In the 1970s Clergymen Made Abortion More Accessible
You might be surprised to hear that the recent laws mandating that abortion procedures be medicalized are actually a modern phenomenon.
In 1970, religious leaders in New York moved abortion procedures outside of hospitals and into more affordable, comfortable clinics. They felt that a clinic setting would be less intimidating and less expensive than the traditional hospital. They also believed that abortions should not be treated in the same matter as a sickness. It is estimated that by 1973, 1400 clergy members helped hundred of thousands of women obtain safe abortions.
Before the widespread religious opposition to abortion common in today’s society, clergyman were actually trained to counsel women who faced an unwanted pregnancy as well as provide her with access to a safe abortion.In the 1960s, thousands of women in the US were dying from unsafe abortions. Not surprisingly, those who were most effected were women of color.
Not only were the clergy concerned with giving these women dignified abortion care, but they were also educated on the safest, cheapest way to deliver the service.
Passing laws that further medicalize abortion procedures doesn’t protect women. Instead, it causes small clinics to shut their doors, thus driving up the cost of the overall procedure. This not only makes it harder for women (especially those who are poor and a minority) to access safe abortion, but it increases the chances that these women will take matters into their own hands.
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