Fetal heartbeat bill may signal the return of the reality of back alley abortion days.
I don’t think I can do this subject justice. As a child, as a teenager and as a young man there were always stories of women who died due to a botched abortion. Many of the stories were from the supposed pits of sin known as big cities. Sometimes, however, there would be stories of young girls in rural areas. There were stories of Protestant girls and Catholic girls. There were stories of mothers.
Some were self administered abortions, the infamous coat hanger. If the woman didn’t die she could be messed up for life. Some were administered by people who claimed to have some training but were in reality butchers. But the fear of the unwanted child was greater than the fear of death or injury.
I am trying to write a dispassionate commentary on a phony legislative bill that will put women’s lives in danger much like they were prior to 1973, but it is almost impossible. I have daughters of child bearing age. If for whatever reason they felt the need for abortion access, this state wants to deny that to them for religious reasons. Instead of having safe, legal abortions available, our state chooses instead to put the lives of our mothers, daughters, friends and neighbors in jeopardy. So it is personal.
Were those who voted to outlaw abortions truly against abortions there would have been no carve outs for anything. Not for rape, not for incest, not for the health of the mother. If the birth of every fetus is so paramount, then make it so that every fetus is born no matter what.
If these people were truly “pro life” then there would also provisions to make sure that the provisions for life were available for these forced birth children. Adequate food, decent shelter, good education, good medical care through to adulthood with provisions for their families so a child is raised in a loving, nurturing environment.
Yet you and I know that while the richest country in the world could afford to feed, clothe, house, educate and care for the poor Republican legislators across the country have made a war on the poor one of their top goals. So the very people who regurgitate the mantra of “pro life” hypocritically work their asses off to take away any help the child may have to grow into an fully developed adult.
While these hypocrites dance around spewing their “pro life” mantra the savior that they claim is the source of their beliefs, Jesus, actually never said a thing about abortion. But he surely did take hypocrites to task. Just google Christ and hypocrites and take your pick.
What they really want is punishment for women who have sex. There must be some consequence. Whether you are married or not if you become pregnant then the child must be born as a consequence. Then there is the lifetime of care that comes with the child. The woman must be responsible for that. Where is the punishment for the other half of the sexual encounter?
The other part that often goes with abortion restrictions is restrictions in access to contraception. See if women have sex, then we must assure that there are consequences. I suspect that if Iowa is dumb enough to return Republicans to power in Des Moines, contraception access – especially plan B – will be there next target.
If Republicans truly, truly wanted abortions to become rare they would adapt programs that have proven to work. The first step in that program is simply sex education. Even in this day and age there is still a remarkable ignorance concerning sex. Abstinence has been a proven failure.
The second step is to make contraception cheap and easily available. For teenagers free is about the price most can afford. A condom is far cheaper than a baby. A condom is also far cheaper than housing a person whose life was aimed for a life of crime in a prison at $60 or $70 thousand a year.
The third step is to guarantee that families with children have the aforementioned needs covered – food, shelter, medical care and education. How such a program is structured can be quite flexible. However, if making sure women have babies is your goal, then ensuring that a woman does not view having said child as an impossible burden. Once again, it is also cheaper than maintaining people in prison.
This will not end all abortions, but it will cut them down dramatically.
A pilot program in Colorado targeting unintended pregnancies among teens over 5 years had incredible success with teen pregnancies dropping more than 50%.
So we can approach the abortion issue with research, funding and proven programs that we continue to improve on. or we can approach it with punishment that singles out women and their forced children based on ancient religious perceptions that have never been proven.
We know that the latter will lead to a return of the back alley abortions or the self inflicted problems that were rampant prior to Roe v. Wade.