We do not need to guess about the brutal consequences of overturning Roe. We know from our own country’s pre-Roe history and from the experience around the world. Women desperate to end a pregnancy would find a way to do so. Well-to-do women living in places where abortion is illegal would travel to other states where it is legal to obtain the procedure. Women lacking the resources would either be forced by the government and politicians to go through with an unwanted or risky pregnancy, attempt to self-abort or turn to an illegal — and potentially unsafe — provider for help. Women’s health, privacy and equality would suffer. Some women would die.
Mr. Romney knows this, or at least he used to. Running for the United States Senate in Massachusetts in 1994 against Edward Kennedy, Mr. Romney spoke of a young woman, a close relative, who died years before as result of complications from an illegal abortion to underscore his now-extinct support for Roe v. Wade. In a report in Salon last year, Justin Elliott, a reporter for ProPublica, found that when the young woman passed away, her parents requested that donations be made in her honor to Planned Parenthood. That’s the same invaluable family-planning group that Mr. Romney has pledged to defund once in the White House.
Let’s be honest here. I’m a gay man. And yet I grieve for the millions of women a Romney presidency would turn into second class citizens, just as I celebrate and applaud the president for advancing the rights of all people — especially LGBT, women, and minorities. I grieve for the assault on freedom a President Mitt Romney has promised to bring. And I grieve because far too many Americans are too busy or self-absorbed to care — and to act.
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