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So, I’m about a month behind in talking about this. Generally speaking, I like to use this space to talk about things that entertain me or spark creative mind-thoughts in my brain. I was a board member of the local Planned Parenthood chapter for a number of years, so the Abortion debate is one I have engaged in on numerous occasions. To be up front about what I believe, I believe a woman has a right to abort and that we can’t rightly put in caveats like: “well, y’know if she has a reason I think is a good one.” No, abortion, which I concede is a very very unpleasant option in any situation, just cannot be limited. Sometimes, you just have to trust that people have good reasons for making the decisions they do, without them having to explain it to you.

On April 18th, the United States Supreme Court upheld the 2003 “Partial Birth Abortion Ban.” You probably heard about this, I know it only barely made it on to my radar with all the discussion of the Virginia Tech Shootings that same week (something I have opinions about and will get around to talking about soon). Specifically I read a brief post on Violet Blue‘s blog about the Supreme Court decision, and saved it so that I could come back to it when I was ready to discuss this. The Partial Birth Abortion Ban broadly bans a non-existent medical procedure that is commonly associated with a procedure called “Intact Dilation and Extraction” (read more here, here, and on wikipedia). As you can read in the links provided the procedure has basically become something that those who would like to ban all abortions everywhere for any reason are using to slowly but surely chip away at all abortion rights. It can be seen in something as plain as the name of the Act. “Partial Birth Abortion,” as I said, is not a medical term, it’s a political term. The Act is so named to cause you to react against this procedure. It conjures up gruesome images. It’s not entirely accurate. It’s part of the psychological battleground of the abortion issue. That’s the battle the anti-abortion folks are pretty much always winning, but, then that’s kind of an easy battle to win if you’re so steeped in your side of an argument that any method of getting people to be on your side is legitimate. Even if that means mis-representing the facts.

Yeah, I sound a bit paranoid when I point to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban and say that it is part of an effort to chip away at all abortion rights. Still, when the Partial Birth Abortion Ban is upheld by the Supreme Court and South Dakota takes a run at banning all abortions (read up on those here, here, here, here, here, and here)abortions and all around the country there are folks at various levels of government working on different ways to ban what can be (not that I think it matters) a medically necessary procedure, am I really being paranoid? Are Pro-Choice groups really being paranoid when every year they have to struggle against some new Bill or the same Bill in new clothes? You may very well turn around sometime soon and notice that any right to an abortion is gone, and I think, even if you like that idea you might consider how else that might extend. Abortion rights are pretty closely tied to the right to privacy that the Supreme Court has in the past interpreted the Bill of Rights to confer, but if abortions stop being acknowledged as a constitutional privacy issue, what else might? Could your medical records become something the government has a right to access at any time because you don’t have a right to privacy? Could you be compelled to provide blood or other fluid samples without a court order? Yeah I’m pushing the possibilities a bit, but that’s the sort of thing that needs to be considered, when the door on privacy gets opened, someone is going to walk through it and you’re not going to like what they do.

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3 Comments

  1. If you want secrecy, go back to back alley methods. Women who want abortions can get them just as easily through that method and you won’t force me to help fund (thru taxes) something that greatly offends me. How about not stomping on my rights to disagree. Too bad all the people who want to have abortions didn’t have mothers who felt the same way.

  2. First of all, you’re unnecessarily violent. You want to disagree, that’s cool, but don’t go wishing death on those that disagree with you, it undermines your point. Second, having seen what federal funding restrictions are for abortion providers, you can feel safe that your tax dollars aren’t being spent on abortion. If your state has taxes that go to funding abortion procedures, then perhaps you should talk with your local State Senator or Representative about that. Third, who’s stomping on your right to disagree? You go right on disagreeing.

  3. There’s a difference between “Secret” and “Illegal” — if you get caught doing something secret, the only consequences are social and personal. If you get caught doing something illegal, there are *legal* consequences – which would include, presumably, arrests and prosecutions of those few medical professionals who would still be brave enough to be involved in performing illegal abortions. That’d take up a whole lot of hard-earned tax-dollars too.

    Women who “want” abortions (and let me tell you, when we get together in the locker room at the gym, that’s ALL we can talk about: “Oh BOY!! I sure would love to get an abortion some day!” “Really? Me too!! OMG!! BFF!!!” {hugs all around}) … OK … I’ll re-phrase that: women who feel they need to resort to an abortion in order to terminate an unwanted or even dangerous pregnancy will not have an easy time finding them and acquiring them. It’s legal now, and women still have a hard time deciding to have the procedure done — it’s NOT a decision that anyone makes lightly. I wonder if people imagine all these slutty girls happily skipping into the clinic, saying “Oh BOY! Give me an abortion today!!” It just doesn’t happen that way.

    So these babies will be born, under-nourished, unwanted, perhaps even addicted to drugs; they won’t get adopted by loving, rich White families — they won’t even get adopted by loving, rich Black families, or Asian families, or ANY other family than that which they were born into. They will grow up with their scrawny, undernourished mother, in a dirt-poor part of the town/city; they will very likely grow up in an abusive environment; and when they grow up, they will be more likely to have early/unwanted pregnancies too (if they are female) or to be the cause of an early/unwanted pregnancy (if they are male.) The circle of life, ain’t it grand?

    These people could also very likely be on welfare, it’s certain that they won’t be able to fully pay for the hospital/doctor fees in order to have the child — more tax dollars — more insurance rate hikes, because hospitals compensate for patients who are unable to pay by charging insurance companies more, which trickles down to the consumer in form of higher premiums, higher prices for all drugs in general, higher hospital and doctors office fees, and increased difficulties in getting insurance in general for the average person. And hospitals cannot turn away a person who is in genuine need of medical attention, even if that person is obviously going to be unable to pay.

    Women will also very likely die due to unsafe, illegal abortion procedures. As they have little money, and have probably saved/scrounged up every last penny that they had in order to acquire the illegal abortion, it will fall on the government to pay to dispose of the bodies – either through cremation or burial. Tax dollars.

    Millions of tax dollars will be wasted on prosecuting evil medical professionals who would still perform the procedure. Other unscrupulous characters with no medical training will take advantage of the situation and offer to perform abortions themselves, killing more women, and generating a public outcry against them which will result in their being hunted down by law-enforcement. More tax dollars will then be spent sniffing out those characters, prosecuting them, and giving them a slap on the wrist and sending them back out into society. The tax-dollars argument is old, worn out and it just doesn’t work.

    Isn’t it a lot more economical to let a few clinics pass out condoms, teach kids about safer-sex practices, teach kids about self-respect and self-protection, teach about family planning, and how to respect our fellow human beings, and, as a LAST resort, offer abortion services in a safe, clean, professional environment? I’d rather spend my tax dollars on that.


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