more ideal than what we currently have in the world? x

My reply:

No disrespect in asking questions respectfully, I am happy to share my views even when I know we disagree.

My answer is no. I think too many women are still forced into pregnancies, and that every child had should be a wanted child. I think …forced abortion is just as bad as forced pregnancy, any situation in which someone isn’t in control of her (or his!) own medical fate or body is awful. But I think that every woman should make whatever decision is best for her at the moment of the decisions, and we should get over this knee jerk reaction that abortion is automatically a bad thing. What makes it so bad, other than our (in my opinion irrational and also knee jerk) moral opinion that it’s “wrong.” Abortion saves lives, and helps the majority of women who have them to better able to do what they want in their life, have children when they are better prepared for them, and/or better care for their existing families.

In the US over 90% of abortions happen in the first trimester. I (along with the majority of Americans, statistics show) have no problem with abortions done in the first trimester. Second trimester abortions are largely (though not all) caused by restrictions on first trimester abortions such as parental consent, having to raise money because of lack of coverage, and fear due to misinformation. Then there’s third trimester abortions, which everyone screams their head off about. Third trimester abortions are only performed in two clinics in the entire country (after the 3rd clinic’s doctor was assassinated) and every single one of those is medically indicated, monitored, and approved by a medical board. They are only allowed in cases of child rape, life of the mother, or severe malformation of the fetus. (Such as having formed without a brain.)

Often times these doctors are what allow these women to have any children at all after the operation, as they save a reproductive system which would have been compromised in the delivery of severely low-functioning infant who will only live a few weeks after birth, if not a few days, hours, minutes. (This is the case in almost all of the stories I have read about people in this situation.) A woman with a perfectly healthy fetus simply cannot walk into a clinic and have an abortion past a certain number of weeks. And most (I’d say all, but there’s always exceptions) women wouldn’t carry a fetus that far only to willfully have it aborted. Third trimester abortions were wanted pregnancies where something went horribly wrong. The women who suffer them are then labeled as “baby killers” when they are mourning the end of a very much wanted pregnancy, and are also given little to no medical recourse for their medically indicated, very very serious medical issues.

The fact of the matter is that we will never live in a world where abortion isn’t needed or wanted. It’s like saying wouldn’t it be nice if people only had sex when they specifically intended to create babies. It’s not going to happen. Even if it was the case I STILL think abortion would be necessary because circumstances change, and bodies change. Limited access to abortion only creates more unsafe operations, more dead or butchered women, and more unwanted children. Limited to no access to abortion also usually comes hand in hand with limited to no access to birth control methods. As I said in my letter to the governor, pro-choice organizations and clinics that provide abortions are the ones doing THE MOST to prevent them in the first place. The organizations that oppose abortion most fiercely also seem to be the ones helping unwanted pregnancies (and later term abortions) come into being by their constant denial of the facts, spread of misinformation and just basic misunderstanding of human nature and how humans behave regardless of how many abstinence only education videos they see as teens. Abstinence only education doesn’t reduce the number of people having sex, it reduces the number of people having protected, informed sex.

We are also becoming vastly overpopulated. There are millions of children already born are abused, beaten, starved, sold into slavery, sold into prostitution, the list goes on. We can’t or won’t or don’t take care of the children we already have in this world. I am pro-choice and if that makes me pro-abortion then so be it, I’m not afraid to say it. In fact I’m proud, because I would say that, ideally, few or no unwanted children in this world is a far better goal to strive towards than few or no abortions – and it’s a more attainable goal to boot.

-Jen

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~ by prettyprogressive on 08/27/2010.

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