I want to thank everyone who read and reposted yesterday’s piece, Anatomy of an Unsafe Abortion. Sadly, when abortion is expensive, even when legal, people take advantage of the system. After all, there are doctors performing plastic surgery with no training with devastating results, so it should come as no surprise that this happens with abortion. There should be even less surprise when we find out that it is the most disadvantaged women who fall victim. Disadvantage has many forms. From not knowing where to access low-cost contraception, to not knowing where to get a safe procedure, to a man who beats you and refuses to wear a condom or give you money for birth control pills, to not being able to speak the language, or even if you can to be able to advocate for yourself.
For those who asked, this case happened post Roe v. Wade. And yes, the patient lived.
I am all for making abortion an un-needed procedure. The best way to accomplish that is to prevent unplanned pregnancies. If every pregnancy in the world were planned, wouldn’t that be an amazing thing?
Imagine if all the money spent on fighting about abortion, on both sides, were directed towards preventing unplanned pregnancies? If we expanded sex education, access to contraception, worked on reducing poverty, and eliminated intimate partner violence (or at least made it far easier to leave).
Imagine what we could accomplish.
And as an aside, when faced with the prospect of an abortion, I didn’t have one. Pregnant with triplets a selective reduction was recommended and it just wasn’t for me. I wanted all three of my boys. Desperately. But things didn’t work out the way I’d planned it. One of my boys died at birth.
There are a lot of intelligent, media-savvy people on both sides. Why can’t we just look at the abortion issue differently and focus on our common ground? Why can’t we take all the money spent on lobbying, and laws, and advertising, and fighting and spend it on evidence-based ways to reduce unplanned pregnancies?
Finding common ground is hard. I look at Rick Santorum and I think, “You and I have nothing in common.” But you know I’m wrong. We’re both parents. We both love our children very much. And we have both lost a child. And I suspect if each one of use looked at someone who holds a different view about abortion, we could find something in common. Some way to start working together instead of screaming at each other. Could we put aside our dogma and everything that we think we know and just focus on the issue? Unplanned pregnancies?
Wouldn’t that truly improve the human condition and isn’t that our common goal?