Obama’s Late Term Abortion Comments Ignore Stark Realities


Thirteen years ago I became an unwilling pawn in the first matches
of the national debate on late term abortion. The experience has afforded me a
personal perspective that few share. Unfortunately, for myself and a small
percentage of other affected women, proximity to an issue has never been a
requirement of opinion.

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama recently clarified his position on late term abortion to the publisher
of Relevant magazine:

"…I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate
for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there
is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t
think that "mental distress" qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it
has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are
real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.
Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we
can prohibit late-term abortions."

It was 13 years ago that a Democrat-turned-Republican Florida
congressman named Charles Canady held a meeting with Keri Folmar, a lawyer on
his payroll, and Douglas Johnson, a lobbyist for the National Right to Life
Committee, and the trio first coined the non-medical phrase "partial-birth
abortion" that is now written into legislation.

At roughly the same time as that fateful meeting, I sat in my
obstetrician’s office and listened without fully understanding as the doctor
repeated the medical term "anencephaly" over and over in reference to the child
I carried.

More than a month later I sat in a university hospital with
obstetrician number five as he patiently and painstakingly presented ultrasound
scans from "normal" pregnancies and then scans from my own pregnancy. Each of
the multiple anomalies present — omphalocele, spina bifida, anencephaly and
others — were explained and, for the first time I fully understood why the
child I already deeply loved and wanted would never survive outside of my
womb.

Several days after that appointment my husband and I, in
consultation with the doctor, made the decision that we would not attempt to
carry to term and would terminate.

Because there were only potential and no immediate threats to my
physical health, there are many who would stand in judgment of our family’s
decision. To be honest, there are many who have and still do. One thing that has
stood out, however, is the fact that other families who have faced similar
choices — even those who made the opposite decision — have never wagged an
accusatory finger in our direction. There’s something about the process of
deciding between Option A and your child’s death, Option B and your child’s
death or Option C and your child’s death that tends to put things in
perspective. A perspective, it seems, of which Senator Obama has absolutely no
understanding.

On one hand, I’d like nothing better than to take Obama’s hand and
force him to walk each and every step of that experience with me. I want him to
know the bittersweet feel of a child that will never live outside of the womb
against his insides. I want him to wake up in the middle of the night and just
for a moment know peace before the reality of what’s taken place comes crashing
down again. I want him to have to sit and look at pictures of contorted infant
cadavers as a doctor does his best to explain the anomalies. I want him to
understand the force of a parent’s sorrow and prayer as one life is offered on
behalf of another. I want him to feel the nation’s war of words in relation to
abortion as personally and as raw as I do. I want him to understand that
psychological wounds leave horrific scars.

On the other hand, the dismal truth is that I’m not that cruel.
Even if I had the ability to force my memories and my experiences on Obama…
even if by doing so I could virtually guarantee that he’d never again utter such
an ignorant (at best) or politically-motivated (at worst) response… I couldn’t
do it. What I’ve experienced is something I’d never wish, much less willingly
give, to another person.

One thing I can provide, however, is a first-hand glimpse into what
Obama’s policy clarification would have meant in my real-life situation.

By the time I had the appointment with the fifth obstetrician, my
body was retaining far more amniotic fluid than the pregnancy required, an
uncomfortable condition known as polyhydramnios. The doctor told me that because
of the excess fluid it was more likely that the pregnancy would not come to term
before the child died. If the child died, and my body didn’t begin a spontaneous
abortion, there were risks of infection.

Although we had made the decision to terminate the pregnancy, we
first had to deal with state law requirements in relation to late term
abortions. When our waiver was denied, our doctor referred us to another
physician in a nearby state. An ultrasound the morning of the two-day procedure
showed that our child had already died. Further tests concluded that I had
already developed an infection.

Obama’s policy clarification states that he would require a
"strict" health exception. It’s doubtful that the possibility of early fetal
demise resulting in an infection would fit the requirements. Most likely, under
his policy, I would not have had an option to terminate. I would have continued
the pregnancy and, given the known outcome, would have received minimal prenatal
care. As a result, instead of the fetal demise going undetected for an estimated
two days, it could have gone undetected until I began to experience the
full-blown affects of infection.

At the time of this pregnancy, we already had a then three-year-old
daughter. She remained blissfully unaware of the pregnancy, the diagnosis and
the termination. I was able to wait until I thought she was emotionally ready to
hear and understand what happened so long ago.

Obama’s plan does not allow for parents to decide when their other
children learn about a sibling’s death.

If there is such a thing as adding insult to this sort of injury,
however, the award goes to Congress and the Bush administration for their
passage of the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban," and the U.S. Supreme Court for
their ruling in Gonzalez v. Carhart. While this piece of legislation does
nothing to limit late term abortions, it does outlaw a specific procedure that
allowed doctors to remove the fetus body intact.

Just to be clear, given that in my case the child suffered from
anencephaly, it would be next to impossible for me to have had a true dilation
and extraction procedure. To be graphic, an ancephalic child has no skull to
prohibit its passage through the cervix. However, if I were to undergo a
termination for an ancephalic child today, the doctor, according to law, would
not be able to deliver the fetus in one piece. That is, our law now requires the
fetus to be dismembered prior to removal from the uterus. Not only is this a
more invasive procedure, but it prevents the parents of ancephalic children from
holding their child after a termination has been completed.

According our Supreme Court, our current President and a majority of
those serving in Congress, only a mother who opts to carry to term should be
given the privilege of holding the intact body of her dead son or
daughter.

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  • http://johnraphaelpaniagua.memory-of.com invalid-0

    I’m sorry what you went through 13 years ago. And you’re right, I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone else. I experienced the same 5 years ago. One thing I have to disagree with is this…It is unfair in your article to say that “an ancephalic child has no skull to prohibit its passage through the cervix”. Just because the child lacks a skull, that alone doesn’t prohibit the mother from having a natural birth. Even if you “induce” a pregnancy with the purpose of terminating it, the uterine muscles will push the baby out. Please read my story. There are many miracles like mine. I gave natural birth to a full-term boy who was NOT induced, no bones broken, came out head-first and lived 7 minutes in my arms. Although many cases are different, your statements should be more accurate.

  • scott-swenson

    Lynda,

    Thank you for sharing your powerful personal story and the pain of the private medical decision you and your family made. This should be required reading for anyone daring to make judgments of another person’s personal life decisions, and should underscore the complexity of reproductive health, and why private decisions should be made by the people and the professionals directly involved. Not judges. Not politicians.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • lynda-waddington

    Eli, I’m truly sorry for your loss. I think my statement may read differently than I intended it. I wasn’t trying to say that the lack of skull prohibits a vaginal birth. I was trying to explain why, in the case of an anencephalic child, there is a low probability of head being unable to pass through a medically dilated cervix.

    A good friend of mine was able to spend nearly 14 minutes with her daughter before she died. I’m glad you had your seven minutes and wish you’d have had more.

  • harry834

    the voices of women who have these abortions, or any abortions, is worth more than anything I say, or Scott says, or even other women. I want more women who had abortions to speak out, and I want them to do so without me or anyone standing there, "prepping" them. I’m not accusing any of you of anything, but after seeing things like this by Canada’s "prolife prowoman" which tries to contest the stories of I’m Not Sorry, while accepting the stories of "regretful women". Here

    My point is is that these jerks will always find a way to skew the testimonies to their favor. I know we’ll never stop them from doing that, but its a call to always let women speak "unprepped".

    The flipside is that, who speaks unprepped? Anyone who writes out or says anything without "uhs" "ums" or rambling is doing so because they practiced. Public Speaking 101.

    Would it be better if we were caught on the spot and asked to talk about our experiences? How articulate can anyone be about something personal without mentally organizing it? Is this what these pro-lifers are holding against us.

    Of course the women missing from this are the women who had children they didn’t want and suffered silently from then until this very day. These women have it worse because the social pressures and upbringing would prevent a mother from admitting such a thing to even herself. How can any mother say she wishes her child had never been born? I know that is a terrible thing for the child to hear – and I don’t advocate she tell it to the child. It would be abusive. But the outsiders – her "peers" – won’t necessarilly tolerate that answer either: "there, there, you don’t mean that." "think of all the joy your child has brought" or whatever. She clearly would go back and start over, but her "well-meaning" peers won’t let her say it.

    How is THIS not coaxing? Like the coaxing pro-lifers THINK we do for the I’m not Sorry ladies? And why are we to assume that no such coaxing exists for the "abortion survivors".

    Are we to assume that the only genuine testimonies are the ones where women claim regret? Any non-regretful, or ambivalent, answer is to be dismissed?

    At the end of the day, we never know who’s being honest with themselves. We never know who is saying what they mean. We never know who is "in denial". Everytime someone describes their personal experience it could be completely accurate, somewhat spun, doctored and coached, or fractured with selective memory.

    That is the risk of the personal testimony.

    So what’s the right conclusion? It seems women who have abortions are capable if a diverse, possibly infinite range of possibilities of emotional interpretation. Some have regret, some don’t. Some might regret later. Some regret now, but move out of it. Some are more nuanced and ambivalent than this dichotomy of "regret vs no regret". Often feelings change and evolve. But sometimes they stay the same forever. Some women have no regret at all – never had, never will. You can detest and condemn these women, but you can’t deny they are being open and honest.

    Will we let women speak for themselves? Or will we try to get the "right" response out of them?

    I trust the pro-choice movement’s ability to let the ambivalent, nuanced expriences be heard – the ones outside the regret, no regret dichotomy. I trust the pro-choicers ability to allow the truly regretful women speak, though we might need to exercise our muscles of intregrity to allow such free speech. It is hard for us, but we have the will power to allow these things.

    I don’t trust the pro-lifers willpower. They only want to generate the "right" words from women. Any other testimony will be dismissed as a women "who doesn’t know what’s best for her".

    But as I say all this, let me be clear: Women who have abortions are entitled to have their experiences be expressed, in their words, no matter what the experience was. However, no woman is entitled to change the law to force other women to "make the right choice". 

    And that is the crux of the pro-lifer’s goal behind their "prowoman" attempts. They WANT to force women to make the choice they approve of. If she doesn’t regret being forced, then its because "she doesn’t know any better", or "she’s been co-opted by the pro-abortion crowd".

    But pro-lifers never co-opt anyone, do they? If women genuinely wan ttheir abortions, maybe, some or most pro-life groups will not try to "change her mind". Maybe these groups will just be satisfied with stopping her abortion and letting her live and suffer with a pregnancy and child she does not want. After all, they always tell themselves "she doesn’t know what she wants".

    But nothing I’ve written matters as much as the voices of women who’ve faced an abortion. The movement is about their rights, and anything I say, no matter how logical, can be construed as me "putting words in their mouths".

    So to all women who’ve had abortions: speak, speak, speak. And if you believe that women should be allowed to have abortions, speak why. Because I can’t speak for you. 

    • invalid-0

      Actually, we are entitled to change the law!

    • invalid-0

      And its about time people took a stand and made a change. And Harry, haven’t you ever heard the term “adoption?”

    • invalid-0

      I would imagine the term “pro-death” makes you uneasy as well it should. No matter how much one tries to clean up the term, it still is what it is. In particular I take issue with your statement that you “mistrust a pro-lifers willpower.” Are you kidding, or have you never spoken with a woman who CHOSE to have a child that then was born with some major congenital “flaw.” Tell that woman she has no willpower. Tell me I had no willpower when in 1966 I became pregnant with twins and learned in the 3rd month that both might indeed be anencephalous and that I was in the throes of polyhydramnios and would probably not go to term. Each week was more heart-wrenching as I knew that I would either lose these children before full term or probably soon after birth if they reached full term. I ultimately lost those children at 18 weeks due to the aforementioned circumstances but as I lay on an OB delivery table and saw the incredible small babies coming into this world, one child was still-born but miraculously the other lived a short time afterward. Yes, that child didn’t live long, but as I heard the very tiny, almost undistinguishable sound he made, my will to raise this child, no matter the difficulty, was stronger than I could ever have imagined Would it have been easy. No, probably not. Physical problems were evident I am pro-life and I and many other strong-willed mothers know full well what it takes to go beyond empty, short-sighted choices that are self-serving and in the case of abortion—–choices that are irreversible.

  • harry834

    speak up to your fellow women who think you don’t deserve the right to choose.

    Those women live among you. I can’t talk to them. Only you can.

    • invalid-0

      I do live among you, and although your story is completely heart wrenching, and I can’t imagine having to go through it. I still hold tight to my belief that abortions are wrong. I would never point my finger in your direction and tell you that your decision was wrong, because I have never been in your position. Do pro choice women ever consider the many innocent life’s lost due to woman using abortion as their choice of birth control. In my own experiences, I have had friends of mine that have had more than three, and after that I asked them just not to inform me of their pregnancies any more. I could think of one who has had five. I don’t agree that a life should been taken so easily and without careful consideration of the fate that await their unborn children. Now I understand that is not the case in your situation, but for these reasons and these type women, I still hold tightly to my belief there should be strict regulations on abortions.

  • invalid-0

    The voices that are truly missing are the voices of women who have been so desperate they’ve resorted to dangerous and sometimes fatal measures to terminate their own pregnancies.

  • invalid-0

    Your story broke my heart. I too have had two pregnancies which had to be termintated. The first one was at 12 weeks and the fetus was dead and the 2nd was at 9 weeks but the fetus was dying a little bit every day. My doctor at the time refused to terminate the pregnancy until the fetus had died. I was forced to go in day after day and watch my baby’s heart rate get slower and slower. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! Finally a nurse practitioner seeing the absolute distress this was causing me offered to fib to the doctor and tell him the heart beat had stopped. Needless to say, I no longer frequent this doctor. What a mind f! Unless you have walked a mile in a pregnant woman’s shoes, my advise to you would be to STFU!

  • invalid-0

    Lynda,
    As a strong advocate for abortion rights, it is stories like yours that inspire me to fight harder than before for our rights regarding reproductive choices. Thank you so much for sharing your tragic story with us so that we can spread your story to others, open eyes to the realities of abortion, and help those blinded by inaccuracies to see what the REAL fight for abortion rights is about.

  • invalid-0

    Just a note to thank Lynda for her story. It has received a wide audience.
    http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/07/10/obamas-blues/

  • invalid-0

    First, I want to say that I am sorry for your loss and would have done the same thing in your situation. I am pro-choice, and unfortunately have experienced an abortion years ago myself. On the other hand, I can understand what Obama is trying to say..we can’t let women who just changed their mind after it’s too late to use an excuse for a late-term abortion. Of course, if there is a medical condition with either the mother or child, that is a different story. But for a woman to say that having a child is mentally stressful, they should have thought it out clearly during the 1st trimester.

  • invalid-0

    The voices that are truly missing are the voices of the millions of otherwise healthy children murdered at the hands of cold-hearted physicians by abortion. These mothers also had a hand in these brutal murders. Remember–Thou shalt not kill. GOD bless all Physicians who won’t kill by abortion, which, by the way, was in the oath they took when they became a physician.

  • invalid-0

    we can’t let women who just changed their mind after it’s too late to use an excuse for a late-term abortion. Of course, if there is a medical condition with either the mother or child, that is a different story. But for a woman to say that having a child is mentally stressful, they should have thought it out clearly during the 1st trimester.
    Oh, well, as long as the law of the land is about what you think, what you feel, and what you’ve decided is okay for other women.
    It’s not.
    It’s about what EACH WOMAN thinks, feels, and decides. Not you. It doesn’t matter if you think she should have decided earlier – many women don’t realize they’re pregnant until further on in the pregnancy. Some people have bleeding all through the first trimester and into the second. Some women have sudden changes in circumstances, mental health, physical health, financial situations, marriages, etc. It doesn’t matter if you think women are using these reason as an “excuse,” because (one assumes), you’re not the one having the abortion.

    • invalid-0

      Um. No it’s not. If a child is viable outside of its mother, that is murder, plain and simple. Who are you to say that its a “woman’s right to choose?” If a baby is viable, it’s a human being, a life. And as such, it has constitutional rights. I say it’s a woman’s right to be EDUCATED–and make a decision about the path of her pregnancy and the future of her BABY in the first trimester. If you go for 5 months and don’t know you’re pregnant, you’re so out of touch with your body, it’s ridiculous. There should be a law outlawing late term abortion (which is still legal in many US states, though barely legal in the rest of the countries around the globe) with exception of extreme risk to the mother–there are millions of women seeking newborns to adopt, and that child should be born healthy and sleep in the arms of its adoptive mother… instead of lying, cut to pieces in the bottom of a trash can.

    • invalid-0

      Sooooo if I think and feel that having a child is to great an emotional and financial burden I should be able to terminate? Sounds reasonable. What if I don’t realize how emotionally and financially burdening it is until after they’re born?

  • mellankelly1

    There are no children (healthy or otherwise) murdered during an abortion.  An abortion is the termination of ones pregnancy.  Period.  God bless all of the doctors who risk their very lives on a regular basis in order to give women the medical treatment that they need because of the oath that they took when they became physicians.  I thank God that I was born into a time and a place where abortion was a safe and legal option for me.

    • invalid-0

      If the baby is far along enough that it could survive outside the womb, then it is murder. Period.

    • invalid-0

      This is the main difference between pro-lifers and pro-choicers…when is the fetus considered a baby? “There are no children murdered during an abortion. An abortion is the termnation of ones pregnancy.” Do you realize that if I am pregnant, and someone hits my stomach, and my child dies, it is MURDER? Manslaughter at the least. ABORTION IS MURDER. Now, I do respect all opinions on the matter, and feel that abortion is a tough choice for most (not all), but I do not feel that late term abortion should be legal. I realize many women on this forum support late term abortion because of medical problems, and my heart goes out to them… but, reality is, the vast majority of all abortions performed today are NOT for medical reasons, hence the reason we need government intervention.

  • mellankelly1

    If the baby is far along enough that it could survive outside the womb, then it is murder. Period.

    Have you done no research regarding why a pregnancy would be terminated post-viability?  Better yet, here’s a novel idea… you could actually take the time to read the article to which you are responding.  Further, terminating a fetus (viable or not) is not and never has been murder (even during the period of time that abortion was criminalized.)

  • invalid-0

    Mellankelly1,

    Terminating a fetus IS MURDER!! Just not in legal standards. In moral standards it is. Obama endorses murder. Period.

  • mellankelly1

    Terminating a fetus IS MURDER!! Just not in legal standards. In moral standards it is

    No, it’s not.  Even if you use ALL CAPS, abortion is not murder (not even in "moral standards".)  You believe abortion is not moral – perhaps based on your personal religious code of conduct or your personal belief system (individual morality.) 

    Obama endorses murder. Period.

    Getting hysterical doesn’t change the facts.  Obama does not endorse murder.  Period.

  • invalid-0

    YES. Abortion is murder if the baby can live outside of the womb, plain and simple. At this point, deliver the child and give it up to someone who’s deserving.
    For your information, since you haven’t researched yourself, the majority of the reasons women have late term abortions are INSANE… take a peek: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-term_abortion
    # 1% Woman didn’t recognize she was pregnant or misjudged gestation
    # 48% Woman found it hard to make arrangements for abortion
    # 33% Woman was afraid to tell her partner or parents
    # 24% Woman took time to decide to have an abortion
    # 8% Woman waited for her relationship to change
    # 8% Someone pressured woman not to have abortion
    # 6% Something changed after woman became pregnant
    # 6% Woman didn’t know timing is important
    # 5% Woman didn’t know she could get an abortion
    # 2% A fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy
    # 11% Other

    • invalid-0

      Oh, well if *wikipedia* says it, then it must be true…

  • invalid-0

    *Cough**Cough* tell them about Dr. Martin Haskell….

  • mellankelly1

     YES. Abortion is murder if the baby can live outside of the womb, plain and simple. At this point, deliver the child and give it up to someone who’s deserving.

     No, it’s not and I will refer you once again to research why women have abortions post-viability (after 24 weeks gestation).  You obviously know nothing of which you speak (evidenced by your "research")… you are merely perpetuating anti-abortion myths, my dear.

    For your information, since you haven’t researched yourself, the majority of the reasons women have late term abortions are INSANE… take a peek:

    Now, I’m betting this is a typo but it’s actually 71% Woman didn’t recognize she was pregnant or misjudged gestation, not 1%.  Further, I believe it is important to note that those numbers represent abortions after 16 weeks since last menstrual period.  and that only .08% are performed after 24 weeks (when a healthy fetus is considered to be viable).  More complete information:

    •  90% are performed in the first trimester
    • 6 in 10 are performed within 8 weeks from last menstrual period
    • fewer than 2% are performed after 20 weeks
    • Nearly half of all women attribute the delay to difficulty in making arrangements for the procedure (needed time to raise money, arrange transportation, or they were minors subject to state laws or difficulty arranging child care.) 

     

    I can’t say that I’m surprised by the use of misinformation, but it is always a bit disappointing to know that the anti-abortion forces are using false figures, in addition to misinformation, pseudoscience and outright lies in presenting arguments to those who actually haven’t researched abortion.  Keep clickin’!

  • invalid-0

    I’m sorry–Pseudo-science? It’s not pseudo-science to euphemistically refer to a child only as a “fetus” before it is visible? I appreciate the difficulty of someone who had to deal with the complex questions and awful pain Ms. Waddington dealt with. That’s horrible. But I also appreciate that she recognized her child AS a child, not simply a fetus. That she understood that abortion MEANT the ending of a life. I think people largely don’t like to admit this. And in the debate that’s followed, I’ve heard just as much unthinking pro-choice propaganda as pro-life. At the end of the day, how can you say it’s simply about the mother and what she wants? I know people whose parents wanted to abort them, who barely escaped being “terminated” at birth. Frankly, regardless of what their mothers may or may not still want, I think they had, and have, a right to live. And they are not sorry to be alive. Now, I certainly think their mothers do as well. But to place one’s right to liberty and happiness above another’s right to life? Also, I DON’T think Planned Parenthood and other organizations want people to know what occurs during an abortion. I don’t think they want people educated. Otherwise, why not allow photographs to be taken of the procedure, as with other operations, so that the mother knows exactly what is occurring. Why not allow it to be televised and shown on a medical channel? I will tell you why–because for all of the oversimplification that occurs (on both sides, it is true), I think everyone knows, deep down, that this is the taking of a human life.

  • sayna

    Adoption resolves the issue of unwanted parenting. It does not resolve the issue of unwanted pregnancy. If there was a way to make abortion illegal without forcing women to endure pregnancy and childbirth against their will, this debate would not be going on. If there was an easy middle ground where everyone could be happy, there would be no abortion debate.

  • sayna

    This stupid, fickle woman who gets pregnant and then goes “PSYCHE! Gimme that abortion, doc!” upon entering labor is a media fabrication. It is the embodiment of the belief that women are fickle, stupid and incompetent. Even if one did exist, do you really think it would be a more reasonable path to suddenly change plans and induce a late-term abortion rather than the much simpler and safer induced labor and deliver? Do you think any doctor would think that was the best way to handle a situation like that?

    As much as you’d like to punish women for being detached from their bodies in a society where not everyone is a medical expert and people are still undereducated about their sexual/reproductive health, can’t you have some empathy? It’s rare for a woman not to know she’s pregnant for a long time, but it does happen. Some women also have trouble getting the funds for abortion and have to spend a long time–perhaps months–getting the money. (And yet people say that abortion should receive no funding…) And sometimes there is the tragic case in which women with very-much wanted pregnancies have to abort to save their own lives.

    …there are millions of women seeking newborns to adopt, and that child should be born healthy and sleep in the arms of its adoptive mother…

    Actually, there are currently more children up for adoption than there are adults looking to adopt. The problem is that most of these children are older and have mental and physical health issues when most people want to adopt healthy newborns.

    And what makes you think that women’s bodies and babies should be commodities? Why should women be forced to produce babies just to keep up with the demand for healthy newborns?

  • sayna

    Social and financial dependence are different from physical dependence. Social and financial dependence can be solved by giving the infant or child up to others. Physical dependence can only be solved through the physical removal of the fetus. Until an artificial womb or something similar exists, the only way to end and unwanted pregnancy* is abortion.

    *I’ve already explained that adoption solves unwanted parenting but not forced pregnancy.

  • sayna

    It’s not pseudo-science to euphemistically refer to a child only as a “fetus” before it is visible?

    No. That’s keeping the term medically accurate instead of the vague and non-scientific term “baby” or the inaccurate term “infant.” Using “baby”, “infant”, “preborn”, etc. is considered intellectually dishonest and an appeal to emotion.

    know people whose parents wanted to abort them, who barely escaped being “terminated” at birth. Frankly, regardless of what their mothers may or may not still want, I think they had, and have, a right to live.

    This is just a variation of the often-used “What if YOU were aborted?!” red herring. If someone was aborted, it would be nearly the same as never having been conceived. They would have just never been born.

    But to place one’s right to liberty and happiness above another’s right to life?

    Sadly, that’s what this debate boils down to. If two living things in one body could have an equal right to life, liberty and happiness, this debate would not be happening. One can either support the right of a fetus to be born or the rights of the woman to bodily domain, individual liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    I DON’T think Planned Parenthood and other organizations want people to know what occurs during an abortion. I don’t think they want people educated. Otherwise, why not allow photographs to be taken of the procedure, as with other operations, so that the mother knows exactly what is occurring. Why not allow it to be televised and shown on a medical channel? I will tell you why–because for all of the oversimplification that occurs (on both sides, it is true), I think everyone knows, deep down, that this is the taking of a human life.

    But this is a controversial and private medical procedure. What’s the point of showing it? “Eew, that’s gross!” applies to every medical procedure and isn’t a valid argument. Besides, medical channels refuse to show many kinds of surgeries and medical conditions. For instance, they will not allow nudity or explanations of procedure to be shown during shows about sex-change operations. We already censor so much. Would a television network really take the risk of getting angry complaints for showing a procedure that is so controversial?

    You assertion that women are too stupid (or perhaps, just too ignorant or naive) to know what an abortion is is insulting. Are you really going to tell me that most of my gender has no idea what an abortion is or how it’s performed? Or that they are incapable of deciding to have an abortion and must have been tricked into it? Are you going to tell me that medical facilities such as Planned Parenthood don’t have to and do not follow standards such as informed consent?

  • mellankelly1

    I’m sorry–Pseudo-science? It’s not pseudo-science to euphemistically refer to a child only as a "fetus" before it is visible?

    The definition of pseudoscience is that of a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific.  The last time I checked, use of the term fetus (referring to human reproduction from the end of the 8th week after conception until birth) could not possibly be considered "pseudoscientific" as it is a medically accurate (and non-emotive) term.

     At the end of the day, how can you say it’s simply about the mother and what she wants?

    It is about the pregnant woman (this includes her life/health, and the lives and health of any children she has, her economic situation and anything else she believes is relevant to her life at the time) – you and I do not get to decide what would be in the best interest of this woman.  I believe that we should not only value the life of the pregnant woman but we should also trust that she is the person most qualified to decide what the best and most moral decision regarding an unwanted (or doomed) pregnancy is… and we should leave that decision to her.

     I know people whose parents wanted to abort them, who barely escaped being "terminated" at birth

    Yes… and there are people whose parents gave birth to and essentially abused and tortured them (sometimes to death); shall we outlaw parenthood because these situations exist?  Certainly not.

    Also, I DON’T think Planned Parenthood and other organizations want people to know what occurs during an abortion

    I learned about human reproduction in Middle School… are you implying that woman aren’t able to comprehend basic human reproduction?  Why would women terminate pregnancies  if they weren’t aware that by ending a pregnancy they would not be having a baby (I thought that was kind of the point.)  I don’t understand why those against abortion tend to believe (or at least claim) that women do not understand what it means to terminate a pregnancy.   Please, when I terminated my pregnancy I knew exactly what I was doing – this was the best decision for me at the time and I’d do it again under those same circumstances.  At the end of the debate we are still left with the fact that women are fully capable of making intelligent and informed decisions in the best interest of themselves and their families.  Under no circumstances should some third party have any say whatsoever in the private medical decisions that a woman makes.

  • http://www.injuryattorneys.co.uk/ invalid-0

    I feel really “Partial Birth Abortion Ban,” they deserve the award. I feel its on the course of the women to deliver the fetus in one piece. You know recently Biden is a practicing Catholic who also supports abortion rights and analysts have said he could help woo wavering Catholics into Obama’s fold.
    Even I have come across that the Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics and while polls show Americans in this election cycle much more concerned about the economy and Iraq it could prove important in Colorado, a closely-contested “swing state”.

  • invalid-0

    I truly feel for the women who have had terrible stories behind them and every situation is different. Given that – I am just shocked of how very lightly this subject is taken. Don’t get me wrong I am not here to judge or upset anyone. It is my turn you had yours and I read them all and respected them. I am not political at all so this has nothing to do with Obama… In saying that – I just don’t get it… We make excuses and excuse people from taking responsibilty for their actions. I mean it’s simple.. you don’t want to have a baby – don’t get pregnant – if your safe and it happens it happens.. I mean to brush a potential life off as if it is a choice of what you are going to eat for lunch today – disgusts me… and unfortunately the majority of the women who do this – do it out of pure selfishness… Let’s not be safe… cause we could always get an abortion – come on… As for those medical situations – I don’t understand why there would not be guidelines as in any other medical situations… A doctor should be able to suggest this if need be and then you make a decision… It’s the woman choice the womans body the womans this and that…. Come on it is your choice but we don’t put rules on it – we make such a typical thing now a days… Now I am and you will think this is funny but pro choice… because I do not judge and I have seen what it does to people too… but you don’t want babies.. there are options adoption.. I mean alot people are just selfish and lazy and looking for a quick fix… Trust me though if you have a care – it will take away a piece of you.. forever… That is all – good luck to all of you… This whole thing is sad…

  • mellankelly1

     When you make this statement:

    Don’t get me wrong I am not here to judge or upset anyone

    and then follow it with this malarkey:

    We make excuses and excuse people from taking responsibilty for their actions. I mean it’s simple.. you don’t want to have a baby – don’t get pregnant – if your safe and it happens it happens.. I mean to brush a potential life off as if it is a choice of what you are going to eat for lunch today – disgusts me… and unfortunately the majority of the women who do this – do it out of pure selfishness… Let’s not be safe… cause we could always get an abortion – come on

    it is quite plainly clear that you are, in fact, here to judge and/or attempt to upset the people you are referring to (the "majority of the women who do this".)  And prey tell, where did you come by this information that the majority of women terminate pregnancies out of pure selfishness.  Obviously this is merely your opinion and thankfully your opinion regarding what constitutes "pure selfishness" is nothing short of completely irrelevant to anyone other than yourself or your loved ones.

    because I do not judge

    Sure, you don’t…

    I mean alot people are just selfish and lazy and looking for a quick fix

    "because I do not judge"

    This whole thing is sad

    Yes, it was.

  • invalid-0

    No need to get all defensive…. Although I knew I would get this reaction from people who most likely fall into the very category you so graciously pointed out… Well done!

    All I am saying is it is way out of control and you would be ignorant – (Which I see is not your style at all,), to close your eyes and pretend that this is not happening for the wrong reasons – all the time…

    I truly feel for the ladies who have been put in these situations by no fault of their own… and I was not obviously addressing the woman with rhyme and reason and extenuating circumstances… My heart goes out to them…
    Yes I have a story and so does everyone else… I don’t need to share mine to make statements… that I know I have every right to make…

    Just because I am not saying what you would like to hear… well for obvious reasons… Does not mean I may not have a point when it comes to women who abuse this right the law has given them, time and time again…. See that fact is that not all women have a plausible reason – other then it’s not the right time or they don’t feel like changing their lives and taking responsibility – There are two categories – there are women who have reason and then there are women who are irresponsible and do it because having a baby just isn’t convenient at the time… Just by your narrow minded, defensive, attacking reply…. I can see that you are too caught up in your own mind to see that my statements are very broad and very fair… I Apologize that I offended you by not totally agreeing with the over use of abortion.. Can’t wait to see what sentences and paragraphs you pull out and put footnotes on with this reply… I am not against abortion – I am for people making the right – responsible decision when it comes to the over use of the right to abort… I look forward to your mediocre point of view!

  • mellankelly1

    No need to get all defensive

    Oh, I hadn’t realized that it was considered "get[ting] all defensive" to merely point out a persons hypocrisy.  Thanks for letting me know.

    All I am saying is it is way out of control and you would be ignorant – (Which I see is not your style at all,), to close your eyes and pretend that this is not happening for the wrong reasons – all the time…

    Hmmm… perhaps you’re right, I mean, why should little things like a persons economic situation, the status of their relationship or the well-being of the children these women already have (or any other dependant that they care for) matter so much?  Those are silly little things that a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy shouldn’t worry her pretty little head about, right?

    I truly feel for the ladies who have been put in these situations by no fault of their own… and I was not obviously addressing the woman with rhyme and reason and extenuating circumstances… My heart goes out to them…

    Yes, we all think that it is just fabulous that you would deem these women with "extenuating circumstances" (that you, personally approve of) worthy of your sympathy.  What a great fellah you must be.

    Yes I have a story and so does everyone else… I don’t need to share mine to make statements… that I know I have every right to make…

    Of course, everybody is entitled to her or his opinion… what everybody is not entitled to is using their personal opinions to dictate what medical procedures are acceptable under which situations for everybody else.  We all have our opinions – we all have our stories.  No woman’s experience with unwanted pregnancy is the same as any other woman’s… no woman’s experience with terminating an unwanted pregnancy is the same as any other woman’s.  And what you or I feel about some other persons personal life experience (and personal belief system) is completely irrelevant to that person.  We all have the right to feel anyway we want about this (and any other) subject – I certainly agree with you on that point.

    Does not mean I may not have a point when it comes to women who abuse this right the law has given them, time and time again

    By "abuse this right", do you mean have multiple abortions?  Which is the proper number of abortions that each woman should have, in your opinion?  Do you honestly believe that forcing women who have had multiple abortions to gestate and raise children that they don’t want is the best course of action to take (what about those unwanted children?)  That’ll teach ‘em, right?

    See that fact is that not all women have a plausible reason

    In your opinion.

    PS. I don’t think you’re using that word correctly.

     other then it’s not the right time or they don’t feel like changing their lives and taking responsibility

    It is every bit as responsible to terminate a pregnancy as it is to gestate a pregnancy… simply because you dislike one choice does not alter how responsible that choice is. 

    there are women who have reason and then there are women who are irresponsible and do it because having a baby just isn’t convenient at the time

    The most recent statistics break it down as follows (with a brief note that nearly 90% of women gave more then one answer – the average number of reasons given was four):

    • 74%  concern for/responsibility to other individuals
    • 73%  cannot afford a baby now
    • 69%  a baby would interfere with school/employment/ability to care for dependents
    • 48%  would be a single parent/having relationship problems
    • 38%  has completed childbearing

     

    Now, clearly you are free to believe that these reasons are all "irresponsible" and merely "inconveniences" rather than valid reasons for women to terminate their unwanted pregnancies – frankly, that wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

    Just by your narrow minded, defensive, attacking reply

    Again… I simply used the very words that were written by you… "because I do not judge".  When you are so blatantly hypocritical you shouldn’t be so bloody shocked when you’ve been called on it.

    I am not against abortion – I am for people making the right – responsible decision when it comes to the over use of the right to abort

    Right.  As long as people do exactly what you think they should, you are totally fine with it.  It’s good to know where your heads at.

  • invalid-0

    I had an abortion, before Roe V Wade. It was devastating. I didn’t want it. I wanted to have children. I did it because of certain circumstances to protect the church. Even then, if you had to, there were people who knew where to send you. In my case, without her admitting it, an acquaintance who had it done referred me. The woman who did the “procedure” made her money this way to pay for her daughter’s education. There were ob/gyn doctors who referred desperate women to her. The docs were not allowed to do them, so they taught her. I have never been happy I did this. The little thing was an embryo, but formed well. It aborted after she dilated my cervix with a catheter, about 24 hours later. I bled for a month. I feel blessed I was later able to have children, but I will remember to this day how old that child would be each year in August which would have been the birth month. Women have the ability to contracept. Certain churches do not allow that. Guess that is how we get all those abstaining only teen pregnancies! Abortion should never be used as birth control. Abortion is the taking of a human life, early on, but it is a HUMAN life. Let’s not relegate it to the medical terms of morulla, embryo, fetus, without the adjective HUMAN.

  • mellankelly1

     I didn’t want it. I wanted to have children. I did it because of certain circumstances to protect the church

    That you weren’t able to do what you felt was in your best interest is heart-breaking and infuriating.  In my opinion, that is the most important issue surrounding this topic… it should always be the pregnant woman’s choice.  I believe abortion needs to remain safe and legal for those women (including myself) who decide(d) that is the best option for them.  I find it unconscionable that a woman would be forced to endure pregnancy and childbirth against her will; I find it equally as abhorrent that a woman would be forced to terminate a wanted pregnancy against her will.  The bottom line is that the pregnant woman is the person who is best qualified to decide the course of her own pregnancy.

    Let’s not relegate it to the medical terms of morulla, embryo, fetus, without the adjective HUMAN.

    I can’t imagine that any person believes that we are speaking of the conceptus of anything other than two humans when discussing the topic of abortion.  Why would it be necessary to use descriptive words when referring to the zygote, embryo, or fetus?

  • invalid-0

    We as women do have a choice. We can choose to have sex or not to have sex. We can choose to use protection or not to use protection. We should not be given the right to choose the life or death of a child. It does not legally or morally make sense. Legally speaking, one can be held accountable for the death of a child while in a mother, ie in a domestic violence situation. If my husband would hit me while I am pregnant, he will be tried for manslaughter/murder, as if the child was born. However, if I choose to get a late term abortion today (at 7 months pregnant), it should be legal? Makes no sense! Or if I have the child today, and throw it in the river (recent case on news), I murdered my child. A life is a life. It should be protected as such. I realize many people support abortion for medical reasons, but reality is most abortions are not performed for medical reasons. Most pro-lifers and pro-choicers agree that abortion is a sad, horid decision. They disagree on when “it” becomes a baby. I respect everyone and understand we all don’t agree and try my hardest to believe we all have good in us…but some people unfortunately use abortion as a form of birth control, which does need to be stopped. I once worked with a girl who at age 22 had already undergone 17 abortions. :( Sad. Mroally speaking, the Bible striclty prohibits abortion and defines it as murder. I do believe there is a special place in hell for those murderers (with the exception of those who are truly sorry), as most Christians of all faiths believe. I am sure that my words have offended many, and I truly apologize for that. I am harsh with my words, but I have a love for chilren and hope that maybe I have changed one’s opinion.

  • invalid-0

    The status of the fetus is, and should be, decided by the woman carrying it. It’s only fair, considering that said fetus is using her body as its life support system. So if it’s a wanted pregnancy, then the fetus is a baby. If not, then it’s a fetus, a thing, or whatever, but definitely not a baby. But as it isn’t separate from the woman and won’t be until it is born, you can’t consider it as a separate person, legally. To do that reduces the humanity of women to nothing but incubators. Of course, in your own mind, you can consider anything you want, but that doesn’t make it good law.

    So please don’t try to legislate your morality on me. I won’t question the motives of a woman who gets an abortion, because it really isn’t my business what she does with her body or what she does or doesn’t allow to live inside it. And quite frankly, I don’t care. Abortion should be completely legal for the entire duration of pregnancy, no questions asked. For any woman at any time. Period.

  • invalid-0

    Two things:
    1. Not all of us are Christians and to legislate religious morality goes against the constitution.

    2. And this is the more important one–who the hell are you to decide whether or not I am “sorry” enough to justify any decision I make with my body?

    I have two children. I got pregnant on purpose both times and I love my kids. However, I don’t want any more. Financially, emotionally, etc., I just can’t be a parent to another child. And it wouldn’t be fair to me, the kids I already have, or to that nebulous ‘future child’ to have another one that I would resent and that I’m not capable of being a parent to.

    So really, you and your precious morality and judgment can fuck right off.

  • mellankelly1

    What does wikipedia have to do with this discussion?