Monday, November 10, 2008

A Post-Abortion World

If abortion were outlawed tomorrow in all 50 states, it wouldn’t stop happening.

Desperate women would seek out illegal abortions from unlicensed practitioners.

Women with means would launch a medical travel industry for trips to Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere to get abortions.

Making abortion illegal won’t stop the debate, or drive it underground.

But if we put the debate aside for a moment, we can focus on the realities of the situation. We can identify common ground, and we can make a real difference, now. Instead of politically charged rhetoric that drives us further apart; we can save and improve lives, right here in America, right now.

We can fix our broken adoption and foster care systems.

We can make sure that no child in American goes hungry, and that every child in America has access to adequate healthcare. We can provide early intervention services and therapies for children who need them now in order to be fully participatory members of society later. We can guarantee prenatal care to all those who need it. We can remove many of the barriers that make women feel like they can’t have a baby now.

We can reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies. We can educate all pubescent kids about sex and what it can lead to. We can make sure all teens know the facts about pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. We can make sure they know about birth control, its benefits and its limitations, because some of them will make the decision to be sexually active before they’re ready to be parents themselves.

And parents and churches can jump into the breach, educating kids about values, about right and wrong, good and bad decisions, responsibility. Our kids are going to hear about sex: from TV, movies, magazines, the internet, and each other. We can make sure that the information they hear outside is shaped by the value system we have structured and built. And we can provide good role models for our kids to follow. We can walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.

If we want to, we can effect real change. We can work together to improve and save the lives of millions of Americans. Or we can keep vilifying each other, dividing ourselves into Red and Blue, seeing each other as evil and wrong, and keep using abortion as a spur to drive increasingly polarized voters to the polls to elect officials who are in turn less interested in solving the problems than in political grandstanding.


Stushie said...

A well balanced post, Sarahlynn, which makes a very compelling argument for lessening the difficulties of women choosing to let their babies live. Thanks.

Sarahlynn said...

The weird thing is, it really isn't that balanced. I just left out the charged language and said basically what Planned Parenthood says all the time! If we could only find a way to work together rather than seeing each other as terrible monsters . . .

Kathy G said...

Thank you for saying this. I've been wrestling with these concepts lately.

My religious beliefs tell me that abortion is wrong, but I can't impose my will on anyone else. The church leaders and politicians who believe that things would magically change if abortion became illegal are short-sighted.

Sarahlynn said...


Also, now that I've been a position of having to choose . . . and loving Ellie with every fiber of my being but knowing that there are simply people out there who couldn't give her what she needs in order to achieve her full potential . . .

I'm even less likely to feel qualified to be the judge for others. I know what I believe, and I'll speak passionately about that, but I won't try to legislate it.

Redhead Editor said...

Amen, Sistah! You make me proud when you write with such conviction on this topic. What do you think of Sen Louden?

Sarahlynn said...

I don't know! What about Senator Loudon? I am for legal midwifery and think it a crying shame that we don't have birthing centers around here. I liked the "tocology" bill. Are there more recent developments?