By Rep. E. Werner Reschke
Recently Governor Brown, in a bid to win re-election, made a bold proclamation in an op-ed piece that ran in The Oregonian. She said, “I want to be clear: Women, no matter who they are or where they come from, shouldn’t be denied access to healthcare, including safe, legal abortion.”
As Paul Harvey used to say, I would like to tell you, “the rest of the story”. More so, I would like to propose an alternative view — a view that I believe better matches reality than the often-repeated narrative about abortion being a fundamental part of women’s healthcare.
Let me be clear: Abortion is not a healthcare issue. It is actually just the opposite. Women’s healthcare should be about improving the lives and health of women. However, in many cases, abortion does just the opposite by chaining women to years of depression, drug addiction and/or physical ailments.
Abortion is not akin to going to the doctor to have an ugly mole removed or treatments to eradicate cancer. An unborn child is an innocent, whole, living, and unique human being. Embryology (the scientific study of embryos) now tells us that each unborn child has its own unique DNA. This fetus growing inside its mother is not part of the mother’s tissue but rather a separate human being. An unborn child is part of the natural progression in human development — something we all passed through to be born and get where each of us is today.
What’s further troubling about the Governor’s statement is that while abortion may give the illusion of freeing women from the burden of an unwanted pregnancy, in reality abortion often creates a new world of physical and emotional troubles for many women. We now have a generation of evidence that shows us that women who undergo an abortion are at increased risk for developing breast cancer, experiencing miscarriages and suffering emotional trauma.
Dr. Patricia Coleman, professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, analyzed the results from 22 scholarly research papers on women, abortion, and mental health. The research involved well over 877,000 women. Dr. Coleman concludes, “81 percent of females who had an abortion were found to be at an increased risk for mental health problems, including depression, alcohol abuse, and suicidal behaviors.”
What’s worse, is this type of information is rarely, if ever, presented to women before an abortion.
Even Norma McCorvey, the woman known by many as “Roe” in the Roe. v. Wade Supreme Court decision, became a strong advocate against abortion. During her testimony in 2005 before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee McCorvey said, “I believe that I was used and abused by the court system in America… Instead of helping women in Roe v. Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women throughout the nation.” The notion that abortion can be safe is false. If successful, someone always dies (usually the child).
Let us end the rhetoric about abortion and women’s healthcare. Instead let us look at the factual evidence of how damaging abortion is to women and their ability to reach their full potential. Let us reach out to women with unwanted pregnancies, show them the compassion and care they deserve and help them move forward with choices that are best for their long term health and their child’s. Abortion has gone on long enough. In light of all the evidence it is time to make abortion unthinkable. There are better ways forward.
And now you know the rest of the story.
E. Werner Reschke represents Southern Klamath & Lake Counties in the Oregon State House of Representatives.