Ruthless Rules of Reality: Part 1 (of 3) The Surprising Story of how Abortion was made Illegal or Unattainable as a political strategy to win elections:

by faithgibson on June 10, 2019

in Women's Reproductive Rights

Me in traditional Mennonite “plain dress” and head covering. I still dress ‘plain’, but usually wear a scarf instead of the traditional organdy head cover, or let my long braids down.

Easy-to-share link: https://tinyurl.com/y6dhnl5k

Each time I download a new Audible.com book, a pleasant and cheerful voice says “The parts of this book have been broken up to make the download easier”.

So I am reformating an essay originally posted March 16th, 2019 into three parts to make it easier to ‘downloading’ to your brain.

♣ ♣ ♥ ♣ ♣

Each part has a TinyURL of its own at the very top of the page.

Here also is a TinyURL for the really long version, should anyone want to swallow it whole or find it easier to search or use for reference.  http://tinyurl.com/y6jpguf2

Last (and probably least) is the TinyURL to the more detailed and political part of the story. It’s on another of my websites, one that deals primarily with issues of civic virtue, constitutional questions and several ideas for making our democratic republic work again. https://tinyurl.com/y6bpyw7f

Enjoy!


Forward:

Pregnancy – planned or unplanned – is a gender issue that originates with the male of the species.

The way to eliminate non-medical abortions is to stop the problem at its source — the end of the penis of the man who is about to father a baby.

Since we know this social & ethical problem originates with men, the cure is both simple and effective:

“If you don’t want to raise a baby, then don’t ejaculate in a woman’s birth canal! “

This eliminates the complicated issue of unwanted pregnancies, which simultaneously eliminates the need for abortion services, and best of all, gets male legislators, judges and US Supreme Court Justices out of the business of legislating and criminalizing abortion services.


Every baby has a birthright to be a welcomed, well-cared for child that makes his or her parents happy and proud. A happy childhood is the best preparation for becoming a healthy, happy and productive citizen ^O^

~ 1920 to 1971 ~

Surprising Facts: 51 years of positive Republican politics on:

1. Family planning services
2. Safe and legal abortion services
3. Women’s reproductive rights


This post is the second half of a political report first posted my “We The People” website.

Recap of Part I: The previous post told a very different political story about the Women’s Equal Rights movement and publicly-financed access to effective contraception and safe abortion as a regulated medical service.

These policies were not something that originated with, was promoted by, or even supported by the Democratic Party.

Before the 1980s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and access to women’s reproductive health services (including contraception and safe legal abortions services) were NOT partisan issues, except to note that historically, Republicans offered more support for the ERA, family planning, Planned Parenthood, and safe abortions services than the Democrats.

Political support for Planned Parenthood began in the 1920s with Republicans substantially outnumbering Democrats.

In the 1950s, notable conservatives like Barry Goldwater and his wife served on the board of their local office of Planned Parenthood, signaling that family planning was, politically speaking, a “family value“.

Legalizing access to contraception as provided by Planned Parenthood was broadly supported by both doctors and clergymen.

In 1960, Planned Parenthood’s Clergymen’s National Advisory Council issued a statement titled “The Ethics of Family Planning“. It described family planning as fulfilling “the will of God” by allowing “married couples to enjoy intercourse for the sake of love”.

When efforts to legalize abortion first began in the 1960s, it was not spearheaded by women’s rights organizations but the doctors, lawyers, and clergymen that ran Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood, legal abortion, and Title X were all supported by none other than and Republicans Barry Goldwater, and former presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Politicizing female biology for Partisan Gain:

GOP wages war on women’s reproductive issues for 57 years as a partisan strategy to win elections

The partisan demonizing and subsequent dismantling of legal abortion began during Nixon’s first term. In 1971, senior White House adviser, speechwriter, and right-wing conservative Pat Buchanan told the president that his prospects for re-election would be dramatically improved:

“if the President should publicly take his stand against abortion, as offensive to his own moral principles.”

Buchanan, who’d been born into an Irish Catholic family of nine and was the recipient of 12 years of parochial schooling, explained to Nixon that abortionhad become “a rising issue and a gut issue for Catholics“.

Buchanan pointed out that opposing legalized abortion would guarantee him the vote of Roman Catholics and Christian conservatives, as well as their support in perpetuity for the Republican Party.

Both men knew that Nixon didn’t actually oppose lawful abortion. Just two years earlier – 1969 — Nixon had happily signed Title X. This is a federal law that funds family planning services, contraceptives and safe legal abortions for low-income women, members of the military and their dependents both in the US and when serving abroad.

Nonetheless, Nixon quickly jettisoned his previous support of abortion and enthusiastically embraced Pat Buchanan political advice by adopting the Catholic Church’s position on abortion — that human life begins with conception — and publically presenting himself as a ‘born-again’ anti-abortion convert who was staunchly ‘pro-life’.

In his public statement later that same week, he described his:

personal belief in the sanctity of human life — including the life of the yet unborn.”

Unfortunately, the political hypocrisy of Nixon’s public statement was revealed in 1973, when he was caught on tape saying:

There are times when abortions are necessary

Then Nixon went on to mention a pregnancy resulting from sex between “a black and a white” a reason why abortion would be “necessary”.

(ref# 24; These TruthsA History of the United States by J. Lepore, 2018).

If interested the broader political background and details, the Tiny URL below takes you to the original (longer) version

https://tinyurl.com/y6bpyw7f  


Part Two

The GOP decided to make abortion illegal or unattainable as a political strategy to win elections.

That means wealthy women win, while poor women lose, as well as their families and the rest of society. 

I cannot continue this part of the story without truthfully describing the actual reality of illegal abortions, facts that I lived with as an ER nurse in a busy hospital in the years beforeRoe v. Wade.

Simply making abortion illegal and unsafe did not mean that abortions didn’t occur, just that they were dangerous illegal back-alley procedures sought out by desperate women andperformed by people that didn’t know what they were doing.

Bungled abortions included unwashed hands and unsterile instruments; both dramatically increased the risk of virulentinfection or torrential hemorrhage that ended in death or disaster for the mother.

All About the Money: Abortions for the Rich and Famous ~ Easy-peasy!

The first and most fundamental truth about anti-abortion laws in the US is economic, that is, wealthy and/or well-connected women have absolutely NO problem getting an unwanted pregnancy lawfully and safely terminated.

These wealthy women just get on a plane and fly off to another state or country where abortion is lawful. That ‘choice’ also provides these economically secure women access to a well-staffed clinic or hospital and well-trained professionals who have the knowledge, skills, sterile equipment and access to emergency resources that virtually assures a safe outcome.

But the benefits of wealth are not restricted to women alone, as the men who impregnated them directly benefit from their ability – via wealth — to have these inconvenient problems just ‘go away’ almost as if by magic.

Newspapers occasionally run stories about right-wing conservatives — US  Senators, Congressmen or high-ranking political operatives — who quietly arranged and paid for a legal abortion for a mistress or Paramore. Obviously permitting his girlfriend to give birth to his baby would have created a scandal and threatened his career. So he was delighted to pony up the bucks to fly his sweetie off to someplace that, for a price, would quietly and safely relieve him of this burden.

Odd thing, but in the 45 years since Roe v Wade became the law of the land (1973), I’ve never heard a single anti-abortion activist mention this loophole for the wealthy. Nor have I heard any of them suggest the passage of laws that would prohibit women of childbearing age from off flying to countries with legal abortion services unless they firstprovided the airline with a certified copy a negative pregnancy test performed within the previous 24 hours.

I can only assume that millions of anti-abortion activists believe safe legal abortions are OK for wealthy women, but not for ordinary American women of limited means.

Abortion for the not-rich, not well-connected, very ordinary & often very desperate women of limited means

While we tend to think of abortion as mainly a problem for teenage girls and single women, the vast majority of women that seek abortion services already have families of several other children.

When illegal abortions go wrong, they leave orphaned children behind.

My role as an ER nurse brought me face to face with terribly disturbing realities that most anti-abortion activists are unaware of, or they knowingly refuse consider.

For example, ER nurses can tell that a botched-abortion patient has been admitted to the unit by the putrid and fulminating smell of sepsis. At this stage of a virulent infection, the fetus would have already died. If the mother was very lucky, the permanent damage would only be irreversible infertility, since this kind of pelvic infection eats up her fallopian tubes and ruins her ovaries.

If unlucky, she would also die a painful and miserable death from the infection.

Funny thing, but when pregnant women die as a result of a botched abortion — whether self-induced or at the dirty hands of a back alley butcher — the UNBORN BABY always DIES as well.

For anyone who wants to save unborn fetuses, I’m here to tell you that making abortions illegal does not accomplish this goal, no matter how well-intended you might be.

Me peeking over my mom’s shoulder at my brand new little brother Roger born Jan 26, 1949

Making abortion illegal in the US, which is to say unattainable — whether the barriers are financial or geographical, disproportionately targets poor women with many other children or very young women without an independent income.

Often these are single mothers who are the family’s sole support. When they die from a botched abortion, their children are orphaned and become wards of the State.

This demographic of not-rich women cannot afford to drive or fly to another state or country to access legal and safe medical services. And for the same economic reasons, these demographic groups of women canleast afford to lose their job due to pregnancy or the need to care for a newborn.

A different but no less disturbing reality of our crazy abortion laws are the changes made to Title X some years ago by a GOP-dominated Congress

When Title X was first passed (and signed by President Nixon) it specifically authorized medical facilities run by the US Armed Forces to provide safe abortions services to members of the military and their family.

But Several years ago, a Republican-dominated Congress amended this federal law in an “across the board” prohibition of abortions services under all circumstances. It denies funding to women’s health clinics overseas if they so much as provide information to the mother about where she can find safe and legal services.

This restriction also applies to military doctors and prohibits them from providing abortion services when the fetus has birth defects incompatible with life, such as anencephaly (absence of the brain). These mothers are forced choose between (a) an out-of-pocket expense over $10,000 OR (b) enduring their doomed pregnancy for 9 months, while the family lives every day with the knowledge that the baby will be stillborn, die at birth or shortly after.

Cracking Some Eggs: Illogical anti-abortion politics,  IVF & ‘disposal’ of fertilized eggs

Previous post:

Next post: