Thursday, June 4, 2009

The ignored abortion debate

Garson Romalis: Why I am an abortion doctor

The "abortion debate" between the left and the (frequently religious) right that centers on whether or not abortions should be legal is irrelevant when dealing with situations such as those described by Dr. Romalis. The pro-choicers versus the pro-lifers caught up in the issues of the right to life versus the right to choose what you do with your body (and any other smaller bodies which may be contained therein) is, philosophically, about as useful as whether or not war is a good idea. Very few people are pro-abortion. And of course, the legalities of the issue are not unimportant. But wars and abortions are going to happen whether they are legal or not. Theoretically, a woman does have the option to procure abortificants, or at least throw herself down the stairs or get a friend to punch her in the abdomen. No amount of legislation or pro-life ad space is going to change that. Sure, making safe abortions illegal might result in a few more unwanted, unhappy, impoverished babies being toted around by their unhappy, impoverished baby-mamas and -daddies, but it will definitely result in a lot more gruesome failed backalley or DIY abortions and dumpster babies.

The real issue is not abortion versus no abortion. It's safe, legal abortion versus horrifying deaths and illnesses resulting from illegal abortions. This is not about women being able to choose when to reproduce -- it's about women having access to proper physical and psychological care. Attacking abortion doctors because some women choose -- or are cornered into -- abortions is like attacking police officers because crimes have occurred.