Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keeping Abortion Private

Check out this really great Newsweek article by Anna Quindlen, celebrating the benefits of the availability of RU-486, also known as "the abortion pill":
RU-486 flies in the face of anti-abortion orthodoxies, and not simply because some physicians who have never dreamed of performing a surgical abortion have no qualms about making the medication available. It counters the irresponsibility myth, which suggests that women who end pregnancies are thoughtless, feckless, and have not bothered with birth control or matrimony, despite the fact that many women who have abortions are married and were using contraception that failed. RU-486, which now accounts for 14 percent of all abortions nationwide, demands a high degree of responsibility. A woman has to ascertain early that she is pregnant and then take charge of the process herself, choosing to deal at home with the results. With every new political power shift the abortion issue arises again, with talk of a search for common ground and the future of Roe v. Wade. But change in party or philosophy cannot change this undeniable fact: women who do not want to be pregnant will try to end their pregnancies. They will do it because they don't have enough money, or enough support, or they think they are too young or too overwhelmed by circumstance. They always have, and they always will. Rat poison, Lysol, ergot, bleach—oh, the historical list of desperate measures is long. Over the years some have died, leaving motherless children behind.
Medication abortion is not the best option for every woman seeking an abortion. Many women prefer the faster process of a surgical abortion, and though quite small, medication abortion does carry its own risks. But for those women who have early abortions, who prefer to have their abortions in the privacy of their own homes, and who may otherwise not have access to abortion services, medication abortion is indeed an option definitely worth having. And just like every woman should have a right to access abortion when she needs one, every woman should also have the right to choose the abortion method that is safest and most comfortable for her own circumstances.

Read the full Newsweek article here.

No comments: