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A long rant.

I am pissed.

I just finished watching this week’s Frontline, “The Last Abortion Clinic.” (the episode website)

It’s no secret that I am pro-choice. I have never had an abortion, and I don’t know that I ever could if faced with the choice.

If pro-lifers want to stop abortion, here’s my opinion on a better way to go about it. Instead of standing in front of the door singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” work for change that keeps women from ending up in unwanted/unplanned pregnancies in the first place. Help fund education so that women know that if they are pregnant that they should seek prenatal care so they have healthy babies. Help start social/church services to provide day care for these mothers so they CAN have the baby and still manage to work or go to school. Most of all, teach kids about birth control. Wagging a finger and saying “no sex” isn’t going to get the job done.

And to the “pregnancy crisis centers;” places that often promise comprehensive medical advice and services but deliver anti-abortion propaganda If you want to encourage women to have their babies, then you need to be more involved. Guilting a woman into keeping her baby, offering some free diapers, baby clothes and a stroller isn’t enough. You need to help these women after the children are born. Educate them on nutrition and child care. Educate women on the services available to them through the state. While you may think you’re doing a wonderful thing by making sure that one more baby comes into the world, where are you when that woman’s six-month old baby is sick and she can’t afford a doctor or medicine? Where are you when she can’t afford to feed her baby? Many people who favor these centers have pushed for requirements that abortion clinics provide information on all the options available to a pregnant woman, including adoption and crisis centers; yet when crisis centers provide this information they refuse to offer any information on abortion clinics.

I am not a very religious person. I am not an atheist, more of an “undecided.” When people push for legislation based on their religious beliefs they seem to overlook the fact that not everyone in this country has the same set of beliefs as you. According to this paper, the world’s major religions differ on their view of abortion.

  • ”Many countries identified as predominantly Catholic have adopted abortion legislation that favors women’s rights to health and individual decision-making. Belgium, France and Italy, which have largely Catholic populations, permit abortions upon a women’s request.”
  • ”There are several different schools of though within Islam that prescribe a range of guidelines on abortion, from permitting abortion without qualifications for pregnancies under 120 days to prohibiting the practice all together.”
  • In Hinduism, “Where a woman experiences a moral conflict over an abortion decision, dharma permits her to consider the decision in light of the demands of the situation and her own conscience.”
  • ”There is support in Buddhist scholarship for women’s freedom to choose abortion under certain circumstances.”
  • ”In considering Jewish perspectives on abortion, scholars have emphasized that the woman’s well-being is a central consideration in Jewish law and teachings.” Also, “Israel, the world’s only official Jewish state, permits abortion on numerous grounds,” including cases where, “a pregnancy poses a threat to a woman’s life or physical or mental health…”

I think it comes down to this. An abortion is a difficult choice. Whatever you decide to do is between you and the deity of your choice. If in that deity’s eyes you have done something wrong then you will be punished for it. It is not our job as mortals to judge.

You, the reader may have a different point of view. Please respect my right to my view, as I respect yours. If you’d like more information on the subject of reproductive rights legislation, including Ayotte v. New Hampshire, scheduled to be heard on November 30, you can visit Frontline’s website for a brief explanation of the cases staring with Roe v. Wade in 1973.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2005 12:35 pm (UTC)
An interesting trend to note is how much lower the abortion rate is in other westen countries that are both more liberal and have legalized abortion. Holland, for instance, has the lowest abortion rate at 6.5 per thousand (vs the US at 2nd highest with 21.3 per thousand). I think the reason for this is two-fold. First, they have more educational social program which helps new mothers understand and accept what they're getting into. Second, abortion isn't talked about so often, so its not so right in your face.

Interesting, to me, to note that "liberal morally corrupt" countries have better morals than us in many cases.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Amy Kendall

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