It is scary to admit this, but the anti-choice gains in the states and Congress do put women’s rights to their own bodies at risk now, and in the future. In the past year alone so many bills have come before state legislatures that would all but eliminate abortion in those states. While I live in New Jersey, a state so small that were abortion to be outlawed I could go to any one of three or four nearby states within an hour or two to have an abortion, many states are so physically large that if abortion is not available to a woman in that state, then it will not be available to her at all.
Meanwhile, as I write this there is a war being fought on the floor of Congress over the “Obamacare” health care act passed last year. Rep. Boehner, the House’s Republican Speaker gave a press conference, with the express goal to “make clear that taxpayer funding of elective abortion will not be the policy of this government.” Rep. Smith, from New Jersey (no, not my district), gave a speech filled with anti-choice dialect and vitriol, saying, that their bill, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” will mean that taxpayers “no longer are coerced into using taxpayer money to subsidize the killing of an unborn child.”
1 in 3 women will have an abortion before she is 45 … and every last one of those women is a taxpayer as well. But that logic eludes these anti choice men, whose numbers have swelled to the point where they may be able to pass their laws. They may be able to coerce women into having unwanted pregnancies because they cannot afford to have an abortion. Smith had the gall to intimate that taking away federal funding for abortion would mean reducing the need for abortion, arguing that abortion rates drop without federal subsidies.
Yes, the number of women who are able to access legal, safe, abortions goes down when more women cannot afford them. Of course, that does not mean that just as many women do not need abortion access. Only that they are being forced to underground abortion providers, like Gosnell, that they are carrying a pregnancy to term that they do not want and cannot afford. Because if a woman cannot afford an abortion, then what makes Boehner, Smith, or any other anti choice proponent think she can afford to take care of herself and have a healthy pregnancy? Afford expensive hospital bills when she gives birth?
And even if they are to patronize women with the offer of a free hospital stay to give birth, who are they to belittle women – who are taxpayers just like they are – into being no more than cows giving birth to veal in a pen? It is scary that a country that was founded on principles of liberty and justice for all has leaders at every level of government who have thoughtlessly thrown away my rights to my own body.