To the editor:
Women who get abortions are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, grandmothers, aunts, wives, lovers and yourselves. Forty-three percent of all women will have had at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old. Doctors have performed abortions for women from 8 to 53 years old. Thirty-three percent of abortion procedures are for women with annual household incomes of less than $11,000. Six out of 10 abortions are for women who were using birth control that failed.
Thirty-three percent of the women who have abortions describe themselves as Catholic or following a fundamentalist religion. In the U.S. about 16,000 women have abortions each year because they became pregnant as the result of rape or incest. Abortion is not used as a primary form of birth control. If it were, a typical woman would have 2 or 3 pregnancies per year. Abortions happen when women are failed by their families, the men they trust, their communities and health care sciences.
When we have a perfect world, when children are seen as our entire futures and valued as they should be, when mothering is respected as the highest of professions and all fathers strive to be equal to mothers in their selflessness toward their children, when all children are born out of love, when communities cherish children of all kinds, when people have all the health information they need, when medicine is 100 percent effective without side effects, and when everyone is born with equal chances for happy fulfilled lives, then we won't need abortions.
But, until that day, a woman of any age needs to be able to make the important personal and private decisions about bearing her children with only those people with whom she chooses to share this part of her life.
Lawrence Chapter, National Organization for Women,