Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
It is not legal now, not really. Yes, we have come a long way from the years of back alley coat hanger abortions. However, we are nowhere near truly legal.
Politicians and Pro Lifers use deceptive tactics to skirt around the law, and because of this, illegal abortions continue, to this day.
Funding for abortion and contraception, and even sex education is largely blocked. Women with little or no money might as well be back in the days of illegal abortions, because they surely cannot afford a safe one. Sadly, she likely would not have needed one if contraception were easily accessible and affordable.
Now we even have pharmacists and doctors that can refuse to prescribe or fill contraception even if a woman requests it, based on the doctor or pharmacists own beliefs. I happen to be allergic to cats. Should I have the right to force my local pet store to stop having cat adoption days, just because of my affliction? If you have an aversion to mopping, can you refuse to do so when your employer requests it? Surely not without losing your job.
If you have issues with prescribing or filling any medications your job may include, you are in the wrong profession. People have the right to refuse vaccinations for their children. They do not have the right to force their opinions on anyone else. It is the same thing.
Crisis pregnancy centers and some states mandate ultrasound before abortion even when the woman has already chosen abortion as her best option. The reason? To guilt and sway the woman away from aborting the fetus, she has now seen on a computer monitor. There is no medical need for the ultrasound, it is just another way of coercing women’s choices while remaining in the boundaries of the law. It is one of the things I hope to be able to contribute to ending.
The number of places in the United States that perform safe abortions is another factor. They are decreasing, rather than increasing, making it much more difficult for women to access. It is estimated that over a quarter of women have to travel fifty miles or more in the United States to seek an abortion. This in a country where abortion is legal in every single state.
Do not believe for a second that illegal and unsafe abortions are outdated. They sadly are not. With all these limitations on access and the coercion tactics used to sway their decisions, including parental involvement, some women and frankly children, feel no other option but to seek an illegal and unsafe abortion. Women and girls are still dying from these.
How can we say in good conscience that abortion is legal in the United States?