Thursday, January 25, 2007

What it Meant When Abortion Was Illegal

And even if abortion remains nominally legal now, there is a massive effort to make it unavailable due to lack of money or local areal providers. The story below, however, is important in showing the universal importance of women being able to control their own bodies.

"My father was a complex person who was difficult to know. He didn't become my hero until several years after his death in 1992, and for me, that carries all of the regrets that go with insight coming too late.

"He was muscular and strong, an outdoorsman and a hunter -- a man's man. The one and only time I saw him cry, I was a sophomore in high school. His lack of control was both a shock to me and a life-altering experience where my feelings for him changed in an instant. He became human.

"Dad was just home following his efforts to save a 16-year-old girl who had developed a raging infection from a "botched abortion." She was a student at the neighboring school so I didn't know her, but he knew her well.

"The shame of an unintended pregnancy had forced her to an unskilled abortionist who used dirty instruments on a table in a garage. By the time she came to my father, the infection had spread, and she died under his care. He was despondent and angry for weeks.

"With wisdom based on first-hand experience, my conservative parents breathed a sigh of relief at the Roe v. Wade decision back in 1973.

"They knew the significance of eradicating these self-righteous, mean-spirited laws. They welcomed the end of onerous, life-threatening prohibitions on women making personal decisions about childbearing.

"My dad has been gone many years, but he would not have been pleased to see science replaced by a narrow view of morality and politicians again claiming jurisdiction over women's bodies and lives a full 34 years after the Roe decision. How angry he would be to see physicians threatened and harassed for providing compassionate care to women making difficult life choices.

Found on Common

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