Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Women's Right to Life

Over three years ago, I wrote this post on Blogging for Choice day, explaining that when I was 16 years old, I had an abortion. That act, as painful and troubling as it was, gave me the life I have today.

As I was watching the coverage and reading the blogs about George Tiller's death, I felt not just sad for Tiller's family, but sad for our country. I'm really tired of the hate-mongering that ends in tragedies like Tiller's death. We have let that rhetoric control the debate for far too long. We need to quiet the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. They are inciting people to hold this hate inside and act on it. I've never been to a Pro-Choice Rally where hate or violence is advocated or even spoken of. Abortion is not a pleasant experience. It's certainly not pleasant to think about, even for those of us who want them to remain legal. And yet, the hate mongers on the right not only want abortions to end, but they want to teach abstinence-only in the schools. They want to deny that human beings have sex and that the result of that is often pregnancy, but that through the miracle of science, we can prevent that result. Pfizer is offering free Viagra if you've lost your job. Do you see them offering free birth control? Some insurance companies won't even pay for birth control. Don't you think having another baby when you've lost your job might be more of problem than not being able to get an erection?

Women around the country may now be fearful of obtaining care that is their right to have legally. Their lives might be literally at risk and certainly, their lives might not be filled with the kind of opportunities they could have without an unwanted child. Already, according to reports I've seen, in over 85% of the counties in the US do not have access to abortion services. In many places, doctors and clinics are not even allowed to tell women where they can obtain an abortion. We're talking about health care here, people. Since when would it be okay for a doctor to say, well, I can't perform this surgery and I can't tell you who in the area can. You'll just have to figure that out on your own. There are states where there's only one clinic in the whole state where abortions are performed. There are more states with waiting periods, meaning two trips and two days off work for women seeking services.

Why do we let this happen in our country? There are a lot of people who are calling this terrorism and who are blaming the hatemongers on Fox News and talk radio and on the blogs. Sure, I blame them. But I blame us as well, for letting it happen, for not standing up to these people, for not standing behind practitioners who are just doing their job, for not speaking out if you've had an abortion, putting a human face on that action which makes it harder for people to rail against it. I am writing my senators and congressman today. If I could I'd go to the vigil in Love Park in Philadelphia today at 5:30. Women have a right to life. Let's truly support that in whatever way we can.