Sunday, January 6, 2008

Why You Should Care About Roe v. Wade

Take a look at Portugal, where abortions are only legal in cases of rape or the pregnancy endangering the life of the mother. And there's more:

"An abortion must be performed by, or under the direction of, a physician within the first 12 weeks of gestation on the grounds of preserving the woman’s physical or mental health or in the case of rape; or within 16 weeks if there is a risk that the child will be born with an incurable disease or malformation. The existence of these circumstances must be certified in writing by a physician other than the one performing the procedure. This certification must be accompanied by the written consent of the woman requesting the abortion, not less than three days prior to the date of the procedure; women under age 16 must have the consent of the husband, parents or, in their absence, any relative."

Recently, a doctor in Portugal was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in jail for performing illegal abortions, the doctor's assistant got 16 months, and the three woman who got an illegal abortion from this doctor were each sentenced to 6 months jail time.

Finding information on contraceptive availability in Portugal is difficult. You'd think a country that has such strict laws on abortion would make contraceptives highly and easily available, but we are seeing here in the U.S. that isn't the case, with recent laws raising the cost of the birth control pill on college campuses and clinics which serve low income women. Let's face it, condoms and other over the counter contraceptives are not 100% effective, and it's just smart to use a more reliable method like the pill as well. But now, thousands of college students and lower income women will no longer have this option, since the price of the birth control pills have risen to 3 or 4 times their previous cost on college campuses and about 400 community health centers across the U.S. So, while we are in danger of Roe v. Wade being overturned, we are also in danger of losing access to affordable contraceptives. That's what scares me about candidates like Fuckabee, who spew this "sanctity of life" crap as a reason for wanting to ban all abortion, and at the same time are members of the National Right to Life committee, which is against hormonal birth control because they think it causes abortions. Who wants to live in a country that doesn't want women to be able to enjoy sex without worrying about conceiving?

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