By Simi Lipsan
Women’s rights are in grave danger. We have pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control; the Bush administration is looking to replace Sandra Day O’Connor with a more conservative justice and we have House Resolution 776 introduced By Rep. Ronald Paul [R-TX].
HR 776, the Sanctity of Life Act of 2005, is in my opinion, a detriment to the women of this country. The act states: “The Congress finds that present day scientific evidence indicates a significant likelihood that actual human life exists from conception. Upon the basis of this finding, and in the exercise of the powers of the Congress–
(1) the Congress declares that-(A) human life shall be deemed to exist from conception, without regard to race, sex, age, health, defect, or condition of dependency; and (B) the term “person” shall include all human life as defined in subparagraph (A) and (2) the Congress recognizes that each State has the authority to protect lives of unborn children residing in the jurisdiction of that State.”
By stating that life begins at conception, abortion automatically becomes murder.
Congressman Paul, let’s put aside, for the moment, the fact that the government should not have the right to dictate what I can do to my body, and focus only on the implications and consequences of this act.
This bill leaves no room for change regardless of circumstance. This means in the case of rape or incest, a woman will be forced to go through the pregnancy, having a constant daily reminder of the trauma, delaying her ability to try and get over it and to go on with her life. Trust me sir, a rape is something that takes time to put behind you, and to have to wait for nine months to even begin to heal is cruel and can be as emotionally devastating as the rape itself. Congressman, you have 5 children and 17 grandchildren, if one of your daughters or granddaughters was raped and impregnated, would you really want her to have the child? Would you make her carry the child to term so she could put it up for adoption? Would you be able to look at her face every day and see her reliving the trauma every time she looks at herself in the mirror? Would you be able to look at her growing belly knowing that it is not from an act of love, but from an act of violence and feel what she is going through is right?
What about cases where the mother’s life is threatened? Should not the woman be the one to decide if she is willing to give up her own life for that of her unborn child. After all, she stands a much better chance of having another child, than the child does of having its mother.
The bill makes no provisions in the case of teenage pregnancy. In my opinion children should not be having children and if my teenage daughter got pregnant, I would want her to have an abortion. I’m sure you think adoption would be a better alternative and for some it may be, however, teenage mothers are less likely to gain adequate weight during their pregnancy, leading to low birthweight, which is associated with infant and childhood disorders and a high rate of infant mortality. Low-birthweight babies are more likely to have organs that are not fully developed, which can result in complications such as bleeding in the brain, respiratory distress syndrome, and intestinal problems. Teenage mothers tend to have poor eating habits and are less likely to take recommended daily multivitamins to maintain adequate nutrition during pregnancy.
They are also more likely to smoke, drink or take drugs during pregnancy, which can cause health problems for the baby. Teenage mothers are less likely to seek regular prenatal care. Prenatal care is essential for monitoring the growth of the fetus; keeping the mother’s weight in check; and advising the mother on nutrition and how she should take care of herself to ensure a healthy pregnancy. According to the American Medical Association, babies born to women who do not have regular prenatal care are 4 times more likely to die before the age of 1 year. These are not going to be the babies that will be easy to adopt. Also keep in mind that in the United States, the annual cost of teen pregnancies from lost tax revenues, public assistance, child health care, foster care, and involvement with the criminal justice system is estimated to be about $7 billion. Come on Congressman, you’re a doctor; I shouldn’t have to tell you this.
Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions. What it will stop is safe abortions and women will die unnecessarily. There will be more unwanted children, more infants found dead or dying in dumpsters, more children in a foster care system with an already inadequate number of qualified caretakers. If the law is going to insist that all children be brought into this world, the law needs to wait until the world is ready to accept and care for all of them.