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Life and Liberty for Women
Why We Formed Life and Liberty for Women
I believe women, not just fetuses, have a right to life and liberty and that Roe vs. Wade correctly and morally balanced the right to life and liberty of both.
Peggy Loonan, Founder and Executive Director, Life and Liberty for Women
I decided to form Life and Liberty for Women because I am terrified that women once again will have to face the devastating consequences of illegal abortion and I believe that legal abortion has never been in as much jeopardy as it is today.
I have spent the last ten years working to keep abortion safe and legal in this country. I have written dozens of letters to the editor and op-
 
ed pieces, publicly debated anti-abortion rights individuals, spoke at rallies, and testified before Colorado State House Committees on abortion bills. I have worked candidate campaigns including Co-Coordinating the 1992 U.S. Senate race of Senator Patty Murray in Washington state in the county I lived in. I have also worked feverishly on several abortion issue campaigns, and spent four years, 1994-1998 as a member of the Board of Directors of Colorado NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League). Colorado NARAL taught me a lot about the abortion rights issue and organizing to protect abortion rights.
Send mail to us:
Life and Liberty for Women
PO Box 271778
Fort Collins, CO 80527-1778
Call us:
970-217-7577
Email us:
info@LifeAndLibertyForWomen.org


I am forty-something and the mother of two daughters. I believe every woman has a right to make her own reproductive decisions based on her own set of moral and religious values. I do not believe that anyone else should make such a decision for a woman including legislators or Christian anti-abortion extremists. Without a right to make her own decision about how many children she'll have and when she'll have them, no woman can make a quality life for herself or her family. And, without access to any and all resources to effect a decision about when and how many children she'll have, from contraceptives to adoption to safe abortion, a woman cannot make a quality life for herself and her family. History teaches us that very clearly.
History also teaches us that control of women's reproductive decisions equals control over women and their access to all of what the world offers outside of the domain of the "home and raising babies." Anti-abortion religious extremists would like nothing better than for all
 
women, most particularly white women, to go home and take care of hordes of babies. (Ricki Solinger discusses the issue of race and motherhood in he book, "Wake Up Little Susie, Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe vs. Wade", 1992 and in the book, "Abortion Wars" in the chapter Pregnancy and Power - 1950-1970, published in 1998.) Lynn S. Chancer, in From Abortion to Reproductive Freedom: Transforming a Movement, 1990 stated it this way. "Feminists remain on the political defensive-unless, that is, we become appropriately infuriated at the thought of exactly whom and what anti-abortionists are trying to exclude, whom they are trying to control. Clearly, control is aimed at women as a whole. The ire of the anti-abortionists cannot be understood outside the context of a larger sexual and cultural reaction to feminist gains, terrifying precisely because they have opened a Pandora's box with the promise that the traditionally gendered world may never be the same again."

Randall Terry, the originator of the militant Operation Rescue ...
sees the economic and social freedom of women as the root cause behind abortion
...his avowed goal is to put the genie of equality back in the bottle

Lawrence H. Tribe, in Abortion the Clash of Absolutes, 1990, spoke of Kristin Luker's study which revealed, he said, "that in general, right-to-life activists believe that men and women are different by nature and that they have intrinsically different roles to play in society. Luker found a fear among many such activists that the incorporation of women into traditionally male roles in the workplace threatens to strip women of the role that is uniquely and properly theirs. Indeed, those who most violently oppose the pro-choice position make an explicit connection between such opposition and their desire that women be put back in their traditional roles. Randall Terry, the originator of the militant Operation Rescue, sees the logic behind abortion rights as a force that would destroy 'the traditional family unit' and 'motherhood.' But," continues Tribe, "whether Terry sees the economic and social freedom of women as the root cause behind abortion or sees abortion rights as freeing women to lead lives as full participants in the economy and in public life, his avowed goal is to put the genie of equality back in the
 
bottle. Whether in the name of traditional sex roles or in the name of a traditional sexual morality, much opposition to abortion seems really to be about the control of women."
Tribe concludes his book with this, "To the pro-life advocate, it may become clear in the end that at a deep level, the opposition to women's having the right to choose to end a pregnancy is more about the control of women than about the sanctity of life or of nature. If this is so, then opposition to a right to choose seeks to restrict the liberty of unwilling women in the name of something less than the 'absolute' of the protection of human life. And if this is the case, then even the pro-life advocate may conclude that the objection to abortion rights ought to yield, as a matter of morality, to the claim of the woman to her liberty and equality. To conscript a woman to save a life might be one thing. To conscript her to save a way of life, one in which she is relegated to a second-class role, is another thing entirely."

Over turning Roe vs. Wade ... only makes
abortion more dangerous for women.

In addition, any individual playing with a full deck knows that making abortion illegal will not stop abortion from occurring. Since the beginning of time, law not withstanding, women have made life-threatening sacrifices not to have a baby they are not emotionally or financially prepared to raise. Over turning Roe vs. Wade or so restricting access, in any manner, as to effectively do that, only makes abortion more dangerous for women.
Today, in the 21st century, should abortion become illegal, more women than before Roe, especially young women, will opt to self-abort and will place their health at great risk and many will die. Others will opt for a back-alley abortion. If lucky, these women will find an abortion provider who provides safe abortion services today, who will be willing to risk everything to go underground to provide safe abortion health care services to women. Those women will not place their health and life at great risk. Other women will find an underground "provider" who has little or no medical training and those women won't just be placing their health at risk, but more likely than not, they will lose their lives.
Because abortion will exist as an alternative to an unintended pregnancy whether it is legal or
 
not, making abortion illegal won't save "babies" lives as anti-abortion extremists pretend. And they know that. They just don't want to admit it or discuss it. In addition what they also know but ignore, is that illegal abortion places women's lives at risk that today are not at risk. For that reality, anti-abortion extremists have no answer. It really is a case of out of site - out of mind.
And, in addition, we'll see more abandoned babies and dead babies, especially by young teen girls. Desperate, scared young girls and women, without financial resources to obtain an illegal abortion or raise a child, will do desperate things. Ironically, several states, my own state of Colorado included, have written laws in recent years that either makes the accountability for abandoning a child either non-existent or barely existent, if the child is taken to a hospital, police or fire station. This type of legislation is an outgrowth of the dramatically shrinking access to abortion in the last 20 years, from availability of providers nationwide to laws that place an undue burden on women's right to seek an abortion. It is also an acknowledgement that unwanted babies given birth to by scared unprepared young girls and women, is on the rise and of deep concern to our society.

Anti-abortion extremists will never tell you that a choice to parent
or give up a baby for adoption is fraught with no less emotion, conflict
or potential serious consequences than a decision to have an abortion.

The other related and unspoken truth that anti-abortion rights people try desperately to ignore and won't discuss is the truth and reality about adoption, their only answer to an unintended pregnancy in which parenting is not an option. Anti-abortion extremists will never tell you that a choice to parent or give up a baby for adoption is fraught with no less emotion, conflict or potential serious consequences than a decision to have an abortion. The children who are neglected, abused and living in poverty are proof. So are the emotional stories about birth moms and the children they gave up for adoption.
I, like every other abortion rights individual I know, believe that all three options to an unintended pregnancy are viable moral options and which one is ultimately decided on must be decided by the woman faced with the decision. It cannot be any other way. It would be immoral to force a woman to continue a pregnancy just as it would be immoral to force her to end her pregnancy.
I like every other abortion rights individual I know, believe that prevention is worth a pound
 
of cure. We believe that abstinence is the best form of birth control. But for individuals, men and women alike, who choose to engage in sex, we believe pregnancy and disease prevention should be of paramount concern. Many anti-abortion religious extremists don't believe in any form of artificial birth control and their so-called crisis pregnancy centers won't refer women to physicians who would provide them with birth control information or birth control pills and devices. For these individuals it's abstinence or nothing. These anti-abortion religious extremists are out of touch with not just mainstream America, but with reality.
Lawrence H. Tribe, speaking in his book, again about Kristin Luker's study of abortion and motherhood, said, "Believing that an important and natural function of women is the bearing of children, such right-to-life activists (themselves often women) evidently believe that abortion and, indeed, all methods of fertility control subordinate the special value of pregnancy and the uniqueness of the woman's natural place. These activists accordingly oppose artificial means of contraception that interfere with the unpredictable possibility of pregnancy."

anti-abortion extremists promote the criminalization of abortion in all circumstances...
they are adamant that no artificial birth control should be legal or used by anyone

From the Horses Mouth
"We are totally opposed to abortion under any circumstances. We are also opposed to all forms of birth control with the exception of natural family planning (the rhythm method)."
- Judie Brown, American Life Lobby.
"At its core, birth control is anti-child. You consummate your marriage as often as you like and if you have babies, you have babies."
- Randall Terry, founder Operation Rescue.
"I think contraception is disgusting."
- Joe Scheidler, Director, Pro-Life League.
The Pearson Foundation Manual on how to start and operate your own "pro-life" outreach crisis pregnancy center, explicitly instructs counselors "never to counsel or refer for artificial contraceptives or sterilization."
Catholic Values Investment Trust will not invest in companies that manufacture contraceptives or abortion equipment, even
 
removing the drugstore Rite Aid from its investments because the store sells contraceptives. And the Timothy Plan opposes companies that make contraceptives and abortion products, including insurance companies that cover abortion.
So, anti-abortion extremists promote the criminalization of abortion in all circumstances. That position places women's health and life at risk from unsafe medical care, but they don't care. What a bummer, they say, that's her problem. (Of course you'll note that not one "daddy" risks his health or life in the back-alley. That's a bummer too, isn't it?) Anti-abortion extremists also know that not one "baby" will be saved when abortion happens on a woman's bathroom floor or in a back-alley. Additionally, they are adamant that no artificial birth control should be legal or used by anyone. And they want us to believe that this is about "babies" lives, not controlling women's lives?


 
 
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