I’ve been meaning to write about this for a few days.
South Dakota has now approved a nearly complete ban on abortion. The procedure may only be performed when the woman’s life is in immediate danger.
Women who are raped? Doesn’t matter.
Pregnancy resulting from incest? Sorry, doesn’t matter.
Pregnancy following a birth control failure in a woman who has a dangerous chronic—but not immediately life-threatening—illness? You guessed it. Doesn’t matter.
Documented chromosomal abnormality that will cause catastrophic impairment—or death—to the fetus? Nope. Doesn’t matter.
There are peripheral problems as well.
Rapists and committers of incest in South Dakota may well have moved to new levels of consideration as “daddies.” (Shudder.)
South Dakota physicians who continue to provide safe medical abortions face fines and prison terms.
The new ruling will be hardest on poor, lower class woman, who won’t have the resources to fly off to a state (or country) where abortion is quick and legal, but who, instead, will go back in time to self-abortion methods involving knitting needles, coat hangers, and ingested poisons.
And although this argument gets a little slippery-slopey, it’s reasonable to think that if abortion is banned, limitations on contraception may not be far behind. This is especially true of contraceptive methods that work by preventing the implantation of an already growing embryo, e.g., the IUD and the “morning after pill.”
(Perhaps South Dakota should also think about banning Viagra sales within its boundaries? But, I digress….)
The ban also brings us one step closer to fulfilling the agenda of the religious fundamentalist right in this country, which seeks to make us One Nation, Under [THE FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN] God.
It seeks to support the religious right’s agenda of taking abortion back into the Supreme Court for an overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Those who know me know that I’m not necessarily pro-abortion. I think that when an abortion is performed, a baby’s life is taken. I mean, it’s a human life—it’s not a sunflower, or an armadillo. It is a prototypical human, with every bit of genetic material and engineering potential needed to become a fully formed human being.
But while that is my personal opinion, I would never take it upon myself to tell other woman that she could not have an abortion, if that was truly the most sensible thing for her to do under the circumstances. I think it’s a terribly difficult decision to make, but for some women, it ends up being the best one.
South Dakota’s action catapults us backwards.
It imperils our rights as women.