Thursday, May 31, 2012

Abortion in Tennessee

In anticipation of a vote on outlawing abortion in Tennessee, The Tennessean released a series of articles in the past two weeks to bring discussion of the issue to the forefront.

The focus of the exposé is the entire abortion debate in the state, and quite honestly, I think it is a pretty objective piece. They even use the word pro-life in the article, a big no-no for the AP.

I found it quite ironic was the contrast between the post-abortion testimonies:

First testimony:
You’ll always remember the anniversary of the abortion. You’ll remember the anniversary of what their birthday would have been. I still cry. I still have emotions, but it’s okay. It still hurts, but it don’t hurt like it did then.

Second testimony:
I love my child. I’m glad I had my child, and I don’t have any regrets. But we would have chosen abortion if we had to, and I wouldn’t have had any regrets about that either.

Third testimony:
My husband was like, “Let’s keep it.” But then we looked at child care, diapers, we looked at how long I would have to be off work, we put all that into play and we couldn’t do it. Our financial situation … it was just not going to work. Ultimately he said it was my decision. Whatever I chose to do he would follow me 100 percent. And my decision was to terminate the pregnancy.

Fourth testimony:
I went to an abortion clinic in Knoxville, just to talk to them to ask questions to make sure I was pregnant. They did an ultrasound. I think I was three weeks when I went. As soon as I saw her heartbeat I knew then that wasn’t an option. I knew I couldn’t do it.

In the upcoming vote-- which will happen in 2014--Tennessee residents will decide whether to outlaw abortion in their state through a constitutional amendment which will read:
“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
Because many nearby states have restricted abortion in recent years, Tennessee has seen an increase in out-of-state abortions, though the actual number of abortions has decreased in the past two decades:18,253 performed in 2008, down from 21,114 in 1990.

In clever click-able boxes, The Tennessean displays stats on abortion. For example:

  • The trend of aborting college-aged women continues: In Tennessee, 34% of women were between 20-24 years old. That's 4,287 abortions on women who typically would be enjoying college, the first years of marriage or her first "real" job, but rather are enduring the heartache-- sometimes delayed-- of destroying the life of her child.
  • Eight out of 10 abortions are to an unmarried mother.
  • There are just 9 abortion clinics in Tennessee, which is more than in any other bordering state. This is down from 16 clinics just over a decade ago
In fact, it is the lack of regulations and restrictions on abortion-- especially informed consent for the parents of pregnant, minor girls-- that entices people to travel to Tennessee much like women would fly to New York and California in the 60s for an abortion.

But, far away from home in the hands of an unknown doctor, women are at greater risk for medical complications and post-traumatic stress.

No comments:

Post a Comment