Crazy Making – Abortion By Delinda McCann

 

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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.

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  1. 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

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15 thoughts on “Crazy Making – Abortion By Delinda McCann

  1. Trish

    Great article, Delinda. I am a conservative and I do see abortion as murder. If someone murders a pregnant woman they are convicted of killing two people, yet a fetus is not seen as a human being until it is a certain age. That’s a double standard that should be addressed by law makers. However, your idea of prevention and making contraception mediums freely available is wonderful. I absolutely concur and hope that one day it will be implemented.

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  2. Salvatore Buttaci

    Delinda, you present some good deterrents to abortion. When a nation legally approves the murder of the defenseless unborn, something has to be done. Those who believe God alone can give and take lives object to the pregnant mother’s argument that she owns her body and has a right to do with it as she pleases. As a Christian I believe we have no right to oppose God’s Moral Laws.

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  3. Patricia Dusenbury

    I don’t believe that abortion is murder. I don’t know when life begins, but I do know that others don’t know either. I respect pro-life beliefs and would defend anyone’s right to adhere to them, but I strongly believe the pro-life people should give this of us who disagree with them that same respect. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one. That said, I could not agree more with your call for easier access to birth control. It drives me crazy that the government is defunding Planned Parenthood, a major source of birth control, because they also perform abortions.

    And amen to what Jim Secor said. For example, the Texas legislature just defunded Planned Parenthood AND cut off funding for disable children’s programs. No compassion there, not even a shred of decency.

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  4. James L. Secor

    A further note that ideologues don’t bother with as they figure law on how they feel and if they think something’s shameful: the woman has an IUD and is taking BC pills. She’s finishing her college and has 2 children already. She’s smart enough to realize she can’t manage another child. But, then, she becomes pregnant. You all would say, “Tough luck, baby. Suffer.” She aborted at less than 6 wks. It was not easy adjusting. She finished school, sent the kid off to college, rose in the health insurance industry. If the abortion haters had forced her to have that child, they’d have ruined 4 people’s lives…and given no thought at all to it.
    I don’t particularly like abortion; I do not consider it murder; but until we have a more foolproof method of birth control, what have you got to offer? And, again, you want to save the unwanted fetus, you should be raising the child. It was your choice to keep it “alive,” not the mother’s; that makes it yours.
    My solution in school was vasectomy. No more children. No g’children. My wife’s problems with bc were: Child one was born while on the pill, child two came out with the coil on top of his head. Insurance does not cover tubals but it does cover vasectomies.
    Think, think. Dogma and ideology restrict thinking.

    Reply
    1. Delinda Mccann

      James, Thanks for offering another responsible option. Of course every man who is opposed to abortion must have a vasectomy. I didn’t mention this option because men’s refusal to take responsibility for their own bodies while pointing fingers at women is another crazy making aspect of the topic.

      Reply
  5. Jocie DeVries

    As usual dear friend you’ve made some interesting points. While I am a conservative with over 40 years experience in fighting for the health and safety of the poor, disabled and mentally ill, I totally agree that the birth control divide is totally illogical and it’s high time that reasonable liberals and conservatives find some common ground. I guess that’s why I am a Trump supporter. Traditional politics as usual is not ok. Trump is not especially conservative and definitely has flaws but he’s been a Democrat longer than he’s been a so called conservative and I think if we develop some common ground (like you were saying the other day) we can make some progress on social issues. Just like we worked together (as D’s and R’s) on FAS prevention, awareness and intervention For example one thing I see as hopeful is that on a few issues – Trump and Bernie have more in common than most people think.

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  6. John Rosenman

    Delinda, I agree with everything you say. Please reserve a seat for me on the Prevention Bandwagon. It must be terribly frustrating for you to talk about birth control to those who just parrot “Abortion is wrong!” in return. Perhaps some of them feel as traditional Catholics and others do that birth control and male masturbation are forms of abortion, contrary to God’s plan.

    James has a valid point, one I’ve pressed with conservatives. You want to prevent abortion? Then step forward and find a way to care for the unplanned child who’s born. Open your wallet and arrange for the child’s home and education, and all that goes with it. As you note, conservative pro-lifers are usually opposed to Government meddling EXCEPT where abortion and sexuality are concerned. Seems hypocritical to me.

    Yes, birth control devices should be made readily available as well as Sex Ed and birth control clinics. They should be offered regularly. Children should grow up in an environment in which they’re not only told how babies are conceived and born but how to responsibly prevent their conception. In addition, they should be exposed early and often to the consequences of having an unplanned child, especially for single mothers. Whether you’re the mother or father, you may have to forget about a college education, forfeit tens of thousands of dollars of income, and the like. In short, you may have to give up all your dreams. Ignorance may be bliss, but often the opposite is true with an unplanned pregnancy.

    An excellent essay, Delinda, and much needed!

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  7. .Micki Peluso

    I could not add the rest. I also believe the choice belongs to the woman, not mandated by government. Another problem is that birth control at its best does not always work. I have 4 out of six kids attesting that. Yes, having those children caused me to give up my life’s dreams and my husbands, but in retrospect, love of those unplanned children superimposed those dreams and I would not have it any other way. An innocent baby brought into the world by any means is not the one responsible and certainly not liable for a death sentence. We need prevention and protection that is foolproof.
    I admire the work you do Delinda and wish I could help.

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  8. Steve Lindahl

    Delinda,

    Cutting down on the number of abortions should be a goal shared by both sides of this argument and it is clear that providing education and prevention options would help accomplish this, but as James pointed out it won’t solve the issue. There will still be unwanted pregnancies.

    Years ago the answer was simpler than it is today. If a fetus could not live on its own, it was considered part of the woman’s body. If it could, it was considered an independent person. (Viability is the standard used in Roe v. Wade.) But medical advances have blurred that line. Today the chance for survival at an early time in the pregnancy is greater than it used to be. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_viability )

    In my opinion, a fertilized egg is not a person, but a baby is as much a person on the day before he or she is born as on the birthday. The change doesn’t happen at some set point and many factors make each case different.

    Still, I never see abortion as murder, but rather as a heart wrenching decision. Biology forces the burden of that decision to be heavier for women than for men. It is her body, not his. But both parents should support each other and carry as much of the weight as they can.

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  9. Micki Peluso

    I posted on this a week ago and even saw that it took but then it disappeared. Removed? So one more try but not the same as what I wrote since I didn’t keep it. Delinda, this was an excellent essay on solving the problem of unwanted babies without taking Innocent lives. There are so many childless couples who can’t get babies unless they go to other countries, it seems a shame that American babies are thrown away. I do believe that life begins at conception in babies, plants and animals. However, I don’t want government mandating my decisions regarding my own body. I can screw up my life nicely without laws forcing me. So looking for viable alternatives to preventing killing innocent new lives, is the best way to solve a touchy situations.

    Reply
  10. Monica Brinkman

    Delinda, well written article. Many people have deep convictions about this topic and are quite passionate about their views. Me? Well I have seen that places such as Planned Parenthood have actually decreased abortions through education, healthcare for women who could not afford it and also by providing contraception’s.
    My mother was given a choice when she went into labor with me for them to take her life or mine. She told them ‘neither’ and thus we both survived. But this is not always the case.
    To me, abortion, contraception, and such is a very personal matter and no one should judge or be able to make rules or laws for an individual. It is their personal choice, not mine. I am only able to judge my own actions and not others. Far from me to be so superior that I have the right to tell others how to live their lives.
    Thank you for the article.

    Reply

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