“… [T]his is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”
The president used these words today in a statement affirming Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling allowing abortion that was handed down 41 years ago today.
No doubt he wasn’t talking about unborn children, since abortion certainly doesn’t give them “freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.” But what about women? Doesn’t abortion — as tragic as it is — at least protect their rights and freedoms, or even save their lives? Shouldn’t it remain legal for their sake?
The truth is that legal abortion has done nothing to protect the rights, health or lives of women. In fact, Roe and its legacy have simply allowed more women to be exploited, abused, traumatized, maimed, injured and killed before, during and after abortion.
Consider that women and girls still die from abortion — women like Tonya Reaves, Jennifer Morbelli, Christin Gilbert and Karnamaya Mongar, to name just a few. In fact, research found higher death rates among women who have abortions compared to women who carry their pregnancies to term.
But risking these hazards is necessary in order for women to maintain their reproductive freedom, right? It’s about their rights, isn’t it?
To the contrary, the legalization of abortion has done nothing to advance women’s freedom. Given research and anecdotal evidence showing that most abortions are unwanted or coerced, one could argue that abortion makes women less free.
Before Roe, a woman or girl who was being pressured or coerced to abort could resist on the grounds that it was illegal, unsafe and immoral. Legalization has made it easier for those around her to insist that because abortion is legal, it must be “safe,” and because it is “socially approved,” it must be moral. It makes it easier for them to refuse to support her desire to continue the pregnancy and insist that she abort anyway.
In fact, an article published several years ago on a popular men’s web site offered advice to men about how to pressure their wives or girlfriends into unwanted abortions. The article was taken down after numerous complaints, but not before readers saw writer Isabella Snow’s advice that men weren’t obligated to support their child “beyond what your conscience and the law expects of you.” Rather than asking men to step up to the plate, Snow suggested they threaten abandonment in order to secure an abortion, regardless of the woman’s wishes:
This was her decision, not yours, and the bulk of the responsibility is now hers. Take a moment to spell this out for her when she gives you her final decision; it just may sway her over to your side.
The legalization of abortion has not ended child abuse (child abuse rates have increased since 1973) or violence against women. At least two studies of maternal death rates found that homicide was the leading cause of death among pregnant women. Tracking news stories reveals that in many cases, the perpetrator wanted to get rid of the pregnancy and attacked or killed the victim after she refused to abort. For teens and young girls, abortion is often used to cover and up and continue sexual abuse by getting rid of the evidence of the crime — the resulting pregnancy.
So, no, supporting abortion is not about protecting people’s freedom and opportunities. Women and their unborn children, as well as their families and loved ones, deserve real support and resources, not the exploitation, abuse and risks of abortion.
Two Deaths from “Safe and Legal” Abortions: Would More Women Die If Not for Legalization?
5 Myths About Back-Alley Abortions
Abortionists Are Not Held Accountable for Mistakes
Forced to Abort? Don’t Count on Clinics to Help
Resources to Share:
Special Report on Invisible Abortion Deaths
Special Report on Coercion Inside the Abortion Industry
Forced Abortion in America: A Special Report
Physical Risks of Abortion Fact Sheet
Psychological Risks of Abortion Fact Sheet