I doubt that the people who passed the South Dakota law banning abortion will care about the affect of their actions on the lives of women in that state, but perhaps their constituents will. Perhaps they will vote the bastards out of office.
There shouldn't need to be a 'first coat-hanger abortion death' to wake people up, because in reality, such deaths have never stopped in countries that haven't allowed legal abortion in the first place. The LA Times hosts this guest editorial by a Human Rights Watch worker on abortion in Latin America, which you should read in its entirety:
... Over the last five years, I have interviewed dozens of women and girls who faced unwanted pregnancies and had abortions in Argentina, Mexico and Peru, all countries that limit access to contraceptives, sex education and abortion. The most common tale I heard was one of desperation.
"I don't have $10 a month for contraceptives — I need that money for milk for my children." "I didn't even want to have sex, let alone become pregnant." "If I have this child, I won't be able to take care of the others." "My father raped me." The list goes on.
... I have spoken to women who used knives, knitting needles, rubber tubes, even pieces of wood to pry open their uteruses. Some got access to abortive medicines that in theory lower the possibility of direct infection but that caused serious complications when they took them without medical assistance. Affluent women suffered fewer traumatic ordeals, often traveling to the U.S. for the procedure or sneaking off to upscale private Latin America clinics where, on paper, they had surgery for appendicitis. ...
That's the result of public 'morality.' The result of public servants wanting to pray in front of the masses and be admired for their rectitude. It happens in every single country where abortion is outlawed and access to contraception is restricted. It has already happened in America as a result of parental notification laws:
Becky Bell lived with her parents, Karen and Bill, and brother in a small town near Indianapolis. Becky was a junior in high school in 1988 when she became pregnant. She sought an abortion at a women's health clinic but learned that, under Indiana law, she first had to obtain the consent of one parent. Afraid to disappoint her parents, Becky had an illegal abortion and died from complications one week later. This is Karen Bell's story.
... The nuns and nurses at St. Vincent Hospital, where we have taken her for everything, kept asking Beck, "What have you done to yourself?" I heard the nurses say her veins had collapsed. They put oxygen on her, but Becky pulled the mask off. I leaned down and said, "Honey, tell Mom, tell me, honey." She said, "Mom, Dad, I love you, forgive me." And that was it. Her heart stopped. They said that her lungs had literally come apart from infection, and they hooked her up to life support.
... Bill and I decided to speak out; we thought we could prevent other girls from dying. We appeared on 60 Minutes. The anti-choice crowd came after us. They followed us. There would be crowds of people with their fetuses in a bottle, and some would say that Becky didn't die the way we said she did. They loosened the lug nuts on our car. In Arkansas, they shot a hole in the building where we were speaking. They cared more about a fetus than about my daughter. I thought, "I'm not afraid of anybody, because my daughter is dead and you can't hurt me anymore." ...
The questions to ask when thinking about abortion restrictions come simply to these: What lower-income mother would you sentence to health problems she can't afford? Whose daughter would you sentence to death?Posted by natasha at March 21, 2006 07:59 AM | Women | Technorati links |