Abortion Autonomy

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http://womendeliver.org/2016/women-perform-abortions/

Inna Hudaya was a woman in trouble. Lying in a shoddy hotel room, she squeezed her eyes closed as an old woman performed an abortion on her with no anesthesia and no painkillers. They barely spoke a word after the exchange of money — a lot of money, money Hudaya had borrowed and for which she had sold many of her possessions including her motorbike to repay. This, Hudaya thought to herself, is how I will die.

But what else was she supposed to do? She was 22, pregnant, unmarried, and living in Indonesia, a country where abortion remains illegal in nearly all cases and out-of-wedlock pregnancy is intensely stigmatized. A medical student, Hudaya was just getting a toehold on a life she hoped would keep her out of Tasikmalaya, the conservative city she fled after high school. Having a baby would mean the end of everything: her studies, her relationship with her family, her freedom.

The procedure ended, and Hudaya walked out of the hotel room alive. The pain, though, persisted. Her relationship ended. A close relative disowned her, telling her it is a sin for a woman to kill her own blood. For years, Hudaya had the same dream: a baby chasing her, crying.

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A powerful statement about abortion

This statement was made by a woman on Facebook who used to be an anti-abortion activist. Her name will not be mentioned, but her words should be shared far and wide:

Sometime in college it occurred to me through logical, empathetic thinking that [having an abortion] must be a very scary and difficult position to be in and I couldn’t help but have the utmost respect for any woman who made a choice for herself and her life, whatever her choice was. That was a turning point for me, somehow suddenly recognizing the human involved in the situation.

I was fed a lot of false statistics about the relationship between abortion, depression, breast cancer, etc., and I believed it all. They (youth pastors) told us too that there were far fewer abortions before Roe v. Wade, and that was proof that banning it would decrease the number happening, that the back alley abortion was an insignificant number, mythical almost. I’ve since learned international statistics don’t support that and that all the other stuff is false, too.

I was skeptical about different aspects of the Church since about middle school, but I had no support for those thoughts, and it took a long time to get to where I am today on my own.

First, it is never acceptable to lie to support a cause, however well intentioned. Second, if banning abortion will not save the lives of unborn children, but instead endanger the pregnant women, then anti-abortionists have no right to call themselves “pro-life”. NRA members often say, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” The same is true of abortions.

Traditionally, fetuses have never been considered citizens; personhood was always said to begin at birth, not conception, which is why you always to this day see birthdates on gravestones, followed by the date of a person’s death; the date of conception would be irrelevant even if it were known. Indeed, the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (emphasis mine)

A pregnant woman who was born in the United States is unquestionably a citizen, unlike her unborn fetus. And nothing could be more depriving that woman of her liberty than forcing her to bear a child she does not want to carry to term!

And that is the legal basis for the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973.