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Tucson Opinion: Abortion should be left for women to decide
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Tucson opinion

Tucson Opinion: Abortion should be left for women to decide

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A number of Arizona reproductive rights groups marched at the Arizona Capitol on Monday, April 26, to deliver a petition to Gov. Doug Ducey to veto SB 1457, the latest abortion bill passed by the state legislature last week.

The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

I do believe we are all “pro-life,” and none of us are against life. However, women should have the right to make their own decision regarding having to terminate a pregnancy under certain circumstances.

It is never an easy decision to go through with this. Instead of shaming and demonizing these women, we should love and support them. Prevention, of course, is the best approach.

We should educate our sons and daughters about how their bodies work, and how pregnancy happens. It will help them to protect their bodies, not just from the pregnancy, but also from the communicable sexually transmitted diseases.

Planned Parenthood is a valuable resource in our community. Many young women are advised, educated and offered information regarding a decision for responsible parenthood. This far exceeds the number of women who find themselves needing to consider the option of abortion.

A good sex education will not only save their lives, but also their future. In this country sex education is seen by some parents as encouraging teens to be sexually active. Young people are very curious and inexperienced, and just saying “no” does not help. An unplanned and unwanted child is too frequently doomed to a bleak future.

Once the child is born, too often no one cares. People who are against birth control and abortion are silent. Where is the support for the parents and the child?

I worked many years as a nurse case manager and saw firsthand what happens when these young women got pregnant. They were naive and unprepared for the pregnancy, had no money, no health insurance and no idea how to care for the child.

The father frequently was not in the picture. Parents or grandparents, if present, would frequently end up taking care of the children. There were community resources to give them help but not enough. It takes time, knowledge, patience and financial security to raise a child.

Our lawmakers, church leaders and citizens who are against sex education and abortion, call themselves pro-life. How many children have they adopted? Are they ready to adopt these children or help them financially? How many parents and children have they given financial help to? How many teens or other unplanned pregnant parents did they help when their needs were urgent? We need action, not empty words and punitive laws.

Just recently, the legislators and Gov. Doug Ducey have put into law restrictions on physicians and parents regarding abortion. I would like them to respond to just what they are willing to do to support newborns with serious developmental needs. This would be a responsibility not only for the newborns but also for the life of the person so afflicted.

Would it not be ideal if young women finish school, let their bodies mature, have a job and hopefully health insurance? The child would be welcomed to this world and have a good future. Our society could then benefit from people who are educated and financially independent.

Sehriban Graap is a retired nurse case manager.

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