Without abortion rights, poor women suffer

There are no winners when abortion is criminalized — unless you count conservative politicians and embryos. But there are losers.

Local public radio station KQED broadcasted an interesting hour of commentary on abortion rights August 7, one of its regular morning Forum shows. This one was hosted by Scott Shafer, and included Amy Everitt, state director for NARAL Pro-Choice CA speaking for choice and lawyer Jennifer Popick for the anti view.

The show included most of the usual arguments pro and con abortion rights, but one caller raised the issue that ought to be prominent in every news report: it’s poor women who suffer and die when abortion rights are denied. The caller pointed out that well-off women can simply go somewhere else for a safe procedure; women without money or resources have no option but to make desperate and often dangerous attempts to end an unintended, unwanted pregnancy.

I wanted to call in to read a few stories, put a few faces (like my own) on women yesterday and today without reproductive choice, but think it would be hard to do in just an hour.

Retired Presbyterian minister and former theological seminary president Laird Stuart, put it this way after reading Perilous Times: “If you doubt there is a war on women or a war on the poor, listen to the men and women, the boys and girls in this book.”


  1. Homeostasis
    Grow and development
    The creation of waste
    The ability to reproduce itself ( complete set of chromosomes and its own DNA, which were present in neither the ege cell or sperm cell. )
    The above are what biologist used to define life. They are not present before conception but are present at the moment of conception onward until the death of the individual organism. When these cease to be observed rapid entropy can begin to be observed ( death- think of a decomposing corps or a compose pile. ) life begins at conception no serious intellectual would argue to the contrary, only ideologs with a pro abortion agenda.

    1. That’s a thoughtful biological analysis, Sean, and I don’t argue with it. And I’m certainly not “pro-abortion;” I wish it were never necessary. But while I honor your definition of life’s beginning which I presume leads you to oppose abortion under any circumstances, I also honor both Nature – which occasionally causes a fetus to abort for assorted reasons – and the woman with an unintended pregnancy who feels compelled to end it. I think you and I differ mainly on the value of a fetus weighed against the value of a woman. It’s a complex issue. I hope some day we can all focus on ending unintended pregnancies so this philosophical discussion becomes irrelevant.

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