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My Two Cents on the Abortion Debate

March 20, 2006

So I guess this is a great place to finally chime in with my opinion of the South Dakota abortion ban.  Most people think I am pro-life and to an extent, I guess I am.  I don’t think abortion should be a form of birth control or for those that are just being irresponsible.  However, in cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s life being in danger I am for a woman having the option of terminating the pregnancy should she want to.  I don’t know what polarized camp this puts me in.  I disagree with most of the “pro-choice” groups in that they advocate it more as a woman’s right to decide if she wants to put up with a pregnancy.  I’m sure this is not the belief of some of their members, but that is the message they tend to send out.  These reasons are never well defended, except in very selfish terms (in most cases).  However, I adamantly disagree with so many pro-life groups too.  As stated before, I believe in exceptions and I also very much agree with contraception, including EC.  EC is not an abortofacient since it prevents implantation and thus the woman was never pregnant.  Despite claims that life begins at conception, pregnancy does not begin until implantation.  Eggs often are fertilized and do not implant, thus pregnancy begins at implantation.  So where do I fall?

I believe that until people are more educated and take responsibility for their actions, abortion will occur and will be necessary in some cases.  I have yet to figure out why conservative groups so adamantly disagree with comprehensive sex education.  It’s not as if they are going to teach your kids to have sex.  Studies have shown that abstinence pledges do not work for a large majority of people.  They may delay sex, but they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and not use condoms or oral contraceptives.  Abstinence will not work for everyone and so we need the education for those that will have sex.  Plus, everyone will (hopefully) have sex at some point in his or her life.  Birth control is not just something single people use.  Comprehensive sex ed may help prevent the pregnancies in the first place, thus preventing the abortions.  

The South Dakota abortion ban does not allow for abortions in cases or rape or incest and I believe that these are two exceptions that should always be allowed for.  I don’t think that this ban will do anything except punish the poor.  South Dakota currently has one abortion provider in the entire state.  There are ~ 770,000 people in SD, the median household income is less than $36,000 per year, and over 13% of people are living below the poverty line.  Abortions are already difficult for low-income women to get since the location of the abortion and the costs are prohibitive.  If the ban goes into effect, only those who can afford to leave the state will be able to receive abortions.  The number of abortions in SD may drop, but artificially since people will leave the state to get them.  

So there’s my opinion.  What do you think?

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