Justice For Women

In the Church. In the World.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Federal Abortion Ban and the Value of Women's Lives

I've been silent recently, I know, because I've been busy at work, traveling (home over Easter, DC for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice conference next week), preparing to become a consociate, and getting ready for the wedding and moving . . . but (ironically, I think) I was at Minnesota's pro-choice lobby day when I got the news that the Supreme Court upheld the ban on so called "Partial Birth Abortion." While there's a lot I could say, Amanda at Pandagon has already said it.

So this bill skips the preliminaries of dismantling women’s rights one at a time and instead gets to the heart of the matter. Late term abortions are performed for maternal health reasons, full stop. Sometimes it’s a fetal health issue, that it’s dead or will die as soon as it’s born, but in the end, it’s still about not forcing a woman to go through labor and delivery, which are dangerous, for no reason. And sometimes they are performed because the mother will die, be crippled, or have serious mental health problems if she delivers. The concept of “choice” isn’t really part of this discussion so much. This is about the concept that women deserve to be treated as full human beings who deserve proper medical care despite their current situation of being in a state only women can be in. That is what was on trial and the answer is no.

It’s a strike at the concept that women have independent value. If you reduce a woman to a baby factory, then one who needs a late term abortion is malfunctioning in her purpose somehow, so if she dies, she’s scrap metal, I suppose. Or scrap blood and tissue, as it were. I hate to be blunt like this, but there it is. They skipped over the preliminaries about what kind of rights women should have and attacked the idea that our very existence and health matters if we’ve failed in our duties as fetal incubators.

Take action to support the Freedom of Choice Act at NARAL Pro-Choice America.