To the Editor at NY Times:
The abortion rate here is “downright chilling” as the Archbishop says.
While I consider myself a feminist, I do not share NOW’s zeal for abortion. The conference protestors chanted “we’re here to say, family planning is OK.” But abortion is not family planning, contraception is. Abortion should be available but it is not interchangeable with contraception, not practically and not ethically. I had an abortion in my younger years, and it is no cake walk. Young women are taught that abortion is as emotional as pulling a tooth. This is a disservice to them.
Whether or not a woman is happy about making this choice, no woman prefers it, not even a feminist. There can be no doubt that many who wish to be mothers “someday” choose abortion due to economic hardship and the knowledge that this nation has insufficient safety net benefits. Nationally, there are twenty four states that withhold financial help from the babies of mothers who become pregnant on public assistance, and instead refer those women to a family planning clinic. This is code for sending them to an abortion clinic. Thankfully, New York is not one of them, at least not for now.
A woman deserves to have a full range of choices, including the right to contraception, the right to abort, AND the right to continue her pregnancy knowing that there is a safety net that will meet her and her baby’s basic needs. At this point in time, she only has the first two.