Peace for the Abortion War


The mixture of excitement, nerves and anticipation will be
felt by every woman gathered in the Roosevelt Room.  Big, goofy grins, solemn, serious faces,
nervous chatter, a hand held or two.  We
will be in our best clothes or the ones that make us feel the most comfortable,
feel the most ourselves. Some of us will avoid each other’s gaze. I like to
imagine that I will sit calmly, holding eye contact with the person across the
room from me, and nod to her in recognition of this historic moment. Together,
we will wait for him to arrive.  

We are a room full of women who have had abortions and we
are the first to ever be invited by a President of the United States to a White House
meeting to tell our personal stories. 
This meeting is a public acknowledgment of our shared experiences and a
statement of Presidential support and respect for every woman who has had an
abortion.  This is the first political step of a
peaceful approach for resolving the abortion war. 

For more than 35 years our country’s conversation about
abortion has been stoked into a divisive war. It is time to begin the healing
process and chart a new path for resolution. I believe abortion peace will
exist when each woman who has lived this experience can tell her story and be
supported, not shamed.  A White House
meeting focused on personal story-telling is a concrete and symbolic action
that the President can take to demonstrate his intent to forge a new path for
addressing abortion in the United
States.  

One in three women will have an abortion in her
lifetime, but our voices are seldom part of the public debate and there is
little social understanding or acceptance for what we experienced. People go to
war over our experiences, as we’ve become caricatures, myths, people to be
mocked, feel sorry for, hide, shame, protect, or put on a pedestal.  When we are acknowledged, it is often as
pawns, prepped to tell prescribed version of events: "Abortion made me hate
myself" or "Abortion brought me to life." Our deeply personal stories are never
accepted without concern for their political implications and portrayals of our
stories in media and culture are far too often based in stereotypes and myth.
We often do not even see ourselves in each other.  This war has divided us too.  

The truth is our stories and personal experiences with
abortion are far more nuanced than the simplistic – and antagonistic – debate
that rages around us.  After my own
abortion, I remember thinking that the public debate had virtually nothing to
do with how I felt and what I needed. I remember feeling in awe of the fact
that I could safely and medically end a pregnancy and realizing that my whole
life wasn’t at the mercy of nature or circumstance. My decision to have an
abortion felt like a decision to play God and that was powerful and scary
beyond words. Choosing to not change my life was a life-changing experience for
me. Afterward, I needed space and time and understanding to process all of this
and reflect on my own values and beliefs about the meaning of life, including
my own. But, when I tried to engage with the broader political debate over
legal abortion, I was asked to simplify my decision and silence the emotional
impact of my abortion in favor of defending my right to have had one in the
first place, or to become a victim of abortion rights and deny my ability to
cope and grow and be whole after such a life-changing experience.  

The author talks about her personal experience with abortion.

I couldn’t believe the debate had sounded the same for so
long, despite how much the world had changed and how many of us women, and our loved
ones, have had their own experiences with abortion. Our rights, values, lives
and needs are really what this debate is all about. How could the debate not
respond to us and better reflect our experiences?  

It must. Not only to be more supportive of women who have
had abortions but because a more honest, reflective, responsive dialogue has
the potential to overcome the years of damage the divisive debate has had on
the health and well-being of our nation.  

Roe v. Wade
celebrated its 35th anniversary last year.  In the next 35 years, the United States has the opportunity
to have a very different conversation about abortion than it has for the past
three decades. We can extend a baseline of universal respect for the beliefs
others in our nation hold about abortion. Dialogue can replace war.
Reproductive health policy can grow from our loved ones’ lives and needs and
our media – books, TV, and films – can represent women who have had abortions
as we truly are. 

How would our world
change?  Consider the debate over informed
consent laws – laws that require doctors to tell women seeking abortion that
they are terminating the life of a unique human bring.  It is obvious that informed consent laws impinge
on women’s right to access medical care free of state interference – and we can
respond to informed consent laws by referencing women’s constitutional
rights.  But we can also respond by
asking women who have had abortions what kind of relationship with a provider
would have been most helpful to them in considering and seeking out
abortion.  If our response to informed
consent laws were informed by research on what type of information and
counseling would have helped women seeking abortions feel best supported and informed,
we could learn about  significant gaps in
services that must be remedied, unnecessary hoops that could be eliminated, and
best practices to be promoted. Most importantly, this approach focuses the
debate back on women’s own, personal, specific and real needs for information
and counseling. 

What if the voices and experiences of women who have had
abortions were featured in major women’s publications, and treated with the
same level of respect and significance as given advice about how to best cope
with divorce or find the right gynecologist? What if there were online support groups
in which women who have had abortions could come together and connect with each
other without fear of targeting or attack? 
If we review and assess potential policy through the lens of women’s
real, lived experiences with abortion, and we create public forums for women to
speak for themselves, we can build a more open, more respectful, process for
making these important decisions, one that invites new voices and opens up new
ways to understand abortion and its role in our society.  

This approach will ensure the debate is about real people
with real problems and real needs. And women’s responses will point the way
towards peace by revealing new opportunities for engagement, connection and
actual dialogue.  I don’t know where this
path will lead, but I do know that if we let ourselves listen to women’s lived
experiences, our individual opinions about abortion will be anchored by and
respectful of the reality of women’s lives. 

It is exactly the right time to take up the cause of
abortion peace and President Obama is just the man for the job.  He can begin by taking yet another
unprecedented, historical step to build unity in place of partisanship. A White
House meeting to publicly acknowledge the experiences of women who have had
abortions is a peaceful approach to transforming the abortion war and sets a
tone for new possibilities for the next 35 years of abortion in the United States.

Look for more dispatches from Aspen Baker’s vision for peace in the abortion war on RH Reality Check in the coming weeks. This post also appears on Aspen’s personal blog.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    What about the experiences of unborn children?

    This is not a war on abortion. This is fight to recognize the equality of ALL human beings, including the unborn.

    How come no one who supports legal abortion ever talks about the unborn baby and his dignity?

    You can talk about “women’s experiences” all you like; but so long as abortion kills babies and harms women, it will be a completely ineffective tactic.

    You fail to acknowledge and confront the true nature of the argument.

    • otaku1960

      Fetuses are not sentient, they don’t feel a thing during the abortion so there cannot be an "experiences" for them. I feel this sudden concern and the use of code words like "unborn children" is just an emotional red herring. Putting attention on what is in the uterus comes off like an attempt to marginalize women as well. I would rather save my respect the women and girls already here because they are the ones who feel.

      Lays down the boogie

      • invalid-0

        i myself will decline to “save my respect”. i will instead pour out respect to all indivuduals involved in the process of pregnancy, including the individual without whom it would not be a pregnancy in the first place, the fetus. his or her ability to feel at a certain point in time does not hinder my respect for it, nor does it act as proof against his or her humanity. i respect the mother, so much so that i care to hold her accountable for her pregnancy. i realize the inconveniences that a pregnancy may hold for any number of reasons, but when another human life is involved, i cannot look past it. (i hope you will consider reading a book that i found really useful in learning more about the truth about abortion, “pro life answers to pro choice arguments” by randy alcorn.)

        • invalid-0

          That you speak here of respecting a woman – respecting her so much that you hold her accountable for the pregancy. What about the man? What about holding the MAN responsible for the pregnancy? No where in this debate, in any of the comments on this page, have I seen anyone even touch on the fact that men are in no way shape or form held accountable for these pregnancies. Why should a woman’s life have to change irrevocably? Why can a woman not have the same choice as a man…to continue to live her life as she wants? This is what this debate should boil down to. How many men out there shrug off all responsibility for what they help to create? How many men are allowed to walk away, to have no involvement in their child’s life, to live their lives as they like, with no hindrance from an unplanned pregnancy? I, for one, choose the freedom to make my own life, and to live it as I choose.

    • invalid-0

      “What about the experiences of unborn children?”

      Such as?

    • invalid-0

      Here are examples of their experiences:

      http://www.ehd.org/index.php

      This site is neither prolife or prochoice but a neutral educational site of 4D ultrasound video of every stage of human gestation. Everyone at least needs to take a look at this — human gestation is not political, it is our biological history.

    • invalid-0

      Anonymous,

      First, Anonymous…. hmmmm, you live in fear so you leave it anonymous. That’s fine. You mention the “unborn children”. I find that most people I have experienced that are against abortion under any circumstances have never been backed into that corner. I want to say, on behalf of myself, and anyone else that has experienced an abortion, that it is not necessarily their first choice. Many times it’s thier only choice. Sometimes its a fifty-fifty choice for some, but until you’ve been in that corner… you may never know, and I mean KNOW what it feels like to be left with little or no choice. Every woman has a different experience when she becomes pregnant. Things vary so dramatically for some women. The terms under which she became pregnant could involve trauma. What if she was gang-raped? Would you truly expect a woman to carry the child that resulted from such a terrible incident? And what if the woman is seriously mentally ill (no offense to us mentally ill out here) and carrying the child could mean her having to go off her medications (because they affect the development of or kill/abort the fetus) and she becomes out of control, or dangerous to herself or the baby or others? What if she knows she will most likely pass on a disease that will kill the child? Do you reaaaaaallly expect someone, a woman, or a girl (because children can be victimized too) to carry a child under any conditions?

      And you speak of the women that are harmed because of abortions… I wasn’t harmed by mine. I came out of it physically fine. I even felt physically better before leaving the building. Many women’s lives are actually SAVED by having an abortion. And those ‘unborn children’ may have been (in a lesser country) born into a family that abuses or neglects them and creates a severely damaged person (that child that could become an adult) that harms not just one other life, but many.

      How much suffering do you have to hear about before enough will be enough?

  • invalid-0

    Aspen’s commentary outlines a bold and refreshing direction for the next 35 years. Organizations like Exhale (www.4exhale.org) will continue to lead the way in this “peace plan.” To be successful in building the abortion peace movement, we have to cast a wider net, even to include those whose gazes we’d rather avert! This is our greatest challenge, to stand firmly AND flexibly enough in true pro-voice fashion, to really hear all of the perspectives out there . . . and to resist the misguided “zero sum” war strategy that has characterized much of the reproductive rights movement over the past 35 years. Thanks, Aspen, for your leadership and vision.

  • aspen-baker

    Your point is well taken and I am sure many, many people
    share your concerns, including many women who have had abortions. I run an organization called Exhale which listens to thousands of women and men talk about their personal experiences with abortion, including women and men who call with a need to talk about their sadness about the loss of their baby. Providing them with a place free of judgment where they can begin their path towards healing is an important part of what we do. I don’t imagine that many
    of these callers are so different from you, and many probably hold similar values and beliefs. Wouldn’t you be interested in hearing what these women had to say and to learn about how you could be a source of love and support in such a difficult time?
    This war exists because people disagree about what the issue
    of abortion is about, as you so clearly articulate in your comment. To find our way out of this divisive conflict, I believe the voices of women who have had abortions can lead the way. They are us and they hold the same differences in
    opinion and values as the rest of America. The difference is
    they have lived this issue, instead of just debating it.

  • invalid-0

    I appreciate and acknowledge your genuine concern for the experiences of unborn children. I can see how important this aspect of the conversation about abortion is to you. I also hear you when you say you believe that abortion harms women. As a talkline counselor who has listened to many women who have experienced abortion share their story, I can say that I have spoken to women who express similar sentiments regarding their termination. I have also spoken to women who have felt relief and peace following their abortion. I believe this does not promote the validity of either side of the abortion debate, but instead illuminates the great variation in experience and opinion which leads to the importance of the emphasis on the real experience of women who have had an abortion. I believe that the path towards recognizing the equality of all human beings begins with a dialogue that starts with these women.

  • invalid-0

    Antiabortionists such as “Anonymous,” whose comments are above, want to make abortion illegal. After observing their movement for 35 years or so, I think they have little if any respect for people who defend the right to legal abortion and contraception. They make their wishes clear and they regularly demonize those who oppose them, in print, over the airwaves, and on the Net. Keeping the gloves on with them is a tactical mistake. If you have had a legal abortion, you should remember that these gentle defenders of the unborn would just as soon have you laid out on a mortuary slab for daring to take control of your own life.

  • http://www.studentsforlife.org/ invalid-0

    Pro-aborionists such as “Mary O’Grady,” whose comments are above, want to keep abortion legal. After observing their movement for 35 years or so, I think they have little if any respect for people who cannot speak for themselves (e.g., the unborn) or their defenders (i.e., pro-lifers). They make their wishes clear and they regularly demonize those who oppose them, in print, over the airwaves, and on the Net. Trying to talk with reason with them is a losing battle, as they act as if it is acceptable to have a child’s life ended at the will of her mother. No matter your background, if you hold pro-life views, you should remember that these gentle “defenders of the reproductive rights” would just as soon label you a reactionary religious zealot for daring to speak for the lives of others.

  • invalid-0

    Those who are so concerned about the welfare of the unborn would do well to be a bit more concerned about the babies around the world who are starving, being abused and suffering from lack of medical treatment. They should also promote sex education and birth control as a way to avoid abortion. When they care for the living babies and promote safe sex, their protests will be more credible.

  • scott-swenson

    Aspen,

    Thank you for this powerful piece, and the peace it can inspire. If we dare to listen to each other, refusing to give in to the reflexive shouting that has defined the past 35 years, who knows what might happen? It sure seems like most Americans are ready to try something different in terms of changing at least the tone of this debate, and hopefully the substance, so that we can discuss what is best in terms of healthy women and healthy families and base policy on reality as you suggest. Thank you for engaging this important dialogue on RH Reality Check.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Phil – Reading Aspen’s post and the discussion that ensues, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to understand your claim that “defenders of the reproductive rights” are labeling those opposed to abortion as “reactionary religious zealots” here. Rather, it seems to me that this discussion is an acknowledgement of the complexities of the issue, an attempt to move away from labels and name-calling, and a step toward a more reasoned dialogue.

  • mellankelly1

    This post is such a positive and fantastic step in the right direction.  Reading this and knowing that others are willing to work together in order to end the stigma surrounding abortion makes me so happy!  On the same note, I came across this Dallas play One in 3 which is in the same spirit as this post and also Exhales message.  Bravo to everyone involved in these idea’s and any other ideas in order to change the dialogue surrounding abortion in our Country today.

  • invalid-0

    I think most people agree-even us crazy radical faminists-that we all want a world without abortion. I truly think we need more cooperation across lines to help change the circumstances that cause women to seek out abortions. This is why their voices and stories are so important. When we understand the, often, unjust circumstances that lead to abortion we can begin to make changes long before an unwanted pregnancy or even a wanted pregnancy where a woman feels she has no resources to support her child through 9 months let along an entire lifetime. Compassion, empathy, and a desire to make this a better world are the key components to ending abortion as we know it.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you Aspen Baker for reframing the abortion debate. I am 81 years young and am so tired of the hostility surrounding a woman’s right to decide how to lead her life. Basically, it is a lack of respect for women that disabled the ERA and figures in the hostility toward abortion. Your plea for us to listen to what women have to say is sensible since it is the only way to touch our humaneness. We have been fighting this battle ever since abortion was characterized as murder. Gloria Feldt tried to awaken the public to women’s experiences in a book (who’s title escapes me). Its so obvious when you read about women’s experiences that the issue is not black or white and that women are no more murderers than soldiers are. It just depends on your perception.

    The struggle to become a society that honors women is a worthy one. It is reassuring that women with love and patience like yourself are devoting themselves to it.

  • invalid-0

    I think they have little if any respect for people who cannot speak for themselves (e.g., the unborn) or their defenders

    I think that you have a very poor grasp of exactly how these “unborn people” are gestated and even worse grasp of how these “unborn people” become born.
    Sorry but you don’t care about the wants of the person who has to gestate and give of her body and a good portion of her life to the “unborn person”- especially AFTER it becomes born.

    Until the WOMAN making the decision about what to do with her body decides to keep a potential child and endure a pregnancy (which, by the way, is never 100% safe) you don’t have ANY say in any “rights” that a fetus- who, again, is WHOLLY DEPENDENT on the WOMAN gestating it might potentially have.

    Your veiws have been soundly rejected by voters in the November elections.

    Until you are forced to do something against your will I doubt you ever will gain the wisdom and empathy needed to fully participate in a discussion about women’s reproductive health and rights.

    • invalid-0

      BB Caddict – you are right that pregnancy is not 100% safe, but if it’s risks are too great for a woman, she can CHOOSE to be more careful about her birth control. If she doesn’t want to CHOOSE better birth control (you can use more than one at one time if you are that scared of pregnancy) then she can CHOOSE not to have sex or ask her partner to CHOOSE a vascectomy. If a woman is having sex with a man who she can’t trust to be a good father, she can CHOOSE not to sleep with him. There are other sexually gratifying ways of being with someone than CHOOSING to have intercourse.

      It seems to me what you all are really saying is that you want to have all the sex you want without having to deal with a pregnancy, which we all know places one at high risk for pregnancy.

      As to the idea that those who would contend for life were soundly rejected by the vote for Obama, I’m afraid to tell you that many people who voted for him had no idea of his radical stance on abortion, but they will be finding out when the FOCA bill comes up. He has gravely underestimated the opposition to abortion in this country.

      Why do you all talk about abortion as being a difficult decision if it is only a mass of tissue? Why do you call it a “termination”? Why don’t you call it what it is?

      I issue this challenge to any of you who have had or want to have an abortion — at least KNOW what you are TERMINATING and own up to it, like any strong, free woman should, rather than hiding behind euphemisms. Just be honest about it with yourself, you don’t have to go preaching it everybody. Look up 4D Human growth and development ultrasound – you won’t believe the amazing things an tiny unborn human can do in the womb only weeks after conception. Why is it that our country has laws to protect a baby moments after birth, but not in the moments before? If you all exchanged your fetus terms for newborn baby look at how illogical it all is. We dont allow a woman to euthanize her newborn baby because she isn’t ready for a child, or the father runs off, or any other reason. No one FORCES anybody to get pregnant, it is a choice.

      I feel as much compassion for the mother as I do for the unborn child that is aborted. But pro-life people should not be accused of causing guilt in someone who has aborted a baby just because they speak their heartfelt truth.

      I think anyone who has had an abortion has heard years of how that right is protected under the constitution and is a part of “reproductive health”. They have been lied to. They can find redemptive grace if only they can take responsibility for their abortion and try to help other women do the same. Once a baby is conceived, there is a third party to consider in all decisions. There is one sure way to get out of an unintended pregnancy that doesn’t hurt anybody, and that is to carry the child to a point where they can breath safely on their own and give birth to them. There are millions of waiting arms who would love to adopt that baby, even if it has Down’s syndrome or spina bifida or any number of other things. Is there somebody out there right now who wants a good adoptive mother? I’ll volunteer.

  • invalid-0

    Aspen what a well written article! Well done.
    Every woman who has experienced a termination has an important story to tell. I believe these women deserve the empathy, understanding, and support that is usually given to any other human being who experiences a difficult and life changing situation. Abortion is truly a subject that should be viewed through a wide angle lense instead of the narrow view that we have been hearing for years.
    Let’s work to change the way we approach sexuality, it is one of the most basic human experiences we have, and talk about healthy relationships, healthy sex, and prevention of unintended pregnancy.

  • invalid-0

    Thank-you Aspen for a wonderful article. I am still trying to figure out how a child can be a child and also be unborn. most abortions take place very early, there is scientifically no child, there is an organism without any consciousness. My own expereince was relief and finally excersizing control over my own life. After 14 years of being at peace with my decision,the religious right and the stigma they have attactched to womens reproductive rights, have had a mentally devestating affect on me. The hate and the name calling are dangerous to a womens health. It is the stigma and not the abortion, that causes shame and guilt.
    I would be honered to attend the Washington meeting with Pres. Obama. Warmly Michelle Cory

  • invalid-0

    A fantastic article… thank you so much, Aspen. Please keep us informed about how the meeting goes.

  • http://www.cpcwatch.org invalid-0

    Thankyou otaku! “Fetal Pain”, while a concern for some women (who do speak about it with their clinicians prior to abortion) is more or less a political concept to further demonize the procedure. There is no scientific evidence to suggest a fetus is able to feel any pain whatsoever prior to the very final weeks of fetal development (see: Perrucci, Alissa. “The Politics of Fetal Pain.” In Abortion Under Attack: Women on the challenges facing choice, edited by Krista Jacob).

  • aspen-baker

    I am very interested in public or private conversations where women who have had abortions have the freedom to discuss their own feelings and experiences, as well as their thoughts and concerns, about the idea of fetal pain, including, but not limited to its political implications.

    • invalid-0

      Aspen Baker is one of the few sane voices out there speaking about the complexity of the situation of abortion. I say this as a long time feminist and pro-choice activist in my college years. Feminists are hard pressed to admit that some women regret their choice. Anti-abortion forces are caught unawares when one of their own elect the The reality is that abortion is different for every woman. Clever feminist slogans and religious injunctions do nothing to bring to the fore the experiences of ONE OUT OF THREE women in the United States who has an abortion before the age of 45.

      What I wanted to hear most in these past few difficult weeks as I found out I was pregnant and underwent an elective second trimester abortion was the voices of other women telling me what they felt and experienced. I know the rhetoric and the politics, but I felt so alone at times. I discovered that three women had blogged their experience (that I could find) and I started my own blog (www.1outof3.blogspot.com).

      Speak truth to power and maybe one day we will be able to transcend the absolutist terms that currently dominate the debate about abortion.

      • colleen

        "Feminists are hard pressed to admit that some women regret their choice."

         

        Nonsense. It’s obvious that some women regret their decision to have an abortion. Besides the fact that some of them have made a cottage industry out of exaggerating the incidence of this, so what? Where did you get the notion that feminists are "hard pressed to admit" this? Why would we be? What feminists I know object to is the notion that we should recriminalize abortion to save such women from themselves or that abortion is ‘bad for women’ because a few women regret their decision after the fact.

        It would be more accurate to say that social conservatives are hard pressed to admit that many women don’t wish to have any children or that most women have no  post abortion regrets whatsoever. I imagine admitting this interferes with the stereotypes.

      • aspen-baker

        Thank you for the kind words, feminist.professor, but mostly, thank you for sharing your story and your voice with so many others through your blog.  I can only imagine how many women have found comfort in your words and I can only hope that more women will follow your lead and speak their truth.

  • invalid-0

    As a counselor on the Exhale talk-line, I can say just ‘being there’ for the callers is a remarkable experience. When I mention that one in three women will have an abortion, callers are often amazed because it feels so singularly lonely in the current judgmental, often hostile, environment around abortion. Thankfully, anyone having feelings, post-abortion, has for the last 6 years, had the option of calling our non-judgmental counselors for support. And there is hope that the atmosphere will change. Making abortion safe, legal and RARE is a superb goal!

    I, too, would love to be at the Obama meeting!

  • invalid-0

    I had an abortion 28 years ago when I was 22. For me it felt like something I had to do. I was living far from home, had a temp job, and was barely able to pay rent and eat. There seemed no possibility of taking care of another body. I had to borrow money for the abortion. So though I was not conflicted about my choice at the time, I felt it was a very private matter, in some ways, a dirty little secret. A few years ago, after growing tired of some men at a party speaking with authority on how having an abortion wounds women, I announced to the group that I had had an abortion and did not feel wounded. That stopped that conversation. Later that night, a woman I have known for years, followed me into the bathroom crying. She too had had an abortion and had always felt guilty and very alone about it. I began to understand the power of ALL women telling their stories. Recently when my 11 and 17 year old asked if I had had an abortion, I was able to tell them my story without feeling ashamed. I am sorry for the women who have struggled more than I did with my choice, but I am so thankful I had the choice. I am glad this conversation is beginning. Thanks Aspen!

  • truth

    …and left in pieces! Look. You people are just way off base. First of all, someone here likened abortion to killing in a war. I don’t think I need to tell you that the two are completely unlinked, but it shows the diseased mindset of your kind. Stop making excuses, and own up to what you have done. You’ve killed another human being – you, like Aspen pointed out, played God. You overstepped your bounds and infringed on another human beings right to live. Of course there will be guilt, pain and shame – this is called Your Conscience! You should thank God you have one as some people do not. What Aspen and other woman in her position are looking to do is to heal, but this cannot happen until you confess your sin with a contrite heart and amend your ways going forward. You are not honoring the life you took by "acting" like it is okay because of how terrible a situation you put yourself in. This is like one big "pity party." Give me a break. No doubt it was hard to take another’s life, but don’t ask us to feel sorry for you when you aren’t even willing to take accountability for your action(s)! It is NOT okay to play God. The Supreme Court Justices don’t have a right and neither do you – no matter how many people vote that it is okay – it will never be – sorry.

  • truth

    The most egregious disregard for human life occurred on January 22, 1973 by MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN.

     

    "Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."

     

    Then don’t speculate…!!!???

     

    His error was that he set aside from his decision-making process the question of when life begins. He claimed, in the opinion of the court, that is wasn’t his responsibility to determine when life begins but rather the world’s medical, philosophical and theological world’s responsiblity and because they disagreed he wasn’t going to "…speculate as to the answer." In doing this, he couldn’t possibly make a fully informed decision about whether or not someone has a right to terminate what "might" be a human being.

     

    Think about it – Blackmun was saying that because the argument of when life begins was/is too controversial that he wasn’t going to decide this — so he set it aside stating, "…at this point in the development of man’s knowledge…" we don’t have enough information to make this decision. If you don’t know when life begins then you have a duty to error on the side of life. To do anything else is to "possibly" commit murder.

     Imagine you are a police officer testing your new state-issued weapon at the firing range and you are hitting the target and doing a great job…  Then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey…there is a 50/50 chance that there is a human being directly behind that target your shooting at!" What do you think that police officer has a duty to do? We all have this same responsibility…

    • otaku1960

       "err on the side of life" actually means. On one level, it sounds like another lame-o anti-abortion slogan. But I can re-frame it: to err on the side of life means trusting women are smart and capable enough to make their own decision. If government wants to "err on the side of life" so badly, lawmakers can ensure all born children have access to quality health care.

       

      Your grievance shall be avenged.

      • invalid-0

        I’m sorry but that argument doesn’t hold water. We don’t allow mothers, or fathers, or anybody else to take a newly born baby and throw it onto the hospital floor without consequences. It doesn’t mean the government doesn’t trust people, it means there are protections for the vulnerable and legal consequences for the action. The fine line between viability and nonviability grows thinner every day. Many babies are aborted later than some who are wanted and recieve every intervention possible, and grow to healthy childhood.

        Should we legalize euthanizing our babies when they are inconvenient? The claim that it is alright to end the life of a fetus because because it can’t breath on its own yet is a weak one — though a newborn can breath on its own, it can’t do anything else to keep itself alive and is fully dependent upon a caring adults for its every need.

        Does this mean that breathing on its own is a pre-requisite for consitutional protection? As I said in another post, there is a perfectly good way to end an unwanted pregnancy, and that is to carry the baby at least long enough to give it a fighting chance outside of the womb, and turn it over to someone who wants it.

  • invalid-0

    My belief is that the women who have chosen to share their stories here are incredibly brave. To me, telling an honest story about a significant life event isn’t a pity party, or a grand attempt to shirk responsibility for actions of the past. Rather, i think of it as the ultimate accountability — and an incredible act of compassion. Telling a story of one’s own journey through complicated emotions in a political landmine has the potential to provide positive support to other women, who may be feeling isolated, sad, or confused about their own emotional experience. Bravo to these women for embracing a genuine, kind and heartfelt way to open a new abortion dialogue. I can find strength and hope in your vision, Aspen — thank you for sharing it.

  • mellankelly1

    Rather, i think of it as the ultimate accountability — and an incredible act of compassion. Telling a story of one’s own journey through complicated emotions in a political landmine has the potential to provide positive support to other women, who may be feeling isolated, sad, or confused about their own emotional experience.

    Couldn’t have put it better myself!  And although I believe your response to the ironically named "truth" was nothing short of perfection; one would require a shred of humility and/or empathy in order to take your response in the spirit that it was written… lets not hold our proverbial breath when it comes to that particular poster, eh?

  • truth

    What you are trying to do is confess your sin. That’s what the entire process of Aspen’s "Exhale" is doing. Christians call it confessing our sins. The only difference (and it’s a major one) is that you aren’t saying you did anything wrong – you’re asking people to tell you that it’s "okay." See… Human beings pychologically aren’t all that different when you boil it down. If/When we doing something wrong we have a sincere desire to right the wrong – consciously or subconsciously – and that’s really what you all are doing here. The reason I called it a "pity party" is because you are only feeding each other’s need to be heard, which doesn’t fully heal the wound you’ve created for yourselves and your families. You have to actually say to God directly or through a priest, a pastor, a trusted friend that you have WRONGED another human life by robbing them of their God given right to live just like you. You have played judge, jury and executioner to a pure and innocent being. This should and will hurt anyone. Heck… I bet most of you feel bad when you hurt anyone by your actions purposely or inadvertantly, right? So, how much worse is it for such a pure soul as a growing baby in their mother’s womb? I cannot even imagine! The only way true healing can take place is through accountability, which includes admitting the wrongdoing, feeling contrite and promising to amend your ways going forward. I don’t see anyone here admitting that what they did was wrong – I only see women who are hurting and trying to get other women, men, politicians, strangers to "agree" with them that it’s "okay" and everything is going to be all right. You will find that it won’t be until you confess and amend – it’s the ONLY way – and it’s very difficult!

    • otaku1960

      you believe abortion is wrong.  I don’t believe it is and if I were to have an abortion, I would not have a "sin" to confess.  It appears to me you are projecting your anger to other women who have had abortions, and you are upset because some women who’ve aborted aren’t sunk into puddles of misery.

       

      Your grievance shall be avenged.

      • invalid-0

        Otaku1960 — what I would like to know is why you need a website to discuss an event you say is only a medical termination to remove clumps of unwanted tissue from your body. Most people that have a tumor, or a wart removed don’t have websites to specifically discuss their rights to talk about it and be accepted socially. Why would anyone know or care about your abortion if you don’t tell them? If abortion is a legal right and it is not stopping a life then what is the big deal? Roe v. Wade is not threatened in any way, you have all the legal choices you want to make in regard to your body, but you still have the need to act like victims? Why would healthy strong independent women need to feel victimized by a society that doesn’t like the idea of aborting its young? I have a question for you: if you saw a pregnant woman out in public hitting her stomach with a heavy object would say anything, or just keep walking? Would it bother you? If someone murders a pregnant woman, should the court have to establish whether or not the baby was wanted to level two charges of murder? Society tiptoes around women’s right to abortion. A few people who picket or voice dissent are using their constitutional right to free speech in the marketplace legally. For the most part people are quiet about it. So quiet as a matter of fact, our schools don’t really teach human development and show children what the unborn look like because it might be a “political statement” and infringe upon someone’s right to an abortion. So quiet that we don’t see articles in women’s magazines or mainstream media that show any downside or risk to abortion or expose the lies that are propogated essentially unopposed by NARAL or Planned Parenthood. There are dozens of them. If they and Obama want to reduce abortions, why do work so hard to extend abortion rights? When you see an abortion war, who do you think are the real losers?

  • aspen-baker

    Inhale….exhale…..inhale….exhale….Let us all notice what it feels like to be in the midst of a war.  Let us remember to take care of ourselves and remember the strength and beauty that is within us all, including with those whom we disagree.  This discussion is a demonstration of how this war works, and is an especially poignant example of what happens when a woman tells her truth about abortion.  She is attacked and she is judged, often visciously, and people make assumptions about what that experience means for her.  In this case, we can hear from someone who believes abortion is a sin and women need to admit they are wrong and confess in order to have healing.  This is true for some women and they also deserve the space and support to speak their truth.  I don’t see how attacking and shaming them is in any way an invitation to begin this very important and personal healing process.  It is also true that some women experience their abortion very differently from that and don’t see it as a sin or something that was wrong.  Many women don’t know how they feel and want the space and time and understanding to explore it for themselves.  People on both sides of the issue are often very quick to define the significance of abortion for every woman and demand that women who have had abortions side with their version.  This is also a function of war.  That is why openness and listening to the wide range of experiences – every woman’s truth – is an act of social change.  It goes against the grain of this war. 

  • truth

    You discern and "explore" before you make a life-changing decision like taking another’s life – not after!? This is precisely why abortion should be outlawed because it will allow ."…women [who] don’t know how they feel and want the space and time and understanding to explore it [abortion] for themselves…" before making such a gravely eternal decision – NOT AFTER!

    If someone believes it is not a sin, they are simply/sinfully not in reality. I think at this stage we all know what abortion is. If you don’t then you need to watch National Geographic’s, The Biology of Prenatal Development. I don’t think I have to tell anyone here that National Geographic is not AT ALL a religiously zealot organization – quite the opposite actually – they don’t like my friend, Jesus, very much.

    As far as the "act of social change," there are already many programs, therapists and couselors that address Post Abortion Distress - programs like Project Rachel. You are raising it to a political level asking the Resperentative of the U.S. – The President – to acknowledge publically/politically your story of abortion. AND you DO want him to tell you that it’s "okay" or (at least) hear you and silently agree. You’ve said this, haven’t you? C’mon… You really think that your motives are altruistic? If you simply wanted to help women and men in their Post Abortion Distress you would become a liscensed social worker, pyschiatrist, pyschologist and begin your practice. No, you want the "stigma" to go away for yourself, you think that because something is lawful it is also moral (which is crazy) and you want the pain to go away. Guess what? The pain is your conscience and you can harden it – over time – you can as many have done, but I would listen to it. Have the courage to face what you have done, and stop looking for "friends" to say that it’s "okay." This Exhale is nothing more than Group Think or Group Therapy and I would be careful because you are making yourself responsible for others now, and teachers of non-truths are held to a higher standard. The lost are coming to you and you are throwing them into a cavern of darkness. This is no bueno!

    • mellankelly1

      they are simply/sinfully not in reality

      Sounds like you’re describing a delicious entenmann’s cakes… mmmmm!  They really are out of this world!

      I think at this stage we all know what abortion is.

      We all are aware that an abortion is the termination of ones pregnancy.  What we do not all know is how terminating ones pregnancy will affect a person.  Some women are fine with that… happy that they were born into a country at a time where safe and legal abortion was even an option for them.  Some women do not share those feelings.  However, it is absurd to pretend that you know how each woman feels, why she feels this way and what she can do to change how she feels.

      AND you DO want him to tell you that it’s "okay" or (at least) hear you and silently agree. 

      What would he be agreeing to?  Agreeing that each individual woman is different and each individual women’s experience with abortion is different?  Oh no!  We wouldn’t want someone to acknowledge the vast differences between the experiences of women, would we?  I can see why that would be so distressing.

      No, you want the "stigma" to go away for yourself, you think that because something is lawful it is also moral (which is crazy) and you want the pain to go away.

      Seriously, you need to stop projecting.  If you are in pain due to the decisions you’ve made then you need to deal with… it is unhealthy to project your feelings upon others.  I’m sorry that you’re suffering and I can only pray that you get the help that you need in order to make "the pain go away." 

      This Exhale is nothing more than Group Think or Group Therapy

      If that is truly how you feel, it would appear as if your issue is with comprehending what you’ve read.  Please feel free to visit the exhale website and read their mission statement.  You know, it’s okay to admit that not everyone feels the same emotions upon terminating their pregnancy (or about abortion in general.)  It doesn’t make your feelings (or any other persons feelings) any more or less valuable or "right."

      • truth

        Remember, you’re the one who had the abortion(s) – not me. It seems to me that you are the one who is not at peace. That’s why women, like you, who haven’t fully confessed are so adament about keeping abortion legal. As long as it’s lawful, you can justify (in your own mind at least) that what you have done is also moral and righteous. You’re not applying logic to figure out what would be best for a civilized society. If you were, you and others would clearly see the error(s) in Roe v. Wade. You NEED to try and make sure that the government doesn’t change its position because this would mean that what you did was wrong. Watch "The Silent Scream" or any other film showing the brutality of your practice, and quit making excuses for what you have done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjNo_0cW-ek&feature=related. It wasn’t your baby’s fault – he/she was innocent.

  • invalid-0

    Although nearly 36 years have passed since Blackmun’s opinion was issued, I think it’s safe to say that we’re still unable to arrive at consensus on that issue, or on many issues around abortion. That’s precisely why I think that seeking peace through a continued evolution of understanding is one of the best ways to move forward around abortion.
    Abortion is a topic that brings up deep, passionate emotions in many of us, and it’s often hard to find a place to really hear one another in the midst of it all. Neither ‘side’ is likely to convince anyone to agree with them through continued invective. However, we may all be able to see that there are many more ‘sides’ involved if we start listening to the personal stories of the women all around us who’ve been affected by abortion. I know that I’ve learned a lot more through listening than I ever did through shouting.

  • mellankelly1

    Remember, you’re the one who had the abortion(s) – not me

    When I made this statement: Seriously, you need to stop projecting.  If you are in pain due to the decisions you’ve made then you need to deal with… it is unhealthy to project your feelings upon others.  I’m sorry that you’re suffering and I can only pray that you get the help that you need in order to make "the pain go away." 

    ~I was speaking to whatever happened in your life that is causing your pain (not necessarily implying that you’ve terminated a pregnancy) because it is extremely unhealthy to project your feelings onto others rather than deal with these feelings. 

    That’s why women, like you, who haven’t fully confessed are so adament about keeping abortion legal

    First, "fully confessed?"  What the heck are you talking about?  Confessed what?  And to whom?  Very curious, indeed.  Further, I can only speak for myself, but I am adament about keeping abortion legal for a few reasons.  One being that I would prefer that the government not have control over the private medical decisions that my daughters make.  In addition, abortion needs to remain a legal (and therefor safe) option for a woman faced with an unwanted or doomed pregnancy.  Poor women should not be forced to undergo an unsafe procedure simply because they do not have the means to procure a safe illegal abortion.  It would serve you well to listen to the reasons women support choice rather than just buying into the garbage you read on anti-abortion websites.

    As long as it’s lawful, you can justify (in your own mind at least) that what you have done is also moral and righteous.

    I don’t think that even makes sense.  Many women decide that abortion is the best and most moral decision for themselves and their families.  The fact that you happen to disagree with them is completely irrelevant.

    You’re not applying logic to figure out what would be best for a civilized society.

    Right, it is completely illogical to believe that people have the right to control what happens to their own bodies… how downright nutty of me.

    You NEED to try and make sure that the government doesn’t change its position because this would mean that what you did was wrong

    The hell?  Again, that doesn’t even make sense.  The governments job is to protect it’s citizens.

    Watch "The Silent Scream"

    Debunked.  Years ago.  But it’s good to know where your heads at.

    It wasn’t your baby’s fault – he/she was innocent.

    What wasn’t my baby’s fault?  I’ve never faulted any of my children… although, I’m not sure about that whole innocent thing (they’re quite mischievous)

    • invalid-0

      Good Grief!
      I guess fundies are fundies… I see the righteousness card was played, it gives away those fundies every time. Abortions are not about righteousness. And the right to a CHOICE of an abortion is what we are trying to support. It has been said many times to me…. “If men had to carry a child, abortion rights wouldn’t be an issue,” -it would be a right that would never be reversed. It would be like a blood test. They’d probably invent a way to do it drive-thru or have it available out of the side door of most mini-marts.

      The next point, another one made to me, that makes perfect sense, is that the government shouldn’t segregate out one part of the citizenship (being women) and tell them what they can or can’t do with their bodies. Imagine telling a single ‘average american male’ 25 years old… that he had to have the money up front to support a child before he could engage in sex. That would go over like a lead balloon.

      Good luck finding a reply to that: )~

  • invalid-0

    I’ve been really amazed at the discussions going on around this matter and thought I’d step in. Currently I am working on the post abortion complications project in the Philippines where abortion is illegal and unsafe. The Philippines is proof alone that despite abortion’s illegality, almost 500,000 unsafe abortions still occur per year according to the United Nations Population Fund. The illegality of abortion does nothing to stop abortion but rather punishes and condemns women, putting hundreds of thousands of women’s lives at risk of unsafe abortion.

    Being a post abortion counselor for Exhale, women in the United States have the choice and the freedom to discuss their feelings about their abortion. In stark contrast, the majority of women in the Philippines will stay silent. Since most women go home immediately after their discharge from the hospital after being admitted for post abortion complications such as profuse vaginal bleeding and sepsis, one can only imagine the unbearable silence and shame that follows for any Filipina woman who feels she doesn’t have the choice to talk about her abortion experience and heal from it.

    Among several medical providers who provide post abortion complications care, all the providers had agreed that the women were not afraid of the law when it comes to abortion. They stated that the illegality of abortion is a common fact taught in public and private schools, and that most of the women already know this. While I had previously believed fear of the law had made many women silent about their abortion experiences, it seems the number one reason why women stay silent is because of hiya, “a sense of shame,” as well as the social stigma abortion carries. Considering the weight of hiya when it comes to Filipino culture, a lack of hiya, or simply “losing face” is far worse than criminal prosecution itself.

    Being Filipina myself, the Filipino identity is so deeply entrenched with family and Catholicism that to defy family or the Church by having an abortion is like suicide in itself. However, for many of the women in this developing country who admitted to inducing their own abortions, they explained abortion was not something they wanted, but due to financial difficulties, the inaccessibility of contraception by the government, and five or more children already in their household, these women felt they had no other choice. One can only be baffled at the plight of primarily poor young women who find themselves unable to support a child and go to great lengths of terminating their unwanted pregnancy.

    As I have learned, abortion seems one of the most basic and instinctive things women globally will contemplate at least once in her lifetime when she is faced with an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. Especially in countries where abortion is illegal, it is women from the most distressed and impoverished areas of the world who will turn to abortion as their only recourse. As shown through the earliest civilizations, abortion, safe or unsafe, has always been a part of any society regardless of whether the law forbids it or not, and at the heart of abortion are women’s stories, for without women, there is no fetus to speak of.

  • invalid-0

    It wasn’t your baby’s fault – he/she was innocent. – Truth

    But you think women, clearly, are not innocent because they deserve to be punished their entire lives with the spectre of unwanted pregnancy, forced birth and motherhood hanging over their heads for the crime of being female. Is there a cut-off point when that precious child (if it is female) stops being considered innocent and becomes something to be hated and battered over the head with its sexuality and fertility just like its mother? The reproductive healthcare you would deny to women now will be denied to their daughters – the very same “unborn children” you wanted to save. What a cruel, twisted little person you are.

    Don’t take anything “Truth” says as actually true. He is nothing but a misogynist and a liar.

  • mellankelly1

    And isn’t it fabulous that we live in a free society.  One in which you are perfectly free to share your personal beliefs regarding life, pregnancy and abortion.  And one in which I am free to respectfully disagree.  A society that will not force me to put aside my personal beliefs regarding life, pregnancy and abortion simply because I happen to disagree with yours?  God Bless America, eh?  (I hope you will consider reading a book that I found really useful in learning more about the truth regarding abortion, "How the Pro-choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and the War on Sex" by Cristina Page.)

  • invalid-0

    Now that you’ve acknowledged that there are well intentioned people on both sides of the argument are you going to stop refering to those who oppose you as “anti choice”?

  • emma

    We’ll stop referring to you as anti-choice when you stop trying to deny us reproductive choice. It’s not that complicated, really.

     

    Anyway, great article. A belated thanks.

  • invalid-0

    Oh, Emma you can do better than that. The last thing I want to do is take away your birth control or tell you who you should or should not have sex with. Therefore you have all the choice in the world.

    • invalid-0

      Sounds like you’re open to some choices but not all.

  • invalid-0

    Chinese government reproductive policies would not be anti-choice either, even while lacking an unfettered right to carry a pregnancy to term, as long as women still have choices over birth control and sex itself.

  • invalid-0

    Exactly otaku1960!

  • invalid-0

    I was just wondering what if someone really stupid goes to the white house and tells a story that is completly opposite from the response that people are looking for. Her response could be one that would damage the american view of abortion even more. Then we’ll all be screwed. But lets just hope that nooen goes up and says stuff like i wanted to have sex a lot and i didn’t want a baby. (i hate to be the downer but i think some idiot will do it) and though that might be your story, it’s just completly not beneficial to the fight of those who had to get abortions for medical reasons or those who were suffering from the experience.

  • invalid-0

    Well, if somebody went to the White House and tells a story its going to be her story. Nobody knows it better than she does. If you’re going to encourage an honest dialogue you have to be prepared to accept that some people will give talks that Planned Parenthood will want to copyright and others will give stories that is “completly the opposite from the response that people are looking for”. If you preselect the women who share their stories its not an honest dialogue. But, if you have an honest debate/discussion you can’t control the outcome. No one can. What it comes down to is: Do you trust these women to tell their honest stories or do you expect them to get some clearance from N.A.R.A.L first?

  • truth

    Let’s bring on ALL the women – not just the pro-aborts!

  • pcwhite

    Well, sure, let’s hear the perspectives of all women.  But the fact that some post-abortive women feel badly about the experience is not an argument for the criminalization of abortion…just so you know.

  • invalid-0

    …have known a young woman who cried after getting her abortion, a girl who chose adoption and a woman I knew years after she survived an illegal abortion but was able to accomplish her mission. The one who cried made the right choice because her boyfriend was sharing the house I rented with another male (imagine raising a a baby in the living room while one roomie went to cover events for a newspaper on the second shift returning to his dining room and I stocked shelves in the third, getting to my basement at 8:30 a.m. – not even sharing the whole house, a dentist had the rest of the space). The girl was still in high school and her sister lived in the partial house I shared with my girlfriend at the time and another co-ed: she was so afraid her father would know SHE WASN’T EVEN A VIRGIN, so her mother agreed to have her teenage child live with us (think about that, entrusting your child’s care to one highly unorthodox living arrangement), returning home after the adoption agency took over. The older woman I was briefly involved with, was told by the man who impregnated her after taking her virginity back in the ’60s he was already married and wanted nothing to do with her (“You’re pregnant, you BITCH!”). Some guy who said he saw an illegal abortion performed introduced epsom salts as part of the operation and conditions rapidly deteriorated to hospitalization – the abortion was safely done after recovery off the mainland. Each of these females mentioned performed heroic actions in the face of adversity: one did not become a welfare queen in the age of Global Gag Rule Reagan, one did not disrupt a family unit so much to shatter a marriage/jail a father for beating his daughter/murder and one, who was severely injured in the first charge, came back to face the objective again. Mission accomplished. Why did I use that phrase? Because we’ve been at war on poverty long before we decided to declare war on terror. Each of the 40-million+ legal abortions performed in this country alone (along with the untold millions more done without legal sanction across the world over time) represents a victory in that war, so that civilization can progress beyond caves. Say what you will about morality, but the war on poverty is one we dare not lose.

  • truth

    Being poor or unable to suffiently support yourself or a family doesn’t make killing the right answer. Just like stealing is never morally right no matter how hungry you are. There are all kinds of circumstances that human beings will find themselves in and there will always be excuses to take the easy way out and "snuff out" the problem. I feel for you that you and your people were in such a bad place, but sometimes God gives us reasons to change our environments. It’s the difference of playing the "victim role" vs. being a "change agent."

    • invalid-0

      …they abstain from sex and not fund their families when thast abstinence ultimately fails. I think people like Truth fear the day of single-payer health care, and an unparalleled government-guaranteed standard-of-living for everyone within our borders. Obama gives in on reproductive health care for the poor and what happens? Not one Republican votes for economic stimulus! Thanks GOP for showing your true colors: not satisfied with all the nouveau poor created by their Messiah, George W. Bush, they would seek to create many more poor for generations to come!

      Thanks, Truth, for waking me from my feelIcandonothinguntilwork mood. Want to do it again?

  • http://kuyakevin.blogspot.com invalid-0

    As some of you may know, a baby was born alive in Florida and then allowed to die in a botched. late-term abortion. God help us.

  • invalid-0

    How does that work (full disclosure: I am not, nor ever have been, a licensed medical professional)? Somehow, a womb’s contents leave the body, then get crammed back into the body, then the person who owns that body decides she’s had enough and doesn’t want the contents back, so she gets a late-term abortion?
    OR, is Kevin just another neo-con who feels no obligation to the English language? I’m raising my expectations to see one whole grain of truth in your response.

  • invalid-0

    umm… Ok Christopher well just go to CNN
    Feb. 7 Kim Segal
    “Dr. loses license in live birth abortion case”
    I think the story is pretty clear unless of course
    you’ve now decided CNN is also being run by “neo
    cons with no regard for the English language.”

  • invalid-0

    …I noticed the doctor wasn’t there when this took place in 2006 (not so “recent” an event as Kevin presented): good help is hard to find. Seems a bit light that no murder charges were filed, as the provider was caught with the DNA-confirmed evidence (though I wonder why anyone would place anything dead in a plastic bag, then in a shoe-box, then leave it in a closet – there’s a lot more to this story). I hope the industry will take aggressive action to assure this does not happen again, starting with a physician on-site whenever a clinic is open for business. A question: are abortion providers better at self-regulation than, say, bankers? Personally, I think they’re better than medical establishment on the whole, but I’m biased as my father died waiting for treatment after Code Bluing three times in one day.
    Another question: are the events in this case describing a term I’ve been seeing for a week now called “post birth abortion?” Glad I’m not a Supreme Court Justice because I sure was wrong on my last post and even considering anti-abortionists have made things up as they go along doesn’t mitigate my mistake.

  • invalid-0

    How can anyone equate Peace with Abortion? That’s like equating Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr with violence! They are two of my heros since I was a child. I am offended by the association being made by pro abortion advocates. I also take offense with EXHALE’s promotion of abortion humor. One joke referred to a fetus being killed with a hanger. Poeple find this funny?
    I am a democrat and voted for Obama from the start. I am
    a BORN feminist, a mother, a grandmother, a lover & partner, a civil rights advocate, a supporter of Mr. & Ms. Carter and the work they do around the world, pro gay marriages and gay rights, pro peace in the middle east, reparation to those affected by slavery in the USA and in the world, a survivor of PCB water contamination, a survivor of an abortion, an artist and a writer, and much more. But no matter who we are or what we believe in, abortion and other forms of violence must always be things we can not tolerate. I am partcularly against abortion. Abortion must have limitations and be safe. Women should always be provided with a CHOICE and CONSENT.

    I am against all forms of violence including: abortion jokes, child abuse, domestic violence, slavery, discrimination, rape, war, and abortion. It seems that men have war. Women have abortion. Isn’t this where live begins and ends. Sounds like people are playing GOD! What people need to do is stop voting for anyone that promotes violence of any kind especially abortion and war. Recently my family and I have become outspoken and believe that abortion must be limited and certainly not funded around the world to force women to have abortions against their will. We would like to see abortion limited to those who really need it especially to save a women’s life and to protect women’s physical health. We support other forms of safe birth control and support for women’s rights around the world. We must help protect women, children and men against all forms of violence and profiteering. We will consider very carefully whom we will vote for in the future and will not be voting for any politician who supports war and abortion in the US or else where in the world so we can begin to help bring true PEACE to the world.

    • invalid-0

      You say what you are, what you’ve survived, and being “outspoken.” But without knowing WHO you are, how can you expect me to take your words (especially the “outspoken” part) and the power you’ve tried to place behind them. With me, you know where I stand AND you know who I am. I’ll never call myself an “abortion survivor,” because it’s not true and people all over cyberspace would be flooding this site calling me out. That is a vague term, and I’d like some clarification: did somebody try to forcibly remove you from a uterus and yet you lived, had you obtained an illegal abortion, or did you endure some malpractice at a clinic? Anything else would seem overly dramatic, like “surviving the SAT.”
      And as far as the “politician who supports war and abortion” goes, from my vantage point, I see many who support war and many others who support abortion. Maybe I’m not seeing the ones who support both, Enlighten me, please!

  • invalid-0

    No, it isn’t funny at all. Since we all know that intercourse can lead to pregnancy, and for the vast majority of women intercourse is voluntary, why is pregnancy not a choice? Does someone hold a gun to a woman’s head and force pregnancy? Does someone force a woman to have intercourse with a man who is not likely to cherish her or who will run from a pregnancy? Who chooses the jerk in the first place? If a woman knows she absolutely cannot be pregnant why doesn’t she use multiple methods of birth control or find other methods of sexual gratification than intercourse? Please, please don’t take such a claim of victimhood when you have so many free choices, including the one to legal abortion. All the women of the world that have fought to have unlimited, legal abortion now have it, but they don’t seem like they’ve been set free to me, it sounds like they continue to look for justification other than the legal argument.

  • invalid-0

    Since we all know that intercourse can lead to pregnancy, and for the vast majority of women intercourse is voluntary, why is pregnancy not a choice? Does someone hold a gun to a woman’s head and force pregnancy?

    No, but consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Women have the right to be sexually active without being forced to carry a resulting pregnancy to term. Usually, this means that birth control will be used, so that no pregnancy results in the first place. But birth control can and does fail from time to time, and in those cases a fallback measure (EC, abortion) is needed.

    Does someone force a woman to have intercourse with a man who is not likely to cherish her or who will run from a pregnancy? Who chooses the jerk in the first place?

    A human being, who is not beyond making mistakes.

    Please, please don’t take such a claim of victimhood when you have so many free choices, including the one to legal abortion.

    Which is constantly being eroded by “incrementalist” measures like pointless clinical regulation, waiting periods, and legal harassment. There is a difference between the fact of Roe v. Wade being the law of the land, and the practical obstacles that many women who need an abortion have to contend with.

  • invalid-0

    Do you really believe the stuff you are saying?