April 13, 2006

When you say “pro-life,” whose life do you mean?

Posted in Feminism, Medicine, Musings, Reproduction at 4:02 pm by The Lizard Queen

As Deborah Lipp says, this is a drum we need to bang until it’s deafening. Some pharmacies are now refusing to fill prescriptions for post-abortion vitamins and antibiotics. Obviously I appreciate that numerous people have different morals than I do. Though I vehemently disagree with them, I respect pro-lifers’ right to believe what they believe. When those beliefs interfere with one’s ability to do one’s job, though, there’s a problem–and in this case they are willfully endangering a woman’s health. To be perfectly honest, I believe that if you have moral objections to dispensing certain medications, then perhaps you should reconsider your choice to be a pharmacist. Washington’s Governor Christine Gregoire put it nicely: “It is inappropriate for pharmacies or pharmacists to interfere with [the] established patient-doctor relationship by granting or denying prescriptions based on their personal objections.”

Also, I’m going to vent my spleen for a bit…

I am frustrated and disturbed by the pro-life rhetoric that suggests (and often states outright) that women are running around, blithely aborting fetuses simply because they’re too lazy to deal with having a child. Abortion is generally a last resort: it’s expensive and traumatic for many of the women who go through it. However, the women who make that choice believe it to be necessary, and the simple fact is that women will still have abortions even if abortion is illegal. Those abortions will simply be much more risky. I’m younger than Roe v. Wade, but my mother isn’t, and she has plenty of horror stories about women she knew and back-alley abortions. In a sense, legalized abortion saves lives. It’s just a matter of whose life you value.

This also makes me think back to Evil Bender‘s post on a situation in which South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli thinks abortion might be justified. It involves a religious (read: evangelical Christian) virgin who was saving herself for marriage, and a brutal rape. Now, obviously there are a number of ways in which Napoli’s imagined situation angers me. But just now I started to think about how it applies (or, to wit, doesn’t apply) to me. When I was 14 I was a virgin and fancied that I was saving myself for marriage–but I wasn’t at all religious. Does he really believe that it would have been any easier for me to have my rapist’s child than it would be for his imagined religious virgin? Or today: I’m not a virgin. (Shocking, I know.) I’m also married. I’m still not religious (though I do consider myself spiritual… but that’s another matter entirely). If I went through the rape Napoli describes, not only would I be raising my rapist’s child, but so would my husband. It would be traumatic for me, traumatic for him, and more than likely traumatic for the child. If Napoli is willing to raise his wife’s child under such circumstances, then that’s his choice. If there are people out there who can lovingly raise such a child, then good on them. I’m not sure I could, and I know there are plenty of women and men out there who would agree with me, and thus that’s just one of the many reasons why criminalizing abortion in this country would be a bad, bad move.

Okay, I’m done now. With any luck I’ll have a happier post up relatively soon.


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