Abortion is a medical necessity.
That’s a fact, though purveyors of fiction will attempt to convince us otherwise.
Said fiction has led legislatures to create inhumane and dangerous policies like those that forced a brave Texas woman to appear before a judge for permission then have to rush to another state to have a medically necessary abortion.
The alarming saga of Kate Cox defines abortion bans down to their essence: They are anti-woman, anti-medicine, anti-sex.
What happened to her gives the lie to the propaganda “pro-life.” Those who have put state lawmakers in control of women’s bodies aren’t concerned at all about the lives of mothers in the midst of crisis pregnancies.
It also makes the term “pro-choice” as empty as a faded bumper sticker.
I heard a TV news talking head say Cox “chose to have her abortion” in another state.
Not true. She had no choice if she didn’t want the not-viable fetus inside her to kill her or leave her unable to have children again.
Abortion wasn’t her choice. It was her only option.
Fiction: Anti-abortion groups claim the procedure “is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother.”
Bunk, says the American College of Gynecologist and Obstetricians.
It identifies several common situations where abortion “is the only medical intervention,” that can preserve a woman’s health or save her life.
One of the most common is when a woman’s water breaks prematurely and she faces the threat of infection.
Another is organ-damaging preeclampsia in which the woman’s blood pressure goes through the roof.
Anyone who delivers babies knows of the Irish woman who was refused a medically indicated abortion and died of sepsis after a miscarriage at 17 weeks.
This explains why vast numbers of those who nurture pregnancies along and deliver babies could be called “abortionists” by the raving right when, as physicians, they perform medically necessary abortions.
A medical examination room is not a place for politicians in snakeskin boots, or for-sale ideologues in black robes.
How alarming it was to see smirking Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton employ the weight of the State of Texas to stop Cox from doing what her physician said she must.
(Paxton, you may be aware, recently escaped impeachment over a host of charges, his safety assured in the womb of a MAGA-fied, look-away-from-crookedness Texas Senate.)
How unsurprising it was that the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court brushed aside a lower court’s ruling that Cox’s abortion proceed.
Texas elects its judges, meaning at the state level they raise great wads of campaign stash from special interests: first from attorneys who will appear before them, second from political advocacy groups intent on cooking the judicial process.
It’s a process so tainted it makes the U.S. Supreme Court look ethical.
My goodness, what an untenable way for such an excruciating and private medical matter to be determined: a courtroom.
Courts, by their nature, take their time. (For Texas judges, the better to raise campaign cash.) Problem pregnancies don’t abide by court dates.
The foot-dragging folderol of legal proceedings is one reason so-called exceptions for the mother’s life, for rape, for incest, are no exceptions at all.
Doctors across the sweep of Republican-controlled states that have abortion bans with so-called medical exceptions have said in practice they are no exceptions at all.
This explains why overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose those bans. As the Kaiser Family Foundation explains, those opponents “are concerned that bans on abortion may lead to unnecessary health problems for those people experiencing pregnancy complications.”
“But what about abortions of convenience?” say those who lean into the quest to penalize sex, who also will fight holistic anti-abortion approaches like birth control access and comprehensive sex education. Such hypocrites.
Those abortions should be a private medical matter as well. We know from history that in absence thereof, women will resort to extreme measures to end pregnancies.
Kate Cox’s extreme measure was high-tailing it out of Texas as Stetson-hatted intervenors kicked the dust.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.