We have written before about how our society blames many of its problems on women and has done so for ages.
Rape, for example, wherever it may occur. If it happens in the military, of course, it is just because women are there -- where they shouldn't be.
Then there is battering. Wouldn't happen if women acted right and behaved themselves. Pregnancy? Women at fault here too. Our culture maintains, against all biological evidence, that women get themselves pregnant ignoring the fact that women are impregnated by men. We see the same attitude in the way society criminalizes "hookers" (women), while ignoring the fact that they would not exist were it not for "johns" (men).
An intelligent being knows that since the beginning of time AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. There is presently, a great bill introduced just last month by Senators Olympia Snowe (R - Maine) and Harry Reid (D - Nevada) that goes right to the heart of preventing many or most abortions without criminalizing a woman or her doctor.
It is so simple, it cries out for passage. COVER CONTRACEPTIVE PRESCRIPTIONS BY HEALTH INSURANCE. Only a very few companies do that now, even though it has been amply shown that there is a connection between available birth control and a reduction in the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Women of reproductive age spend two thirds more than men for health care costs when they must purchase contraception material.
Senator Reid, when introducing the bill, stated, "Insurance companies (typically) cover sterilization and abortion procedures, but they are not covering the cost of prescription contraception. This just doesn't make sense. ... If men were the ones who had to pay for this it would have been covered a long time ago."
It is much worse for women in less-developed countries who lack access to contraception. This causes about 75 million unwanted pregnancies and about 45 million of them results in abortion. Since so many of these abortions are unsafe, 70,000 women die each year.
We in the U.S. used to be a leader in worldwide efforts for reproductive health but now contribute only half as much as Denmark. This is due to anti-choice House members who have once again tied the President's hands by claiming that if the bill passed, the money would be used to subsidize abortions -- even though the U.N. policy explicitly outlaws this use of the funds.
These House members, who are acting under orders of the irreligious right and the foreign leader of the Catholic church, again demonstrate that their goal is not just to criminalize a woman and her doctor, but is focused on prevention of any type of birth control. These members oppose the Snowe/Reid bill.
Public pressure is the only thing that will move this bill along in the Senate. Since the media is ignoring this bill, it is up to everyone to write letters to the editor of their newspapers; alert their representatives in Congress and spread the word to all the women you can reach to do likewise.
Is the opposition to this bill strictly from religions? Not at all, there are many people of various faiths that support this bill. Senator Snowe is a pro-choice Republican of Greek Orthodox faith. Senator Reid is a pro-life Democrat and a devout Mormon.
We also must never forget that another event that contributes to many late term abortions is the constant threat by religious terrorists at women's health clinics. Women, who might otherwise go to these clinics for birth control and information, fear the mobs around these clinics. Instead of preventing an unwanted pregnancy by going to a local clinic early on for a day after pill, some women must now travel to a safe place to terminate a usually late, unwanted pregnancy.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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