A Woman's Right to Choose - Rebuttal to Letter in Lafayette Daily Advertiser

So-called “Right to Life” activists condemn Roe v. Wade and decry what they call the massive killing of babies in the years since its ruling, but can we not remember the thousands of women every year who died as a result of botched abortions in this country before 1973? There are graves littering every state containing the bodies of women who were butchered in motel rooms or died horrifying deaths at their own hands because they were terrified of the consequences of bringing a baby into the world. Were their lives not of worth?

In Leslie Alexander’s guest column of February 4, 2007, she speaks of girls giving birth at the prom or in a hotel room, leaving the babies to die in garbage dumps. How is this an argument against abortion? These girls are the very ones who should be given a chance to end their pregnancies in a clean, safe environment.

It is easy to sit back and pass judgment on someone else from our comfortable middle-class living rooms. It is easy to point a finger at the girl who was impregnated by her own father, and say, “You need parental consent for an abortion,” or, even worse, “You should carry that child and give birth to it.” It is easy to look at a poor working mother, making a minimum wage (which in this country isn’t even enough to feed one person, much less a family), and tell her she has to carry and find a way to feed yet another child she can’t afford. Pro-Lifers advocate adoption as an option – but how many of you are willing to adopt one of these kids, who otherwise will languish their entire childhoods in orphanages or foster homes? Our social services system is overtaxed now with cases of abuse and neglect of unwanted children.

Ms. Alexander also speaks of embryonic stem cell research as a way we are wiping out “entire generations” of children, and claims there have been no successful experiments using these cells. Of course, it should be obvious that scientists who advocate their use are only doing so for evil, sadistic purposes! How absurd! A quick Google search brings up hundreds of stories of success with embryonic stem cells helping to find cures for everything from cancer and diabetes to Parkinson’s and paralysis. It should also be noted that these cells are not obtained through abortion, but through the use of in vitro fertilized eggs which have been given approval by the donors for use in scientific research. They are not a baby – they are groups of a couple hundred cells that were created in a Petri dish.

If Pro-Life groups really want to reduce the number of abortions every year, they should focus on pregnancy prevention instead of taking away a woman’s right to choose. Instead of taking upon ourselves the right to judge another for a deeply personal decision, we should provide all women with comprehensive sex education and easily accessible birth control. Ending reproductive freedom rights is not the answer.

05 February 2007


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