Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anti-Abortion Fantasies

Would a total ban on abortion....
Abortion opponents demonstrated on Plaza Bolivar today outside Parliament, where a congressional committee was expected to vote in favor of changing the Constitution to define human life as beginning at conception - thus prohibiting abortion in all cases.

...mean even more illegal
business for places like this
'Center for Orientation for Women'?
Even if the bill does get out of committee it's not likely to become law - it would require eight positive votes by Congress, where leftist parties oppose it. Now, thanks to a Constitutional Court ruling six years ago, abortion is legal in four cases: when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, when the pregnancy endangers the woman's life or when the fetus has a severe malformation.

Even so, only a tiny proportion of abortions in Colombia are legal. The overwhelming majority are carried out by clinics which operate illegaly but in plain sight. And that, to me, is the real point here. Even if I did believe that a recently fertilized egg was a human being - which I don't - I'd oppose a complete ban on abortion when it's so obvious that such prohibitions only mean that more women end up having dangerous, illegal abortions.
Delayed menstruation? We can fix that! Painless, quick and private treatment. These classified ads in El Espacio, a sex-and-blood tabloid newspaper, are almost certainly offering abortions. 
This women's health clinic is physically connected to the
Catholic Church. 
Around the Santa Ana Church in Bogotá's stately and historic Teusaquillo neighborhood there must be at least a half dozen 'women's health clinics' offering ultrasounds and other services. The clinics do offer these services, but they also have the reputation of being abortion mills. In fact, years ago I entered several of them as a journalist together with a female friend, who said she was seeking an abortion. All of the clinics offered us abortions, and an apparent doctor in one assured my friend that the procedure wasn't dangerous because 'lots of women had one abortion after another there with no ill effects.'

Remember, you too were once a fetus. 
That's a lie, of course, and the fact that no government authority requires the clinics to educate about birth control techniques is yet another reason why abortion should be legal and regulated. I'm confident that if abortion were completely legal and abortion providers were requred to educate women and girls about birth control, abortion in Colombia would not only be safer, but also less common.

I once tried to ask the priest of Santa Ana Church what he thot about the fact that his church was surrounded by illegal abortion clinics. He denied knowing anything about them.

Intestinal troubles? Impotency? Frigidity? Ulcers? Menstrual troubles? Call this phone no. on a power pole in Teusaqullo and get guaranteed treatment for all of them!
Update: the proposed legislation died in committee!

Santa Ana Church, popular for funerals and surrounded by clinics notorious for providing illegal abortions. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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