MTPs: An Opinion In Two Parts (II)

Laws on abortion are getting more idiotic by the day.

The latest news I hear is about Proposition 85, in California: “Waiting period and parental notification before termination of a minor’s pregnancy.” Essentially, the amendment proposes that a waiting period of 48 hours be maintained before performing an abortion, while the physician notifies a pregnant minor’s parents about the decision to abort. The minor can apparently go to court and obtain a waiver for the notification, if she can prove that she is sufficiently mature and well-informed in the eyes of the court.

We are all protective about our children. We don’t want anything evil to touch them until they are ready to fight on their own feet. We would like for them to approach us when they want some issue resolved. We like to believe we are responsible parents.

Not every family is the same. There are abusive homes where the child simply cannot expect any form of support from her family. There are families where the child has been led to believe over the years that she will be thrown out or disowned if she is honest with them. For all you know, it could be a family friend or even a family member that sexually abuses the child, impregnating her. Minors’ abortions are not to be taken lightly.

Picture this. A girl of 14 years. Pregnant, panicky, feeling persecuted by her family. She has no one to turn to. Even if she has the right to go to Court to obtain a waiver for the parental notification, what normal teenager who can’t even speak about her condition to her own family will be willing to go to Court and petition for her case there? What sort of public humiliation, mental stress, psychological anguish and sheer terror are you hoping to subject your citizens to?!

Voting Yes to Proposition 85 would mean stripping the individual of her right to privacy, and encouraging her to seek illegal, back-alley abortions that may put her life severely at risk. Girls of that age are either scared enough to confide in their family, or are fear-driven enough to know what to do and how to do it safe. By bringing their parents into the picture when they didn’t think it advisable to, and by making the only other legal alternative public humiliation, teenage girls can be driven to even extreme measures like suicide. Whatever Proposition 85 may be doing, protecting the rights of the children is not one of them.

If that seems bad enough, there’s the South Dakota court that’s approved a new ruling that declares all abortions illegal, except when maternal death is inevitable from carriage to term. No other exceptions. Force a woman to carry a child conceived from a rape. Birth a child with debilitating brain malformations. Birth the child at the risk of the woman’s health – permanent disability from a complicated pregnancy does not amount to a fatal condition that makes abortion permissible. There will be a citizen’s referendum in November, deciding the fate of this law that was originally passed in March. Incidentally, South Dakota requires parental notification (for minors), and has a waiting period of 24 hours.

The anti-abortion campaign in South Dakota maintains that women are permanently scarred by the murder of a human being that they create. A State task force submitted a report stating that science defines life as beginning upon conception, and that the fetus at 1 day must be given the same rights as any normal child after birth. They call it baby murder and terrorization of women. They call it a support of life and the rights of the unborn baby that we are unconscionably ending. They say that women share a fundamental relationship with the babies in their womb, even if they do not consciously acknowledge it.

We don’t need laws to tell us what to think. When a woman knows that she is not at all equipped to raise a child, she takes the painful decision of aborting what will grow into something she loves most in this world, and is prepared to bear the psychological scars for a lifetime, instead of inflicting pain upon her baby by bringing it into a world that even she isn’t equipped to protect it from.

When a 16-year old girl decides to have an abortion, she doesn’t consider it murder. She sees it as the only solution because she hasn’t even begun building her own life; she isn’t even independent, to be able to take care of another dependent.

The independent abortion clinic Planned Parenthood ‘imports’ all its doctors from neighbouring state Minnesota, and subsequently performs abortions only once a week, because no South Dakota doctor is prepared to be labelled a baby killer. This is not exaggeration.

The state has been undeniably pro-life-biased, and abortion activists have struggled for years to be granted the right to be left alone to their choice, but it looks like they might fail. With South Dakota implementing an abortion ban, it won’t be long before the rest of the flock will follow. The landmark Roe vs. Wade is going to be overturned, and countless women will suffer the consequences of that loss.

Here’s the grand finale to my rant: Nicaragua has banned all abortions. The law has been passed – declaring that women cannot end the life of a baby they are carrying, and any person participating in an abortive act will face severe consequences. The law previously required 6 years of imprisonment – discussion is ongoing to extend it to 30 years.

The President, who was a pro-choice revolutionary earlier, who was at loggerheads with many Roman Catholic institutions, has now become a devout Catholic who vociferously protests abortion. Convenient, as the voter base in Nicaragua happens to be 85% Roman Catholic, and the elections are around the corner.

These are people who sincerely believe that they are safeguarding the rights of the women involved, and protecting their lives, by declaring abortions illegal. One activist in South Dakota has been quoted as saying that if women should be given the right to decide on the life of their unborn child, then Osama Bin Laden might as well be made the President of America for choosing who to kill and who to let live. Well, there’s a difference – Osama Bin Laden does not care about the people he kills, while a woman is acting in the best interests of the child that shouldn’t be.

If lawmakers declare abortions illegal, it’s not like you’re going to see any less of them. Nothing positive will come of it. There will only be a rise in the number of illegal abortions. More women will suffer permanent scars from unsafe abortions without proper, standardized care. Sexual predators will not be deterred. Family ties will not be strengthened. The end result will be a silently suffering woman who resorts to extreme measures like drinking turpentine, to prevent the birth of a child whose development she does not believe she can do justice to. These laws also seal the fate of women whose pregnancies suddenly complicate, and who suffer permanent scars physiologically, from the complications, and psychologically, from the inevitable loss of the child from complications.

It’s written in big bold letters for you to see – Anti-abortion laws only deal with symptoms. They don’t provide the magical cure for reducing abortion rates. They only encourage more illegal abortions that endanger the lives of people, instead of legalizing it and regulating the care provided to ensure that the best interests of all involved (yes, including those of the unborn child) are preserved. Laws should not interfere with private choices, until and unless they affect the society at large. The State can convict a serial killer for choosing to mutilate his victims for selfishly sadistic purposes, but it cannot apply the same principle and punishment to an anguished mother who is only helpless in admitting that she is incapable of raising the child growing within her.

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