It is my personal belief that abortion is a practice that we should do our best to end in our society, but making the act of having an abortion a crime does not advance that goal, it puts the lives of women in jeopardy and violates the rights guaranteed to all Americans under the United States Constitution. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman’s right to have an abortion is constitutionally protected, and I agree with that ruling.

The history in this country shows that prior to Roe when abortion was illegal in most of the country, that imposing criminal sanctions did not solve the problem, it compounded it.

If you want to solve the problem then you have to treat the cause.

Unfortunately, most of the people who oppose abortion support teaching abstinence in schools as the sole way of preventing pregnancy, but sexual desire is a driving human instinct and for anyone to believe that teaching abstinence only is an adequate means of deterring unwanted pregnancy then they are not only being dishonest, they are putting our children at risk.

If we wish to reduce the number of abortions in this country, it will take changes in what we teach our young people about sex and birth control. It will also require that birth control is available to the general public.

I know that many people complain about the provisions in the Affordable Care Act that require insurance companies to pay for birth control, including plan b options, but an unwanted pregnancy is an unwanted medical condition, and it is not only the responsibility of insurance companies to pay to prevent it, but it is in their best interest to do so because preventing an unwanted pregnancy is a lot cheaper than paying for a pregnancy.

Until, we seriously address the problem, and stop criminalizing those affected by it; we will continue to have high rates of unwanted pregnancy and high rates of abortion.