We did it wrong, and are continuing to do it wrong. I wrote a blog last week on the religious fanatics that are driving the abortion issue in the United States. The focus of that blog was that the rise of the “Religious Right” was dangerous for the nation. Their beliefs were impacting American society to the point where the upcoming mid-term U.S. Congressional elections will be dominated by the question of whether the law of Roe vs Wade should be repealed or not. Worse, the U.S. Supreme Court seems about to put us all on a path of restricting the rights of the individual – women deciding what happens to their own bodies could be the tip of the conservative iceberg. What’s next?
Thinking about that blog, and the increasing coverage of the issue of abortion in the media – we have six more months of that before the mid-term elections – made me realize that U.S. society has made a fundamental mistake. We did it wrong, and are still doing it wrong, after sixty-odd years.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved “The Pill” in 1960, after years of lobbying, research, and clinical trials that were held in Puerto Rico because holding them on the Mainland was too controversial – conservatives and the religious right were too powerful.
Since then, the pill has become a part of U.S. society, and part of most societies throughout the world. I have never seen the statistics, but I would bet that is also an integral part of the religious fanatics’ lives as well.
It is interesting to note that the original research that developed the pill came from a plant that Aztec women had used for centuries to prevent pregnancy – but I digress.
The fundamental mistake we have made, in my opinion, is that we have not used the discovery of “the pill” effectively.
Why do we have so many abortions, and the resulting political and social nightmare that they produce, when we have the solution?
“The Pill” is close to 100% effective, and we now have the “Morning-after Pill” that covers mistakes, rape, incest and emotional forgetfulness. AND, these pills are essentially free. Critics, apart from the fanatics, will say access to “the pill” is the problem, but that’s a smokescreen. The logistics can be solved relatively easily, if we want to do it.
All the hoopla about abortion that is currently invading our every thought and word, would be mostly irrelevant if we were serious about using the solution we’ve had for sixty (60) years.
I remember watching a TV interview around the time “the pill” first came out. A mother was asked if she would give it to her daughter. She said, “No”. She then added coyly that she wished they made it in powder form so she could sprinkle it over her daughter’s cornflakes every morning.
We have the means to make the vast majority of this problem go away and, as I said above, IT’S FREE. We now have reversible vasectomies as well, which provides another major solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies, and all the trauma that goes with them.
I said in my blog last week that women make up the majority of the population of most countries. Please use that power to restructure our societies to universally adopt these available, free solutions to the abortion issue and effectively take this socially-destructive issue off the political agenda.
It’s about time we stopped doing it wrong. Sixty years is way too long to be short-sighted and stupid.