I am writing in defense of Planned Parenthood. Their services, including pregnancy termination, are long overdue in Juneau. Nobody wants to have an abortion. Unplanned pregnancies happen, however, and it is definitely not always in the best interest of the woman to take on the significant emotional and financial commitment of raising that potential child.
A fetus is not a child. A fetus, even with mind-boggling advances in medical obstetrics, is not viable until about 26 weeks old. It is crucial that women retain sovereignty to choose what is right for their lives, which may be much more fulfilling and productive without carrying to term any given pregnancy.
The planet's major problem is overpopulation. Ideally, for the health of us all, the only children who would come to term would be those who are fully planned for, and for whom emotional and financial resources are in place.
Current polls and research have resoundingly proven that "abstinence only" programs not only do not reduce teen sexuality, but in some communities adhering to this ineffectual policy, teen pregnancy rates have actually risen.
In Juneau today, most women experiencing unwanted pregnancies (and most of these women are not teens) have to fly to Anchorage or Seattle for termination. Plan B, or the "morning after" pill is available here, and this helps, but it's not easy for women to know whether or not they are pregnant right away.
If men were the ones getting pregnant would they just grin and bear it? I doubt it! Most sperm does not become a child. I'm just not going to let that bother me. But having someone else dictating what I can and can't do with my own body definitely does bother me.
Dr. Emily A. Kane
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