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From 1973 to 1987, over 22 million abortions have been performed. Pro-lifers would call that aterrible waste of humanlife. True, 22 million lives were taken, but I believe that we are better off withoutthose. Webster’s dictionary defines abortion as “the expulsion of anonviable fetus.” Abortion mightpossibly be the mostcontroversial topic right now. I’m sure by now that you’ve heard of all the different types ofabortion. Almost all abortionsperformed in the US are surgicalabortions, where the fetus is removed by suction or othermeans.(Medication offers another option, to be discussed later in thisreport.) During a suction abortion, thefetus is dismembered anddisposed of by a small tube. This process takes but about 10 minutes, and themother experiences very little or no physicaldiscomfort. Pro-lifers immediately say that emotional traumaandguilt haunts every woman after she has an abortion.
However,during my research, I found numerouswomen who led (and continueto lead) prominent and scot-free lives after their abortions. Ithink that themental state of the mother depends very much onher personal feelings toward abortion, and the actualexperiencethe had before and during the abortion. I have found that most of the time,they employ the use of a few strategies for making theirviewsknown. One tactic pro-lifers use to convince people of theirviews is to play on fear and emotions.Their graphicdescriptions and gruesome pictures are a crude attempt to “scare” people out of abortion, whiletheir pious talk andsobbing try to make us feel sorry for them and the unborn.Another popular strategy ofpro-lifers is to protest things like”Life begins at conception! The fetus is human!” Science hasproven thesefacts, and pro-choicers are by no means trying todeny them. However, pro-choicers feel that the rights oftheparents (namely the mother) override the rights of the unbornchild.Neither of these tactics work onpro-choicers like myself. True,pro-lifers are entitled to voicing their opinion (just as I am),but I feel thatsome of their methods (as illustrated in thenext section) are very unorthodox. A new bill was introduced in April 1994.
The Freedom of Accessto Clinic Entrances Act (akaFACE or FACEA) protects womenseeking abortion, and the facilities performing them.Specifically, FACEprotects reproductive health service staffand patients from violent threats, assault, vandalism, andblockades.FACE was signed by President Clinton on May 26, 1994,but angry pro-lifers still violate this law. Theconsequencesfor a first-time offender cannot exceed one year in prisonand/or a $100,000 fine. Repeatoffenders face a maximum 3 yearprison sentence and/or a $250,000 fine. If any injury isincurred, thesentence jumps to 10 years. If death results fromthe offense, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.Ithink it is about time for FACEA. Pro-lifers have gone farenough with their “demonstrations” in front ofclinicsnationwide. Many news clips have shown pro-lifers throwingthings at women as they walk into aclinic. In one extreme case,an off-duty police officer (acting as a bodyguard) and thehusband of a womanseeking an abortion were shot at bypro-lifers.
The police officer died the husband was severely wounded.Even though FACEA will not put a stop to the violencetoward abortionists and clients, I think it willdefinatelydecrease it. Different medications are offering a safe and privatealternative to clinic abortions. RU486 is anabortion inducingpill that allows women to have non-invasive, safer and easierabortions in the privacy oftheir own homes. This option alsoeliminates any contact with livid pro-lifers and theirantagonistic methods.RU486 also offers great medical promise inthe research and possible cures/treatments of breast cancer,endometriosis, prostrate and brain cancer. Right now, pro-lifersare preventing RU486 from beingused in the US. However, it iscurrently on the market in a number of countries, and is beingused with greatsuccess.The “M&M” abortion is named after the two drugs used to induceit: mifepristone and misoprostol.This process is based on thesame theory as RU486, and has been thoroughly tested at PlannedParenthood,Inc. in Omaha, NB. Mifepristone is administered todisable the pregnancy hormones and break down thelining of theuterus. The only know side effects are slight nausea, headaches,weakness and fatigue. After twodays, the woman takes a dose ofmisoprostol. This drug causes uterine contractions, and expelsthe fetus. Thisstage can be somewhat painful and messy. Thewoman stays at the clinic for about four hours aftertheabortion for observation.I think that the use of RU486 and other medication woulddefinately help thedilemma of abortion. By making them readilyavailable to any woman, any confrontation with pro-lifersisavoided. During this difficult time, the last thing a womanneeds is the harassing shouting of a psychopro-lifer outsidethe clinic. Pro-lifers are bent against abortion, but what other options do they offer? Most pro-lifers areanti-contraceptive. Anover-stated fact among pro-lifers is “the long waiting lists forcouples wanting toadopt.” Sure, lots of people want to adoptchildren, but with over 1.5 million abortions each year, imaginetheover-population of the orphanages! In Silent Scream, the number of abortions in the US per day was quotedat 4,000! Thepro-life point about having the baby and putting it up foradoption is very unrealistic.I haven’theard any other pro-life options besides adoption. Iguess their most obvious (and equally unrealistic)suggestionwould be to have the baby and deal with it. But what if themother can’t handle the commitment,or isn’t financially secure?The pro-lifers have to think of better solutions beforecriticizing the one we areusing now.
I think one of the main reasons that I am pro-choice is the amount of poverty in this country.Although I haven’t found anydata to confer with this, my hypothesis is that most of theabortions areperformed on lower-class, perhaps poor, women.Without this, just think of the poverty our country wouldhave!At the rate of 4,000 extra people a day, the US would literallyrun out of room in a short time! I think that Silent Scream was another feeble attempt to scarepeople out of abortion. Judging bythe reaction of the class,people have wised-up to pro-lifers. People will no longertolerate being bombardedwith graphic descriptions, gorypictures, and sorrowful testimonies. To but it bluntly, I am fedup withextreme pro-lifers. Granted, not all of them are as badas I make them out to be, but about a year ago, whilewalkingout of my dad’s office at Jewish Hospital, we were “harassed” bythree pro-lifers. At first I thoughtthey would respect ourprivacy and let us pass. However, they blurted out “Did you knowthat there areabortions being performed at Jewish Hospital?!”What did they intend that question to accomplish? We triedtoignore them kept walking, but they persisted and attempted toforce their pamphlets and handouts on us. Iwould have had noproblem had they simply offered us a pamphlet, but I feltviolated when they thrust theminto our faces. After researching this report, I still hold my ground about being pro-choice. I think that thewoman’s rights override thoseof the fetus. Regardless of the reason or circumstances safe,reliable abortionshould be made available to any woman. Acts of Violence Against Abortion Providers and Clients.
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