morrison on abortion rights and reproductive careby Kelli

At a time when abortion rights are in jeopardy — Louisiana’s governor recently signed a bill that would close three of the state’s five clinics that offer abortions, Texas is likely to have only six clinics by September, because of a draconian new law, and other states are cracking down — fresh ideas like this might lessen the stigma of abortion….

Katharine Morrison [pictured to the left of certified nurse midwife Eileen Stewart], the doctor who presides over all the services at the Buffalo center, doesn’t think women should suffer for their reproduction, as she puts it. She is disturbed when women endure birth control with harsh side effects, state-appointed waiting periods for abortions and a lack of control over how they actually deliver their children.

From her perspective, anti-abortion efforts are not so different from, say, doctors who do not let women have the birth process they choose and instead pressure them to have cesareans. She regards both as strains of medical paternalism….

We now hew to religious rhetoric on one hand or rights-oriented rhetoric on the other. Seeing reproductive care as a continuum might rejigger our thinking and remind us that many of us experience both childbirth and abortion.

~ Alissa Quart, writing an opinion piece on New York’s Buffalo Womenservices, a “birth and [up to 22 weeks] abortion center in one”, The New York Times, June 14

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