40 Years of Safe, Legal Abortion

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade.  We celebrate the reproductive rights of women today while they are are under a full assault by those who would condemn women to back alley abortions once again.

Let’s be clear on one point:  outlawing abortion doesn’t make it disappear.  There’s no such thing as eradicating abortion.  We have two choices:  enable women to obtain safe, legal procedures or condemn them to back alley butchers.  Too many women died at the hands of those “practitioners” before 1973.  Passing laws against abortion are no more effective than the laws against illegal drugs or prostitution.  You cannot legislate human behavior.  We can either protect women and ensure children keep their moms or we can relegate too many of them to orphanages because their moms died unnecessarily from unsupervised and unsanitary procedures not regulated.  Killing women is not a “pro life” position.

Pennsylvania abortion providers have been under attack in Harrisburg making the legal medical procedure both harder to get and more expensive.  Five abortion clinics have closed since Gov. Corbett signed legislation requiring onerous, expensive and unnecessary regulations.  The modifications required are pricing many women out of the market and forcing poor women to have babies they don’t want.  How will those kids be raised when their parents didn’t want them in the first place?  We wonder where so much juvenile crime comes from…

Perhaps we need to adopt the same strategies against guns which are being used against abortion providers.  Maybe we need laws requiring gun dealers to adopt extensive modifications to their facilities:  have them spend $500,000 to $1,000,000 making their shops safer, adding gun training ranges inside them, force all prospective gun owners to watch videos of people killed by gun violence, take intelligence and psychological tests before being able to own a gun.  If we can require such strict limitations on a woman’s right to obtain a constitutionally protected right then why exempt gun owners?  

Forty years of safe, legal abortion has made us a somewhat civilized nation.  Going backwards, as we have been doing, turns us into nothing more than a banana republic.  Our expanding income inequality is doing that at an alarming rate and the growing ranks of those in poverty should be sending strong signals we are risking troubling instability in America.  The war on women is but one aspect of this all and we ignore it at our risk.

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