Wanting it Both Ways
I must admit that I don’t yet read the Santa Cruz Sentinel. I’m sure it’s a fine paper and I will add it to my daily routine in due time, but for the moment I continue to satiate my non-national news needs with the Seattle Times and PI. Today, in the News section of the Times I found a foolish editorial by Nicole Brodeur regarding abortion.
She is lamenting the fact that the State doesn’t collect enough information from women seeking abortion services. Currently the State asks for the woman’s age, race, residency, the procedure performed, and whether there were any complications. Personally, I wonder why they even need that much information.
Now, I’m all for voluntary disclosure of information that can help the State better plan medical services. I don’t like the idea of the State mandating that disclosure in exchange for access to medical services. There are lots of reasons why a women may not want to disclose personal facts about who they are or why they are seeking an abortion. Seen at a higher level, a large state-controlled database of all abortion procedures seems like a big target for anti-choice activists to use to embarrass or intimidate future abortion seekers. Lord only knows what the Bush administration might do with such a list.
Nichole ends her editorial with by saying “…if we’re going to help women prevent abortions, we have to know more about the lives of those who have had them, all the while respecting their privacy and their choice.” That’s all well and good, but blasting the limited information that is collected without advancing any concrete ways to collect additional information that won’t be used to categorize and control future abortion seekers isn’t very helpful.