On Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial bill that bans nearly all abortions into law. It is one of the most restrictive abortion laws, banning all abortions including after rape or incest. The only exception is if the woman’s life is threatened or if there is a lethal fetal anomaly. While the woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion the doctors performing the abortion could face felony jail time up to 99 years.
I am going to state my stance upfront. I DO NOT THINK ANYONE OTHER THAN THE WOMAN HAS A RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS TO HER BODY. In fact, my stance is pretty simple on most issues. YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE AND LET OTHERS LIVE THEIRS.
I find the selection of words Pro-Life and Pro-Choice interesting. The debate isn’t framed as life vs death or choice vs. mandatory. Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, thus, isn’t even same debate. Pro-Life position prohibits abortions, euthanasia, death penalty (Alabama has the highest per capita death penalty rate in the country) and even war. I remember in high school I spoke against euthanasia. I argued that the longer they stay alive the higher the probability of finding a cure. Over the years, I have understood that it is more complex. Similarly, what is life? Is it when cells form? Is it a heartbeat? Is it the development of a brain? Is it after birth?
After having seen my wife give birth to two children and many friends and family go through all possible outcomes from pregnancy, I switched my definition from life to person. A person exists only outside the womb. Anything that happens till birth, are biological processes, chemical reactions, physical changes, hormonal variations. Whether a person will exist at the end can not be guaranteed and if it can not be guaranteed, then what happens till then, are mere changes to a woman’s body and she, and only she, can decide what happens to it. My wife, even today is trying to reverse the changes or re-stabilize her body to her pre-pregnancy days, knowing full well that some of it can never return. A birth is surely a miracle but let’s not marginalize that it comes at great cost to a woman, a cost that we as men can’t understand and thus should not impose.
Today, Missouri house passed a bill. The bill, HB 126, would prohibit abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy with exceptions only for what it defines as medical emergencies, such as cases when the mother’s life is at risk or she is facing serious permanent injury, but not for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
A lot of this is politics, the last place it should belong, and sermonized as philosophy or principle with only anecdotes, extreme cases or bad data to prove the point. Of all the things that Donald Trump has said, what he said about babies being born, and then the doctor and mother conspiring to execute the child is the worst. It is the cruelest thing he has said.
Other things I had heard.
“Most abortions are from teen pregnancies; raise them with better values.”
“Late-term abortions of healthy babies are common”
“Most abortions are by poor black women”
“Most abortions are by women who don’t care about life”
“Most women who abort, are doing it over and over again”
So I dug in to the data on abortions. I am now more educated, none of what I had heard is true. I hope that anytime anyone speaks about abortions, they can talk with data. I am also making this available to everyone. Click here to access it all yourself
To see all the data and explore by State click on the link below.
All data is from the CDC reports from its survey. Click here