To the editor:
I read with curiosity Jonah Goldberg's opinion piece, "Women's health as an issue", in ... The Messenger. I believe Goldberg said that abortion rights are a small part of women's health care and that abortions are unique within the area of women's health care, in that the fetus which is aborted is a victim.
For most clinics performing abortions, for example Planned Parenthood clinics, abortions are only a small portion of the medical services provided. Removing the funding from such clinics, or enacting prohibitive and unnecessary rules on the clinics to force the clinics to close, have a real effect on the, mainly poor, women who depend on the clinics for health care. For many women, the right to have an abortion is not a minor part of women's health care needs. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 48 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintended and 19 percent are unwanted. Also, 30 percent of American women have had an abortion by age 45. Having a baby is a major health and life event, and should not be forced on a woman.
I believe that when life begins has not been answered by science. Theologically, religious belief on when life begins varies between religious institutions. Some people believe that an abortion is the death of a person and some people do not. However, to me, the desire by the religious right to define a zygote as a human being is silly. I have read that many eggs are fertilized and flushed through the system before a zygote attaches to the wall of a woman's uterus.
In our post-modern world, where many women are struggling for full inclusion in the world outside our homes, where many women are marrying later, where the world population is growing unprecedentedly, abortion is a necessity and will occur whether abortion is legal or not. According to the Guttmacher Institute, evidence from countries where abortion is illegal supports this claim. The justices who originally decided Roe versus Wade recognized this fact about abortion and that when abortion is illegal or inaccessible women are often maimed or killed from unsafe abortions. In the past, medical wards were full of women sick from botched abortions.
The Republican war on women is not a chimera of the left. Republican leadership shows every indication of wanting women back in the home, depending on a husband for support.