1.28.2009

More abortion restrictions in SC

A bill passed a committee in the SC House today that would mandate a 24-hour waiting period for women having abortions. You'd have to go into the clinic, get all checked out for the procedure, then go home and come back 24 hours later to have the actual abortion.

This is such crap. It's a bill that's implying that women make the decision to terminate a pregnancy frivolously, at the spur of the moment. As if you might decide, "Oh, I want an abortion," and then ten minutes later have one. Even if we assume that women in South Carolina are all idiots, the simple logistics of scheduling an abortion would prevent this sort of timeline. Not to mention that informed consent is already legally mandated. Abortion providers make it very clear what's about to happen. It's not as if a woman would accidentally have an abortion without this 24 hours to think things over. Good grief. It's insulting.

A woman who wants an abortion generally thinks things over before she arrives at the clinic. There are any number of reasons she might decide to terminate her pregnancy, and she is the only one qualified to make that decision. There's no medical or psychological justification for mandating a 24-hour wait--the only thing that does is make the procedure that much more inconvenient for her. She'll have to take an additional day off work; she'll have to brave the nasty hordes of protestors one more time. This is an ideologically-driven bill that's trying to make a legal medical procedure harder for women to access.

And let me point out that this state is sinking fast. Our financial outlook is a couple of shades worse than dire, our teen pregnancy rate is rising, we're having to shut schools and gut the budgets of universities, but what our legislators want to work on is time-wasting legislation like this that just makes women's lives more difficult.

3 comments:

One Dove said...

If most women were "thinking things over," as you so naively believe, abortions would truly be "rare."

One Dove
AbortionAbout.com

Cindy said...

Interesting topic. I had an abortion 17 years ago and have lived to regret it. I have counseled many, many women who feel the same-they live with a lifetime of regret and guilt and shame over what they did. I also have a few friends who have had abortions who don't seem too have been affected by it. I remember reading your story about your abortion way back when-I appreciated your honesty and candidness in describing your's and Biffle's decision. I could tell it didn't seem to be something you entered into lightly...Unfortunately, I don't see that same thought being put into the decision for so many women. The pregnancy is a problem and the abortion solves the problem. But for so many of us, it only creates new problems.
I don't know what the answer is to get women to think long and hard before making this decision. I am not a person who likes the government getting involved in my personal life, but some women (and girls for that matter) don't put enough thought into it.
Will a 24 hour waiting period make a difference? No. You are right for all the reasons you stated. Does something need to be done (whether on a social level, family level, government level?) to help these women in crisis to think though the ramifications of their decision-absolutely.
Again, interesting topic....

Chaotic Realization said...

This is a topic that will likely never be resolved. Especially because the origin of perception is different for many people. I will not say all, but many who believe abortion is murder or immoral are looking at the situation through a religious perspective. Their religious beliefs have constructed their set of values, but can also limit the scope of perception. Many who are pro-choice consider a plethora of sociological, economical, and political variables. And it seems that people who are pro-choice are often interpreted as pro-abortion, which isn't true. Pro-choice is precisely that and all women have the right to know every option available and based on the variables in their life determine which choice is right for them. I firmly believe that no matter the decision, there will be a mixture of feelings and thoughts, good and bad. An issue that is not black-and-white is often treated as such, and it makes me question the extent of people's ability to be empathetical.

Some of the closest friends and relatives are women who have faced this decision. And all chose differently. But never did any of them take this decision lightly. For me to restrict someone's personal rights because I feel people should adhere to my value system alone is unfair, unrealistic, and in all honesty, a bit arrogant and egotistical.

But what I find most disturbing is the methodologies used to react to something people oppose. It boggles my mind when there are Christian protestors telling women they're going to hell; they're murderers; they're immoral. Yet, these are people of a tradition whose savior preached love and compassion. Never have I witnessed a protestor asking a woman to tell her story, to listen to her situation, to truly see life through her eyes, and approach her in a manner that is out of love and concern instead of judgement and damnation.

I've interviewed anti-abortion protestors, and I always like to ask them if they think there are other ways to reach out to the community, to find another way to decrease abortion rates. I give examples of community involvement with youth, helping the poor since abortion rates often correlate with poverty, and even safe sex education. But all have told me, "No." The best way to approach this complex issue is to stand in front of buildings with signs. I'm sorry, but I don't get that.

I think both sides can agree that lower abortion rates would be great, if under the right circumstances. For one side, that would hopefully mean people are consistently practicing safe sex and/or cases of rape and/or incest are decreasing as well. The other side would hope people are making a different decision, living a life similar to their value system. So, if people want change, legislation is not always the best or only method for creating change. I think if everyone was more "community" minded, being involved with others around them regardless of race, religion, beliefs, that nothing but positive change could occur that would make those of every affiliation happy.