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Sarah Daley: If you don’t support choice, then support women and children

Terry McLaughlin meant well in her column “Roe v. Wade’s future,” but her solution of ending abortion by changing “the hearts of America and American culture” will not work.

Those in the pro-choice movement do care about life. They just recognize how complicated the situation is for a woman to end her pregnancy by having an abortion.

Until the members of the pro-life movement actively work to eliminate the reasons why a pregnancy is unwanted, women will still have abortions. They will just not be safe, and women could be injured or killed during the process.

Please also recognize that wealthy women who need abortions will always be able to do so, while those who are already poor will not, thereby entrapping them further in poverty.

If Ms. McLaughlin and her pro-life members want to end abortions, then they have to:

1. End violence against women. Since rape is the most under-reported crime, we do not know how many of these unwanted pregnancies are due to rape.

2. Teach men that they are equally responsible for women getting pregnant. This means that if they do not want to become a father, then they should either not have sex, use a condom, or have a vasectomy, which is reversible. If they still impregnate a woman, then they need to be at least financially — if not emotionally — responsible for that child until he/she is at least 18.

3. Ensure that women and men have easy and affordable access to birth control.

4. Vote for politicians who will expand and strengthen the safety net. This means increasing AFDC payments and food stamps, developing access to affordable housing, providing high quality and affordable health care, ensuring that women who need to work have high quality day care for their children, and improving the education system. By doing this women who want to give birth and raise their children to adulthood will be able to do so.

5. Increase the number of adults who would be willing and able to adopt these babies.

It is only by addressing the underlying reasons why some women choose to have abortions that we can ensure that all pregnancies will be wanted and the parents will feel confident in being able to raise their babies into adulthood.

Sarah Daley lives in Grass Valley.

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