I have already told you about when my grandmother in California had given birth to five children in six years and wrote to her brother in Ohio, the doctor, asking how to prevent any more pregnancies. He wrote and gave her the information, but the first sentence in his letter was, "Memorize this information and then burn this letter because I could go to prison for telling you this."
Until my grandmother had that information, she had no choice, no control over her body and life at all. My grandfather was fated to work harder and harder and provide less for more children. Not being able to decide these very personal issues is less than freedom.
I worked for 12 years teaching parenting skills to parents who either had their children in foster care or were in danger of the state placing them there. I saw all sorts of horrible things and heard of even worse than I saw. The abuse that is heaped on children when their parents resent them is unbelievable. The unintended neglect that occurs when a girl has a child when she is too young can put the child's life at risk.
It is not good for children to be born when their parents resent them or are unable to care for them properly. Choice has to be available. For those of us who would like to see as few abortions as possible, the need is great to give people full information on how to prevent pregnancy, and abortion needs to be available for when birth control fails.
I came of age before Roe v. Wade and I remember friends seeking out the name of a doctor in Mexico. That assumed the girl could get her hands on the money to go to Mexico. Many couldn't. Just because abortion was illegal, that didn't mean that poor girls didn't have them. It just meant that they sought them out in dark alleys and often died because the procedure had been botched.
The current direction of this administration is to work to outlaw abortion and birth control both. Plan B was kept off the market for much too long, although it does not cause abortions. The people who kept it off the market knew the truth about it. They teach abstinence only sex education and post the lie that abortions cause breast cancer on government websites. This is not a desire to protect women, it is a desire to control them.
And it isn't belief in the sanctity of life. People who refuse to teach teens how to avoid AIDS and other diseases don't consider the life of those teens as sacred. People who send other people's children to die don't consider the lives of those children sacred. People who drop bombs on other countries don't consider the lives of those people sacred. People who refuse to fund stem cell research, who value the "life" of an embryo which is going to be thrown away if it isn't used over the life of someone who has already been born, don't consider the lives of the born sacred. People who would rush to Washington to sign a bill to prevent a husband from being able to allow his brain dead wife to die in peace but don't bother to cut a vacation short while New Orleans is drowning don't value life.
God alone knows what these people value, but it isn't life. The sanctity of life doesn't end at birth. A few cells are not more valuable than a living woman or her husband or her other children.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Blog For Choice
As I started this post, I decided to review what I had written last year. And what I discovered was that last year I said exactly what I wanted to say and exactly what I still want to say. I can't say it better, and I have nothing to add or subtract,.so here it is again.