Abortion in grassroots America
“Every third woman in America will have had an abortion during her life. Rather than being something that 'other women do,' abortion is an everyday, if little discussed, event in the lives of women and their families. This reflects the fallibility of contraception, fallibility in its use, coercive sex, and failures of early embryonic development. While abortion is common throughout grassroots America, women disadvantaged by poverty, illness, and domestic violence disproportionately rely on abortion to control their fertility. These are the same women whose access to effective contraception is similarly handicapped.”
The role of pregnancy loss
“Early pregnancy loss is important for our species. As many as 70% of human conceptions may never develop, and a third of recognized pregnancies terminate spontaneously through miscarriage. This extraordinary reproductive inefficiency has a compelling purpose: increasing the likelihood that fetuses surviving the natural winnowing of pregnancy are normal and healthy. This miscarriage screening process works well, and nearly all newborns are healthy as a result. From a biological perspective, induced abortion is an extension of miscarriage a continued winnowing designed to ensure than children are well born….healthy, wanted, and loved.”
Penny wise and pound foolish
“Claims that public tax dollars should not pay for private abortions led many states to discontinue state support for abortion. In reality, every dollar spent on abortion averts $2 to $10 in future costs to society. Thus, from a hardnosed fiscal point of view, the failure to pay for poor women’s abortions is imprudent. Compared with other proven public health programs, such as childhood immunization, abortion is a sound public investment.”
Abortion helps families
“Legal abortion has improved family formation in America. Numbers of shotgun’ marriages, out-of-wedlock births, and unwanted babies placed for adoption all declined after the legalization of abortion. Premature births and early infant deaths plummeted as well. Simply stated, wanted babies fare better in life. Another boon to families has been prenatal diagnosis, which is predicated upon the availability of safe, legal abortion in the event a serious defect is discovered. Most pregnant women at risk of having a fetus with birth defects want prenatal testing. Most women who learn of serious defects choose abortion. This process is yet another extension of the biological winnowing of miscarriage. Because of prenatal testing with abortion as a back-up, deaths of newborns and children with profound handicaps have decreased dramatically.”
“Because abortion is safe, opponents have been forced to invent bogus concerns. The Internet is a rich source of sites filled with half-truths and outright lies about abortion and its aftereffects. The common feature of these sites is a religious, rather than medical, sponsor. Saving souls appears more important than saving women ‘s lives. These sponsors have questionable medical expertise but an unquestionable political agenda. Authors with diploma-mill doctorates espousing discredited, misleading methods are prolific contributors to this alternative literature. Egregious errors are rampant; whether these stem from poor methods or intentional misrepresentation, the net result is the same: women seeking reliable information to cope with a stressful situation are confused. Intentionally misleading frightened women is improper and unethical. Moreover, it is cruel.
“Abortion cannot be legislated out of existence. It will not go away. The tragic experience with Prohibition underscores this reality. The question confronting our nation today is simply what women will be forced to pay for their abortions….in terms of dollars, disease, degradation, and for some death. As Santayana observed, society must learn from its experiences; if not, we remain savages. If we lose our collective memory of the bad old days ’ and turn back the clock on women in America as happened in Romania we do so at great peril.”
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