When Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, I did the happy dance. It meant fewer women would lose scholarships and drop out of college. It meant no more deaths from back alley abortions. In 73, I had my own pregnancy scare. I was using birth control religiously, but I missed a period. Turned out to be a false alarm,. but I now knew that ROe v. Wade applied to MY life, too.
My first job, at age 24, was as a research assistant in the state office of Midwestern legislature. My job was to gather information pro-actively on topics that the legislators would have to deal with. I intelligently concluded in 1973, that abortion would be one of those topics. I collected info from both sides. One of the interesting things I learned--and forced several pro-life Congressional and Senate staffers to admit--is that an amendment or law defining life as beginning at the moment of conception would effectively ban all hormonal forms of birth control--the Pill, the Patch, Plan B--because they prevent implantation in the uterus, which effectively kills that fertilized ovum--thereby making them a form of abortion. This doesn't get mentioned very often, but it's true.
A surprisingly large number of people here have been cheerfully willing to vote for a pro-life Democrat as a ploy to get back the house and Senate. Actually I am not that surprised--some Dems have been willing to sell out women since the day George McGovern chose to leave the abortion plank out of his platform ( I voted for Howdy Doody that year in protest). I am not among them. Abortion isn't the right of a special interest group--it's a WOMAN'S right, and we are a majority of the country, and a majority of Democrats.
Personally, I believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Prevention is a far better solution. While I am firmly pro-choice, I do acknowledge that a potential human life is involved, and it's not something to be done lightly. But what those of you who are eager to jettison NARAL don't seem to get, is that many pro-lifers aren't content with just banning abortion. Nope. They want all hormonal birth control and the IUD banned. They want abstinence-only sex education. They want a complete about face on women's reproductive health issues. They want their views of sexual morality--sex before marriage is evil--to govern everyone else. If they achieve their goals, the teen pregnancy rate will skyrocket and there will be many back alley abortions which will cause the deaths of desperate women or cost them their fertility because of a botched abortion.
As it stands now, 32 atates have laws requiring biased anti-abortion counseling (some of which require providing inaccurate information like the disproven link between abortion and breast cancer) and or mandatory delays between counseling and the actual procedure in place. This means that , in many states where only a handful of clinics or doctors perform abortions, women have to pay the cost of an overnight stay as well s the cost of the abortion. Fifteen states still have abortion bans on the books. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, these laws could conceivably go back into effect. In 2004 12 more states considered passing such bans. While an article in the 10/2 NY Times says that even a complete ban wouldn't send women to back alley abortions, but rather to using misoprostol, an ulcer drug used widely abroad for abortions, I suspect that state laws would ban that as well.
Is this what we want to happen? As a liberal Democratic woman, I say it isn't. And if you are willing to toss out the right to abortion because it caters to a "special interest group," what's next?