…I just heard that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist passed away last night in his home in Virginia. I’m ashamed to admit that my first thought upon hearing this news was not for his life or acheivements, but for the gaping hole in the Supreme Court he has now left behind. While we might have held out a tiny, flickering hope that John Robert’s confirmation wouldn’t mean immediate doom and destruction, two new conservative appointments is certainly going to be the end of the world as we know it. I wonder now if there is ANY way for Roe v. Wade to survive. Given that two recent attempts at making emergency contraception more widely available have both failed, you’ve got to be kidding me about abortion.
The thing is, abortions are going to occur anyway, whether it’s legal or not. No matter how much propoganda gets heaped on the subject, or how many teenagers are taught about the beauty and benefits of abstinence, or how many abortion clinics are picketed and vandalized, women will still find a way to have them. This has been going on for centuries; it’s not going to stop any time soon, just because the Supreme Court makes this ruling or that ruling. However, so long as abortion is legal, women are able to have safe, clean procedures performed under the supervision of professional medical care. To be Pro-Choice is not to advocate for abortion, but to advocate for a woman’s right to choose, and to insist that she is entitled to clean, professional care. To my way of thinking, Pro-Choice is the more humane option.
I know this is a very controversial subject, and there are many, many people who disagree with my views. If I were ever pregnant myself before I was ready to become a mother, I am not sure if I would personally be able to have an abortion. Hopefully I will never have to cross that bridge. However, I don’t feel like it’s my place to make decisions for another woman, since I am not the one walking in her shoes. Overturning Roe v. Wade and closing clinics severely limits a woman’s options, and my fear is that desperate women will still find ways to end their pregnancies, even at very high risk to themselves. What I do not want to see is women coming to my humble L&D unit sick as dogs because they had tried to end their pregnancy with some kind of toxin or poison, or women with sepsis after a failed abortion attempt, or women with perforated cervixes thanks to the coat hanger their sister used on them. Right now, because it’s legal, we have it in our power to offer women clean, safe abortions, thanks to Roe v. Wade. With two vacancies in the Supreme Court, though, how much longer will this service remain available?
And meanwhile, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to shock and outrage. I really wish school was starting two or three weeks from now, instead of next week, because that way I could actually head down to Texas and offer my services to the local authorities. A call for the mobilization of health care volunteers has gone out among the general public. It would feel so good to actually DO something. Hell, I’d even be happy just to hand out food and supplies, or push paper, or whatever was needed. I hate feeling so helpless! Sending money seems like such a small, meaningless gesture. Good lord! Enough with the news, already! I think I’m going to go hide under my quilt for awhile now.