The Bill

14 Oct

My first reaction after reading this was to wonder whether there was some way to build a scientific argument against denying women the right to abortions.  I felt frustrated by how spiritual beliefs so often trump scientific facts.  Then I felt kind of funny for feeling that way.  It’s just that these arguments seem so desperate sometimes.

Best/worst quote from Virginia Foxx, Republican congresswoman from North Carolina and supporter of the bill:

For my colleagues across the aisle who say that this is a misogynist bill, nobody has ever fought more for the rights of women than I have. Fifty percent of the unborn babies that are being aborted are females. So the misogyny comes from those that promote the killing of unborn babies.

In the US, abortion is a liberty but it isn’t a right.  That means that it’s legal and the government won’t step in to stop you from having an abortion, but it won’t take part in helping you get a safe abortion.   This bill is taking it to an extreme, using money as the barrier.  Essentially, it’s a liberty but only if you are so rich you pay for insurance completely out of pocket and you use hospitals that don’t accept any government funding.  I.e. it’s no longer a liberty.

I guess my frustration is from how the supporters of this bill think abortion is just wrong and go so far as to advocate that the death of the woman is justified, no matter what the reason.  Let alone the fact that making abortions impossible to get legally won’t stop abortions from happening.  It will only stop legal abortions from happening.  Women will get abortions but more of them will die because they will be turning to “clothes hanger abortionists”.

My understanding is that supporters of the bill assume that the fetus must be protected because it is life and didn’t do anything to “deserve” to die, but the woman (who is also life, a fact not often discussed) who dies because of the un-aborted pregnancy is responsible for her pregnancy and therefore it’s okay if she dies, it was her doing in the first place.

We treat people who are responsible for their conditions all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  We treat smokers who in this day and age are fully responsible for their lungs digesting themselves into a cancer, their heart failing, not to mention who are also responsible for the deaths of their families and friends around them who inhale the carcinogens from the cigarette that they chose to light up.  The motorcyclist who refuses to wear a helmet or the student who continues to binge drink.  The diabetic who doesn’t bother with their diet, or the 1 out of 6 Americans who is going to die of heart disease but still doesn’t think it’s worth eating better or exercising more.  We definitely don’t treat them any different (in fact the industry probably treats them better) than people who are arguably less responsible for their poor heart health.  That is the person who maybe isn’t able to afford eating better (fresh food is more expensive in poorer communities than in richer communities) nor able to exercise more (difficult when you have to commute 2 hours each way on public transit that is shoddy and underfunded, raise enough money to raise a child on your own, and also have time to raise that child).

Who cares if a woman is responsible for her pregnancy.  Why should she have to die for it?  It comes down to individuals (including some women) having a hard time letting go of the idea that women need to be looked after and their actions policed.  That they for one stupid reason or another, shouldn’t have the full capacity to decide for themselves what to happen to themselves.  That women’s decisions can be allowed to be made and the consequences of those decisions allowed to go forward without a ridiculous debate where the majority of the voices are men and women who don’t represent the women that this legislation will most affect.  Women’s choices impact societies immensely, but it should not be up to a society that largely excludes women to decide how these choices will be made, not through legislation, not through “women’s magazines”, not through gender roles for men, not through wedding reality shows, not through pink clothes for baby girls, not through she’s a bitch or stay young forever!  

This debate is a debate over the weight of a women’s choice and opinion, and it is sickening that it is a discussion that is still going on.

Selected Facts on Induced Abortion from the Guttmacher Institute

  • At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.
  • About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children.
  • The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
  •  Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.
  • Forty-two percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children).
  • Fifty-eight percent of abortion patients say they would have liked to have had their abortion earlier. Nearly 60% of women who experienced a delay in obtaining an abortion cite the time it took to make arrangements and raise money.



Whutchu sayin'

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: