The topic of abortion is probably the most controversial political issue that exists today. Opinions range all the way from abortions on
demand to outright prohibition in all cases no matter what. These two polar opposites could be at each other’s throats until the end of time. Is there any way we could arrive at a solution that would satisfy both sides?
This past April 30, the Alabama House passed the most extreme anti-abortion bill in United States history with a 73 to 4 vote. On May 14, the Senate passed it 25 to 6. Governor Kay Ivey signed it the next day. Virtually all abortions would be outlawed, and any doctor who performed one would be charged with a class A felony—up to 99 years in prison. Exceptions were minuscule. Not even rape or incest would be allowed. Imagine a woman who had been brutally raped being forced to propagate the rapist’s genetics for another generation.
Of course, this law is not enforceable. Current federal law overrules it. Nevertheless, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and women’s groups are proposing legal challenges just in case.
For decades, instead of seeking rational objectives, the mindsets of typical politicians are that if “Big Brother” imposed enough penalties and punishment, problems of all descriptions would grind to a halt. But that is not going to happen—not with the economy, not with peace keeping, not with health care, and not with abortions. Even if we sentenced half of our doctors to life without parole and scared the other half out of even thinking about it, underground and primitive do it yourself coat hanger jobs will take their places.
Unfortunately, abortions—like obesity, heart attacks, and automobile accidents—cannot be completely stamped out. A certain number will occur regardless of efforts to punish them.
However, we can minimize the number of abortions to a small fraction of what we have today—without the radical, overbearing proposals in this legislation.
Stop and think why women choose to have abortions. They suffered traumatic unplanned pregnancies. That’s it. That’s the only reason. If people did not have unplanned pregnancies, there would be no abortions.
So instead of punishing women and their doctors, why don’t we go after the source of the problem? Go all out to prevent unplanned pregnancies, and especially teenage pregnancies.
Abstinence, of course, is the preferred procedure to prevent unwanted pregnancy (as well as syphilis, gonorrhea, AIDS, and other infections). But unfortunately, the sex drive in many young men overpowers their self-control. Consequently, they give in to terrible temptations.
Only a few decades ago, unplanned pregnancies were infrequent, and when one occurred, it was considered a serious embarrassment to a family. As a result, abortions were infrequent. Today, many more children are raised in one parent families, and some with no natural parents. The teaching of discipline and abstinence is largely inadequate and sometimes missing altogether. Adults, teens, and even pre teens are now much more promiscuous. And the social stigma of past years has essentially disappeared. Consequently, unplanned pregnancies have soared, and so have abortions.
How do we deal with this problem? For starters, make sure that all forms of contraception are readily available to everybody—over the counter, without prescriptions or any other constraints. Contraception is the backup that stops the tragedy of reckless child bearing, and also abortions.
Provide sex education to all teens and pre-teens. Teach them about the horrors faced by youngsters who can’t even take care of themselves bearing children they obviously can’t support. Teach them how to use all forms of contraceptives and how to use several each time to provide multiple layers of protection.
We have passed many new laws to outlaw abortions, including the one just mentioned. Like the others, it will likely be invalidated in the Supreme Court. Litigation will cost the Alabama taxpayers millions of dollars—enough to provide contraception for thousands. And in the unlikely event it might slip past the courts, would it really do any good?
Everybody has heard the old quote—“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That is the rational way to deal with abortion. Prevent the pregnancies, and the abortions will never happen.
2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alabama-abortion-doctors-could- face-up-to-99-years-in-jail-in-newly-approved-state-abortion- ban/?intcid=CNI-00-10aaa3b