We are the 99%

June 7, 2005

On Being Pragmatic on "Choice"

There's been a bit of discussion (on this blog at elsewhere) over the upcoming Senatorial election here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I can see two separate and in no way overlapping camps.

Some say that Senator Santorum is so frightening that we should be supporting whomever chooses to run against him - even if that candidate is a pro-life democrat. These people are only being "pragmatic," they say. To be honest I can see their side.

On the other side of the discussion there are those who feel that Choice is so central to their politics that, while they'll certianly vote against Bob Roberts Rick Santorum, they just can't bring themselves to happily support a candidate who stands in opposition a profoundly foundamental freedom - freedom over one's own body. Let's call these folks "idealists." I can see this side as well.

Before you decide that there's no difference between a pro-choice democrat and a pro-life democrat, just as long as the Junior Senator gets beaten in November of 2006, I'd like you to contemplate the story of Gerardo Flores. I found it at Kevin Drum's blog.

Here's Kevin's take on it. I couldn't put it any better so I'll just cut and paste his words.

In 2003, Texas passed an anti-abortion law that instituted a 24-hour waiting period; required doctors to show women pictures of fetuses, tell them about adoption procedures, and warn them that an abortion could lead to breast cancer; and forced abortion providers to keep the identities of all their patients in their records. And one more thing, as the Fort Worth Weekly reported at the time:

The bill as passed also includes another requirement that managed to escape the floodlights of controversy and debate: Abortions from 16 weeks onward now can be performed only in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.

The clause is a major Catch-22. Very few Texas hospitals perform elective abortions, and the few that do charge extremely high fees and require that the patients go through complicated ethics reviews. And of the state's hundreds of surgical centers, none performs abortions.

So, with no place to get an abortion after 16 weeks, what does a panicky, 17-year-old girl do if she's four months pregnant? Erica Basoria decided to try to induce a miscarriage. When that didn't work, she asked her boyfriend to step on her stomach. A week later she miscarried.

But as this took place in Bush country, so you know the story gets worse. Kevin continues:
Texas also has a shiny new law criminalizing "fetal murder," and the fact that Basoria wanted a miscarriage in this case doesn't matter. Her boyfriend, Gerardo Flores of Lufkin, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for his part in this tragic comic opera.
Seems to me that there's at least 40 years worth of difference we're talking about here. At least for Gerardo Flores.

1 comment:

GrannyGrump said...

Is it too much to ask that facilities that perform outpatient surgery actually be outpatient surgery centers? The problem here isn't the mean old right-to-lifers denying women "choice." It's the cheapskate abortion businesses who can't be bothered to adhere to basic safety requirements. And this costs women and girls their lives. These are the women and girls I can verify were past 16 weeks when they died of abortions botched in outpatient clinics in texas: Latachie Veal was 17 years old and 22 weeks pregnant . Sheila Watley was 31 years old and 17 weeks pregnant. Shari Graham was 34 years old and 18 weeks pregnant . Denise Montoya was 15 years old and 25 weeks pregnant.

Again, if a doctor wants to do outpatient surgery, he needs to be doing it in a facility equipped to handle the complications of that outpatient surgery. (Not to mention, he needs to actually identify and treat the complications! These guys seemed to be pretty much unwilling to do that, since Latachie and Shari were both sent home with life-threatening hemorrhaging.)

The idea among some folks seems to be that an abortion that kills the mother is better than no abortion at all.