Monday, April 11, 2016

A Powerful Piece On What Happend When Abortion Was Not Safe, Legal or Rare

It is too bad that the faux "front page" from the Trump era future got more exposure in the news than another item in the editorial section of the Boston Globe because there was an extremely powerful piece on the issue of abortion,  Not Safe, Not Legal, Not Rare, which consisted mainly of clips from the past going back to 1872 detailing the deaths of women from illegally performed abortions, of women injured by illegal abortions and attempted abortions, the horrific conditions under which abortions were done by the trade in it that went on under the nose of authorities during the entire period that abortion was banned and the people who were arrested for obtaining an abortion.

Among the clippings is one about 1782 doctors protesting the closing of birth control clinics in 1937, it's not unlikely that the closure of the clinics led to more abortions than are mentioned in the other clippings.  The only way to prevent abortions is to do everything possible to prevent unwanted pregnancies, abortion was never stopped by the laws banning them, it would be, if anything, even worse now.  19th century law with 21st century mores would lead to a huge market in illegal abortion,  organized crime would certainly become the biggest providers of it as they have been when alcohol was banned.   It is a scandal that Americans have been kept in such ignorance of how to avoid becoming pregnant, have been propagandized out of taking responsibility for preventing pregnancy - both men and women - that we have an abortion rate that is so high as compared to other, often less affluent, countries.   If you want to know why there are so many abortions, that is the reason, not that the ones that are done are done under competent medical supervision.

I don't have an problem with anti-abortion people trying to talk women out of having abortions, as long as they don't violate the rights of patients and they are kept well away from clinics and other places where legal abortions are performed.  The record of violence by the anti-abortion groups means that they should not be allowed to mob clinics and accost the people who are entering or leaving them.  If the Supreme Court justices had to walk such a gauntlet such as those they permit they would never have allowed them to continue.   I don't have any problem with factual TV or radio spots or pamphlets.  I disagree, entirely, with the idea that the state has the right to regulate what a woman chooses to do within her own body, the state's legitimate interest decreases to zero at the boundary of our skin but I have no argument to make against factual attempts to persuade women against choosing to have an abortion.

If I had a choice, no one would ever face the need of having an abortion but that isn't my choice.  Nor is it really my business.

The best way to stop abortions is to give people the knowledge and the means to prevent pregnancies that are unwanted or unhealthy and to do a far more effective job of preventing rape and incest.  If there is something that is clearly the prerogative of the state, it is in preventing men from raping women and children.  You have to wonder why states that do so little where it's their clear mandate to act in the interest of women and children insist on doing what is so clearly none of their business. But such is the politics of abortion.

No comments:

Post a Comment