Blog for Choice Day
Well it's that time of year again, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Below is my post to honor the day. It's been 37 years since the landmark case paved the way for women to have more control over their bodies; however, today the procedure seems only slightly less stigmatized than it was in the '70s, with the added bonus of an accelerated pressure for women to contribute to the workforce like never before.
Women are on the brink of making up the majority of the workforce in America, and when it comes to abortion, I think the debate needs to be elevated beyond the neanderthal argument of: "Abortion is wrong. It is murder. It is amoral." Regardless of how morally superior anti-abortionists believe themselves to be, the reality is, women will abort fetuses for their own survival. They will do it illegally, they will endanger their health, and in some cases they will die in the process. But they will do it for critical and rationally-minded reasons. Not because they do not value human life and are inherently selfish or evil.
According to Planned Parenthood's Alan Guttmacher Institute and the Center for Disease Control (found here):
Black women are more than 4.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely (AGI).
The abortion ratio for unmarried women is 510 abortions for every 1,000 live births. For married women it is 61 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).
What do these stats say? Economics play a major role in the decision to have an abortion. So it's all fine and good to be able to afford to be morally superior. Stand out there in front of clinics with your morbid pictures of bloody fetuses, stalk abortion doctors, plot and scheme about blowing up clinics and become a domestic terrorist. But if you don't see the irony, you're just not intelligent enough to grasp your own political principles and should probably shut your trap.
You can also announce to the whole world how ethical you are for never buying illegal drugs and label a cancer patient a heathen for smoking marijuana. That is your choice. But when anti-abortionists attempt to use politics to advance theories of morality, and endanger individual civil liberties, something is deeply wrong in this country. Like the marijuana or even the arms debate, these issues are complex. Public policy should never placate the morality preferences of a select few, or the rather, the stupidity of the masses.
Below is an interview with the late George Tiller, which just surfaced recently via Physicians for Reproductive Health and Choice:
Tiller was known to wear a "Trust Women" button on his shirt. I hope he is never forgotten, and that one day all women will indeed be trusted to do what they feel is right to their own bodies, and for their own lives.