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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Day to Choose

I used to be a single-issue voter.

Back in my more conservative days. Even when I started getting more liberal. My issue was abortion. I saw it as a tragedy for the baby and a tragedy for the mother for abortion to continue to be legal in the US.

I still think that abortion is a tragedy. It always is a tragedy. There are other tragedies, too.

Like a mother choosing abortion because she doesn't have adequate health care to cover her pregnancy.

Like a mother choosing abortion because she doesn't have an income that will support a baby.

Like a mother choosing abortion because she has pre-existing health conditions and has children already, and no insurer will insure her and she has to think about being there to mother the children who are already born. And feeding those children who are already born.

It comes down to this: how do we treat mothers in this country? Do mothers feel supported? I changed my mind completely on whether abortion should be legal. I now support fully legalized abortion. Because I think there are better ways than laws to address tragedies. Or perhaps I think that different laws can address this tragedy much better than just illegalizing it.

And I think that some of the policies that we hold in this country make for tragedies. Obama is being accused of being a socialist, but I have socialist leanings (I may even be a full-fledged socialist) and I can tell you, he is not a socialist. But he wants to work to make big companies that are currently running the show accountable for their actions. He wants to help out those of us in the middle class. I hope he will also make policies that will help the lowest-income folks, too, but middle class seems to be what his focus is. I don't think his health care proposal goes nearly far enough, and I am hoping against hope that it won't fail miserably because it doesn't address the root issue: private insurance. How did we get to this place, where insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are running health care? People who are trained medical professionals don't call the shots. Those who are making big money off health care are. And are buying off the medical professionals.

Just watch Sicko for a view of what could be different.

So, abortion. I think things can be different. Will women still choose abortion if we have better services and fully support women? Yes, of course. But it is my belief that more women will not choose abortion when there are true choices for them to make.

This woman chooses Obama for president. And chooses not to be a single-issue voter any more.

Please vote! Today is the day! Make your voice heard. I turned in my ballot on Friday and Paul is turning his in right now. :-)


Mimi said...


My vote is in as well. And, I got a free Starbucks!

mariagwyn said...

A thoughtful, measured comment on the complexity of a seemingly simple moral issue. Nice! And I too hope against hope that maybe Obama will really challenge the health industry in this country, and insist on universal access to preventative health care (as well as all the rest...).

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

We have *completely free ante-natal, intra-partum and post-partum health care* and free abortions here.

We also have a very comprehensive system of state benefits, under which unmarried mothers get very preferential treatment over married couples with children; so much so that my brother in law and his girlfriend and their four children were infinitely better off financially, with a much better standard of living than we are, though we are also with four children but my husband works for a living :-)

In 2004 there were 185,400 abortions, which is a rise of 2.1% over the previous year, and 82% of these were done on the National Health Service. Some chose to go private for faster service/better privacy.

There were 639,721 live births the same year.

Free point of access health care and state support is not significantly reducing UK abortion rates, sadly..............

Magpie Ima said...

Thanks for this post, Elizabeth. There's more I am trying to say, but it's not working. So...thank you.