Letter to the Editor - Punishing laws

Dear Editor,

Prior to Roe vs. Wade, decided in 1973, if you were a “poor” woman and you needed an abortion, you had to go stand in front of a group of doctors and plead your case as to why you should be allowed a safe and clean abortion.

Each hospital had its own groups.  They decided whether you got the abortion or not. For the rich woman it made no difference to her.  Her condition was disguised on her medical chart and she went right on through without any hassle.  What Roe did was give the same right afforded to rich women to “poor” women also.

Legalizing abortion saved women from death, from injury, and from fear of arrest.  It gave women enough control to get an education, a job, and freed them from shotgun weddings.  It allowed women to see themselves as mothers by choice, not fate.

The Republican Party, led by the so-called Christian Right, have been successful in turning back the clock.  They are determined to place these “poor” women back in the same condition they were in before Roe. All of these nibbling laws they enact are meant to make it harder to get an abortion.  They are punishing laws. But, here again is where the hypocrisy comes in.  It doesn’t bother the rich female, she just goes with the flow and ignores them. The Evangelical Christian just ignores this and goes on to punish the “poor” woman.

Missouri legislators now require a 72 hour waiting period. Yet these women keep coming and keep trying.  Then try to scrape together the $500 they needed to drive across the United States to the clinic and then may have to sleep in the car, when they can’t afford a motel.  Then they must run the gauntlet of fanatics hollering “baby killer” and taking down their names and license numbers.  The rich female just ignores all of this stuff and just goes right on into a hospital for hers.  And the pro-life people just ignore it as if their hypocrisy doesn’t exist.

About five years after Roe, the Republican Party realized how they could use Roe to get their candidates elected to office. They started using the Christian Right to use abortion as a wedge issue. They have a special devious delight to dream up special laws to punish these women.  Like Virginia, enacting a law to require five feet wide hallways.  To require transvaginal ultra sounds, forced hearing of fetal sounds and other inflicted cruelties.  Now requiring second opinions.  These are not things that help these women, but laws to punish.  The reality is that the same old fanatics are still running the show.

In Missouri, we have the same old single issue voters.  They would vote for the anti-abortion candidate even if it meant next month they would lose their Social Security. If it wasn’t for the abortion issue, most of these people would have nothing to run on. It is all they have. If you are a Republican running for office and you don’t use the abortion issue, then you won’t get elected.

Now these people want a personhood amendment in Missouri. They want you to believe that five minutes after you get out of bed with your wife that there is now a third person in the room. They think that these laws will get them to the back door of Roe.  Even if they had two more Supremes, I don’t think it would make any difference. After all these years, to reverse Roe would create a revolution in this country.  Most politicians could not hold on after that.

What’s wrong with leaving this the decision of a woman and her doctor?

Bob Roney

Middlebrook