I’m Sure They’d Rather Have A Root Canal

by Deedra Abboud in Political, Social Views
July 10, 2018 1 comment

When I was junior in high school, I was in an Honors Government Class of mixed junior and seniors.

One day, the topic of abortion came up. I didn’t have an opinion about it and was not really interested in the conversation.

A male senior (a ‘popular’ kid) made the loud statement, “If girls didn’t open their legs for every Tom, Dick, and Harry they wouldn’t need an abortion!”

I responded, “You know it only takes one time to get pregnant, right?”

Our teacher was not impressed with my comment. For ‘punishment’ she assigned me a term paper and oral report on abortion.

No doubt she thought I would report back on the graphic images widely available even then.

I didn’t.

I went to the microfiche section of the local University and researched abortion during the Depression.

Statistics were clear that married women were the largest demographic of those who died from back-alley abortions performed by Quacks.

Most already had children.

Contraception was illegal.

Saying ‘no’ to their husbands was illegal.

Their children were dying or on the brink of dying from starvation and disease. They couldn’t imagine bringing another child into that world.

During the oral report, my teacher made the statement that her problem was that abortion was cheaper than her root canal.

To which I replied, “I’m sure they’d rather have a root canal.”

What I learned from this experience, which was vastly different than what my teacher intended, was that abortion as an option has always been a part of the reality of being a woman.

The only difference Roe vs Wade made was making it safe, both legally and medically.

We could reduce abortion by increasing sexual education, access to birth control, and economic opportunities for women.

We are currently doing the opposite in every way from every direction.

Which begs the question, is it really about abortion and protecting life?

1 Comment
  1. John Hurley says:

    This is a very thoughtful perspective on a difficult topic. No one has ever said getting an abortion was a desirable endeavor — a root canal would be preferable — but nonetheless it requires thoughtfulness to protect that choice as alternatives are also not desirable.
    Thank you Deedra Abboud.

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