Roe v. Wade; A socio-economic assault on the poor.
by christopherabrock, Mon Jul 03, 2006 at 04:10:30 PM EDT
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.