Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Respect the right...

The latest anti-choice brainchild appears to be the innocuously-enough worded ""Reducing the Need for Abortions Initiative."

Recently approved by the House, the bill seeks to fund family planning and pregnancy prevention programs. As I mentioned the other day, that is all well and good, but forgive me if these programs sound like a not so subtle way to continue to vilify abortion. As a repro health and rights advocate, I think it's important to remember that -- for some women -- abortion is their best and only option and we need to respect a woman's right and ability to make that decision. I honestly believe that women have abortions for many reasons (not necessarily purely financial, as some of these initiatives would have us believe) and, even if we disagree with a particular reason, it is still best that each woman decide for herself what is best for her and her future.

Equally frustrating are the incredibly flawed polls that abortion opponents cite to support their contention that the public is conflicted. Everyone of these polls ask if people are opposed to "late-term abortions." The answer -- invariably overwhelmingly yes -- is then used to support the federal abortion ban. The problem with that logic is that -- say it with me -- the federal ban is NOT a ban on late-term abortions; late-term (or third trimester) abortions are already banned in almost every state (with the exception if the mother's life is in danger). The ban actually applies to a safe second trimester abortion that is (umm, was) sometimes necessary to protect a woman's health.

You can bet your life (or health) that, if worded another way, "the public" would support to keep women healthy and alive.


In happier news, this week's Newsweek highlights Danica McKellar (former "Wonder Years" star) and her new book "Math Doesn't Suck," which is meant to encourage girls to actually like math. Taking a different approach from many other Hollywood women, Danica majored in math and wants "to tell girls that cute and dumb isn't as good as cute and smart." Hear, hear!

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