Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the poor.

I am sure there are many opinions on this topic. This is part of a letter sent to the U.S. Supreme Court via postal service twice already. Let the fireworks begin!

I grew up in a low income community in Kansas City many years ago. Most low income communities are very similar in education, financial levels, and social behaviors. My high school was ranked as one of the highest for teenage pregnancy the year I graduated; 1987. This was mainly due to their parents being teenager when they were born who were poor and under-educated.

Some of my classmates had abortions so the burden of parenting a child didn't strain their ability to grow up, pursue college, and gain sound financial footing before becoming a parent. Others were unable to get an abortion, due to cost, religious beliefs, or parents' wishes and many have suffered to provide for themselves and their child. Through the years, this has not changed in our nation. You will still find the same communities, with the same pregnancy problems, and the same cycle that has held the poor population marching in place.

           Overturning Roe v. Wade would have a negative impact upon the poor of our country. A nation without a woman's right to choose means our country would revert back to the dark ages where abortions were performed in back alleys by unskilled people in unsanitary conditions.  Removing a woman's right of choice would not reduce the number of abortions in our country, it would increase the number of illegal abortions performed. No one would suffer more than the poor.

           Invariably, the thought of Roe v. Wade being overturned has an awful ripple affect that is not being considered. Rape, incest, and molestation happen. It is an ugly face of the truth in today's society. The probability of a pregnancy from such an act is not diminished in these situations. I would like you to consider for a moment your daughter, grand-daughter, or a young lady close to you; I want you to think abut that person being taken advantage of by someone she knows and trust, or maybe by a stranger who makes her their next victim while she is walking by. Now think about her becoming pregnant from this act. As a society, what are we to say to this young person? "Sorry young lady, it is a tragedy what happened to you and we will lock him away for many years, but you have to have this child because it is the law." If Roe v. Wade is overturned, this is no longer a hypothetical scenario; this will be a reality for many, many young women. Of course, there will be some who will have the means to circumvent the law as we know people do.

Most of the middle, and all of the upper, class would still be able to find a doctor whom they could pay to perform the procedure properly, in proper conditions, and in secret. The only people who would suffer would be the poor who don't have the money to choose.

We would find the poor resorting to self-mutilation to cause miscarriage, finding an unlicensed pseudo-medical professional to perform an operation under deplorable conditions. We would see a rise in deaths of women who attempted one of these options and we would be to blame. Abortion isn't a pretty option; neither is this.

The option of placing the baby up for adoption at birth is the most difficult decision to ask a poor woman to do. In poor communities, where there's countless single parents, many children grow up feeling abandoned or unloved their whole life. That child, who is now facing giving their newborn away, will have a difficult time giving up the baby due to passing these same feelings onto the infant. They often end up keeping the child and suffering through the financial difficulties that come when you are a parent too early in life. This often starts a cyclic affect if it hasn't begun already. Teenage parents raising the next generation of teenage parents. Without abortions, are we assured that every child given up for adoption will be adopted? Will we be creating a baby surplus because the demand doesn't exhaust the supply? The poor population has many other obstacles to overcome while growing up without losing the option of abortion.

I urge you to consider the ramifications of making abortions illegal. Overturning Roe v. Wade would ensure that the gap between the middle class, upper class, and the poor would expand due to your decision. Only you can protect these women and help provide this option that could make it even tougher to elevate from their present social economic status.

There isn't legal doctrine, or precedent that prevents a person from electing a medical procedure that would alter their looks, save their life, or make their life easier in the future. I only ask you to continue to support a person's option of choice.

Recently you ruled that the state had no right to interfere with Terry Shiavo's husband when he chose to allow his wife be taken off life support; a decision that was rightfully given to him due to his guardianship. I offer that as precedence in your decision on Roe v. Wade. The two are not so different. To force a woman to bring a child into this world before she is physically, mentally, and financially prepared to do so would be to remove the expectant mother's right to decide, as a guardian, whether the conditions are suitable that the child would have a productive, opportunistic, and healthy future.

I am a man of God and I believe that abortion is not a sin. I believe that God gives a child a soul at birth and not before. I believe you will find this supported in religion through ritual where a person is not "of God" until they are "reborn" through baptism.

I beg the court to look at this five, ten, or twenty years into our future. Do you see overturning Roe v. Wade as a positive impact upon our poor population? I cannot. I cannot see how criminalizing abortion gives any person a better opportunity; to include the unborn. That child will only know a life of hardship, resentment, and societal scrutiny.  Hardship from being born to a mother who's unprepared to be one, resentment if the child feels like a burden to the mother, and societal scrutiny to be born into poverty with more adversity lined up in front of him before ever exiting the womb contrasted with the privileged in the middle and upper classes.

I often hear people argue `What would the child want?" or "It's a life you are destroying." To those people I ask; when did a child begin deciding what's best for them? and, if abortion is really destroying a life, wouldn't you be destroying two lives if a woman hasn't the right to choose?

This isn't an easy decision for any women; it should be no decision for our government, our judicial system, or our neighbors.

Tags: abortion, anti-abortion, Pro-Choice, Roe v. Wade (all tags)



Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

I cannot claim, like yourself, to be a man of God  but I am somewhat distressed that so many who claim to be liberals have taken such a casual attitude to abortion rights.  I can only conjecture it is mostly a matter of putting principle aside.

I was shocked as a young man to find that few abortions were done because of rape but many were the result of incest.  At least that was what I was told by my sister at the time, who had participated in many as a nurse.

Ugliest of all is the sanctimonious voting for bans on so-called partial birth abortions that are done only in the most egregious circumstances.  

I think the Pope in Rome sitting on his throne cannot believe anymore than either of us that abortion is murder or he, and all others that profess the same, would call for the prosecution of the women having the abortions.

There are politicians I would vote for in extreme situations that profess to be against abortion on principle but I believe it has to be a lie, whether conscious or unconscious.

Thank you for your diary.

by terryhallinan 2006-07-03 04:31PM | 0 recs
Is more access to abortion what the poor want?

A poor woman gets pregnant with a child she can't afford to have. The parties' response:

Republicans: Tough shit.
Democrats: Have an abortion.

I don't think either of these responses are what this woman wants.

Counterintuitive as it may seem, it is no coincidence that areas with high rates of teen pregnancies also tend to oppose abortion. Since many of these people are the result of inconvenient and often disasterous pregnancies, there is an attitude of "There but for the grace of God go I" when it comes to abortion. Women who have had the babies, no matter how difficult the situation, will understandably recoil in horror at the idea that they could have killed their babies in the womb.

(These feelings may even lead them to voting Republican!)

Legal or not, right or wrong, abortion will happen. Criminalization will certainly not end it and will probably do more harm than good.

However, no matter what your personal views on the subject are, practically everyone agrees that we want to see fewer women in the situation where they would be seeking an abortion. This means expanding opportunities for women, teaching scientifically accurate sex education, and giving these women good reasons not to get pregnant.

Likewise, for those women who do get pregnant, I think everyone can agree that those who do NOT want an abortion should have the resources availible to make THEIR choice.

These are the goals of the recent 95-10 initiative by the Democrats for Life. I strongly support this and I think the Democratic Party would be wise to as well.

by wayward 2006-07-03 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Is more access to abortion what the poor want?

Not one person I have ever head of suggests that a pregnant woman should be advised to get an abortion.

It is simply false as far as I know.

What everyone I know and respect on the matter believes a woman should not be prevented from getting an abortion because of some hypocritical (and I believe profoundly false) religious belief.

I certainly agree with you that means to raise a child for those facing nearly insuperable obstacles would be most welcome and would hope you are successful in that effort.

by terryhallinan 2006-07-03 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Is more access to abortion what the poor want?

My point is not that the Democrats are for abortion as much as that they have not stood up for much else lately, especially much that would help poor women.

Talk about abortion, and a large majority of party leaders will proudly stand up for choice. I have heard considerably less about helping poor mothers.

Now, this could be just a massive communication problem that Democrats have not been effective at getting their message out properly. Either way, it needs to be dealt with.

by wayward 2006-07-03 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

In light of 'ending welfare as we know it', wayward is quite right.

The key in this discussion is, as wayward wrote (again), sex ed that teaches children that sex is okay, that teaches kids where babies come from, how to use birth control, and how to wait.  Access to birth control is also key.

My younger daughter goes to a progressive private school for kids with learning disabilities.  They have a wonderful program that enabled the students to understand sex from a positive framework--something, given our family dynamic, I could never accomplish.  

Here is to quality education and access to birth control!

by Dems Need Balls 2006-07-03 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

It's not "ending welfare as we know it" that was the Democrats problem as much as that they haven't stood up for initiatives that benefit working Americans, much less the poor. Where have the Democrats been on health care? Student aid for higher education?

As for sex ed, public schools should not be teaching sexual values (neither "sex positive" nor "abstinence only") if for no other reason than that they aren't very good at it. This is the job of the PARENTS, not the school. They do, however, have a duty to teach factual information about human reproduction. Private schools can do as they want.

That being said, what both sides need to realize is that all the access to birth control in the world won't stop unwanted pregnancies, and neither will preaching abstinence. Birth control is only effective if it is used. Same with abstinence.

The problem is that the best way to prevent young women from getting pregnant is to empower them so that they believe that they do not need a man and/or a baby to be valued.

My mother told me a story about when she worked with at-risk teens about how she had to break up a fight between two women who were fighting over a man who had impregnated them both (at about the same time) and was paying child support to neither. Two young women were fighting over a philandering deadbeat. Even the best sex education won't solve problems like this.

by wayward 2006-07-04 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

"In light of 'ending welfare as we know it', wayward is quite right."

Ending welfare, including Social Security, for those in need had been a dream of rightwingers for decades before Bill Clinton succeeded in turning the Democratic Party into an auxiliary of the Republicans with a horror in any way of being associated with those left behind.  Even liberals today speak only of helping the "suffering middle class."

If wayward wishes to complain of Democrats becoming Republicans Lite, I could hardly agree more with her.

Unfortunately wayward's Democrats For Life is an anti-abortion group attacking abortion rights according to their own statements.

[From their website:]
>>Who We Are

   Democrats for Life of America, Inc. is a national organization for pro-life members of the Democratic party.<< p?option=com_content&task=view&i d=45&Itemid=49

by terryhallinan 2006-07-03 11:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

What makes you think I am a woman? I am not, but I was raised by a single mother, am married and have two young daughters.

As for Democrats for Life, they are the ones responsible for the 95-10 intiative, which is a Roe-neutral way of reducing abortion, which I strongly agree with. I agree with the initiative, not necessarily with Dems for Life.

I, for one, wish that BOTH parties would be more honest about the abortion issue. In most countries around the world, abortion is a personal, not a partisan, political issue. IIRC, all three major parties in the UK have no position on the issue other than that every vote on abortion should be a free (i.e. non-partisan) vote. Considering that about 40% of Republicans are pro-choice and a significant minority of Democrats are pro-life, this would be a far more honest position for both parties.

by wayward 2006-07-04 04:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

95-10 is an anti-choice proposal.

[1] No funding for birth control to low-income communities; no mention of birth control whatsoever, yet

[2] Advocates funding for sonograms for CPCs.

[3] Endeavors to trap minors seeking an abortion within state boundaries via federal legislation.

In short, the path to reducing abortion in 95-10 is not by prevention but rather by increasing the barriers to abortion while providing federal funding for anti-choice instruments like CPCs.

by dblhelix 2006-07-05 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the p

"What makes you think I am a woman?"

I thought you said you were.  My apologies.

I certainly agree that it would be mighty fine if there were no need to politicize abortion but when abortion is outlawed and abortionists and bystanders are murdered, it is not much of a solution to demand that the issue be ignored.

by terryhallinan 2006-07-04 07:51AM | 0 recs


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