“It is their responsibility not to get pregnant” – Pregnancy with no Mention of Men – The problem with the Abortion Debate by Guest Blogger Intern PP

It has been a crazy week for abortion at the state level. Sadly, the events of the past few days clearly illustrate that abortion regulation must NOT be left to the states, as suggested by Donald Trump last week in the presidential debate.

 

The department of health in South Carolina considered provisions that would require spousal consent for abortions in the state. No western democracy requires spousal consent for abortion. It is almost incomprehensible to think an adult woman in 2016 would have to obtain her husbands consent to undergo a medical procedure.


Yesterday in Virginia, abortion providers were victorious as the Board of Health overturned the Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws. As I watched dozens of people testify for hours in hopes of swaying the board one way or another, it became abundantly clear that at the heart of much of the anti abortion rhetoric was ultimately a distrust of women and a fear of their sexuality, not concern for their safety.


The anti abortion presence at this hearing, in relatively liberal VA, was beyond anything I could have imagined. Never in my life have I heard so many people with absolutely no expertise give medical and moral advice to women in a masked attempted to restrict their legal rights. 


One man was particularly disturbing. A local middle-aged man gave testimony regarding teen abortion. He claimed, “They have a responsibility not to get pregnant in the first place.” He went on to talk about how the issue of abortion could be solved by ending promiscuity, but NEVER once mentioned men or their role in conceiving a pregnancy.


Dozens of anti choice people gave testimony ranging from a comparison of abortion to eugenics, claiming it was the liberal white government of VA trying to reduce the black population, to a “pregnancy crisis center” worker who argued that women who get abortions will become addicted to drugs or alcohol. 


The TRAP regulations on abortion, on the surface, are not intended to limit abortion access, but rather make abortion safer for women. The testimony yesterday highlighted how people feel so passionately about keeping these regulations not because they protect women but because they DO limit abortion access.  


These regulations resulted in a closure of more than 30% of abortion providers in the state, many of whom provide pregnancy prevention and sexual health services. Perhaps the clearest indication that these laws are not for the protection of women is the fact that these extreme requirements do not apply to physicians who perform less than 5 abortions per month, meaning many private OBGYN’s are exempt from these laws. They are intended to shut down providers of abortion on a larger scale, like Planned Parenthood. It is not that you are more likely to have a medical complication at Planned Parenthood than at your OBGYN, but rather abortion at your OBGYN is very difficult to obtain, therefore less women will be undergoing the procedure.


Yesterday’s narrow victory in Virginia is a huge step forward for the health of women in the state but a women’s ability to have a legal abortion in the United States cannot be left up to an appointed board of state regulator

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Establishing paternity and parentage is important for many families and parents. Regardless of why you want to establish paternity and parentage, the process has the potential to be confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terms and rules for…

After divorce, you may find yourself living on one less stream of income than you did when you were married and want to find a way to make up for it. Or even if you didn’t lose any income by…

If you are in the process of getting remarried, a prenuptial agreement may be the last thing on your mind. It should be at the forefront of it, however, as it can be beneficial for you, your spouse, and, if…

As a mom of four (now adult) kids, I remember well the flood of emotions that came each time they went to my ex’s, especially during the early days of my separation and eventually after my divorce. Not only was…

The holidays can look much different during a divorce than they did only a year earlier, and the changes can take some getting used to. The challenge is that you have to start somewhere, and in these “newer” moments, it…

You can use Collaborative Law to support your process of creating and negotiating a prenup with your partner.

In Washington state, if you are involved in a custody dispute, which involves difficult questions related to specific needs for your children or serious parenting deficits (such as mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence), an evaluation service may be…

Apologizing can be hard, especially if you have a contentious relationship with the person you are apologizing to. If you want to have a polite (even friendly) relationship with your ex in the future, though, owning up to and apologizing…

In the same way that every divorce is different, so, too, is every divorce lawyer and the law firms where they work. From lawyers’ individual personalities, expertise, and experience to law firms’ varying cultures and values which provide the framework…

As a divorce and family law attorney, I have yet to hear of anyone getting married and opening a savings account for divorce fees should they need such an account down the road. I also do not know of anyone…