A much disputed point in the ongoing abortion debate is whether women should have the right to choose abortion if they have fallen victim to rape or incest.
Mary-Ali Taft, 17, of Morrisonville disagrees, saying she thinks abortion will one day be illegal in the United States and that she hopes this happens within her lifetime.
“The legality of abortion is disturbing, it’s unsettling, and it needs to be abolished,” she said. Taft said women who are considering abortion are not alone in their struggles. “There’s help all around you. Don’t lose hope and there are people out there that want to help.”
Another topic of contention among anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights activists is the availability of birth control to women.
“I believe that birth control and abortion are different,” and birth control should be legal, Hughey said.
Racette took a different stance. “A lot of forms of birth control actually cause abortions,” he said. Racette said abstinence from sex is the best option.
Taft agreed and is also anti-birth control. “I know there are medicinal benefits of it, but I think it’s just another enabling factor for irresponsible decisions.”
“I believe that any organization that offers abortion services has an evil agenda,” Taft added.
Martha Stahl, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood of North Country New York, said abortion represents just 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood of the North Country provides. The other 97 percent is preventative health care, annual exams, pap tests, birth control services, family planning and testing for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Anti-abortion advocates routinely picket outside Planned Parenthood’s Plattsburgh clinic, Stahl said.
“We know there are patients who won’t come to an appointment if there are picketers outside,” Stahl said. “It can be truly intimidating.”
Planned Parenthood supports a woman’s right to make her own decisions about the health care she receives, Stahl said.