Saturday, March 04, 2006

Do It Yourself Abortions: A Necessity?

I was surprised when I went on the web this morning and found out the number one search on Technorati was “Do It Yourself Abortion”. South Dakota passed a law which bans nearly all abortions, and many think this law is aimed at making it to the newly-revamped Supreme Court in order to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This is on the heals of the release of Misoprostol, a new abortion drug which is said to be more effective than any of its predecessors. Additionally, a blog called Molly Saves the Day has produced a home abortion manual, to help those who our government is increasingly unwilling to help. Still, Molly knows the dangers of self-abortion:

I will never, ever, EVER recommend self-induced abortion. In any form. In any way. Self-induced techniques are universally dangerous and I do not advocate them.

Abortion may be as hot an issue as exists in our country today, as women (and many men) demand that our rights over our own bodies are not stripped by the government, while others protect the rights of the fetuses, who are unable to protect themselves. You know the issues, stemming around the question of when life is actually created.

But does abolition actually work, especially in a free society? During Prohibition, consumption of alcohol in the US skyrocketed, and it took 20 years after the repeal of prohibition for the country’s drinking habits to subside somewhat. The war on drugs has cost billions of dollars, and only served to increase exponentially the amount of drugs consumed by this country while opening us up to a number of other dangers, the largest being the dangers seen on our borders.

On the flip side, education has proved a much stronger deterrent. Look at cigarettes, where education has drastically decreased the number of smokers out there, and the amount of tobacco consumed by this country annually. When I started smoking, cigarettes did not even come with a warning label. Today, people know the health risks of cigarettes, and many choose never to start smoking because of them. And yes, there are some people like me who have chosen to quite after realizing just how dangerous cigarettes are.

Not only has decriminalization, with other issues, proved to cut down the number of people partaking of the particular “sin”, probably because it eliminates the mystique that attracts people in the first place, but it has societal benefits as well.

Take the example of prostitution, which is legal in just about every country I’ve lived in other than the US. In other countries, health care is provided to prostitutes and regular exams are required, preventing the spread of disease. Specific areas are designated for prostitution, avoiding the spread of crime and the noise and chaos in residential neighborhoods that always accompany the world’s oldest profession. This as opposed to the US, where prostitution runs rampant but the prostitutes hide under the thin veil of massage.

Does anybody believe that outlawing abortion will prevent abortions? As seen by the recent flood of searches and the release of Misoprotel, people are already searching for ways to perform abortions without the government knowing. And these solutions will not provide the counseling and supervision of a health professional that will ensure that when these drastic measures are implemented they are implemented in a healthy way.

It is true, I am pro-choice. I believe no one has the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. And maybe this means I am incapable of seeing this from the eyes of pro-lifers. But will these laws really help pro-lifers reach their goals? Or are these laws only going to create health risks within our community and dissolve the support structure available to women who have to make this very painful decision? In my mind, these laws only serve to stroke the egos of pro-life politicians, and have no place in a free society.

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Posted by Scottage at 3:43 PM / | |