Sunday, July 13, 2008

Food for Thought

I came across a comment on a feminist blog I read regularly and it made such a good point that I thought it was worth posting here. It just really made me think.
“Now, I firmly think abortion should not be used as a form of birth control, but holy shit.”

While it does certainly suck that your friend had such a shitty encounter, I have an issue with the above sentence. If abortion shouldn’t be used as another form of birth control, what should it be used for then? Should it only be legal in cases of rape, incest, and health?

When talking to anti-choicers they use they same rhetoric because it feeds into the notion that women who have elective abortions are heartless selfish bitches who enjoy killing babies. Having an abortion is not easy, as you can see from calling all the clinics. I live in Northern Nevada and there is only one abortion clinic and it will cost you $600 cash only. I highly doubt that there is a woman who thinks, in the heat of the moment; yeah I could use a $3 condom or $25 pack of birth control but nah I will just wait till I get pregnant so I can have a painful $600 abortion. If a women used abortion as her sole method of birth control she would have more than 30 in her lifetime, seems pretty costly to be.

I just don’t think we should judge women who have abortions.

Of course, the problem with making abortion legal only in cases of rape, incest, and immediate threat to the mother's health are all problematic, because they all need to be legally defined. Does the woman have to prove that she is a victim or rape or incest before she can get an abortion? If that's the case, she'll never be able to get one by the legal cutoff for the late term abortion ban kicks in. So then she is screwed by the legal system.

Making exceptions only for an immediate threat to the woman's health is also problematic, as this story shows. Just something to think about. And keep in mind, John McCain and others who agreed with him voted against requiring health insurance companies to cover birth control. Not a lot of options if you don't want to be pregnant.

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