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Republican legislator, a doctor, writes a remarkable letter about abortion and contraception

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Oklahoma State Rep. Doug Cox (above) recently wrote THIS LETTER to the editor of his state’s largest daily newspaper:

All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog. In the real world, they are less than perfect.

As a practicing physician (who never has or will perform an abortion), I deal with the real world. In the real world, 15- and 16-year-olds get pregnant (sadly, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds do also). In the real world, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who give birth are unmarried. And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman’s path to escaping the shackles of poverty.

Yet I cannot convince my Republican colleagues that one of the best ways to eliminate abortions is to ensure access to contraception. A recent attempt by my fellow lawmakers to prevent Medicaid dollars from covering the “morning after” pill is a case in point. Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions. Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.

But wait, some lawmakers want to go even further and limit everyone’s access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception.

What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay? What happened to the Republican Party that felt government should not overregulate people until (as we say in Oklahoma) “you have walked a mile in their moccasins”?

Is my thinking too clouded by my experiences in the real world? Experiences like having a preacher, in the privacy of an exam room say, “Doc, you have heard me preach against abortion but now my 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, where can I send her?” Or maybe it was that 17-year-old foreign exchange student who said, “I really made a mistake last night. Can you prescribe a morning-after pill for me? If I return to my home country pregnant, life as I know it will be over.”

What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. hobbes

    well, it sounds like the good doctor is becoming aware of what his party has become and is soon going to be voting for anyone BUT the right. i know that the republican party is not the one that i was a part of and it’s not anything i want a part of today. i believe that the gop has gone so far to the right that there is no turning back for them. look at what happened in Texas, that was democracy? i can no longer support the right.

  2. “Look at what happened in Texas”? The Texas law only changed the date requirements. I’m sorry but 5 months is plenty of time to get an abortion. What legitimate excuse could anyone have that 5 months is not ample time to decide on and get an abortion? But my big issue is that there shouldn’t be abortions except for grave situations such as rape, incest, harm to mother and/or child if delivered. There is no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy in this day and age with so many contraceptive options available, most free at all local clinics. I have heard others state that “they can’t afford contraceptives” for whatever reason yet they can afford to pay for an abortion???

  3. Brian Opsahl

    The fact is in Texas they will be closing almost all of there abortion clinics thus preventing women from getting the needed birth control that might prevent a unplanned pregnancy.

    What idiot thinks that is a good idea…?
    What moron would force a women to carry the baby of a rape.

  4. It’s simple – the corporate plutocracy has bought the party by hook or by crook.

  5. Those who seek abortions after 20 weeks are almost invariably people who wanted and/or planned the pregnancy, but find out after testing (which is only available at 20 weeks) that there is something horribly wrong with the fetus, such as a malformed or missing major organ. We aren’t talking about women who suddenly decide at five months that, hey, they don’t want to carry to term after all. These are heart-wrenching decisions made by people who never thought they’d want an abortion, but the prospect of a fetus who will either die in the womb or shortly after birth, or at best live a non-life as a complete vegetable, is unthinkable. Ironically, 20-week abortion bans cause *more* abortions, as women who get earlier, less clear testing might choose to abort a potentially healthy fetus, because they know that if they wait for the more definitive test, they won’t be able to.

    As to contraception, even if you can afford it and use it correctly every time, (not the easiest thing for most people to do in our abstinence-only-education culture) no method of contraception is 100% effective.

    Finally, avoiding harm to the mother/child is exactly why people choose abortion- not just physical harm, but the severe emotional, economic, and environmental harm that is often the result of being forced to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term.

  6. John Anderson

    What gives anyone the right to force me to pay for what is immoral? Does your “right” to kill the human being alive in your womb somehow also entail a “right” to make me fund that procedure for you? If so, I have a right to bear arms, and therefore demand that you buy me a gun.

  7. Troy Ochsner

    I guess I’m wondering what makes you think contraceptives are immoral John Anderson? And nobody is saying that they want you to pay for an abortion. Isn’t it crazy that the same group of people who oppose abortion, support the death penalty?

    As a kid, I used to think I was a Republican. But now, I know I am definitely not.

  8. Has it ever entered anyone’s mind here to practice abstenance until marriage?!?!?! I did and I have been thankful for it my entire life. MAYBE that would fix all these problems because abortion = killing a baby. No ifs, ands or buts about it. It’s killing a human. If a guy would kill a lady that’s 5 months pregnant, he would be accused of killing 2 people. How does that change if a mom decides to have a doctor kill the baby in the name of “abortion???” Get your head out of the sand and THINK for once. DUH!!!! Republican and Democrat are all the same. Again, get your heads out of the sand and do some learning beyond the TV and mainstream media garbage. Think for yourself.

  9. Brian Opsahl

    Sally, Your the exception not the rule.

    Most believe life begins at birth. Last time I checked abortions we’re still leagle….the law of the land says that it is a womens choice to make. Women get raped and you want to add to that trama by forseing her to now carry that child…are you nuts …!! don’t let men deciede what is your decision,your body and your life….ever…!!!

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