Saturday, February 25, 2006


It looks like the South Dakotan abortion ban will be signed into law. Granted, it'll be struck down as unconstitutional and really is just a ploy to get the SCOTUS to reconsider Roe v Wade, but the fact that it bans ALL abortions -- including pregnancies caused by rape or incest -- and only has an exception for saving the woman's life is just disturbing to me.

I'm a firm believer in "legal but rare" abortions -- where we work to make sure people have birth control, understand the consequences of their actions, and get the health care they need and the information they need to make the right decisions; abstinance education is one solution, but it's not the answer because people are people. Nor is this outright ban on abortions the solution.

What particularly disturbs me is this sentence:

If a rape victim becomes pregnant and bears a child, the rapist could have the same parental rights as the mother, said Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

"The idea the rapist could be in the child's life ... makes the woman very, very fearful. Sometimes they need to have choice," Heeren-Graber said.

Just. Wow.

The thing is, banning abortion doesn't make it go away and the impact will be purely economic; the women who are least likely to have the education, proper health care and economic status to make a decision about whether to continue a pregnancy are the ones who will be most impacted by this law (and laws like it) and will suffer disproportionately.

What gets me is that there is absolutely NO empathy from the anti-abortion side for what a woman might be going through, why she would make a decision to have an abortion. My pro-choice stance is because I have NO idea why a woman would choose to terminate a pregnancy, what the circumstances are in her life, and what led to that pregnancy in the first place. I'm way too lazy and uncaring to consider these aspects of another woman's life, and hence, I'm happy to leave the decision to her (and anyone else she chooses to involve in her life).

I really wish the government would stop legislating what I can and cannot do with my body, with my life. If only the so-called 'pro-life' movement would spend this much time and energy on putting together a decent health care plan.

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