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Abortion Stuff August 21, 2019

There's been a lot of stuff going on about abortion over the last couple of weeks to discuss. Let's see what's up.

Evelyn Hernandez, 21, was raped and became pregnant in El Salvador. She didn't know that she was pregnant and accidentally gave birth in a primitive toilet at 31 weeks to a stillborn fetus. She was arrested and sentenced to 30 years in prison because authorities claimed that she aborted and killed the baby. She served three years in prison and was now recently retried, found not guilty, and released. Evelyn is now pursuing education in English and computer science and pushing for the decriminalization of abortion.

While there may need to be changes in El Salvador's abortion laws, the biggest issue in the case of Evelyn Hernandez was the underlying attitude toward women. It was bad enough that she was raped. But, then, when she lost the baby, no one believed that she hadn't known that she was pregnant. They automatically assumed that she was attempting to abort a 31 week pregnancy!! The whole thing is messed up. The law does not trust women and that is wrong!

Vox printed an article about the increase in threats toward abortion clinics and abortion-providing physicians. No matter your belief about abortion, these threats are alarming. No woman should have to face violence while accessing a legal medical service. Time has an article about a teen in Chicago who had some specific threats as well as a cache of weapons.

Vanity Fair reports that some gynecology offices that offer abortions are offering specialty and "concierge" services. Women can pay extra to come in at a time when no one else has an appointment for extra privacy. They can pay for rides to and from their apartment or hotel. One of these offices in New York has already had callers from states with so-called "heartbeat abortion bans" (even though none of those bans have taken effect yet). If these early stage abortion bills are found to be constitutional, this ability for some women to travel out of state for specialty services is going to set up even more of a two-tier system than we now have where it will be relatively easy for affluent women to get abortions out of state, but poor women will not. (Just a note - the states that are passing these restrictive abortion bills are not increasing any state funding to improve maternal mortality or infant mortality, both of which are low in these states.)

And while we keep fighting over abortion, very few people change their minds, according to this article. One thing that is disturbing is that no more than 25% of people in the states that are pushing complete abortion bans actually support those bans. It seems to be that their representatives did not represent them well.

What do you think about this issue?

Catherine

 

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