The Supreme Court vs Texas

scales-of-justiceIn reference to the recent Supreme Court’s decision to overturn restrictions that would have closed all but a handful of abortion providers in Texas, Hillary Clinton welcomed the court’s decision and called the efforts to curtail access to abortion as “politically motivated.”

(No. Not politically motivated. Religiously motivated.)

While there would still have been available clinics in large metropolitan centers (Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio), access would have been severely limited for many women. And one cannot help but portend that had the Supreme Court upheld this legislation, even these clinics would eventually have been shuttered.

Amazingly, Texas legislators claimed there was medical justification for their actions … that they were protecting women’s health (!). Thankfully, the majority of the Supreme Court judges did not see it that way.

I know addressing this subject is opening a can of worms and the anti-abortionists will no doubt come out of the woodwork to scream that a zygote is an embryo is a fetus is a human … and thus should never be aborted. But I stand by my long-standing persuasion that it is a woman’s decision. And similar to the right some people claim related to gun ownership, a woman, based on the indisputable fact that she is a primary factor in the perpetuation of the human race, has the right to choose abortion. And thus, safe and convenient medical facilities should always be available to her for this purpose.

Abortion Might Have Been The Better Choice

HEADLINE (from USA Today):

Utah mom admits killing 6 newborns

Megan Huntsman was clear about what she did with six of her newborn babies. She either strangled or suffocated them immediately after they were born, wrapped their bodies in a towel or a shirt, put them in plastic bags, and then packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home.

What’s not clear is why.

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It’s not clear as to why?!?? The reason seems pretty obvious. She didn’t want them.

Many are adamantly against abortion, but in a case like this, wouldn’t it have been better if she had ended the life of the fetuses (which are arguably human) than waiting to kill what most certainly could not have been mistaken in any way, shape, or form as being HUMAN babies?

We may never know the real reasons behind this woman’s actions, yet one can’t help but wonder if there could have been a better way.

Finally! A Sensible Approach to Abortion

Religious Groups Take a Stand for Reproductive Rights: “It’s Time to Change the Conversation”

I just read the above article and am elated to discover there are those in the religious world who are taking a sensible approach to abortion.  

A coalition of faith groups has been formed whose members are interested in speaking up in favor of abortion rights, contraception access, and comprehensive sex ed.

It’s about time!

Yet, in the same article it’s worrisome to read that despite public outcry, some states have passed record-breaking numbers of restrictions on abortion and family planning … and this very narrow religious view of abortion and sexuality is increasingly being enshrined into law.  This dramatic increase has been mainly driven by just a handful of states that have a particular focus on enacting the harshest laws against abortion since Roe vs  Wade: North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina.

Regarding their objectives, Rev. Harry Knox, the president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the spokesperson for this article, made this comment:

“For too long, the extreme Religious Right has dominated the public conversation about religion and sexuality. But the truth is that most people of faith, like the majority of Americans overall, support access to contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, and reproductive health care — including abortion.”

He concludes:

“Our campaign is very much based on the idea that compassion begins at home.”

Certainly those who adamantly oppose abortion will look with disgust and horror at this group. However, for me it’s extremely heartening to know there are those in religious circles who are willing to be a positive force for compassion and understanding and who are interested in promoting respectful dialogue about this very controversial topic.

In the Matter of Abortion

The current political scene has (once again) brought the abortion issue to the forefront with the Religious Right loudly proclaiming their “Right to Life” mantra. (This time, they’re even sticking their noses into the use of contraceptives!)

Now they’re pushing for a nation-wide mandate that abortion providers perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion. This in itself is unnecessary (and costly, around $200) if the woman has made her decision, but they don’t stop there. They also want to require the provider to offer (encourage?) the woman an opportunity to view the image.*

Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, recently asked this biased question: “Shouldn’t  abortion-seeking women see the life they are about to end?” (I get so frustrated with men sticking their noses into this issue!)

There are several reasons why a woman will choose to have an abortion. The following statistics come from the National Right to Life website:

  • Feels unready for child/responsibility – 25%
  • Feels she can’t afford baby – 23%
  • Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities – 19%
  • Relationship problem/Single motherhood – 8%
  • Feels she isn’t mature enough – 7%

From a woman’s point of view (the only one that counts), these are all valid reasons. After all, she’s the one who will be responsible for the major care of the child.

It’s been said that the recent anti-abortion comments made by certain Republican candidates are not “an attack on females.” Oh really? What do they call it?

I’m not going to get into the debate as to when a fetus becomes a ‘real’ human being. That’s way beyond my grade level – and, to my thinking, everyone else’s. But I will stand up for a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body. And no one – male or female – has the right to interfere.

*According to the Guttmacher Institute (a non-profit organization that works to advance abortion rights), seven states — Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and most recently, Virginia — now have this mandate in force.

ADDENDUM – February 10, 2014

I just came across an excellent blog posting on abortion and God’s will. I urge visitors to check it out at this link. The same writer also wrote the following in another posting on the same subject.

So it’s pretty hard to assert that a developing organism within a womb is a separate human being until it is born and begins to form its own individual experiences of the world. Since men have no existential understanding of what it’s like to be pregnant, a man should not have any say on the issue of whether or not a woman has an abortion unless he is married to the pregnant woman and intends to offer financial and emotional support after the birth. Likewise, a woman should have no say on whether or not a man uses Viagra, unless she is his intimate partner.

Pam Tebow- Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

There has been considerable discussion in the news media about the pro-life ad that will be included as a Super Bowl commercial this Sunday.

For those not familiar with the contents of the ad, it is a message about a woman (Pam Tebow) who gave birth to a son after a very difficult pregnancy, even though she had been advised by doctors to have an abortion. As it turned out, her son became the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.

Of course, pro-lifers pounce on this case and use it to point out the benefits of refusing to have an abortion.

But they miss a very important point.

Please note that the two sides of the debate are “Pro-Life” and Pro-CHOICE.” Pam Tebow made a choice to allow her son to be born. She was advised against this action by her doctor because of the potential dangers it presented both to her and the fetus, as well as the possibility of the child being disabled in some way. Yet she made a choice not to terminate the pregnancy. Pro-lifers seem to miss this very important point.

Women are faced with similar situations every day. They must decide what course to follow. They can choose to carry their baby to term or they can choose to abort. But it is their choice. No one is holding a gun to their head.

People who believe in pro-choice are not advocating that women have abortions. They are advocating that women have a choice.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out that Pam Tebow gave birth in the Phillipines. Abortion under any circumstances has been illegal in that country since 1930 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Philippines) so technically, she was not faced with the decision that the pro-lifers are championing. Interesting.