Thursday, December 8, 2016

Call to Action: Protect Women's Reproductive Rights!!!

The Ohio state legislature, earlier this week, passed a bill that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, essentially banning abortion after just 6 weeks.  This is a direct attack on women's reproductive rights.  I realize this is a controversial issue, but it's important enough for me to bring up on this science themed blog, and there is science involved if you'll bear with me for a moment.  

The bill has not yet been passed into law as it requires the signature of the Ohio governor, John Kasich.  Kasich is very much pro-life but has stated in the past that he does not welcome an automatic lawsuit.  Very similar bills were passed in recent years by North Dakota and Arkansas and soon ruled unconstitutional, costing taxpayers an unnecessary loss of taxpayer money.  If Kasich signs this bill into law there will most certainly be a lawsuit that will hopefully also be ruled unconstitutional.  Hopefully it doesn't come to this and Kasich vetoes the bill, although the legislature could push for an override of the veto.

If women's reproductive rights are important to you, I strongly urge you to call Governor's Kasich's office (616-466-3555).

There's a web form to send a letter, but making phone calls, even if you have to leave a message, is MUCH more effective.  When making your call be polite, state your name and location, even if it isn't Ohio, and state your concern.  The bill number in question is HB 493.  

So where is the science in this subject?  For starers, there is much anti-science in the push to ban abortion.  State legislatures across the country have passed or tried to pass bills that require mandatory ultrasounds, in some cases vaginal ultrasounds, a completely unnecessary political procedure.  They've passed or tried to pass bills requiring doctors to say that abortions are reversible, increase one's risk of cancer, increase one's risk of abortion-related death, etc.  None of this is supported by science.  NONE!  In fact, a mother is much more likely to die during childbirth than during an abortion procedure.  

I know of no one who wants more abortion.  This is an issue of women's reproductive rights.  Banning abortion doesn't stop abortion.  It pushes women into seeking unsafe abortions.  The result is many more women dying.  We know this to be the case as abortion was banned in the U.S. prior to Roe vs. Wade in the 1970s.  There is a safe way to reduce the number of abortions and that is quality sex education in schools.  Yet the same people trying to ban abortion are demanding that abstinence only sex education be taught in schools.  That isn't sex education.  That's sex denial.  Teenagers are going to have sex regardless of whether they are told not to.  It is our duty as parents and as a society to teach safe sex practices.  This will reduce abortions and sexually transmitted disease.  Education is our best tool to reduce abortion.  There will always be a need for abortion, but quality sex education can drastically reduce the rate of abortion in this country.  

Barring a federal ban on abortion, bills such as these, even if they are passed, will not have a direct affect on me.  If my daughters ever find themselves in a position to need an abortion, I will be there to support them 100%.  If that's paying for funeral expenses for a fetus (an actual law in Texas!!!), driving across multiple states to find an abortion clinic, spending money in hotels to satisfy mandatory wait laws, etc., I will do that.  We have the means to pay.  Others do not.  As a result I will fight attacks on women such as this in every way that I can and I hope that you will too.  Sitting silent while our mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, wives, girlfriends, and all women have to suffer the consequences of these draconian laws is NOT ACCEPTABLE!

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