Some Thoughts on Abortion

It seems to me that forces on the right have badly distorted the view of abortion. I will say that I, like any male who was not first female, have never been pregnant, at least to my knowledge, so, perhaps, I have no standing here.  I am female.

The forces on the right seem to think we women are vessels to bring new human life into this world regardless of our personal selves.  We women are simply human beings struggling to get by within the structures of our societies.  Some of us have been brought up with more freedom than others.

Is adoption better than abortion?  Granted the extremes of possible emotions surrounding the sex act, the sex act itself is minor and easy.  For most women, it does not take much to get pregnant.  Yet, bringing a baby into this world is a huge thing on many levels.  Two women I have known were some of the women I have known who were unmarried and carried their pregnancies to term.  The first got pregnant in high school in the 60’s, gave the baby up for adoption, and was so bitter she never had another child.  The second had had an abortion earlier in her life and had been made to feel guilty about the abortion by the Catholic church.  She was dead within a few months of giving birth to her baby and giving the baby up for adoption, killed in an accident due to carelessness.  I personally think abortion is a better option than giving a baby up for adoption.  I am shocked at the attitude that seems to be prevalent in the media today that totally ignores abortion as an option for the pregnant.

How are forces on the right distorting the abortion debate?  I have read that various religious groups have gone around in the last 40 years showing a film of a late term procedure (which procedures are not abortions) which is graphically violent.  I believe that the presenters imply that the bloody mess that the film depicts is representative of abortions.  Forces on the right also present the idea that late term procedures are done casually at the whim of the woman receiving the procedure.  Actually, late term procedures are only performed at the advice of a physician, because there is a problem with the pregnancy.  Abortions that occur early in a pregnancy are not so graphic as the late term procedures.  I seem to remember a show on public television where the tissue from an abortion done early in a pregnancy was shown.  As was stated in the show, there was not much to get excited about.

The women who have late term procedures want a baby, or the women would not have carried the pregnancy into the third trimester.  These are tragedies not because a late term procedure has occurred, but because a woman who wants a baby has had to make a decision to not carry her fetus to term because of a problem with the pregnancy.  Perhaps her health or life is at risk or perhaps she does not want to bring a baby into this world that would only suffer.

The forces on the right have also worked on state legislators and Congress for years to make getting an abortion harder.  We do not give financial support for abortions to those who depend on the government for medical care.  And, because of the actions of the forces on the right, abortions are harder to get and often occur later in the pregnancy than necessary.  I seem to remember from a NARAL handout from many years ago that the nervous system of a fetus is not complete until later in a pregnancy.  Also, giving financial support for abortion only to those who are doing okay financially , through insurance, and denying financial support to the poor is unconscionable.

Usually, when there is lots of funding to support a side of an issue, money and power are involved.  Many years ago, I subscribed to a business magazine – Fortune, I believe.  There was some discussion in the magazine as to how American women were not having enough babies to sustain economic growth.  So, maybe much of the anti-abortion money is coming from the business community, though parts of the religious community have been working their people up to a fever pitch, too.

Personally, I am more concerned with our exploding population of humans on this planet.  In the west we have found that when we women have control over our fertility and access to work outside of the home, we women, as a group, do not expand the population.  And, we can have as many children as we want.  I envision a society in which women and men share what been traditionally considered women’s work – and, as such, has been poorly paid or not paid for at all – the homemaking and child rearing – and also share equally in the other economic sectors of society.  Access to abortions would be inherent for the success of such a society.  As an aside, with regard to child rearing, I think parents rearing the parents’ own children is good, but our present economy is not set up to accommodate both child rearing and financial protection for women.

Personally, I feel the religious opposition to abortion is really an opposition to women being free sexually, which freedom is easier if one can have a safe and legal abortion.  Women’s sexual freedom is a different issue from abortion rights.  As to sexual freedom, men have been free sexually for eons.  ( Oh, we got hurt with this female sexual freedom.  We’ll be good.  We won’t play around any more.     Ha!!! )

To kill a baby is an awful thing.  I have had the thought that the tendency of forces on the right to equate abortion with the killing of babies may have led some young women to feel that killing the newborns to whom the young women have given birth is okay.  I am glad that society has given young women the opportunity to abandon newborns anonymously, now. I have not read about such a killing lately.

Is abortion a good?  I have read that many women who have an abortion feel relief, more than anything else, after the abortion.  Personally, with my psychosis, I feel I have been attacked psychically by so called religious persons dumping guilt on me for my doing things I believe in.  I suspect such things go on with women that have had abortions, too.  These so called religious persons can quite accurately be called forces of hate, on the level of Osama bin Ladin.

Many years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe vs. Wade, the supporters of Roe provided the court with pictures of the violence perpetrated on some of the women seeking to end their pregnancies through illegal abortions.  The violence was done by abortion providers.  Ending pregnancies back then, for many women, was a horror.  And the horror did not stop many of us women from ending our pregnancies.  Many of us were maimed and many died.  Because of the sacrifice of the women who were maimed or died, we have an unprecedented right, and opportunity for many, to control our fertility.  The viscousness of the forces on the right trying to take the freedom to have an abortion away from us needs to be exposed.  The freedom not to bring a baby into this world if we do not want to is fundamental, and fundamental to our freedom.

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