I met Frances years ago, when I was working for a transitional housing ministry for destitute HIV-positive drug addicts in recovery. Frances shared her story openly as she progressed in her recovery. Her story opened my eyes about what some girls endure in this life:
Frances' mother was a common street prostitute. Frances had no idea who her biological father was, just that he was some john. The man that Frances grew up calling her father was in fact her mother's pimp. When Frances was 13 or 14 years old, the pimp "father" began abusing Frances sexually (Frances was already used to her mother beating her with an electrical cord.) Soon Frances was pregnant. The mother found out about the pregnancy and threw the pimp out of the house in a rare display of maternal concern.
But there was still a pregnancy to be dealt with. Rather than take Frances to a qualified physician, her mother forced Frances to drink something she had concocted. The homemade abortifacient did its work. Soon the teenager's body was expelling the fetus into the toilet. The mother flushed the toilet unceremoniously, and Frances watched as a tiny hand swirled in the toilet bowl and then disappeared.
The amateur illegal abortion traumatized Frances. Her need to numb that trauma combined with the on-the-job training she was getting at home propelled Frances into prostitution, drug addiction, and alcoholism. By the time I met her, Frances was also a two-time felon and HIV-positive. Frances had never finished school and was working on her G.E.D. in addition to her recovery. Her mother had died in the streets years before while Frances was in prison.
What Frances craved most was some shred of love in this life. She became involved with another client and married him -- even though the ministry discouraged clients from becoming involved with anybody in the early phases of their twelve steps to recovery. The marriage lasted until the day federal law enforcement officers broke down the door to their apartment. Her husband had been accessing child pornography over the internet while Frances was at work. He, too, was a two-time felon, so they sent him up for life as a three-time loser.
Frances suffered a relapse and soon was back out on the street. My former boss was searching the streets to find Frances in order to bring Frances back in and restart her recovery the last I heard (You will meet my former boss Tina in another post.)
YOU tell me how strangling access to legal safe abortions for victims of child rape, incest, and sex trafficking can help a Frances or any other girl in a similar predicament. Apparently, "true believers" would not permit themselves -- or anybody else -- to rescue the child from heinous abuse by aborting the pregnancy legally and safely and then moving the girl to a safe haven. Instead religionists must compound the abuse by scoffing at and making a mockery of the child's trauma.
UPDATE: As of late March 2012, Ohio's illustrious governor, attorney general, majority legislators et al have rediscovered child sex trafficking as an election year issue. From their legislative performance to date, I must infer that they have no problem with transvaginal ultrasound sonograms to detect the heartbeat of a fetus as long as the probe is being shoved into your daughter, niece, or granddaughter, not theirs.
Addendum: Compare http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15318725; http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00kmdg9; http://www.ppao.org/Legislation-129thGA.html