If you don’t have an opinion on abortion you should. This topic has saturated the news for many weeks now. 

It seems that the anti-abortion forces feel that with new justices on the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade will be revoked and the  decision that affirmed the right of a woman to have an abortion ended. Several Southern states have enacted laws to make the procedure nigh onto impossible in their state and have declared that a fertilized egg has the legal rights of personhood. This movement has for 30 years worked to re-criminalize abortion and undo Roe v. Wade.

I must say that the concept of natal personhood  leads in many directions. To wit; if the egg is recognized as a person with legal rights I gather that it must be counted in the census, that it has the right to be counted for food stamps, that if the mother (womb) does anything to endanger it the state must step in and protect it. This suggests how weird this line of thinking can go.

Yet other ramifications of the anti-abortion amendments are more far-reaching. No less than an evangelical preacher, Rob Schenk, who was a passionate anti-abortionist, has had an epiphany and now sees that anti-abortion legislation dooms the poor to poverty.

The white middle class and up can obtain an abortion if they can’t afford another child, but the poor cannot. If you are a mother with children and an absentee or disabled father, working to feed and house your family, another child can be disastrous. It can condemn a family to poverty, crime and incarceration, and a recurring cycle of social dependency. 

Betsy Donaldson, Southern Pines

(4) comments

Richard Wright

The issue is should a human life be ended solely because one person deems it appropriate. More than 60% of the million annual abortions are due solely because the woman does not want the child. You make abortion sound like removing a wart. There is no moral reason for abortion. And yes Betsy, the fetus is human.

Jim Tomashoff

Richard, so you believe a fetus is "...a human life." From conception? So your belief trumps the belief of those who disagree with you? You get to decide that "(T)here is no moral reason for abortion." Do you believe abortion is first-degree murder? If so, do you believe the woman who chooses to have an abortion should be punished as a murderer who has committed murder in first first-degree? In some states that is a capital crime. Do you believe she should be executed? If not, why not?

Jim Tomashoff

Betsy, I agree with you. But you stopped a bit short in considering the implications of fetal personhood. Upon discovering that a patient is pregnant, to make certain that the woman does nothing to harm the fetal person, the doctor may be required by law to report the pregnancy to the government, along with the expected due date. The woman's pregnancy will be monitored through the doctor's examinations, all reported to the government, and perhaps by "friendly" visits periodically from the fetal protection authority to the woman's home just to make sure she's not doing anything to harm her fetal person. It could become illegal for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol, a clear danger to the fetal person. She'll need to be tested randomly to make certain she doesn't have a drink. And if the mother has a passport, it would be prudent to confiscate it until she delivers, and just to be safe, border control officers on our side of the borders with Canada and Mexico will be provided lists of pregnant women just to make sure they don't leave the U.S. If she doesn't deliver a healthy baby, then what? All so-called miscarriages will have to be investigated to make certain they were indeed miscarriages. This will have to include interviews under oath with doctors, nurses, neighbors, work friends, among others. Now once the child is actually born, your other concerns, valid to you and me, are largely of no concern to those of the religious right, like Kent. Caring for these children of the poor is social engineering, after all, and we can't have that can we, it smacks of socialism. For those who think I'm going too far in my description of fetal personhood under the law, tell us how you'd stop abortions once they become illegal. Oh, one more thing, if one accepts the concept of fetal personhood under law, then an abortion, by definition, becomes first degree murder, punishing the doctor alone is legal nonsense.

Sally Larson

Welcome to the world of The Handmaid's Tale. You've spelled it out very well. What also needs to be activated is free birth control for all women to avoid unwanted children and an overhaul of our adoption system probably needs to be taken over by the government too. Ugh, what a nightmare.

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