By Joshua Daniel Hershfield 10/23/06
On October 3, 1977, Rosie Jimenez, a 27 year old single
mother, died of an infection from an illegal abortion. She was studying at a University, hoping that her studies
would help to bring her and her daughter out of a cycle of poverty and
unemployment. The still active Hyde
Amendment cut Medicaid funds for abortion, so she was forced to go to an
illegal abortionist. The next day she
was in a hospital for an infection, and a week later she was dead.
Her story is not rare.
Countless women have died in this country because of “back
alley” abortions. An estimated
70,000 women and girls die each year from botched and unsafe abortions in
countries around the world where abortion is illegal. If the Bush administration and the religious
right get their way, then those statistics will soon include the United States.
The illegalization of abortion will not stop abortions from
occurring, but will put women at risk for infection, injury, and death. The way to prevent these horrendous and
unnecessary atrocities is to make abortion legal, protected, safe, and free.
As anti-abortionists gain increasing power, as
fundamentalist Christianity gets worked into our government and legal system,
as the Democratic Party turns to anti-choice candidates and common ground with
the Republicans, and as the Supreme Court gears up to possibly pass a law that
could ban second trimester abortions, we remember Rosie Jimenez and the
hundreds of thousands of women who died because of these patriarchal and