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Pro-Choice Abortion is Health Care Poster
The Nation (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Due to a problem with my WordPress Editor, thankfully now resolved by our Tech Team, I was unable to publish the following post on July 3rd.

I am heartbroken. I could not hold back the tears on Friday, June 24, on hearing news about the overturn of Roe v. Wade. With one blow, the U.S. Supreme Court has demolished decades of women’s struggle to gain control over our bodies and lives. Regardless of our stance on abortion, this is a severe blow for all women of childbearing age in America, especially low-income and minority women. In the Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, decided on June 24, 2022, dissenting Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan (p. 159) noted:

The majority [members of the US Supreme Court] would allow States to ban abor­tion from conception onward because it does not think forced childbirth at all implicates a woman’s rights to equal­ity and freedom. Today’s Court, that is, does not think there is anything of constitutional significance attached to a woman’s control of her body and the path of her life.

In the twenty-first century, in the world’s most powerful and democratic nation, The Court finds that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition, so declares the majority on page 2 of their June twenty-fourth decision. Our Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves. For sure, they did not intend for the Constitution to remain rooted in eighteenth century norms and traditions. They knew that conditions change over time and specified the process for amending the Constitution, when needed.

The right of a woman to decide if, when, and how to have a family now rests with the State in which she resides. Legislation in some states indicate that criminalization will target doctors who provide abortion care as well as individuals who assist the pregnant female in getting help or paying for the procedure. Beware of a new breed of witch hunters.

The female reproductive system is complex and not always a hundred percent reliable. A thousand and one things can go wrong that put the lives of the fetus and mother at risk. Miscarriage, the spontaneous abortion of the embryo/fetus during the first 20 weeks of gestation, is a common experience for many pregnant women. According to the Mayo Clinic: “About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy—before you might even know about a pregnancy.”

Heaven forbid that an abortion becomes a medical necessity in an anti-abortion state! How many doctors will risk losing their medical license or face incarceration? On September 25, 2019, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Physicians for Reproductive Health released a joint statement asserting that abortion can be medically necessary. In the following excerpt, the emphasis is mine.

Pregnancy imposes significant physiological changes on a person’s body. These changes can exacerbate underlying or preexisting conditions, like renal or cardiac disease, and can severely compromise health or even cause death. Determining the appropriate medical intervention depends on a patient’s specific condition. There are situations where pregnancy termination in the form of an abortion is the only medical intervention that can preserve a patient’s health or save their life. 

What about women who seek an abortion for an unplanned pregnancy? Who am I to judge a woman’s decision to end a pregnancy? Who am I to decide when and with whom a woman should have a child or start a family? Who am I to intervene, uninvited, in a couple’s plans for their family? Who am I to force a female to carry the child of her rapist? Who am I to force a young girl to carry the child of her sexually abusive father or brother?

As a woman who has carried two fetuses to full-term, I carry the scars of the forceps delivery of my firstborn. Painful engorged breasts, following both pregnancies, later resulted in two breast surgeries for acute mastitis. This latest blow from our Supreme Court has triggered the anger of those days as a wife and mother who also had to carry the responsibility for birth control and suffer the consequences for my health. A vasectomy was out of the question for the father of my sons.

I have read that interest has grown for sterilization in women. There is also increased demand for contraceptives, the Morning-After pill, and the abortion pill. Some young women are even re-thinking the way they have sexual intercourse. Others are deleting menstrual tracker apps.

The time has long passed for all human females, in the United States and worldwide, to enjoy autonomy over their bodies and all its private parts. For how much longer will the patriarchal power elite, of both Church and State, seek to maintain control over the uterus? Human life does not begin and end in the womb. We the people must strive to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children we bring into this world.

Happy Independence Day!