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Limiting Access Editorial in The News and Observer

Posted: 04/13/2005

March 7, 2005

Sarah Zaman claims to have a middle position regarding abortion, but her position is really anti-choice in disguise.
She wants to focus on "when does life begin?", the starting point of the right. She also writes as if women don't take abortion seriously enough, which is insulting to women. Each woman is capable to making the choice for herself; to say otherwise is to assume that women, as a group, are incapable of acting as moral beings.

Treating women as incapable of such decision-making has already happened. Even with Roe v. Wade still in place, abortion and even birth control are becoming more limited. This is especially true for low-income women and women in rural areas who, for example, may live where the only pharmacy in town does not stock emergency contraception -- a high-dose form of birth control that can be used up to 120 hours after intercourse. There have already been incidents of pharmacists refusing to provide this vital form of birth control to rape victims, as well as states that have passed refusal clause laws allowing providers to refuse to provide EC as well as other forms of birth control.

If that weren't enough, a recent study by N.C. Women United shows that some hospitals' emergency departments do not routinely provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault. If rape victims can't get access to birth control, a basic standard of care, what does that mean for other women?

Chapel Hill, NC

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