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On the SD Abortion Ban

By on Oct 10, 2008 in Politics

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Feministing posted this news story on the new South Dakota Abortion Ban. Watch it, then read.

I want to point out a couple things:

All of these arguments effectively boil down to this: women cannot be trusted to make a responsible decision.

I think this is incredibly condescending and offensive to all women not to mention fundamentally un-American.

Democracy is based on the premise that as a society we trust people to make well-thought out, responsible decisions about their lives as well as other people’s lives and that this collective action will result in what is best for everyone. The Bill of Rights exists to protect people’s fundamental rights despite majority opinion.

My point is this: By questioning women’s ability to make decisions about their own lives and body, you are inherently question their ability to make any decisions and be political actors. We crossed this bridge when we gave me women the right to vote … in 1919. Let’s get over it.

Moreover, just because you made a bad choice for yourself doesn’t mean that you have any right to make my decision for me. Even anti-abortion activists speak about abortion as a ‘decision’ and yet they are fighting to NOT make it a decision at all and to have a decision forced upon people by the government. I don’t think they really realize what they are fighting for – the women in this news story seem to be fighting more out of their own regret than any sense of well-being for women or children.

Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that women don’t think through “all the true decisions that need to be made.” Does that mean we should make the decision for them? A lot of people regret decisions they’ve made: beginning smoking, dropping out of school. Yet we don’t force them into a different decision.

Lastly, outlawing abortion will NOT stop abortions from happening. (Abortions happened before 1973.) All it will do is force women to have unsafe abortions and increase the likelihood that they will regret it (due to the unsafe conditions, medical complications etc). Thus the motivation of the South Dakota anti-abortionists is completley illogical.

Final thoughts (I swear!):

Ask yourself —

If the government has a right to interfere with my reproductive capacity by forcing me to have a child, can they also force me NOT to have a child by forcibly sterilizing me for example? (ps – this has happened) If you say no, what’s the difference? (Note: forcible sterilization cannot be construed as “killing” since you are stoping any egg – or sperm – from ever becoming viable)

If my body isn’t considered private under the 4th amendment, what is? Do my house or purse get a privileged status under the law but my uterus doesn’t?

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