Voters say ‘NO!’ to California’s Proposition 4

Following the lead of South Dakota and Colorado, California voters failed anti-choice Proposition 4, a law that would require doctors to notify a minor’s parents 48 hours before performing an abortion.

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If you don’t succeed, try, try again

South Dakota, after the failed abortion ban of two years ago, is at it again. Anti-choice legislators have put Measure 11 on the ballot: essentially the same bill with an important, but weak, concession to victims of rape and incest. In Measure 11, abortion is allowed in the case of incest and rape – but only if the victim identifies her attacker, a DNA test proves that it his child, and the abortion occurs before 20 weeks. Abortions would be allowed to protect the health of the mother, but only if the failure of a major organ is at stake. What does this mean? Women with breast cancer would not be allowed to pursue chemotherapy treatments because the chemo may cause a miscarriage (and technically, in breast cancer, a major organ is not at stake).

These minimal exceptions seem to have made a big difference in the polls: where the abortion ban was shot down by a good margin two years ago (56%-44%), preliminary polls are showing almost a dead heat this time around (44%-44%). But are these exceptions even viable?

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Legal Abortion vs. Illegal Abortion: The Facts

Medical professionals know that legal abortion is safe.  Leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Medical Women’s Association all oppose lawmakers’ efforts to block women’s access to abortion care.  Learn more information from the fact sheet.

Regression

I believe that the abortion issue can never regress to a point where it would be made illegal again.  Too many women – and a lot of men – simply wouldn’t stand for it.  It’s too well accepted.  Too many women have had to use it in their times of need.  Too many women have discovered that their politics change when their situations change; and though they may have once thought abortion was wrong, they are persuaded to a pro-choice position when the need arises for them or a loved one to end an unwanted pregnancy.”
Why I Am An Abortion Doctor, Suzanne T. Poppema, M.D.

Ever since I overheard some of my mother’s friends quietly discussing what one among them could do to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, I’ve been concerned about a woman’s inability to have control over her own body.  I was about ten years old at that time – and the sense of concerned empathy expressed by these middle-class, small-town women in their late thirties stayed with me for the next fifty years.  When the right of choice to an abortion became the law of the land I felt relieved – no more “abortion mills”, self-imposed ruinous attempts, “back-alley” unsanitary, uncaring procedures, or safe choices for those with money.

And now there are those would again leave a woman with no safe choice.

I am now 71 years old and I’m crying out:  WE CAN’T GO BACK!
from In Our Own Words: Collected Recollections in honor of Roe v. Wade

Have you considered life before Roe?

I came across this article from the New York Times in my gallavanting about the interwebs, and am excited to have a forum to post it here. I feel that the last two paragraphs are particularly important, if you’re not too squeamish to get through the rest.

Repairing the Damage, Before Roe
by Waldo L. Fielding, M.D.

With the Supreme Court becoming more conservative, many people who support women’s right to choose an abortion fear that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that gave them that right, is in danger of being swept aside.

When such fears arise, we often hear about the pre-Roe “bad old days.” Yet there are few physicians today who can relate to them from personal experience. I can.

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