Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Abortion laws

There have been a couple of new laws passed in various states in the last few days, and they raise some eyebrows. Firstly, you have South Dakota, which has passed the most strict guidelines for receiving an abortion: three-day wait, anti-abortion counseling, and other red tape that are meant to deter a woman from choosing an abortion.

And then there's Arizona. Arizona has passed an abortion bill that will make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion that is being sought because of the race of gender of the child. First of all, the doctor has no way of knowing what the true reasons for an abortion are, and it's not his place to know or care. It's his job to respect his patient's wishes. Second, the lawmakers who passed the bill have said that this bill is meant to combat gendercide in the U.S. which isn't even a problem. The percentages of girls and boys being born in the U.S. is the same as it has always been: girls are slightly higher. Since the numbers haven't changed in a generation or more, there can only be two explanations: either gendercide has been a problem in this country for over fifty years, or it simply doesn't happen in America. Places like China and India have problems with female babies being killed, but we don't. So what's the point?

Well, Arizona Republicans point out that women of ethnic minorities have higher rates of receiving abortions, and claim that this practice may be subject to the new restrictions if the abortion is being sought for racial reasons. Does this sound insane, bigoted, racist, and deliberately virulent to anyone else?

I understand and respect the GOP's position on abortion. I understand that they see it as a crusade against murder that abortion must be limited and, eventually, outlawed. The problem is that abortion is a right in America and should be available when needed. Doing anything less than protecting the rights and well being of women is a disgraceful dereliction of public duty and responsibility to the citizens our lawmakers represent.

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