Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trust Women

Trust Women
Many times I've wondered, "What would I do if I became pregnant due to incest or rape? Would I have an abortion? Would I continue the pregnancy full term then give the baby up for adoption? Would I keep it?" Fortunately, I have never had to answer these questions, but many women have.

My personal view is that such decisions should be between me, my husband, and my doctor. Beyond the first trimester I would not consider an abortion unless my life were in danger or the fetus non-viable. But each woman should be free to decide for herself. It should not be a decision made by religiously influenced politicians in Congress or state legislatures.

Many religious folks say life begins at conception and that taking the morning-after pill or having an abortion, even during the first trimester, is killing a human being. Although 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, it is rare, even among the devout, for a funeral service to be held. It seems their ideology is more extreme than their actions.

Some in the religious community would have every woman, raped or not, carrying an unwanted pregnancy full term. Many also oppose same-sex couples adopting, but you don’t see them standing in line. That seems hypocritical to me. There are so many children in orphanages or foster care that we as a nation should do everything we can to provide homes for them and also do what we can to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

When the Affordable Care Act of 2010 was considered in the House of Representatives, the Stupak–Pitts Amendment was proposed with the stated purpose of prohibiting the use of federal funds "to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion" except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.

Sixty percent of male House members voted for the amendment. Seventy-four percent of female Representatives opposed it. Because women remain a distinct minority in Congress the amendment passed the House 240-194. I'm convinced that were it men who became pregnant the pro-choice stance would have ruled the day and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment would never even have been put forward. Trust women.

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