Monday, June 19, 2006

Reader Submission: Testifying in Columbus on the proposed Ohio anti-abortion bill

When I tell friends where I spent my time last Tuesday, they think I must be mistaken. Surely, I didn’t just tell them that I went to a hearing at our statehouse on a bill that might have been expected in the legislature in 1906, not 2006. Surely, I could not have said that supposedly intelligent, thinking, progressive people consider it civilized to make abortions completely, totally illegal under any circumstances—even prosecutable should an Ohioan cross or help someone cross the state line to obtain a safe, sanitary termination of an unwanted pregnancy. Surely they didn’t mean to further defile a victim of rape or incest by forcing her into another unwanted, unbidden act that will forever change her life. No, they said, you must be incorrect. Everyone knows, they said, that abortions will go on, as they always have, whether they are legal or illegal and that, in the later case, only the rich will be able to afford safe ones. And, some said, who wants to force someone to have a child when she feels she cannot or must not.

It makes me sad to think that some honestly believe that a living, breathing, knowledgeable woman has no right to choose what happens inside her own body. I won’t try to argue the philosophical or religious views that abhor this particular act, but surely they don’t believe that a woman’s body belongs to the state, that her rights should be subordinated to others beliefs, that she should be enslaved to the choices of others. Well, maybe they do. Maybe that’s why Ohio continues to slide down the continuum of desirable places to live. Or maybe it’s just another political ploy to create more divisiveness among voters.

At the least, wouldn’t we be better off spending time and money on preventing abortions through good education and family planning? I applaud that family value.
The above submission does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MCDAC or any of its members.

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