a bird and a bottle


Whoppers from the Times
January 21, 2007, 8:42 pm
Filed under: feminism/s & gender, news & views

So, I just a few minutes ago stepped foot back in my apartment from a truly inspiring and thought-provoking weekend at the NAPW conference in Atlanta. I will have final thoughts on that later on this evening. But before I even get there, I wanted to address the cover article of today’s NY Times Magazine.

Here’s where I make a confession: I have only read the first four paragraphs of the article.

I couldn’t go any further when I read this line: “It’s a pattern [Rhonda Arias, the post-abortion counselor] sees refleced everywhere: ‘In America we have a big drug problem and we don’t realize it’s because of abortion.'”

OK, Bean, take a breath. Don’t let your head explode.

IS SHE FUCKING CRAZY?!? America’s drug problem is because of abortion?!?

Let me suggest a few other root causes of the widespread problem of addiction in the United States:

1) the War on Drugs and other punitive approaches to drug use (like NY’s Rockefeller Drug laws) that push people away from treatment and throw addicts in jail for simple possession.

2) Poverty.

3) Lack of available treatment programs, especially for pregnant and parenting women, and men and women on medicaid or without health insurance.

4) Economic inequality. As the income gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. continues to grow, opportunity for the poor diminishes. It becomes harder to break the cycle (this also ties to #1 and the fact that men and women from poor communities are incarcerated at higher rates than anyone else and thus leave prison with little to no government support, often without the right to vote, and with few if any job prospects.

5) Violence – both violence against women and more general community violence. Also, children who witness domestic abuse in their homes. The majority of incarcerated women have been sexually or physically abused at some point in their lives.

I could go on into the tens, and probably into the twenties. This is all just to point out that the claim that abortion is THE root cause is utterly ridiculous. Certainly women experience a range of feelings after abortions, and the procedure may be traumatic for some. But that is no reason to stigmatize abortion as an option for all women – the majority of whom will experience few lasting complications. And it is just laughable to blame abortion for America’s most widespread and entrenched public health issues.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Besides the conference, how was Atlanta? I’ve never been.

Comment by shelbycockrell

I didn’t see any of it! The conference was at a hotel right near the airport (and nowhere near the city center), and we were all so wiped out by the end of the very long days that we ate either in the hotel or at one of the few restaurants nearby. I haven’t spent much time in Atlanta either, but I guess my exploration of the city is going to have to wait.

Comment by bean

Thank you for an excellent rebuttal. What will people link abortion to next? It’s like linking masturbation to blindness. I don’t think that there is ANY evidence about a correlation between abortion and drug use, except to say that you might be less likely to use it under the influence! Feelings of low self-worth, depression, peer influence, I think that these are the major influences.

Comment by Mamacita




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