Friday, January 06, 2006

Women in Greater Danger Without Legalized Abortion?

An editorial in today's New York Times (see link, above) states:

Abortion Rights in Latin America

For proof that criminalizing abortion doesn't reduce abortion rates and only endangers the lives of women, consider Latin America. In most of the region, abortions are a crime, but the abortion rate is far higher than in Western Europe or the United States. Colombia - where abortion is illegal even if a woman's life is in danger - averages more than one abortion per woman over all of her fertile years. In Peru, the average is nearly two abortions per woman over the course of her reproductive years.

In a region where there is little sex education and social taboos keep unmarried women from seeking contraception, criminalizing abortion has not made it rare, only dangerous. Rich women can go to private doctors. The rest rely on quacks or amateurs or do it themselves. Up to 5,000 women die each year from abortions in Latin America, and hundreds of thousands more are hospitalized.

Let's see how that reasoning works out in other circumstances. Suppose we now lobby for legalized murder. Rather than sneaking around trying to kill people without getting caught, perhaps we should legalize it. After all, if people are going to kill other people anyways, let's take away the added dangers of committing murder.

To begin with, with laws currently against murder, sometimes murders have to be committed in the dark or they have to be committed hastily and occasionally the wrong person can be killed by mistake. We read about it all the time where a drive-by shooter will mistakenly shoot the wrong person. Legalizing murder would eliminate that costly error by enabling the killer to boldly march up to the victim and shoot him at point-blank range! Thus, we would actually be saving lives by legalizing murder!

Secondly, by legalizing murder we can free up thousands of police so they can concentrate on more important things like traffic control. Again, we would actually be saving lives by cutting down on our horrendous accident rate!

Thirdly, we would be saving the lives of countless individuals who would otherwise be on death row for years at a time, costing the taxpayer millions of dollars a year while awaiting their execution. I mean, why should I be executed for killing my boss who was getting in the way of my success? That's no different than killing a baby whose presence in this world could cramp my lifestyle, is it?

OR

We could recognize the killing of millions of innocent babies a year for what it is -- murder.

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