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The story linked to here is a few weeks old, but the struggle is ongoing, and it is important to anyone, man or woman.  Limited choice for one is limited choice for all.

What has happened - is happening - in Arizona is criminal, and it has been a template that is being applied successfully in many other Republican-controlled states around the country to the detriment not only of poverty-stricken women but of all people in these states. The vise of fundamentalist conservatism continues to squeeze women between the dual jaws of no responsible sex education/reduced access to birth control and severely restricted access to abortion services, and it will continue to squeeze them until they bleed - literally.

It is a well-documented, horror-based fact that reduction in the availability of safe abortion services does NOT result in the reduction of abortions. Rather, it results in a dramatic increase in unsafe termination procedures and all of the attendant dire consequences. It is also a well-documented fact that what reduces the rate of abortions is reality-based sex education and no strictures on access to birth control and condoms.

It probably would surprise most anti-choice proponents that we on the pro-choice/pro-women's rights side also wish that the incidence of abortion should be decreased. No woman should ever be in a position to have to make that decision. Where we part fundamentally with the fundamentalists is in the methodology of preventing abortions. We believe that it is best if a woman is able to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and we also believe that the best way to do that is to realize that people are going to have sex and try to help them avoid conception (as well as disease). The other side would much rather believe the fairy tale that abstinence education works and then scream and cry and shame and control women and force them carry that unwanted pregnancy to term and then avoid helping her once that child is here.

It reminds me of a line from one of my favorite songs: "You set me on a firmly laid and simple course and then removed the road."

Whoever you are, the fight IS yours, no matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation. The health of every woman is at stake when the health of one is politicized and ignored. Please don't let it be said that you passed the baton to someone else and hoped for the best.

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