Can We Talk About Abortion?

People who oppose a woman’s right to choose will use any device they can to try to ban abortion. These days, it’s health care reform.

Anti-choice extremists have themselves in a frenzy over health care reform and abortion, and are on a rampage of deceit and distortions. Organizations like the Family Research Council insist that the Democrats’ health care reform bill will force taxpayers to fund abortions and will radically expand abortion coverage.  Their allies in Congress have introduced 35 anti-abortion amendments to the bill, including Senator Coburn’s outrageous “Office of Unborn Children’s Health.”

I find this whole debate maddening. First of all, abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in this country. Why shouldn’t it be covered by both private and public insurance? Should we legislate that private insurers can’t cover vasectomies because that would be preventing potential future unborn children? Hopefully Sen. Coburn can keep them healthy long enough to be born uninsured!

Second, abortion is not some dirty procedure that only nameless, faceless harlots have. A lot of women have abortions. Safe, legal abortion. They may not want to talk about it, of course – who would, when your doctor could get gunned down for having performed your procedure. But according to the Guttmacher Institute, by the age of 45 one in three American women will have had an abortion.

Look around you – chances are you know someone who has had an abortion. These women are our friends, co-workers, neighbors and family. And they’re not a bunch of raging left wing atheists either – 43% of women who have abortions identify as Protestant and 27% as Catholic. Thirteen percent identify themselves as born again or evangelical Christians. Chew on that, Randall Terry.

So when Senator Coburn and Randall Terry and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and all these far-right anti-choice hate-mongers rail against health care reform because it doesn’t explicitly prohibit private insurers from covering abortion, one must ask – why should it? Why should a “reform” bill ban a procedure that 33% of American women will have performed at some point in their life? Why should reform ban a legal procedure that occurs over a million times every year? And why should abortion be any different than any other medical procedure, when it is more common than most?

I think every woman who cares about protecting her current insurance coverage and her fundamental right to choose the best medical options for herself needs to stand up and be heard. Every man who cares about the health and rights of women needs to stand up and be heard. Congress needs to know: health care reform is too important to be co-opted by the anti-choice extreme in their campaign to eliminate our reproductive freedom by any means necessary.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to oppose all efforts to take away abortion coverage!


pam w.
pam w8 years ago

Excellent points, Shannon! If adoption were easier and didn't cost more than the average person can afford, it might be more common.

HOWEVER--adoption is NOT the answer for many unwanted pregnancies. Not everyone can carry a child to term. Issues of privacy conflict with it--I don't have to cite all the possible reasons against it because I'm sure you can imagine.


Shannon S.
Shannon G8 years ago

I keep seeing comments about all the unwanted children out there that no one wants to adopt. I dont know if you realize how hard it is to adopt and the finances that it takes. Not only is the process cumbersome, but in a lot of cases a judge will award the child back to the mother if she changes her mind. I believe that we need to look at legislation to make this a simpler process. There are alot of people who have been waiting for years to adopt. To say that abortion is the end all to unwanted children is not as black and white as some of the posters make it seem. What about the mothers who want their children when at first and then may not do the right thing when faced with the reality of parenthood AFTER the child is born? What is the solution to that? I am not advocating taking away a persons right to choose, but to make the argument that there would be no more unwanted babies if everyone had abortions is not a realistic one to make. BTW, I would be happy to raise an unwanted child as my own, I just do not have the 30 grand to pay the lawyers to do it.

Ian MacLeod
Ian MacLeod8 years ago

Lauren W.,
You should know that VERY few doctors will sterilize an 18 year old. One might do so reversibly, but no one can guarantee reversibility; it's taking a chance. Why are you so certain that you'll never want a child? I've known a number of women who were also sure when they were young they'd never want a child, but that changed as they neared thirty. I don't know if the so-called "biological clock" is biological or psychological, but it's very real. It's better to leave the door open while you have the choice. You should never make a decision in haste that doesn't call for haste, or a decision now that isn't necessary. Very reliable birth control is available. Life itself will close more doors for you, beyond your control, than you can see coming now. While you are indeed an adult at eighteen, you will, with luck, have many, many times the amount of life experience you have now, and that of necessity WILL change many of your beliefs, conclusions, preferences and other things. You actually have relatively little adult experience yet, and even complete maturity of the brain doesn't happen until around twenty-five or thereabouts. You seem intelligent, caring and involved. Why not give yourself at least another few years to make such a decision? You have the time. The person you are now is in some ways so different from the thirty-five year old you will be, you may be almost strangers by comparison. You-then may not like a decision made for her by an eighteen year old.

pam w.
pam w8 years ago

ONE MORE TIME--birth control is NOT infallible! Abortion must remain as an option.

mary k.
mary k8 years ago

you are only 18 years old, you may eventually change your mind and want to have children. abortion is not responsible, using birth control is.

Lauren W.
Lauren W8 years ago

I think that abortion is a very responsible and mature choice for people who are not prepared to have kids. Some people may suggest adoption, but I am adopted and I can honestly say it has been a miserable experience not knowing where I am from or why.... I believe that abortion is the best answer for all parties involved. The mother won't have a child she either didn't want or can't take care of, and the child is saved from a miserable life. I do not consider abortion as murder, and I think it is horribly wrong to try to convince someone to not have an abortion, especially with that as the only reason. I am 18 and not pregnant. I not going to have kids, and my fiancee and I are deciding which one of us will get sterilized. My friend (and sister-in-law to be who is under 16) always tries to tell me that if I accidentally got pregnant, that I would be a HORRIBLE person for getting an abortion. I think that people should be understanding of women who get abortions and give them support. No one deserves to suffer, and an abortion is avoiding the suffering.

Diversity of Metamorphosi
Paul Lowe8 years ago

I put my comments here:-

pam w.
pam w8 years ago

Graciela, you should be glad your biological mother wanted you and could afford to give you birth! But...what if she couldn't have cared for you? What if she didn't want you? Would you have preferred being born into an abusive home? Do you have any idea what it's like to be unintentionally pregnant without resources and without medical help?

Let me tell YOU this...abortion is NOT the result of values--abortion is the result of unintended pregnancy, nothing more--nothing less.

Unintended/forced births affect our lives forever--abortion does not! Unintended/forced births affect not only the life of the mother but also the life of the child. "Punishing" a woman for unintended pregnancy by forcing her to give birth is a cruel and merciless thing.

When you talk about "solving bad choices," you reveal your ignorance of what abortion really means. You put a value judgment on women who need help. You ASSUME they are pregnant through "fault--bad choices" rather than dozens of possible factors which do NOT make them "guilty."

I wish something better for you--should you ever need help.

Graciela Siller
Graciela Siller8 years ago

Just something to think about! Abortion is the result of ignoring the fact that we need to live, practice and teach our children values. The real problem is that everything around us such as T.V. programs, ads, etc. give us the idea that sex is just one more body activity. Abortion is an important decision that affects our lifes forever! It is my belief that we should be working more towards what are we doing to dignify our society, rather than giving alternatives to solve our bad choices! Abortion is a very delicate issue and it must be handled with respect! One thing that I want to share is that I thank my biological mother that did not abort me and give me the opportunity of LIFE!

Kelanie H.
Kel H8 years ago

I am very pro choice! Its no one business if i choose to have an abortion or not. I have sat in the Planned Parenthood office for hours trying to get birth control pills and I have sat next to women young and old waiting on abortions. I am not here to judge them. Thats God's job. Leave the judging to him! Women need more choice when it comes to health care. Most insurance companies now adays will not pay for birth control pills but they will cover Viagra! Its a crying shame! I lived in a city where a girl got pregnant at 11 and the babies father was 10! No joke! and her family kept the baby. If they took the right to legal abortions away just imagine how many unsafe illegal ones will be perfomed in someone house or small clinic and just imagine the lives that will be lost if this choice is denied!