Once performed in back alleys and in filthy privies with coat hangers and mugwort, to attempt an abortion was to take your life in your hands. Now, abortion is a largely safe medical technique. While always hotly contested by religious conservatives, it is still legal in Indiana and is safely available to more women now than at any other time in history.
Thankfully, I've never been in the position of needing to consider abortion as an option, but hats off to all those who have been faced with that impossible decision, regardless of the fork in the road they chose. Who's to say how I might feel if I did walk a mile in those shoes? Perhaps my "everything happens for a reason" outlook would be solidified... or maybe it would crumble. I have no actual idea. At this point, I can only speculate.
I can also speculate – I believe, far more easily – on how any woman who is considering abortion as an option feels walking into a clinic when those awful rabid sign-shaking activists are out front, frothing at the mouth and screaming at her that she is a whore or a murderer. You've seen them. They carry large billboard-sized placards with blown up photos of aborted babies. I know I find them traumatizing, and I'm not even the one walking into the clinic. Those religious types sure do keep it way classy. ('Cause that's what Jesus would do.)
Not you, not I, nor anyone else has the right to criticize any woman for what must be the most difficult and heart-wrenching choice she's ever likely to make. She's been through enough without my offering two cents more than she's likely able to carry.
And do those religious nuts with the signs really believe they're getting anywhere? Planned Parenthood has been in the business of educating women and enhancing their reproductive health for nearly a century. They inform women about their choices and they provide birth control in order to PREVENT the abortions that would otherwise occur. According to their website, Planned Parenthood helps at least 80 percent of its patients prevent pregnancy. Only 3 percent of the services they provide have anything to do with abortion. A ring-wing ultra-nut will believe wholeheartedly that they simply are in the business of abortion – or even that they promote it — but it's just not true. I can't imagine any doctor, as supportive as he or she may be to a patient, is ever happy to perform an abortion.
The Indiana State Department of Health just concluded an investigation launched after a video was leaked that was less than flattering for PP. The ISDH has confirmed that all three Indiana facilities that perform abortions pass muster and that there is nothing untoward going on. It has also been confirmed that any video "evidence" to the contrary was doctored so as to appear far more damning than it actually was.
Even so, Pence has stated that he supports a decrease of funding to Planned Parenthood.
And why wouldn't he? That sounds like a Pence-choice to me. He doesn't like abortion, so he'll happily decrease funding to an institution whose main goal is to educate and prevent pregnancy — so that abortion isn't even necessary.
But then, I think it's been proven that common sense is not our governor's strong suit.
Way to maintain the status quo, Gov.