Legal Abortion in the U.S. Is Safe, It's the Restrictions Being Placed on It That Are Endangering Women's Lives
Banning abortion does not stop abortion. It just changes where it happens, how it happens, when it happens, and increases the risk of the procedure. A 186-page report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine unequivocally concludes that modern, legal abortion in the United States is safe and effective. However, states that seek to limit abortion by mandating waiting periods, pre-procedure counseling, or by placing onerous restrictions on facilities that perform the procedure actually succeed not in making the procedure less frequent, but in making it less safe.
"Abortion is safer when it's performed earlier in gestation," said Dr. Hal Lawrence, CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "And so delaying and making people wait and go through hoops of unnecessary, extra procedures does not improve the safety. And actually by having them delay, can actually worsen the safety."
Who is the archetypal American single mother? Is she a divorced professional who juggles motherhood and a stressful career in a frenzied attempt to “have it all”? Or is she a young, unwed mother, unemployed and welfare-bound? The truth is, there is no archetypal single mother, regardless of what entertainment and media would have us believe. These two familiar extremes ignore the myriad ways in which women become single mothers, as well as the diversity of the women themselves. What about single mothers who happen to be lesbians, or women of color, or working class women? Those characters, and their struggles, aren't easily found on prime-time TV sitcoms or among book club selections.
Staceyann Chin is a multitasking single mother. When I first spoke with her, she was standing at the curb in front of her Brooklyn apartment building, one arm reaching out to hail a taxi to pick up her daughter, the other holding her phone to her ear. Sound familiar?