For 40 years, religious conservatives have fought against a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy. They have pushed laws that would deny government funding for medical clinics performing abortions. They have demanded waiting periods. They have demanded that women be forced to view pictures of fetuses.
They have subjected abortion providers to increased scrutiny. They have demonstrated outside clinics. They have bombed clinics. They have hurled abuse at patients, nurses and doctors. They have published hit lists with the names of providers, along with their addresses, phone numbers and auto license numbers. They have even murdered doctors.
More recently, conservative politicians have placed limits on the time period with which women could seek abortions. They have required abortion providers to be accepted by local hospitals (many of which deny providers access on religious grounds). And they have voted to subject women to invasive and unnecessary medical procedures before they can have an abortion.
In their narrow minds, God willed the pregnancy, so the woman just needs to deal with it.
They refuse to accept a woman’s desire to abort the offspring of rape or incest. They refuse to accept a family’s desire to save a woman’s life when a pregnancy endangers her, even when other family members depend on her. They refuse to accept the financial and emotional difficulties of bearing a child so disabled that it will never be able to survive on its own. They refuse to accept the financial and emotional burden of giving birth to a child that will need constant attention…not only from the family, but from medical specialists.
Ironically, the very same people try to limit sex education and contraception. And they fight Obamacare because they fear that the government will come between them and their own medical decisions. Yet they’re willing to force the government between a woman and her doctor.
It’s long past time to acknowledge the complexity of the issue and work to minimize the issues that lead women to seek abortions…issues such as rape, incest, poverty, prenatal diseases, lack of education and the woman’s physical ability to carry the fetus to full term. It’s time to recognize that each pregnancy is different; that each woman has a right to her own religious and moral beliefs; that each woman should be free to make medical decisions in consultation with her partner, her family and her doctor.
Simple-minded religious and ideological-driven laws will not stop abortion. They will merely drive it underground, and into the back alleys. Such laws will only ruin lives…the lives of already living, breathing, thinking people.