Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back To The Future in Abortion

This story, arguing that a politician running on a pro-life agenda paid for his girlfriend's abortion and dropped her off at the clinic may or may not be true. But it reminded me of the many books and articles I have read about the world before Roe in the United States.

The rich could get safe abortions even then, though the safety wasn't always that much better than what a coat-hanger might provide. Still, if you had the money and the connections you could find a doctor who would perform the abortion either in the U.S. or abroad. It was the poor and the middle class women who had to resort to butchery either by themselves or by someone doing it on the kitchen tables.

What this means is that the illegality of abortion didn't mean that much for those in power, and the same would be true again in the world the pro-lifers plan. Even pro-life politicians could get their girlfriends or wives hush-hush abortions. It is the people without money and connections who would be forced to give birth. And that is already true, given the very unequal distribution of abortion resources within the country.