Where There's a Will...

Before I really get into the gist of this article, I'm going to define a few terms here for you— or more accurately, tell you how I think they should be defined. That's currently not how they're used, but it should be, in my humble opinion.

  • Pro-life: someone who supports an end to abortion but also supports a woman's right to choose, and who is against capital punishment.
  • Pro-choice: someone who supports a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion and who may or may not personally approve of abortion. No indication of their stand on capital punishment.
  • Anti-choice: someone who supports an end to abortion, does not support a woman's right to choose, but supports— or at the very least doesn't care about— capital punishment.
  • Pro-abortion: someone who supports a woman's right to choose and personally supports abortion. No indication of their stand on capital punishment.

Now at least you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about when I use these definitions in the article that follows.

I read an article that first appeared in the "Omaha World-Herald". It was reprinted in our local paper under the title "Court bows to condom cult". Four parents decided they didn't want the school their kids attended to sell condoms in a vending machine in the restrooms. But to read the article, it sounded as if every parent in the school objected and the Supreme Court ignored them all by allowing the practice to continue.

This is just one example of how a minority sect of people are attempting to mislead the American people into believing they are the victims of a sex-craved, amoral, godless court system. It's also proof that the media is not, as radical right wingers would have you believe, "liberal". (That's a whole new article that I'm not going to get into here: suffice it to say the media follows the money.)

Having condoms in a vending machine isn't forcing these parents' kids to buy them. A vending machine isn't encouraging sex— it's a machine! It can't encourage anything! It is simply providing those who have no other means of acquiring this most fundamental form of birth control with a means to do so. Would these parents who object prefer that young men engage in unprotected sex and then have the young girl get an abortion? Girls are physically maturing earlier these days— and this entails an increased curiosity about sex. That's just nature. It's obvious these kids can't talk to their parents about it— the parents choose to hide their head in the sand and pretend there is no problem. I applaud the Supreme Court decision and if the parents object, let them send their kids to a private school. Do they really think that's going to stop them from having sex? It will simply prevent them from having access to birth control— unless they go into their old school and go to the vending machines.

Another article ran on the "morning-after" birth control pill— a misnomer, since they can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. They prevent ovulation or prevent an egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus. I'm virtually positive the ant-choice people won't find this an acceptable alternative either. The fact that untold numbers of fertilized eggs do the same thing every day doesn't seem to matter. We're told by those in the anti-choice movement (at least I am) that they're not seeking to outlaw abortion but to find alternatives. Yet the only alternatives they will accept is to give birth or to not engage in sex. Not a big choice.

The reason this form of birth control isn't very popular is because no one is allowed to advertise it as "morning-after" pills (also called ECPs— emergency contraceptive pills) because the combination of medications has not been tested specifically for this purpose in this country. A doctor can legally prescribe it for this purpose, but it can't be advertised as such. I'm willing to bet that it's not one of the alternatives given to those who seek counseling regarding "crisis" pregnancies. In order to get FDA approval for this specific purpose, the manufacturers would have to spend many years and millions of dollars despite the fact that it's been used like this for years with few side effects.[And that is exactly what they had to do.]

According to an article in the "National NOW Times," family planning experts estimate this form of birth control could prevent 1.7 million unplanned pregnancies every year. Holland, which routinely uses the "morning-after" pills, has an abortion rate only about one fifth that of the United States. The success rate of this method is 70-80%. Which means there could be a 70-80% drop in abortions.

The anti-choice movement has also lobbied long and hard to prevent the use of RU486 in this country. [Note: This has now changed since this article was written. In fact, the FDA just approved an ECP that works up to five days after unprotected sex.] Called an abortion drug by these groups, it actually works very much like the ECPs if taken within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex. A study in Scotland that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported a zero failure rate and none of the side effects of other ECPs.

The irony of this entire debate is that nature has provided us with its very own ECP. For the last several centuries, the women of Sri Lanka and India have used papaya in the same manner as an ECP. Eaten once a day for a week, menstruation begins with no side effects. Maybe the anti-choice group will find this an acceptable alternative. But I seriously doubt it.

The point of this article? The goal should not be to ban abortion or to make the rest of the country believe what the anti-choice groups believe. The goal should be to eliminate the NEED for abortion. To that end, we must address the issues that make abortion necessary.

  • We must find a way to stop domestic violence (which includes a lot of marital rape and child sexual abuse.
  • We need to improve reporting and prosecution of rape, date rape and other crimes against women that result in unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.
  • We need to restructure the welfare system so that it works as it was originally designed to do: provide families in crisis with the means to get through the crisis and get off of welfare. It has become a trap that, once in, it's often impossible to get out of without endangering the health and safety of one's children and often holds families in poverty rather than helping them get out of it.
  • We have to teach our kids how to have safe sex. Yes, we should teach that abstinence is the best policy until you're ready to be a parent and ready to be in a committed relationship— not on moral grounds but for health reasons. Women with more than five sexual partners have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer. STD's are so easy to catch if you don't use protection. And being a mom at 14 is not a fun or easy thing to do. The adults of this world need to remember what it was like to be a teen and how difficult it can be to just say no or to walk away from a hot date. We can encourage them to say no, but we also have to teach them how to be safe if they say yes.
  • We need to offer them REAL alternatives to abortion, like ECP's and RU486. Adoption is not really an option if you want to give your child the best possible chance at a good life and your baby is anything but a healthy white newborn.
The simple fact of the matter is that women who don't want to have a baby when they discover they're pregnant will find a way to end that pregnancy— legally or otherwise. And kids who want to have sex will do so— protected or unprotected. Where there's a will, there's a way. Let's make it OUR will to end the need for abortion.

Email me with your questions or requests for informationBack to the Article Index

©1998-2013 Rainbow's End Press
All graphics on all pages are created by Rainbow's End Press unless noted otherwise. Written permission from Rainbow's End Press must be secured for use of any graphics contained on these pages. For problems with this website, please email the webmistress.