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April 10, 2019

In Georgia, Safe Sex Is More Important Than Ever

Hey, Bonita…

Bonita,

I am a proud mother and grandmother, registered nurse and an avid reader of your column. I appreciate your advice to young people to practice safe and consensual sex, and I am writing to ask you to please remind your readers of the need to use birth control, now more than ever.

There is a very good chance that women’s right to abortion in Georgia will be severely limited soon. That doesn’t mean women will stop having abortions; it means women will stop having safe abortions. Although there is no form of birth control that is 100% effective, convenient, easy to use, accessible and affordable with no side effects, women and men have a responsibility to do the best they can to prevent unplanned pregnancies. When you choose to hook up with someone, ask yourself if you would be willing to raise a child with that person. Are you ready for the lifelong responsibilities of parenthood? If not, get yourself some free condoms from the health department.

I worked for several years in a women’s clinic, where we provided top-of-the line abortion care while treating patients with the respect and dignity every person should receive from their health-care providers. Even in that nurturing and supportive environment, I never met one woman who was glad to be there. Most women go on to lead happy, healthy lives after an abortion, but some women feel emotional scars for the rest of their lives. Abortion is never an easy decision to make, and it is about to get even more difficult as our legal rights are chipped away.

To the people who say, “Adoption is the answer,” here are some facts of which you may not be aware: Healthy white infants are usually easily adopted. Infants of color, infants with health problems, older babies and toddlers and babies who are members of sibling groups often linger in the foster care system for years, many of them never being adopted into forever families. My question to everyone trying to limit abortion rights is, “How many of these children are you willing to adopt into your own family?”

Thanks for letting me get on my soapbox, and thank you for continuing to offer responsible, healthy, fact-based advice to your readers!

Thank you so much for being an avid reader, and thank you for speaking about this very important topic. By this point, we’ve all heard about the “heartbeat bill” that was passed recently, and now all it needs it Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature before women in Georgia get screwed.

I appreciate you advocating for smart choices and safe sex, but we also have to keep in mind that plenty of women get abortions for medical reasons, too, not just personal ones. Plus, there’s the fact that most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks, which is roughly the amount of time that women will have to terminate pregnancies under this new law.

I don’t think the bill is about valuing life when 8,000 people in this state lost SNAP benefits over that new work requirement—and how many of those people do you think had children to care for? Plus, we’ve got the movie industry threatening to boycott us again for treating each other like crap. It’s sad, it’s embarrassing, and I fail to see how this new law protects anything or speaks for the voiceless. Abortions have been performed for millennia, and women aren’t going to stop having them just because some suit made it harder. It’s just gonna get less safe, and lives will be lost because of it. In college, I remember hearing about women still throwing themselves down stairs because we were in a state where a medical abortion cost $600 in the early 2000s. That’s ridiculous, and that’s deadly.

Maybe Kemp will get smart and veto the bill, but I feel rather pessimistic about that. It’s really no one’s damned business what decisions people want to make about parenthood, and impeding access to things like health care and government assistance will just drive people away to states and countries that aren’t trying to legislate morality.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use the anonymous form at flagpole.com/getadvice, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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