Since I’ve worked in human services particularly with at-risk youth for over forty years, I guess I have to be called a liberal. Despite the label I have some beliefs conservatives hold dear. Out of compassion for both the mother and the baby, I hate the very thought of abortion.
My heart breaks every time someone mentions the topic of abortion and people mention it frequently as a political issue. I know this issue influenced more than one voter. Since I really hate everything about the topic, I’m to the point of saying put up or shut up.
My solution for this painful subject would be to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I’d hang dispensers of cheap or free birth-control pills in women’s rest rooms. I’d treat birth control shots the same as flu shots. You can get them at the pharmacy on Tues. or Thursday. The supermarket will hold a clinic every day for the first week of the month, in the back by the produce department, and the fire department holds a clinic on the forth Saturday of the month. Maybe rural communities can have a birth control van that visits once a month to dispense pills, shots or implants somewhat like other medical vans that do screenings. They could even do PAP smears and talk about the side effects of birth control.
My church holds a health fair every spring doing vision, hearing, blood pressure, and weight checks while instructing people on when to see a doctor. We could be doing birth control implants.
I want to rethink how we get birth control medications into the childbearing population. My approach would cost the voters some money, and this is where I part company with conservative thought. The only suggestion I see from conservatives is throwing stones at those who have had abortions. I get shouted down when I start talking about free to cheap birth control that works.
At the same time that people are criticizing me for advocating for cheap and accessible birth control, they say they want smaller government. Giving out free birth control is too much government interference, they tell me. “We need a law,” they say as if enforcing a law is less government than providing a service.
It doesn’t take much to put up a vending machines that dispenses pills in women’s restrooms. We do have them for condoms. Women wouldn’t be forced to use birth control, but it would be available. So why is that too much interference as compared to monitoring every doctor and every hospital and investigating every procedure for removing polyps, or treating bleeders. Why is distributing a drug more government than arresting people, collecting information on their private life and going to court to argue with a doctor who is saying the patient was anemic from blood loss, and her baby had died and decomposed inside her? It is cheaper, quicker and easier to just make the meds available to women. Accessible birth control involves smaller government.
I just cannot wrap my head around a position where people do not want to spend tax dollars on human services, and will deny a service that should cut government spending on human services for at-risk children. All people will say is that abortion is killing or it’s immoral. “Fine, then let’s prevent it,” I say, but this is the point that others get angry and shout that abortion is killing and immoral. Preventing it doesn’t seem to be part of their vocabulary, and I get convicted as guilty for wanting to prevent abortion.
Some days it appears to me that the pro-life people want more abortions so they can feel superior and throw stones at others. They never get on the prevention bandwagon, because that would involve government spending. The whole scenario doesn’t make sense.
I understand that some people on their own cannot see any options other than passing a law that won’t prevent anything, and will place more women at risk. Why can’t those people take it as a matter of faith that someone who has worked with at-risk populations might know some better solutions to the problem? This distrust of the opinions of professionals who work in human services is another factor that contributes to the crazy making aspects of our national dialog. I don’t know how many times I’ve been ignored for saying there is a better way to solve the problem of abortion.
The conservatives tell me, “Making abortion illegal will prevent abortions because they will be harder to find and people will be afraid of being punished.” God made laws, “Don’t eat of that tree. Have no other Gods. Love your neighbor.” How’s that working for God? It has never worked for God since the whole tree thing. Lawmakers need to be careful not to place themselves above God.
People, especially desperate people, do not obey laws. Any woman who can read can figure out how to quietly and privately induce an abortion. They’ve been doing it since time began.
Making a law doesn’t save the baby’s life. Making a law doesn’t prevent the trauma to the mother. Making a law just allows the law-makers to shove the problem of loving their neighbor under the carpet. This is the point in the dialog on abortion where I loose all compassion for those who call themselves pro-life and want to make laws. I see nothing but cruelty and hate in their position. Further, I never see any attempt by the law-makers to jump on the pregnancy prevention wagon or even thank me for my comments on how to end the tragedy. The loving answer is to prevent the unwanted pregnancy through easy access to birth control along with education about who needs it – women of childbearing years.
At the end of the day, I’ll choose the loving answer to meet the needs of others, and I guess that puts me in the hated liberal camp. So be it.
- Ladies, in addition to the pharmaceutical birth control, have your partner use a condom. If you would have an abortion if pregnant, use another mechanical method of birth control such as a sponge with your pills and have your partner use a condom.
Delinda McCann is a social scientist with a history of working with at-risk populations for over 40 years. Currently she is the author of five novels published by Writer’s Cramp Press. She has published numerous short stories and essays. She also runs a small organic farm located near Seattle WA. You can find her books and short stories featured on her website. http://delindalmccann.weebly.com/index.html