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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reproductive rights, not women, need protecting

    Once, when I was a freshman, a campus preacher calmly asked me to please don’t ever get an abortion. He even said please.

    The UA is crawling with people like that, campus preachers and sign-wielding demonstrators who imagine they have a say in other people’s private affairs. They probably got that idea from the state Legislature.

    On Friday, Planned Parenthood was forced to enact a sweeping cutback of its services in Arizona to comply with a state law that places needless restrictions on abortions. Thus, Planned Parenthood discontinued performing abortions in several Arizona cities.

    The move followed a decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which overturned an injunction that was placed on provisions of a 2009 law that authorizes only physicians to perform surgical abortions. Previously, midwives and nurse practitioners could.

    The court allowed parts of the Abortion Consent Act to take effect based on Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In Casey, U.S. Supreme Court found that a statute is constitutional if it “serves a valid purpose, one not designed to strike at the right itself,” and does not create “an undue burden on a woman’s ability” to exercise her rights.

    Translation: Arizona can’t make it impossible to get an abortion by imposing an “undue burden.” But it can impose some burden.

    “I think we’ve really done women a disservice in all parts of the state by imposing rules that have no medical significance and just creating barriers,” said Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, in an article by the Associated Press.

    The reduction of services by Planned Parenthood leaves just three health centers — two in Phoenix, one in Tucson — to perform abortions. Rural, low-income women seeking abortions in Arizona will have to travel farther and delay their care. Women also likely face a longer waiting time, with fewer professionals serving more patients.

    Arizona also requires women to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor on the day before an abortion to hear a state-mandated script about risks and alternatives. It allows medical professionals to refuse to perform abortions or dispense certain contraceptives or the morning after pill for moral or religious reasons.

    In a statement, Steven H. Aden, of the Alliance Defense Fund, said Planned Parenthood wouldn’t challenge laws that allow women to make informed decisions if it truly cared about the interests of women. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian nonprofit organization, was part of the legal team defending the act, and Aden argued the case in the Court of Appeals.

    “The court ruled rightly in this case in rejecting the arguments of the nation’s largest purveyor of abortion,” Aden said. “The protection of women is not unconstitutional.”

    It’s like women can’t be trusted to do anything right outside of the kitchen, including make their own decisions about their bodies.

    Who or what do women need protection from? It’s ironic that activists oppose abortion because they want to “protect women” and preserve fetuses — a precious gift from God, the miracle of human life! — while simultaneously dehumanizing individuals capable of their own choices.

    Women get reduced to acting as vehicles of other people’s moral code. Anti-abortion activists treat women like piles of baby-making organs, just some tubes and a womb, a faceless host for a parasite-like fetus. It is so much easier to impose your convictions on other people when they don’t seem like real people.

    Reducing access to safe abortions and forcing Planned Parenthood into a box protects no one, and it patronizes women. So, Arizona, please don’t ever pretend to know what’s best for me better than I do.

    — Kristina Bui is the copy chief for the Daily Wildcat. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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