Monday, March 26, 2007

PI Editorial Board Insults and Intimidates Women

P.I. Editorial Board Doesn’t Speak for this Woman

After reading your editorial on Wednesday, March 21, Abortion: Insulting Women, as a post abortive woman and local speaker for Silent No More Awareness (SNMA), I was insulted by the P.I, editorial board. I regret my abortion in this state in 1971 when I was an 18 year old university student.

As a matter of fact, most women ask for all relevant information before making any decision, especially health care, with the exception of abortion and contraception. We blindly accept taking pills, patches, emergency contraception and abortion without asking much of anything in the way of current or long term medical affects to us and I have done it for several decades myself. It is insulting to suggest that women don’t need or want accurate medical information.

I wish I had had some of this “insulting unnecessary information” provided by an ultrasound, of my baby’s beating heart at 18 days after conception. Maybe I wouldn’t have believed it was only a blob of cells at 12 weeks after conception. Maybe I would have been told about the risks and side effects of abortion, so when I suffered a miscarriage, anorexia and clinical depression and other problems, I would have recognized them as the after affects of a past abortion and sought help. As for the pricey ultrasounds, there are crisis pregnancy centers that offer them by qualified, trained, and licensed medical personnel.

Of course, I suspect your argument isn’t so much about money, as it is about not wanting a woman to see the truth of a little human being (fetus, Latin for little one) in her womb and facing reality. I am here to tell you from personal painful experience that keeping a secret of shame for a past abortion for decades is much more traumatic than being shown what your child looks like in the womb.

Through speaking with SNMA, I and others tell people what abortion is really like and how we got swept up in the moment and made a quick uninformed decision and how to begin to heal from the experience. As for the lack of necessity for additional regulation, (“It's not like the state doesn't already have laws regulating abortions”), Washington State has no such restrictions because of a 1992 state law, which ensured a woman’s right to abortion, whether Roe v. Wade stands or falls. Washington has constitutional language interpreted by courts as protecting a woman’s right to end her pregnancy, throughout the entire pregnancy up to the moments before birth.

In 1970, four states -- Alaska, Hawaii, New York and Washington -- adopted the most liberal laws in the country, allowing a woman to have an abortion whenever she and her doctor decided it was needed, including mine in 1971 and I never actually talked to a doctor, unless you want to count the abortionist, while performing the procedure, telling me that it was too late to change my mind. Your editorial appeared to me as a veiled attempt at intimidation and deception to suggest to women that somehow what is being considered in other states would have an effect on the women of Washington.

An informed woman is an empowered woman, so women should study up on what our state actually allows. Let’s give women access to necessary medically accurate information, including ultrasounds and what happens during an abortion procedure and the risks involved and then the time to absorb it, so that she truly can make an informed, unrushed decision.

Most young women especially, make an abortion decision out of lack of information, lack of emotional and financial support from the man involved, parental pressure, abortion clinic pressure to get it done as soon as possible or lack of confidence in themselves and their perceived inability to take care of a baby. To limit any information and to keep women vulnerable to intimidation by others, including this editorial board, under the guise of concern for women is well, just insulting.
Deborah Schneider


Anonymous said...

Thank you Deborah for your letter to the PI and thank you Mary, for blogging it here.

Blessings -

Mary E. said...

I think the PI is going to publish it. I'll keep you posted.