Monday, February 28, 2011

I respectfully disagree

I recently read this article on Slog (my favorite blog ever) all about how limiting abortion funding is anti-woman and cuts a woman's basic right to decide whether or not to have a child and how to take care of her own body, and about how "conscience" laws are unethical and doctors should have to be required to practice abortions (it even says that conscience laws are only ever invoked about abortion, which isn't true) and that these attacks on women are attempts to push women into the "housewife and mother" role. I have to disagree.

First of all, there are a lot of things you have the right to that the government doesn't have to pay for. I have the legal right to go get a nose job if I want, but the government doesn't have to fund it and that lack of funding doesn't translate to government trying to infringe upon my basic right to decide how to present myself. I happen to disagree with the decision to cut funding for pap smears and birth control just because abortions are performed in the same building, but I'm not going to rant about how great and wonderful and All-American abortions are to make my point.

When I was 15 my gynecologist refused to implant my Norplant birth control due to his Catholic beliefs. This is how such a terrible travesty went down. I went in for my pap, answered the informed consent questions (You're doing this on your own, right? Your mother isn't forcing you to go on it?) and then the doctor told me he was Catholic and couldn't prescribe birth control and he left and another doctor came in. The new doctor introduced himself, asked if I'd read the information packet, and then put in the Norplant. Terrible, right? I do happen to believe that doctors and pharmacists should be able to opt out of personally providing services they object to. But I think that if you are going to take advantage of that ability, you should have to provide a partner willing to perform the services in question. My Catholic pharmacist wouldn't have to personally sell me the morning after pill, but he'd have to have a second pharmacist on duty who would. Yes, it would cost more for him to pay a second pharmacist, but that's the flip side of being allowed to refuse. As for Catholic hospitals refusing to dispense morning after pills to rape victims in their ER, they can either become private hospitals or they can keep one protestant doctor on duty.

I believe abortion is bad. But I can see, however vaguely, circumstances where it might be the lesser of 2 evils, the least bad option. If I were leaving an abusive husband and found out I was pregnant, I don't think I would want to share a child with him. If I were raped, I wouldn't want to carry that violation around for 9 months and I wouldn't want a blend of myself and a rapist to exist. And as long as I could see some instances where I would get an abortion I don't feel it is my place to tell anyone else they can't have those circumstances, too. So I am anti-abortion and pro-choice. Because women should be able to make horrible wrenching choices. But so should doctors.

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