Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Reproductive Rights, or Not.

I have long subscribed to the theory that the whole abortion debate is about girls and women having sex. I think that the debate is about how many folks believe that females who engage in sexual activity, outside of the confines of marriage and male control, should be stigmatized for their behavior and have to pay for it.

Death by illegal abortion is the ultimate price we are suppose to pay.

Hell, it is not like outlawing abortion will eliminate it. Everyone knows that. In fact in the late 60’s I had an illegal abortion and nearly died from it. But, I also was not suppose to get birth control pills because I was not married at the time.

In fact I had gone to a gynecologist who practically begged me to tell him that I was married so that he could prescribe the pill. During the office visit I finally got the point and I lied, and he gave me a prescription. So, I dutifully went to the pharmacy and had the prescription filled and then I found out that it is better to be prepared ahead of time than after the fact. Being that I was in my early 20’s and should have been legally declared retarded and grossly uninformed, I discovered that I was already pregnant.

Well, it was the late 60’s and with the help of a very well informed underground, and the best friend of a future justice of the SCOTUS (who never discussed abortion with anyone, anytime, anywhere, and who was affectionately, or not, known as the Creep from the Crotch, and Lenny I love you) a fund was put together by Lenny to pay for my illegal abortion and a road to the illicit abortionist was found.

To this day, I do not know if the guy who left me to die and who performed the abortion was a doctor. But I do know that the Hippocratic Oath was violated if he was a physician. And, I know that the Hippocratic Oath was violated by every physician who would not prescribe birth control to any female who wanted it.

The latest on Target and Wal-Mart refusing to fill birth control prescriptions makes this all too obvious.

So, it was with great interest that I read this editorial from the New York Times today. Because it seems to me that as long as we outlaw abortion it will continue to increase and kill girls and women.

Here it is in it’s entirety and the future of our country under the alleged Christians and moralist on the right:

January 6, 2006


Abortion Rights in Latin America

“For proof that criminalizing abortion doesn't reduce abortion rates and only endangers the lives of women, consider Latin America. In most of the region, abortions are a crime, but the abortion rate is far higher than in Western Europe or the United States. Colombia - where abortion is illegal even if a woman's life is in danger - averages more than one abortion per woman over all of her fertile years. In Peru, the average is nearly two abortions per woman over the course of her reproductive years.

In a region where there is little sex education and social taboos keep unmarried women from seeking contraception, criminalizing abortion has not made it rare, only dangerous. Rich women can go to private doctors. The rest rely on quacks or amateurs or do it themselves. Up to 5,000 women die each year from abortions in Latin America, and hundreds of thousands more are hospitalized.

Abortion is legal on demand in the region only in Cuba, and a few other countries permit it for extreme circumstances, mostly when the mother's life is at risk, the fetus will not live or the pregnancy is the result of rape. Even when pregnancies do qualify for legal abortions, women are often denied them because anti-abortion local medical officials and priests intervene, the requirements are unnecessarily stringent, or women do not want to incur the public shame of reporting rape.

But Latin Americans are beginning to look at abortion as an issue of maternal mortality, not just maternal morality. Where they have been conducted, polls show that Latin Americans support the right to abortion under some circumstances. Decriminalization, at least in part, is being seriously discussed in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay and Argentina, and perhaps will be on the agenda after the presidential election in July in Mexico.

International pressure is helping. In November, the United Nations Human Rights Committee decided that Peru had violated a woman's rights when a hospital denied an abortion to a 17-year-old carrying a severely malformed fetus, who died shortly after birth. United Nations conferences on women also have forced governments to track and publish their progress on expanding women's rights. This has emboldened women's groups and led to the creation of government offices on women's issues, which have helped the push for abortion rights.

Latin American women, who are increasing their participation in the work force and in politics, have also become more vocal. Their voice would be much louder were it not for the Bush administration's global gag rule, which bans any family planning group that gets American money from speaking about abortions, or even criticizing unsafe illegal abortions. This has silenced such respected and influential groups as Profamilia in Colombia. Anti-abortion lawmakers in Washington can look at Latin America as a place where the global gag rule has worked exactly as they had hoped. All Americans can look at Latin America to see unnecessary deaths and injuries from unsafe abortions.”

Females just like males will continue to have sex. No one that I have heard of (and maybe I am misinformed) is crying out to have males neutered for having sexual relations, or branding them, or stigmatizing them for destroying civilization and for bring children into the world that can’t support or love them. But as we all know women bear the burden of procreation. That said , female sexuality seems to be in public discourse, and the result is a threat to civilization as we know it.

So, my point is: is this where we really want to go?

Do we want a county in which birth control and access to it is limited, eliminated, and abortion is not safe and death is inevitable and desirable? Or do we want to make the choice to bear a child a positive choice.

As a parent, I vote for a positive choice.


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