One hundred years ago, the temperance movement forced Congress to pass the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. This prohibited alcoholic beverages. It was a monumental failure since people found ways to break the law. It was repealed in 1933 when Congress people got tired of bootleggers and people making gin in their own homes. One study found that alcoholism actually rose when drinking was illegal!

Now, 100 years later, we seem to be in the same situation. Some people, who believe abortion is murder, are trying to force Congress to pass a law prohibiting abortion.

When it was illegal (and is illegal in some states today), people found ways to get around or break the law. When a pregnancy endangers the mother, forcing her to carry the fetus to term may kill them both. When the fetus has health issues that will last its lifetime, forcing its birth may cause problems (financial, psychological and emotional) which will result in resentment and possible abuse. If the parent(s) can’t afford another mouth to feed, abuse and neglect follow.

If you make abortion illegal, many women in these situations will find a way to get an abortion anyway. If they can afford it, they will go where abortion is legal. If they can't afford it, they will go to someone who doesn't mind breaking the law. These people who perform illegal abortions may not have clean, sterile equipment, which can result in infection/or bleed out and the woman's death. Some women forced to carry to term left the baby in a dumpster or out in the woods.

If abortion is murder, making abortion illegal is (direct or indirect) murder. Every woman who dies in childbirth, from a “back-alley” abortion, or from a botched abortion is (indirect) murder. Every woman who starves to death from trying to feed her children is another (indirect) murder by antiabortionists. Making abortion illegal also puts the health care workers at risk. Many have been harassed, injured and even murdered by Christians who believe abortion is murder.

Instead of making abortion illegal, let's trust women and their doctors to make thoughtful, careful decisions to protect both the woman and her fetus as much as possible. Let’s pass laws which allow abortion until the fetus can live outside the womb on its own. Let’s elect people who will ensure the health of women! Let’s elect people who will stop the (direct and indirect) murder of women and healthcare workers!

NANCY BRADBEE

Chinook

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