I’m pro-abortion

In Zambia, where a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy must get a doctor’s note saying her life would be endangered if she did not, physicians address this restriction in a logical way. The doctors ask their patients what they would do if they do not get permission for a legal abortion. Invariably, in a country where traditional healers, including a growing corps of Chinese herbal practitioners, offer an alternative to modern medical care, patients respond they will pursue other means to end their unintended, unwanted, and, for many reasons, dangerous pregnancies. The doctors then have the answer they sought: without access to a safe, legal, medical abortion, their patients’ lives are, in fact, in danger.

Yes, legalized abortion is a matter of equality and the human right to have control of one’s own body. But it also is a matter of life and death. The disregard the Susan G. Komen Foundation showed for women’s lives when it cut off funding that made mammograms accessible to poor women should have highlighted how twisted a debate nurtured by fraudulent politics has become. That the term pro-life has been claimed by the side of the debate who would return women to the time of desperate life-endangering choices in their own country is maddening enough. That we, on the side of life, have backed away from what this argument is about by accepting the mealy-mouthed euphemistic “pro-choice” label, is sad. We are pro-abortion — pro-abortion rights — if you want to go to greater lengths to explain yourself than the argument deserves — because it is a matter of life and death.


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