Women should be able to decide about abortion | Letter to the Editor
May 31, 2011 · 11:10 AM
The only thing worse than having an abortion is giving birth to an unwanted baby, burdening a teenage mother with an infant’s care and exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet with overpopulation.
Abortion should be between a woman and her doctor. Normally, late-term abortions are performed on women who wanted a baby but life-threatening complications occurred during pregnancy. Criminalizing doctors endangers women’s lives: For instance, a woman who already has children experiences complications late in pregnancy and her doctor, fearing penalties for violating a vague, ambiguous restriction about whether complications are life-threatening, saves the fetus, letting the mother die. Now her children are motherless, her husband without a partner. I conclude such laws rise from misplaced religious fervor of posturing zealots, the ploy of electioneering politicians using women as pawns or some barbaric misogyny. Why else enact a law preferring a fetus’s life over that of its mother?
Now, as a grandmother, I recall my mother’s comment: “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
United Nations’ demographers report that world population reached 7 billion; at the current birthrate it will reach 10 billion before century’s end. If the Biblical author spoke now, rather than “Go forth and multiply,” the message would be, “Limit your offspring! Don’t be greedy and have that third child.” The tipping point is 2.1 children per woman, above which population increases exponentially. At 9 to 10 billion, food and groundwater shortages are inevitable.
Cherish your children’s lives enough to ensure they flourish. Tap your inner strength to decide not to have babies from unplanned pregnancies. Reject irrational emotionalism, superstition and pseudo-religiosity that cause suffering. Trust your best judgment. Wait until you’re healthy and mature, mentally and physically, when siblings won’t be neglected, nor a family impoverished. Do it for your descendents and the future health of our planet.
— Ann Jacobs