LETTER: A woman's right to choose
In the best of all possible worlds birth control measures always work; the maturity level of both the male and female allows for rational decisions about succumbing to hormones and desire; there is no emotional blackmail or fear of violence involved in intercourse; the partners are secure in the knowledge that there will always be financial and emotional support if a physically or mentally disabled child is the result of a union; the child will always have food, clothing and a roof over his/her head and there will always be a loving, non-abusive home whether it be birth parents, adoptive parents or foster parents. This is not always the case. It is a woman’s right to choose what happens next in an unplanned pregnancy or if something has gone terribly wrong in a pregnancy.
Contrary to Ms. Ryan’s view there is no agreement about when a collection of living cells becomes a “baby.” Embryo and fetus are not “unattractive names.” They are medical terms to describe the living tissue of a fertilized egg, not a baby. Religious beliefs vary on when a fetus gets a soul or becomes a person and in the best of all possible worlds religious people would trust their God to handle sinners and would concentrate on providing a safety net for the millions of children who are welcomed into this world. 3.5 million children die every year from starvation. In the U.S.1460 children die a year from abuse or neglect, 1825 die from suicide, and 666,125 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
I’m old. I went to school in pre Roe vs Wade years and remember stories of girls who died in back alley abortions. I knew at least one young woman who would never be able to have a child after her self-induced miscarriage. I had classmates who went to visit “an aunt” for 9 months and were considered ‘damaged goods’ when they returned. Those days and attitudes were of no benefit to anyone. Women have a right to choose. They might choose badly but they still have the right to make that choice for themselves. I’ve known women who’ve had abortions and never forgiven themselves as well as those who’ve given up a child for adoption and never forgiven themselves. I’ve known women who love their kids but hate what they did to their lives. There are no guarantees in this world but to deny Reproductive Rights, the right to choose how to handle our bodies is criminal. Women hold up half the world. It’s not as simple as keeping your legs together, as Ms. Ryan would have us believe.
The Pro and Con Reproductive Rights people need to come together and put those millions of dollars into something that saves the lives of living children instead of spending it on trying to legally force their views on one another.