Saturday, February 05, 2011


I've been wanting to address the efforts in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood and the separate bill that changes the definition of rape (until recently, it had to be a 'forcible' rape, as if there is any other kind), but Gail Collins in the NYT sums up my position beautifully so go there to read. I'd take the Republicans more seriously on health care repeal efforts if a) I thought they had a workable plan to replace Obamacare and b) if I thought they actually cared about people who make less than $250,000 a year and c) if their position wasn't so hypocritical: get government out of my healthcare, but by the way, ladies, we the government want to make it difficult for you to make decisions about your own bodies and whether you can have birth control covered under Obamacare. Notice we don't have these same conversations about Viagra.

The best way, mho, to put abortion providers out of business is to reduce the need. That includes providing education, contraception, and the care and support women need to raise the children (or pay the bills required to deliver and then give the child up for adoption). My greatest fear is that abortions will become so hard to get legally that women will find unscrupulous individuals to get their abortions or attempt it themselves with dire results (the WHO reports that in Europe, up to 30% of maternal deaths are due to illegal abortions). In fact, a study shows that the rates of abortions -- legal or not -- remain the same.

PP performed 340,000 abortions last year; that's a lot hearts and minds of women to change and I would argue that we can't judge those women without knowing the why of their decisions (in fact, we shouldn't judge anyway -- it's a personal and private decision). A woman's ability to make her own decisions about her personal health care is constantly being eroded by the GOP. This isn't the time to sit back and let it happen. We need to do everything we can to make abortion legal and safe but more importantly, rare. But more importantly, we need to reclaim our right to make our own decisions about our body; no bureaucrat in DC should have that power.

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