DEAR HARRIETTE: A new law was put in place in Alabama, banning women from having abortions, even in cases of incest or rape. I fear that this won't stop in just one state but will spread across the country. I would say that this represents a war on women, but I am aware that a couple of women were partially responsible for allowing this law to pass, including the governor of Alabama.
I am sure this law passed because of the Christian majority in the country. While I am Christian, I believe people should have control of their own bodies. This leads me to question whether Christianity is being used the right way in this country. Time and time again, we have seen Christianity used to promote violence and hate, yet those actions go against the words of the Bible. This can be confusing to many people, including myself, and it causes people to question their faith. What are your thoughts on this matter? -- The Abortion Fight
DEAR THE ABORTION FIGHT: The right to choose is one of the most volatile issues of our time. And Alabama is not alone; many states are changing their laws about abortion, which is shaking America to its core. Rallies are being organized nationwide to protest the conservative wave that seems to be sweeping our country. The question arises again and again: Who has dominion over a woman’s body?
Before abortions were safe and legal, women still had them for a host of reasons. Abortions will not go away if states make the surgery illegal, but the mortality risk to women will skyrocket as safety precautions get lost due to this intervention.
Most Christians -- and followers of many other religions -- consider abortion a last resort for an unwanted pregnancy -- if it’s ever a consideration at all. Most people, religious or not, believe that life is sacred. However, that belief does not require a woman to give up the right to choose.
I have witnessed firsthand many women who cannot properly care for their children who have brought them into the world only for them to suffer terribly. I have seen our government fail children who are pushed into the system when parents cannot care for their babies. Of course there are success stories as well. But since our country does not and cannot promise to care for children who are born into families who cannot support them, I do not think we have the right to force women to bring those children into the world.
I know there will be many of you who disagree with me. I challenge you to look around and talk to your neighbors and friends openly and honestly about this subject. Regardless of your religious views, does this feel right to you? Do you think we should force people to have children conceived by rape or incest? Do you think the government should be able to control what you can and cannot do with your body? I don’t think so. I believe you should be able to make this decision based on your values and needs. The operative word here is YOU.
Whatever your opinion is on this subject, now is the time to speak up. Whatever position you support, contact your member of Congress and make your opinion known. Your voice will count, but only if you speak up. To reach United States Representatives, call 202-225-3121; for U.S. Senators, call 202-224-3121.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)