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a controversy marked by a rancor and fanaticism that are regrettable at a time in the nation's history when we need to draw closer together. These destructive feelings will surely intensify and a disastrous cleavage result if the proposed amendments pass the Congress and go to the states for ratification. It is saddening to think of such a cruel eventuality. Of all aspects of a woman's life that should be supportively surrounded with compassion and sensitivity it is her childbearing. In this man's world—for so it still is—we turn to you for that kind of understanding. We ask you to turn down the constitutional measures before you.
Since reproductive discretion is our objective (and this is well served in the Supreme Court decision) we do not believe that we need state a position on other issues with which our adversaries would like to associate us. However, there are two points that I feel obliged to make in rebuttal to arguments that you have heard here. The first is that we advocate abortion as a method of contraception. As I have said, we are not advocating abortion, but a woman's right to choose abortion. Furthermore, abortion is by definition not a contraceptive method; it is used after conception has occurred. We do not regard it as a substitute for the practise of contraception, but as a remedy for failed contraception or a lack of prudence or innocence of human biology. In the perfect world, there will be no need for abortion, for we will have a fail-proof contraceptive universally employed and every pregnancy will be planned. The other criticism directd at us which I would like to answer is that we are depriving adoptive parents of children to adopt. At least that is the way I read our adversaries' bumper stickers. In the first place, it seems to me that adoption was devised originally to provide homes for children who had none. Have we now switched things around so that unwilling women must deliver children for adults who cannot have their own? What a diabolical use of a woman. Perhaps this is the function the speaker had in mind in referring to woman as "a reproductive unit”! Furthermore, to require by law that a woman go through with an unwanted pregnancy and then compound her misery by offering as a solution the relinquishing of the child seems to me utterly heartless. As to the supply of children available for adoption, I should like to quote from a release from the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare dated April 19, 1974; headed Statistics Pertaining to Children in Need of Adoption:
“Although there are no firm statistics as to the number available, it is known that the vast majority of children for whom adoption might be suitable are over 6 years of age, are physically, mentally, or emotionally handicapped, or are in large family groups where the children should not be separated.
“Recent estimates of the number of children who could profit by adoption indicate that there might be about 100,000, most of whom are currently in foster care.”
This information seems to me to speak against the argument that women should be encouraged to go through with unwanted pregnancies to supply children for adoption.
Reproductive freedom is our objective. It is abridged without access to abortion, a right upheld by the Supreme Court decision. Women do have problem pregnancies. Let me tell you about two cases that have recently come to my attention.
A 40-year-old mother of four planned children finds herself pregnant, despite the practise of contraception. Her husband has been handicapped in such a way that he can no longer work. She has taken a job to supplement his meager compensation and help meet the mounting expense of education for her children. This is possible for her now that the youngest child is in school most of the day. The prospect of going through a potentially dangerous, late pregnancy to deliver an unwanted infant is devastating to her. Added to which is the insoluble problem of family financies if she quits work to bring up a child. Should she not have the right to choose to have a medically-safe abortion? Or does society feel it can make a judgment for her and condemn her and the child to a dismal future? By what authority can we make that judgment?
Or another case. A 17-year-old college freshman on a scholarship, overwhelmed by her new liberties, has too much beer at her first all-night party, and finds three weeks later that she is pregnant. She comes from a family where sex was not discussed, from a school with taboos against any kind of instruction in family planning, from a community just getting underway with birth control clinics that will treat minors. What now are her alternatives? Society afforded poor ones before the Supreme Court decision legalized abortion. Let's
look at them. There is marriage--if she could be sure which boy was responsible and coerce him. Percentage of success for those marriages is very low. She might go to another city, have the child and put it out for adoption. This would mean giving up her scholarship, giving up college, maybe forever. Giving up an infant. She might keep the child and raise it alone. Would her mother be overjoyed to take care of that out-of-wedlock child while the teen-ager went out to work to support it? There there are the desperate alternatives—like attempting brutal self-abortion, or even suicide. How can a humane society take away from this young woman the option of safe, legal abortion available now under the Supreme Court decision? How would a return to the days of the back-alley operator serve this woman—or the common good? We need to ask ourselves whether it is not rather our vindictive craving to punish that would be served.
In Missouri safe, legal abortion is available-subject to recently imposed restrictions which we deplore and, which are now being challenged in court cases. Women who choose this solution to a problem pregnancy can be treated at clinics in the St. Louis area, at Columbia, and in the Kansas City area. Some 7300 women chose this solution in 1973, according to figures released by the Missouri Center for Health Statistics (although some of them had to go out of the state for treatment). There is no reliable way of comparing this figure with the number of illegal abortions done prior to January 22, 1973. Because they were outside the law they were not recorded, for the protection of the woman, her family, her physician. Deaths related to criminal abortion were ascribed to septicemia or hemorrhage, for the same reason. The view that the option of safe, legal abortion must remain available as made possible by the Court's decision is gaining adherents in Missouri. Our membership grows daily, as do financial donations. Support among the professional groups is evidenced in our letterhead: we have advisory groups of medical specialists (including the chief of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis) and of clergymen (including the Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri). A dozen or more influential organizations, several with state-wide memberships, have joined us in support of liberalized abortion laws and of the Supreme Court decision.
Let me say that even if there were not such general support for the Court, even if we are to be in the minority, our rights still would deserve the protection of the constitution. We resist the possibility that a crusade mounted primarily by a religious group seeking implementation in the civil law of their sectarian belief could deprive us of our constitutional rights. We therefore ask that, as you deliberate, you put first the rights of women and reassure us that you value our capacity to make wise judgments in this most personal decision, where individual conscience must govern.
I like the way Bishop George Cadigan expressed his views some three years ago :
“Proposed legalization of abortion in the state of Missouri has precipitated violent debate which has focused disproportionately on the acceptability or unacceptability of this means of solving an undesired pregnancy. Regard for the sanctity of life has been repeatedly invoked, as if only some of us valued, or appreciated, the true worth of human life ..
“The ‘rightness' or 'wrongness' of abortion is not the critical issue here. The issue is the larger ethical one: can any one of us stand in the role of judge for the personal decisions of others? What robes shall we wear? Greater than the debatable immorality of terminating an undesired pregnancy is the immorality of refusing a woman access to medical help when she has determined that she needs it. A law that compels a woman to continue an undesired pregnancy is evil--as evil as a law that would compel her to have an abortion."
If there is any single thought that I would like to leave with you it is : that pregnancy is a deeply significant event in a woman's life. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is equally significant. The WOMAN must be trusted to make that decision and have the freedom to act upon it without interference by the state.
COMMITTEE FOR LEGAL ABORTION IN MISSOURI “I would have been married to someone I didn't love and who didn't love me And there would have been a child that neither of us wanted. It's like I was given a second chance at life.”
Abortion is generally therapeutic in most cases if a woman truly desires the procedure. This is one finding of a recent St. Louis study ' interviewing a random sample of 1000 women who contacted a problem pregnancy counseling service; follow-up interviews one-two years after abortion were done on twothirds of the group.
WHO OBTAINS AN ABORTION ?
WHY DID THESE WOMEN FACE AN UNWANTED PERGNANCY?
Majority said they did not believe pregnancy would occur even though they were sexually active.
Reasons for not using contraceptives; Needs to deny there had been a con. scious decision to have intercourse ; Feelings of guilt about sexual activity.
Contraceptive failures : Mostly related to lack of knowledge regarding use of method, or misinformation regarding reliability of birth control measures.
AFTER-EFFECTS OF ABORTION Immediate.-With few exceptions, the women were functioning well. Although frequently mentioning desperate feelings while pregnant, the crisis ended for them with the abortion. Many reported feeling relief and satisfaction. Few experienced depression, remorse or guilt, and for them reactions were usually mild and self-limited.
Delayed.—1-2 years after abortion.
Regret over decision : These few women felt they had been influenced by others regarding abortion.
Many viewed the experience as a growth producing or maturing process.
Many reported that abortion allowed them to stay in school, continue enjoyable jobs, or devote more time to families.
None of the married women reported change in marital status or change in relationships with their husbands.
STATEMENT ON LIBERALIZING OF THE ABORTION STATUTE, BY THE RIGHT REVEREND
GEORGE LESLIE CADIGAN, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF MISSOURI Proposed legalization of abortion in the state of Missouri has precipitated violent debate which has focused disproportionately on the acceptability or unacceptability of this means of solving an undesired pregnancy. Regard for the sanctity of life has been repeatedly invoked, as if only some of us valued, or appreciated the true worth of human life. Opponents of liberalized abortion laws argue from the assumption that the unborn child has an absolute right to be born-into whatever circumstances-because of its humanness from the moment of conception. Therefore, they reason, that a woman who deliberately interrupts a pregnancy is guilty of great moral evil. It follows, for them, that the law must prohibit her from choosing this course. She must not be permitted to reach an independent decision for the direction of her life at this most serious juncture, and the option of abortion must be denied her.
No one knows better than the woman unwillingly pregnant that she faces a difficult moral decision. But our respect for her ability to make that decision
1 Characteristics of Women Who Obtain Abortions, Elizabeth Smith, MSW, Dept. of Psychiatry, Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.
in a responsible way requires that we, by our laws and by our attitudes, grant her that freedom.
When a human life may be said to begin is a profound ethical question, as is the question of when protection of a greater good justifies the interruption of a natural process. The answers cannot be final or universal. They must be sought every time the questions come, and, in every case, by the individual person most intimately concerned. It is at once the glory and the burden of each of us that we are called upon to make such difficult personal decisions according to our own consciences. When we deny that liberty to any one of our number, we give away a part of our own birthright. When, more specifically, we condemn a woman for making an independent judgment according to her own conscience, relating to her reproductive life, we denigrate her personhood.
The "rightness" or "wrongness" of abortion as the solution of a problem pregnancy is not the critical issue here. The issue is the larger ethical one: can any one of us stand in the role of judge for the personal decisions of others? What robes shall we wear? Greater than the debatable immorality of terminating an undesired pregnancy is the immorality of refusing a woman access to medical help when she has determined that she needs it. A law that compels a woman to continue an undesired pregnancy is evil—as evil as a law that would compel her to have an abortion. The present restrictive statute in Missouri condemns the woman who chooses abortion to be furtive, to seek dangerous ways out of her desperate situation. It can make of her a criminal or the victim of barbarous exploitation.
A society which cannot in common humanity extend a way to such a woman to act as her conscience dictates fails her at a time when she most needs supportive concern.
If we truly believe in the capacity of each individual to determine the course of the future-painful and agonizing as the process may be; if we honor the concept of individual accountability for every member of the human familythen, as a society, we can no longer assign to the state the power to make, for a member of that society, a conscientious and most personal decision.
A growing number of organizations and agencies in Missouri have expressed their support of the Supreme Court decision establishing a woman's right to abortion.
Other organizations which have taken a public stand in favor of liberal abortion laws are:
Health and Welfare Council of Metropolitan St. Louis.
White House Conference on Children and Youth, Missouri Committee Report, 1970.
Dr. SHOUP. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity to testify as a representative of the National Abortion Rights Action League, an organization opposed to the constitutional amendments now under consideration by this subcommittee. I am acting head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University Calumet Campus. Hammond, Ind., where I am associate professor. I received my Ph. D. in Zoology at the University of Chicago.
Senator Bayh. Would you permit me one male chauvanistic remark?
Dr. SHOUP. Yes.
Senator Bayn. I don't recall any Purdue faculty meeting your description when I was going there.
Dr. SHOUP. Times have changed.
In a year and a half since the Supreme Court decisions reaffirming the right of women to choose pregnancy termination, a highly publicized, well-financed campaign has been launched by so-called rightto-life groups across the country, their purpose being to enact legislation to limit access to and ultimately ban abortion altogether in the United States. Interestingly, these efforts come at a time when abortions are increasing worldwide.
In recent months, citizens across the country concerned about the far-reaching implications of such restrictive legislation have recognized the need to organize and present an opposing viewpoint. Some of these groups have united their efforts by forming as affiliates of NARAL, and one such group is the Indiana Freedom of Choice Coalition, which has chapters in each of the congressional districts in the State of Indiana. Our purpose is to educate and inform the public about the importance issues involved and to urge our elected representatives in Congress to support the Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973.
There are a number of important reasons why abortion must be available as an option to women with problem pregnancies. Some lawmakers, while opposed to complete liberalization of abortion laws, concede that abortion should be available when necessary to preserve the life of the woman or in cases of rape or incest.
I believe that is the position taken by your opponent in Indiana.
Senator Bayn. I am not too sure what his position is. I am not too sure that is of concern for us here. Perhaps that is pertinent to you back in Indiana, but not for us here.
Dr. SHOUP. I would like to discuss three other reasons in some detail, with reference to a few statistics for the State of Indiana, especially the Calumet Region and the metropolitan Chicago area in which I réside. I will then discuss the question of when life begins from a biological perspective.
(1) CONTRACEPTIVE FAILURE As we all know, perfect contraception-100 percent safe and 100 percent effective-is not yet available. The oral contraceptive the most efficient method, has a small, but significant failure rate and moreover, thousands of women cannot for medical reasons use it safely. Other devices are less successful in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Added to this are the thousands of pregnancies which result from ignorance of biological facts and/or legal or procedural restrictions to access to contraceptive devices. A 1970 national fertility study found that 26 percent of couples who use contraception fail to delay a pregnancy which they do not intend to have at all. More than onethird of couples who use birth control because they want no more children have a pregnancy within 5 years.
Similar results are found in an Indiana survey: among 35 women interviewed by Planned Parenthood of Northwest Indiana during a 3 month period if 1973, 47 percent had become pregnant because
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