an After abortion

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

South Dakota legislators are considering a ban on abortion. Kathryn Jean Lopez writes about that in A Look into Post-abortion Misery in today's Decatur Daily Democrat.

The Beltway demagogues who sound alarms about abortion opponents seeking to ruin (and end!) women's lives, ought to stop and think about the women who've had and are currently suffering from abortions.

The South Dakota recently did just that. The South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, created by the state legislature to look at how best the state could "protect the rights, interests and health of pregnant mothers," just churned out a report. Besides "experts" and activists, just short of 2,000 women who have had abortions — perhaps the real experts — communicated with the committee. The report relays testimonies of, "a pattern of shared experiences and trauma and a common sense of loss." As one woman told them of her abortion: "I carry the guilt and shame with me every day."
I've said many times that the fact that I profoundly regret my abortion, and that I sustained significant emotional damage from it--multiplied by the unknown number of other women who've had a similar experience with abortion--is not an argument for criminalizing abortion. The reason I say that every so often is because it's not uncommon to hear "How dare you try to make laws about what I can do with my body just because you regret your abortion?" From what I can tell in the case of how testimony was offered to the South Dakota state legislature, some folks do make the case that the known existence of regret after abortion is relevant when considering legal issues.

Here's another piece on the proposed South Dakota legislation from Minnesota Public Radio. There's only one abortion clinic left in South Dakota, and abortion providers come in from Minnesota to actually do the work. I thought it was interesting, in the MPR piece, that the passive voice is used to describe this; the doctors "are flown in" rather than "the doctors fly in".

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