I’m a male. I’m going to talk about abortion. Already I’m on dangerous ground. Right-wingers politically love abortion. It’s a reliably contentious social wedge issue that gives their Teapublican candidates a twenty-point spot in every campaign. That’s why, while pretending to hate the 1973, 7-2 Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade, they really don’t. The brighter among them fully realize that if Roe v. Wade were ever to be overturned, there would be two immediate and unacceptable consequences. The loss of that political wedge issue and the necessity of pregnant Pro Lifers to go underground to have their own inevitable abortions, just like their liberal sisters. It’s instructive to note that in New York City, once abortions became legal, there was a 45% annual drop in maternal mortality, a figure matched by North Carolina at about the same time.
Not to worry. I cannot see Roe v. Wade going away under any court or circumstances. It’s all about the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy under the Due Process clause. It’s called the preservation of a woman’s freedom – a buzzword that the right is always woofing about, but only applies when it’s to their political advantage.
The fact is that no matter how much Roe v. Wade faux-opposition is evidenced, no matter how morally superior the right-wing ladies (and their gentleman supporters) purport to be, no matter their participation in numerous anti-abortion marches waving their ‘liberals are baby-killers’ placards, no matter their bowed heads at their preachers latest anti-abortion rant, no matter what their sanctimonious spokespeople spew out on Fox…there are just as many conservative women aborting, or mighty close to it, as their liberal counterparts.
Let’s look at some objective, apolitical numbers from the non-partisan Guttmacher Institute. First, a shocker. Nearly 22% of all pregnancies end in abortion. A total of 3 in 10 women will have an abortion by age 45. More than half of abortions are performed on women in the 20s age range. Since Roe v. Wade, there have been well over 50 million abortions. How many of those abortions do you think were performed on right-wing women? None? That’s what they would have you believe. None. Without citing a single statistic, do you really think all 50 million women who had those abortions were liberals? Just given the fact that there are more teen pregnancies in Red States, some of which would end in abortion, would give lie to that fact. And I thought conservative teens were sooooo much more chaste, being raised in God-fearing, sexless homes as it were. Silly ole’ me!
You should also know that 29% of fetuses identified with Down syndrome were aborted in Atlanta, the biggest city in a Deep South state. Such stats are hard to come by, but my guess is that number would stand in most cities and states.
Abortion is not a new phenomenon. Since the turn of the last century estimates run as high a 2 million in some early 1900’s years. And in many of those cases of then illegal abortions, the mother died. Back in the day a Bronx birth control clinic surveyed 1,000 of their patients one year, including those of the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths and found that 35% of them had at least one illegal abortion in the past year. An earlier national clinical study put the number of abortions at 22% of all pregnancies. Interesting; That roughly 80-year-old number is identical to contemporary statistics whether abortion is legal or not.
The vast majority of abortions take place by 8 weeks from the last menstrual period. At 8 weeks the fetus is just over a half-inch from ‘rump to crown’ as statisticians describe it. Its weight is a fraction (0.04) of an ounce. Nothing is functioning. Nerve cells are just beginning to connect. You’ll have no idea whether it’s a boy or girl. I’ve heard the fetus described as about the size of a kidney bean. To suggest that this is somehow a fully viable human is ludicrous.
Let’s have a serious discussion here. Nobody with even a hint of a heart and soul welcomes an abortion. For many women who have undergone the procedure, it is life altering. They sink into a deep depression and are never totally free of the guilt of an abortion. And yes, if left to nature’s devices, that kidney-bean-sized fetus will grow to a fully functioning baby of 6 or 7 pounds on average and will bring many, many years of love and joy to the those parents who couldn’t wait for the new family arrival.
But, there’s one fact that unalterable. Millions of women of all demographics, economic strata and political stripes have sought abortions, whether legal or illegal, every year for as long as records have been kept and that’s a long enough period of time to know that abortions will always be with us. Through some time periods their numbers will diminish. Other times, an increase will be evident.
No sex is unquestionably the best way to avoid abortions altogether. Contraception or birth control is another pretty sure-fire way to avoid abortions. Incredibly, there’s a bunch of Santorum-types out there who vociferously oppose birth control in any form, mostly based on their biblical beliefs. The bible is a wonderful moral instrument but to somehow equate the Genesis 38:8 tale about Onan pulling out of his dead brother Er’s wife before ejaculation with the highly sophisticated modern birth-control techniques of today is beyond comprehension.
Might I add that the Lord was so ticked off at seeing all that seed go to waste (Onan repeatedly ‘made love’ to the poor widow), that he killed Onan. “Lord, George Zimmerman; George, the Lord.” I should caution other ‘lovers’ (and birth control adherents) out there to be on the lookout for Dominion Theologian, ‘secular be damned’, Rick Santorum snooping around your bedroom window. What with the Lord’s approval, the Stand Your Ground Law and Genesis 38, you never know what might happen.
The loudest anti-abortion name callers have all practiced birth control and a healthy number of these screamers have had an abortion. Don’t back down from these hypocrites; They wouldn’t concede the truth if it bit them in their IUD.