Reason vs. Anti-Abortionists—
The voters of Albuquerque, New Mexico, wisely and soundly rejected an attempt by the misguided forces of the anti-abortionists (hereinafter “Anti-”) to take away a female’s right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion or not. According to the story in the New York Times on November 20, Albuquerque’s voters sent the Antis packing with their misguided political message. This was a win for women who want to make decisions about their own bodies free of the political or religious agenda of those who want to put their own ignorance ahead of the choices of free and independent women.
Some simple facts are in order so ignorance—defined as a lack of knowledge—will be dispelled.
- Notwithstanding belief in myths, telling young people to “just say, No” is just not working. Why? Sex is powerful, particularly when the youthful hormones are flowing. Accidental pregnancies happen in the heat of passion regardless of age. Rarely, birth control measures fail and a pregnancy results.
- Age-appropriate sex education is fought tooth-and-nail by the Anti- crowd. In fact, sex education is opposed generally in the false belief that all sex education puts lascivious ideas in the heads of youth. Wake up, folks! The thoughts are already there. The only issue is whether the instruction is accurate and appropriate for the age of the child. Informed sources recommend that sex education begin for all children at the age when questions begin to arise. The questions may be “Where do babies come from?” “What are those dogs doing?” The point is, the child will set the timetable. A wise parent will respond honestly and in an appropriate way for the child to understand. When the parents don’t know or are not equipped to respond, the schools should have the job.
- The odds are considerably better than even that the Anti- faction deployed misleading if not false information. They always neglect to say that a therapeutic abortion is among the safest procedures in medicine. Furthermore, safe, legal therapeutic abortion is considered about fourteen times safer than childbirth. Without knowing more than was in the New York Times, I believe that it’s a fair guess that the people of Albuquerque were told or shown pictures that imply that many abortions take place beyond the first two trimesters (approximately 24 to 26 weeks) when the fetus is not yet capable of surviving on its own. In fact, virtually all abortions take place well within the first two trimesters. Repeat: virtually all abortions take place within the first two trimesters.
- Until about the end of the tenth week, the developing embryo is not even categorized as a fetus but is little more than a mass of tissue that often is spontaneously aborted by the woman’s body without the necessity of a therapeutic abortion. This is often referred to as a miscarriage.
- The Anti- faction often says that abortions lead to breast cancer, which is totally false, and that they lead to mental-health problems. The latter assertion is also without scientific foundation.
- The Anti- faction neglects to tell people that elimination of safe abortions way too often leads to dangerous self-help and unsafe abortions resulting in needless deaths or infertility.
- Finally, although this list of true statements is by no means exhaustive, the Anti- faction has a political or fundamentalist religious agenda: they want their world view to apply to everyone, even though the majority of Americans have repeatedly expressed themselves as opposed to the restriction or elimination of safe, legal abortions.
You may have views that are contrary to the facts presented here. If that is the case, please feel free to comment, but you can expect my rebuttal to any reasonable comment you may make. Those in agreement with this piece and those who want to add to the statements I have made should also feel free to comment.