BE INFORMED—SAFELY REDUCING ABORTIONS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RESTRICTING ACCESS.
AS A THINKING, CHRISTIAN “PRO-CHOICE” WOMAN I WILL STRESS TO ALL WHO WILL HEAR: THAT THERE IS NOTHING PRO-LIFE ABOUT SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 12 (WHICH PASSED OUT OF THAT CHAMBER TODAY) AND OTHER LAWS THAT WOULD POLICE THE BODIES OF WEST VIRGINIA’S WOMEN AND GIRLS!
Restrictive laws do not reduce abortions but are instead linked to unsafe abortions, which put women at risk of serious health problems and even death. Outlawing abortion simply endangers women.
A 2016 analysis published in the Lancet finds that the average abortion rate in countries where the procedure is outlawed is 37 per 1,000 women, compared to 34 per 1,000 in countries where abortion is legal. In other words, scientists found no evidence that anti-abortion laws do anything to reduce the number of actual procedures women get.
For reference, the national U.S. abortion rate in 2014 was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. The same year the abortion rate in West Virginia was 6.0 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. (Source)
There are known, evidence-based ways to reduce abortions that actually increase a woman’s autonomy over her body, health and well-being — rather than take away her rights and put her in danger.
Please arm yourself with the facts about the three most effective ways to reduce abortions before considering such dogmatic, punitive, UNJUST and OPPRESSIVE measures as SJR 12:
1. When states invest in age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education, teen pregnancy rates go down.
Misplaced priorities that focus exclusively on “the unborn” not only demean and endanger women and teen girls, but neglect the plight of all of West Virginia’s “post-delivery” babies and children who rank 47th in the U.S. in overall child well-being.
According to 2016 Kids Count data:
• One in ten West Virginia babies are low birth weight.
• Over 23% live in poverty.
• Forty percent are covered by Medicaid.
• Thirteen percent of children have mothers with less than a 12th grade education.
• One child in 30 is a victim of abuse.
West Virginia’s most improved Kids Count child well-being indicator—perhaps West Virginia’s greatest ACTUAL PRO-LIFE achievement—has been the huge reduction in its rate of uninsured women and children in 2015, largely due to the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families
Restrictive laws and constitutional amendments that both discount the professional judgment of and endanger the careers of doctors will have negative impacts on overall infant, woman and maternal health in West Virginia:
Given the facts, those who “hate abortion,” but consider medically-accurate, age-appropriate sex education and freely available contraception as morally objectionable may want to do their own soul-searching: “Am I more concerned with policing the bodies of women and girls than advancing solutions that are actually shown to reduce abortions and promote healthy infants, women and children in West Virginia?”
I await your response.
Raising our voices
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