I was walking around downtown yesterday when I happend upon an anti-abortion gathering. It seems that the Supreme Court decision yesterday has been hailed as some sort of green light for all anti-choice groups to begin gathering the troops and heading out to further chip away at women’s rights. They of course had out the pictures of dead babies and signs reading “All abortions are unconsitutional.” But the above chalked sidewalk is what really bothered me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more inaccurate statement.

All abortions don’t hurt women. And, in fact, the partial-birth abortions that were banned yesterday actually were less dangerous for women than the types that will have to be performed now that judges have made women’s medical decisions for them, rather than their doctors.

It’s easy enough to stand out on a street corner holding up a picture of a dead baby and to judge the women who opt not to follow through with a pregnancy (which by the way takes TWO parties to have happen in the first place, not just a woman). It’s especially easy because you don’t see anybody standing out on the street corner with a photo of a woman lying dead on her bathroom floor in a pool of blood with a coat hanger next to her. Mostly you don’t see this because it’s less likely to happen now that women have the right to seek medical help for this highly dangerous procedure.

Outlawing abortion won’t only hurt women, it will hurt the millions of children who will be born unwanted and unloved. There are already too many children in foster care who can’t find permanent homes. Do we really want to add to it? And if the children aren’t given up for adoption what kind of life can they expect? An unwanted baby that couldn’t be aborted is likely to be born to an absent father and a low-income mother who resents having to raise it.

Two more thoughts that are driving me mad: How is it that the people who want to outlaw abortion under the guise of “sanctity of life,” are often the same people who support an unnecessary war? What happened to sanctity of life in this case? Or does sanctity of life only qualify if you are in one of three groups: Christian, white or American?

Secondly, how can we outlaw abortion while also keeping our children in the dark about preventive pregnancy? Abstinence is not prevention. It’s proven that these abstinence programs don’t work. And I wonder how much more likely it is for women to get pregnant if they have had abstinence training instead of sex ed.

We can’t outlaw abortion without thinking strongly about how we’re going to prevent unwanted pregnancies in this country. And even then I’m against it because it puts women without a choice about what happens in their life. If they get pregnant they can say goodbye to any hope of a career or goal fulfillment. And what do men get? Court orders to pay child support, which they likely won’t do. I honestly believe banning abortion would mean relegating women to the status of second-class citizens (as if they already aren’t).

Unfortunately I don’t think many people put rational thought into their views on abortion, so we’ll be seeing a lot more of this:

I had some other issues I wanted to discuss today, but I think I’ve already given you all a mouthful and I have tons of work to do. You can begin sending the hate mail and death threats now.