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The Post About Abortion

October 16, 2012

 

There are a lot of people in the world and on issues such as abortion there are a number of views that can be equally valid. I want to talk about one on each side; pro-life as a generally defined political position and the common pro-choice response of “Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one.”

Anti-choice /= pro-life.

Further, conversations about the legality of abortion have absolutely nothing to do with the number, frequency, or type of abortions performed.

According to the agency that has done nearly half a century of studies on the issue

Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America—regions in which abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. The rate is 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds.

To simplify: illegal abortion kills women and has zero impact on the overall number of abortions preformed. So anyone who claims that they oppose legal abortions because they are concerned for life is lying or ignorant. These two subjects have nothing to do with each other.

What we’re really talking about is safe, legal abortions versus unsafe, illegal ones. That’s all. Complications from unsafe abortion account for an estimated 13% of maternal deaths worldwide, some 47,000 annually. Anyone who advocates for unsafe abortions over safe ones loses any right they ever had to pretend they are pro-life.

So let’s talk about people who are actually pro-life. They exist. I promise. They are easy to spot. They are the people who are opposed to abortion and as such advocate in an effort to make abortions less necessary. How do they do that? By attempting to protect and expand the opportunity for everyone to obtain comprehensive sex education and contraceptives which are the only things that lead to fewer abortions.

Those people care about lives, both born and not yet so. That’s pro life.

 

As for “Don’t like abortion….”

 

Reasons I Value My Upbringing Story The First of Many:

When I was 12ish one of my friends invited me to church with her and being interested in all the things as well as wanting to hang with my friend I went. They did a whole lesson on abortion and how it is “murder,” and how moral people would never condone the “murder” of little babies and blah, blah, blah. This was the kind of church that also sent them message that if you didn’t get “saved” you would go to hell. They made it out like they would take you there on the bus instead of taking you back to your house or something.

So I came home all fired up with my new anti-choice learnin’ and my mother listened to me for a while and then started telling me about life before Roe. There was a woman in Philly that people called “The Nurse” who performed back alley abortions for $300 and she killed a lot of people. A lot. And many of the women who went to her ended up dying not so much because of the procedure but because of lack of follow up care. ‘Cause, you know, there wasn’t any. And sometimes hospitals would “forget” to give women who came in with abortion complications proper treatment.

The thing my mom impressed upon me was the fact that everyone knew that going to this lady was hit or miss, 50/50 chance of ending up in a body bag and she still had a waiting list over half the time.

I honestly don’t think the “Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one,” argument is effective in a lot of cases because to someone who sees abortion as a moral wrong it is functionally akin to saying “Don’t like slaves? Don’t own one.” The moral wound is still there. That argument wouldn’t have convinced my fired up 12-year-old self.

What did convince me was the fact that women knew that the consequences of the procedure could be death or arrest or total social ruin or fucking death and they went through with it anyway.

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