How a Late-Term Abortion Saved My Life


This article originally appeared on American Forum.

On Sunday May 30th, a man walked into a church in Wichita, Kansas and
shot to death Dr. George Tiller. Dr. Tiller was volunteering as an
usher that Sunday, so he was standing in the lobby of the church when
the gunman entered. Unfortunately, Dr. Tiller’s death didn’t really
come as a surprise; his medical practice centered on performing
abortions, particularly late term abortions, and he’d been attacked
before. Regardless of the near constant threats and harassment he
received, Dr. Tiller was committed to his work. Why? Because he
believed that "abortion is a matter of survival for women."

It
was for me. In October of 2004, I was pregnant with my sons Nicholas
and Zachary. With great joy and expectation, my husband, my best
friend, and I visited my doctor for a normal growth ultrasound. I was
nearly 23 weeks pregnant, hovering at the start of the third trimester.
Within moments it was clear something was wrong; one of the boys was
still and had no heartbeat. When I met with my doctor, routine
screening revealed the worst: the symptoms I’d been experiencing that I
thought were normal with a twin pregnancy were actually evidence that I
was sick — very, very sick. I was immediately admitted to the hospital
with severe preeclampsia, and though my doctors tried mightily to slow
the progression of the disease, by the morning of October 27, 2004 a
group of doctors stood at my bedside and delivered the worst news I’d
ever received.

I was in advanced kidney failure. My blood
pressure was skyrocketing, and it could not be controlled with
medications. My liver was beginning to decline. The horrific headache I
was experiencing could no longer be treated with pain medications
because they were afraid it would depress my ability to breathe when I
began to have the seizures they expected at any moment. I would soon
likely suffer a stroke or a heart attack. In other words, I was going
to die unless the pregnancy was terminated. Immediately.

There
was no hope for my surviving son. He was too tiny and too frail to be
viable. With my dangerously high blood pressure, a c-section would have
likely caused me to bleed to death, and inducing labor would have
stressed my system too much. My safest option was the procedure known
as an intact dilation and extraction. It would save my life, and
preserve my future fertility. As luck would have it, my obstetrician
happened to be one of three doctors in the Philadelphia area that was
both trained and willing to do the procedure. Within an hour of
receiving my bad news, I lay in the surgical suite, covered in tubes
and wires, weeping inconsolably as the doctors tried to offer comfort
as they prepped me for surgery.

It was the worst day of my life.

After
I came home from the hospital, grieving, I searched and found other
women like me — women whose lives were saved by the late-term medical
termination of a pregnancy. I also met women who chose to spare their
children from agonizing health conditions and birth defects by having
an abortion. What I learned is that we are rare; only 1.1 percent of
all abortion are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy (according
to the Guttmacher Institute), and doctors only perform them in cases of
extreme medical need. Dr. Tiller himself never performed a late term
abortion without counseling the parents — and getting a second opinion
from another doctor. My doctor described the day of my surgery as the
worst in his professional career.

With the help of other women
like me, I grieved. I healed. I tried again, and in June of 2006, my
wild and fierce daughter Victoria was born. As I healed, I came to
realize how lucky I was. Yes, I said lucky. This was in 2004, before
the Partial Birth Abortion Ban became law, and my doctors were able to
move quickly to save my life without worrying about breaking the law.
My doctor knew the procedure and was willing to perform it; something
that has already become rare and will be rarer still if doctors have to
put their lives on the line to perform this life saving medical
procedure. If it’s you or your daughter, will you be so lucky?

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

To schedule an interview with Cecily Kellogg please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you for sharing your story here. It takes great courage to put a face to a demonized procedure.

  • dltbhs

    I’m already familiar with your story, and your blog, and yet this still made me cry all over again. The fact that this could happen to any pregnant woman, at any time, is an incredibly sobering reminder that we really ARE engaged in a fight for our lives.

    Thank you for being brave enough to stand up tall and share your loss with all of us; and in doing so help us bring attention to just how important these procedures are and how vital it is that we continue fight for our right to health care.

  • invalid-0

    I’m glad you and your daughter are doing well. I know people who consider themselves
    “prolife”. I don’t consider myself one of them because they are, I think too far to the right. They are opposed to abortions in all cases
    (including rape) unless the mother’s life is in danger. They also believe keeping a person alive by machine when most doctors would consider them “brain dead”, but I have never met or heard of one pro lifer whose oppposition to abortion included maternal death. Your story is increadibly sad but I think for the most part you are argueing with a population that doesn’t exist. I remember a friend from work whose unborn child had a cardiac condition and they induced labor at 17 weeks after which he passed away peacefully. I think when it comes to partial birth abortion the general thinking is “if the cervix can be dialated enough to expel the baby from foot to neck then it can certainly expel the head with no additional dialation so there is no reason for the dr to puncture the brain and expel brain matter unless he has a vested interest in making sure the child is stillborn”. Your case was obviously not one of the ones that made this person a national phariah. Its also worth noting that even in countries where elective abortion is illegal or in this country before roe vs. wade, if the mother’s life was in danger abortion was/is absolutly legal. Can you find countries where it’s not? probably, but generally speaking I don’t think your story would be controversial within the pro life community.

  • invalid-0

    cmarie, you’re wrong, sorry. I wish you weren’t, but you are. I work in reproductive justice and every single day I meet so-called pro-lifers who would have preferred that Cecily die rather than be allowed an abortion. If you have the opportunity to tell them a story like hers—which I try to do, when I can—they just. don’t. care.

    I am aware that there are people like you who are capable of stopping to think about things for a moment, but the extremists are very vocal, very determined, and very very busy drowning out your voice. I see it every day.

    And also? A little bit offensive of you to presume to speak to the question of how to perform any medical procedure. Unless you can tell me where you trained for your M.D., that’s inappropriate, and unhelpful.

  • invalid-0

    Oof, Cecily, clicked Post too fast: wanted to thank you also for sharing this story. What a heartbreaking thing to have happen. I’m glad that you came through it, and grateful to you for sharing your story. You know as well as I that there *are* extremists who would remain unmoved by it, but I hope with every story like yours that is told, that somewhere, someone is learning something real about the absolute need for safe and legal late-term abortion.

  • http://www.bekahferguson.com/ invalid-0

    Cecily, your story is tragic and my heart goes out to you.

    I would just like to point out to other people reading your article that the majority of prolifers do NOT oppose abortion when it is the only way to save the mother’s life. But regardless, statistically, only 0.05% of ALL abortions are for the causes of rape, incest and the mother’s health COMBINED!

    The majority of late-term abortions taking place are completely unnecessary: early induction or c-section can be performed in most cases, saving both mother and child. Yours is the tragic exception, however, again, I want to point out that prior to legalizing aborton ON DEMAND, it *WAS* legal for a woman to have an abortion if her life was at stake.

  • everysaturdaymorning

    The Center for Reproductive Rights publishes this awesome map http://reproductiverights.org/sites/crr.civicactions.net/files/documents/Abortion%20Map_FA.pdf which shows abortion laws, by country across the world. Please note the countries in red where abortion is either completly illegal, or almost impossible to get, even in the cases of imminent maternal mortality.

     

    And cmarie, you sound like a compassionate person. However I have heard anti-choice protesters tell women outside of the abortion clinic they should rather die, than kill their child for any reason, because that is what a woman does, or should be.

     

    Cecily, thank you for telling your story. 

  • invalid-0

    TKC!
    Dear Cmarie,
    You make too much of a generalization when you claim that prolifers would have preferred that Cecily die rather than be allowed an abortion. This situation for this woman was very difficult and heartwrenching, as a woman who respects human life at all stages from the womb to death, I would prefer that no one had to die, neither the woman or her children. The authentic “pro-life” person cares about this woman and her story and other women suffering with the contemplation of abortion, ending her child’s life. I regret that you have not come across authentic pro-life men and women who would care about this story, but we are out there. You are correct in saying extremists are very vocal. We find this on both sides of this issue. Nothing will be accomplished when both sides refuse to listen and deal with others in a spirit of charity and respect, and ultimately until we except Truth, then we will always be arguing for our own personal agendas. My prayers go out for all men and women personally facing the abortion issue. And as the blog mentions these cases of abortion (to save the mother’s life) are a very small percentage. The majority of abortions (as a means of birth control) are happening reflecting many other social ills such as bad parenting, break down of the family, young girls who are misinformed and lacking proper guidance, absentee fathers, pushing God out of our lives, grown women who have lost or never knew the true meaning of authentic femininity…the list goes on and on. Abortion and other evils of the world will not change unless the hearts of men and women truly change. Our selfish pursuits and desires will only bring us heartache and more suffering. When will we learn.

  • invalid-0

    The number of pro-lifers going “But I’m one the good ones!” in the comments is sickening. If there weren’t pro-lifers who didn’t feel that late-term abortion was always evil, Dr. Tiller would still be alive. Women who have faced tough situations like this aren’t the types you should be convincing of your goodness. If you aren’t like that, then this post isn’t about you.

  • invalid-0

    If there weren’t pro-lifers who didn’t feel that late-term abortion was always evil

    Ug…what I was trying to say that there are pro-lifers who feel that late term abortion is always evil. I think it’s too early for me to try forming complete sentences.

  • invalid-0

    While you now suppose to be compassionate in Cecily’s circumstance, you still think that the state has the right to intervene when someone in her situation needs to make the decision of whether to save her own life or that of her potential child.

    In fact, the only circumstance where anti-choicers think abortion *is* necessary is in the case of etopic pregnancy. Aside from that, death during or prior to the birth process is seen as the only really honorable thing for a woman to do, according to the anti-choice movement.

    • invalid-0

      A local anti-abortion place killed at least 2 women by “counciling” them out of having etopic pregnancies terminated so that’s not even 100% true. They literally told one that “babies move so it could move out of the tube”.

  • jodi-jacobson

    That laws do not indicate access to safe services.

    In many places, including increasingly the United States, safe abortion services even under legally approved conditions are not available or accessible for the women in need.

     

    Laws only tell part of the story.

    Best, Jodi Jacobson

  • invalid-0

    If there are stringent “but reasonable” limits about an abortion “must be to preserve the woman’s health” — it puts additional risk on the woman. If there’s a strict standard of proof, by the time the doctor can “prove” the woman’s life or health is in danger it may be too late.

    There isn’t any way to write a law that gives with reasonable “protections” [when legislators don't trust women and don't trust doctors that trust women] that would allow the doctor to do what s/he needed to do when a troubled pregnancy goes into crisis — without danger of being charged with murder by a “pro-life” local Attorney General.

    The pro-criminalization groups will likely then use their echo chamber to say that the purpose of a reasonable abortion law (that allows a doctor the discretion s/he needs) that would theoretically “allow” a nine month abortion is have “Abortion On Demand — at the last second!!!”

  • invalid-0

    I’m sorry this happened, and I’m glad you were able to get the help you needed.

  • invalid-0

    Atlanta, please explain what you meant by “grown women who have lost or never knew the true meaning of authentic femininity.” It sounds very much like code for “women who don’t know their place/duty/role in a world that’s ‘rightly’ ruled by men.” So much of this sad situation gets tangled up in patriarchal imperatives. Let’s be clear. This is a tragedy — and a medical emergency — that only befalls a female, and is a basic issue of her personal survival. To say that women must be willing to sacrifice themselves in childbirth is to say their ultimate worth as a human is nothing more than a baby-making machine. If that is what you believe, then we see civilized culture — and God — in a very different context.

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

    It is incredibly important that we demystify the very need for safe/legal/accessible abortion, and you are, quite literally, living proof of that. THANK YOU so much for having the courage to share your story.

    We’ve reposted excerpts of it on our blog feministcampus.blogspot.com and want to share it with everyone we can!

  • invalid-0

    The first line of your comment shows that you didn’t even read mine. I made no generalization at all. I said that EVERY DAY I meet “pro-lifers” who would prefer that an ill woman like Cecily have died rather than aborted. I know this because they tell me so. This is not a generalization: this is a factual accounting of real people who I have the misfortune to have to wrangle with every. single. day.

    As for the rest of your post… didn’t read it because before I had a chance, my eye fell on your phrase “authentic femininity,” and well, I was too busy vomiting all over my own shoes to see what else you had to say.

  • invalid-0

    here is an example from JPII
    [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_29061995_women_en.html]

    the Church has many reasons for hoping that the forthcoming United Nations Conference in Beijing will bring out the full truth about women. Necessary emphasis should be placed on the “genius of women”, not only by considering great and famous women of the past or present, but also those ordinary women who reveal the gift of their womanhood by placing themselves at the service of others in their everyday lives. For in giving themselves to others each day women fulfill their deepest vocation.
    [emphasis in the original]

    Women, according to this theology, won’t reveal their full gifts unless they’re giving of themselves to others. I suppose the official theology is that everyone in the congregation is supposed to be giving to others … but it seems to me that women are (always) expected to give more. I think people whose worldview includes “things happen for a reason” tend to think being born female & fertile is a Pretty Big Sign & have no trouble expecting women to act certain ways. Also, don’t have trouble trying to coerce or use laws to try to make her compliant. (Me, I think my biological sex was chance, & I won’t cooperate with the program.)

  • invalid-0

    You are getting your numbers mixed up, or you are intentionally trying to confuse people.

    I’d ask for a link to the numbers you cite first. Secondly, stipulating 0.05% of abortions are for the causes of rape, incest and the mothers health does not in any way prove your statement of “the majority of late-term abortions taking place are completely unnecessary”. You’re comparing apples to oranges. For example, a woman might obtain an abortion because of rape, but it’ll probably be within the first trimester, not the 3rd.

    Doing the bare minimum of research on the causes of late abortion would yield the proof that the majority of late abortions are in fact necessary. You can research this very website but if it’s too biased for you, the Guttmacher Institute is the place to go. It’s scientific and peer-reviewed, no political agenda, etc.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Cecily,
    I am sorry for the loss of your sons. I can not imagine the grief and heartache you have felt–and the huge fear for your life.

    I am so happy you have a healthy daughter and are able to experience the joys of motherhood. Victoria is the perfect name.

    Again, I am so sorry that your sons didn’t have a chance to grace us with their presence.

  • emma

    Some of them don’t believe even an ectopic pregnancy is an acceptable reason to terminate. I recall an idiot on here insisting that, in the case of ectopic pregnancy, the embryo can just be transplanted into the uterus. Even more disturbing was the fact that s/he claimed to be a nurse. So aside from hating women, some antis are also utterly, embarrassingly deluded.

  • invalid-0

    I recall an idiot on here insisting that, in the case of ectopic pregnancy, the embryo can just be transplanted into the uterus.

    It was worse than that. This person claimed that the proper MO was to remove the Fallopian tube altogether. Yes, wrecking the woman’s fertility—the responses pointed this out, and the point was never rebutted. And this was so that the faux-nurse (I keep thinking back to the Joker’s hospital scene in The Dark Knight here) could claim that she did not directly perform an action that can be called an abortion.

  • invalid-0

    I never ever said pro lifers would have wanted to see the author die. I said even people who oppose abortion cases of rape would make an exception for the life of the mother. Somebody named M said in a very general sense that she has come across random unnamed people who identify themselves as prolifers and would have been happy to see the author die. I suppose there are nuts out there who might say something like that but that’s kind of like comparing pro choice people to Peter Singer who was chair of ethics at (I believe) Princton and may still be. He doesn’t believe children are entirely alive until they reach the age of two. Most pro choice people would be horrified at that assertion which is why it would be unfair to present his beliefs as representative of the whole pro choice community. My point is the vast vast majority of people who DO identify themselves as prolife would never oppose an abortion (or induced preterm delivery or ceserian) if it was necessary to save the mother’s life.

    • invalid-0

      Cmarie, while I appreciate the symmetry and fairness of comparing extreme ends of the spectrum of opinion on pro-life/pro-choice issues (ie, Peter Singer’s assertion that children aren’t fully human until age 2 is analogous to the folks who believe Cecily should have died rather than aborted), I think you miss that the real-life implications for these two equally offensive ideas are not so symmetrical.

      I know for a fact that the no-exceptions pro-lifers are quite politically active and that they are having some real success changing the laws and the culture to fit their beliefs. No one, not even Peter Singer, is going to get political traction advocating the idea about two-year-olds. Never gonna happen. I am aredently pro-choice, and I had never heard of this wacky idea of his. However, I bet everyone in this country, pro-life or pro-choice, has heard of the idea of making absolutely no exceptions for abortion!

      your point about equal and opposite extremism is an elegant rhetorical device, and I sense that you yourself do not condone allowing Cecily and others like her to die for the sake of ideology.

      However, your argument fails to address the fact that the no-exceptions folks are highly visible and influential within the pro-life camp. I even wonder if they are not to a great degree in control of the pro-life movement.

      I am bemused by your portrayal of yourself and many, many others as mild-mannered rational pro-lifers who would _naturally_ make humane exceptions for the life of the mother, while you depict the no-exceptions folks as just a few bad, loud apples. It kind of reminds me of the way muslims have found themselves portrayed post-9-11.

      Just as moderate muslims speak out against terrorism, so should pro-lifers speak out against the no-exceptions lunatics in your midst. Otherwise you are no different than they are.

  • progo35

    Cmarie is right. No one I know in the pro life community actually believes that women should be forced to continue a pregnancy when her life is in jeopardy. The author is arguing with a population that for all intents and purposes doesn’t exist. Such people exist, but this post makes a point of arguing with pro life people who opposed Dr. Tiller’s work, as if her story of needing a late term abortion to save her life would change our minds about what Tiller did. Well, it doesn’t, because such procedures can be done at regular hospitals, and secondly, the inventor of the D and X procedure has openly stated that out of all the procedures of this nature that he has performed, only nine percent have been done to save the woman’s life. The rest are elective.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      The court system will kill women if the decision is in their hands. I can’t find any good numbers Have you followed the WM3 case? It took YEARS to get a hearing to decide if their DNA evidence could be heard and it was delayed multiple times. I have several divorced friends, it took 7 months on average from filing to being in court. I needed a temporary restraining order once. I was VERY lucky and the local police helped me as soon as I filed it since they knew the situation. It took 6 weeks to get it. Would they allow abortions any faster?

      Just so I’m throwing this in here: private insurance covers abortion, the government does not. If you have private insurance you are paying for abortion.

  • invalid-0

    CNN/USA Today/Gallups 2003 poll of adults broke it down by reason….11% thought it should be illegal even in the case where the womans life was endangered.

    A Time Poll in 2008 of likely voters also asked if it should be illegal in all circumstances including if the womans life is endangered. 10% agreed.

  • invalid-0

    The previous bit of drivel about only 0.05 percent of all abortions being performed due to rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother was pulled out of the sphincter of some anti-abortion fanatic somewhere with neither credentials nor peer-reviewed science to back it up. What fries my knickers is that _so many people_ just blindly accept this horse puckey at face value without ever checking it out.

  • invalid-0

    < ...the inventor of the D and X procedure has openly stated that out of all the procedures of this nature that he has performed, only nine percent have been done to save the woman's life....>

    So can you post us a CREDIBLE link to the quote?

    Anti-abortion sources do not count, because _nothing_ of this nature they say _ever_ turns out to be factual.

  • invalid-0

    I have spent a number of hours protesting, praying and counseling in front of abortion mills.

    In a case like Cecily, I would question a few of the details in this heartbreaking essay:

    “There was no hope for my surviving son. He was too tiny and too frail to be viable. … My safest option was the procedure known as an intact dilation and extraction.”

    We cannot know one of your sons was inviable. That is over reaching. You were 23 weeks. There are a growing number of people walking today who were born at 21 weeks.

    I invite you to admit that you had other options to save/deliver your child, but you did not take them.

    What do you say we all settle on a policy in the USA that a panel of Doctors (even publicly elected) be in charge of ruling on cases such as these?

  • invalid-0

    The author, LM and other similar commenters do have a point – there are some who always oppose it.

  • invalid-0

    If you’re actually interested in a thorough, thoughtful Catholic perspective, please check out Thomas Peters at http://www.americanpapist.com/blog.html

  • jodi-jacobson

    the doctors who were there were not good enough?

     

    really….how dare you.

  • jodi-jacobson

    a "thorough, thoughtful Catholic perspective?"

     

    I think the irony of that comment speaks for itself in offering this ignorant rant as an example of what is thoughtful according to extremists.

  • colleen

    So, the 17% who don’t believe that abortion should be permitted under any circumstances believe what, exactly?

    And don’t worry, I don’t know anyone here and certainly not myself believes you are capable of changing your mind.

     

     

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • invalid-0

    Nevermind that trying to remove the child alive would have probably killed her…and it’s not like you have enough information to say if he could have lived or not. Let the doctors diagnose their patients, that’s their job.

  • invalid-0

    The comments posted in this article and all the others I have read in this forum show exactly why this common ground approach will never succeed. The argumentative rhetoric and derogatory comments made are not helpful nor conducive to actual honest intellectual dialogue. This forum has merely become a place to bash the other sides views without actually hearing or thinking about what the other side has to say.

    When you presume the other side is automatically wrong and can’t change there viewpoint, then that is the response you’ll receive because you’re not actually interested in dialogue. So if you really want to find a common ground – slow down – think about what everyone else is saying and actually try understanding their point before jumping down their throats with sarcastic inane comments. I’d honestly like to see this project succeed but at the moment I just don’t see it happening.

    If RHRK had really been interested in finding a common ground and not converting people to their viewpoint then they should have created a separate site for this forum. Then we would have a realistic collection of differing views on abortion and not the collection mostly pro-choice commentators that we see now.

  • invalid-0

    Jodi, would you care to point out what you find ignorant rather than painting with such a broad brush?

  • erin-kate-ryan

    Hi Cecily,

    I’m so glad to see your contribution to this site!  Sadly, I know that you are accustomed to the rhetoric of those who want to use your personal story (or deny your experience) to push their own agendas, and so I know that you can handle yourself.  But I wanted to be one of the voices of thanks, support, and respect.  

     

    Thank you for sharing your story, and for turning your intensely private pain into advocacy for other women who might find themselves in your position.  It’s only through voices like yours that we can peel away the layers of stigmatization of abortion (a procedure which one in three American women have) and reach the complex stories of real women’s lives.

  • jodi-jacobson

    And will just let reader’s see for themselves by posting his own comments.

    This is not a "thoughtful perspective" on anything.  This is a 20-something non-medical lay Catholic conservative not only dismissing out-of-hand the lived experience of a woman who almost died due to complications of pregnancy, and dismissing her story, but simultaneously questioning the judgment of medical doctors as well as using character assassination as a means of somehow discrediting her. 

    So as I said, if this is what passes for "thoughtful" in your book with respect to women dying in pregnancy, than you are right, we have no common ground.  I never assumed I did with people who deny sex and sexuality, deny women’s rights to reproductive and sexual health services and would rather see a full-grown woman die to save a non-viable fetus.  But in your world, any excuse will do.

    Here is his post…From Thomas Peters on American Papist:

    I might not do this perfectly, but I think it needs to be done.

    I’ve been keeping tabs on Reproductive Health Reality Check (RHRC) since they announced a "common ground" forum on abortion.
     
    Problem
    is, if pro-lifers want to head East towards life and pro-aborts want to
    move West towards the death of unborn children, any turning to the
    center of common ground by pro-lifers is movement in the wrong
    direction.
     
    My patience and sincere attempt to be
    understanding and open to RHRC’s common ground forum is about out. What
    might be the breaking point is a piece by Cecily Kellogg, who describes
    herself on her blog as a "foul-mouthed liberal, feminist, fat, recovering alcoholic, mother, wife, woman and writer."
     
    So what did this individual contribute to RHRC?
     
    It
    turns out to be yet another eulogy for late-term abortionist George
    Tiller, and a defense of late-term abortions in general. Now, because
    she makes her case based on her own personal experience, I have to talk
    about that to make my points.
     
    Tiller,
    she claims "was committed to his work." Why? She says, "because he
    believed ‘abortion is a matter of survival for women.’" I’d like to
    find out how many of his abortions saved women’s lives. I know every
    one of his abortions killed a child. But that’s not fair for me to say,
    apparently. That’s not acceptable common ground. And yet it is acceptable for Kellogg to claim that Tiller "saved" lives.
     
    She
    proceeds to narrate her nightmare story of succumbing to sever
    preeclampsia, which resulted in her doctors saying if she did not
    "terminate" her pregnancy, she was going to die "immediately."
     
    After
    this experience (she had her son killed through "intact dialation and
    extraction" she "searched and found other women like me — women whose
    lives were saved by the late-term medical termination of a pregnancy. I
    also met women who chose to spare their children from agonizing health
    conditions and birth defects by having an abortion."
    … wait a second, Kellogg, you’ve jumped from abortions which aim to preserve the life of the mother over into abortions for genetic disease and birth defects. That’s called eugenics. And who wishes to be "spared" from their problems through death? When she
    came down with severe preeclampsia – an "agonizing health condition"
    (in her own words) – would she have wished to be "spared" from it …
    by death? This sort of thinking isn’t merely unacceptable common
    ground, it’s insane and inhuman.
    Kellogg, in her ideological
    quest to eulogize Tiller and all the evil things he stood for, jumps
    more logical tracks: "… doctors only perform [late term abortions] in
    cases of extreme medical need. Dr. Tiller himself never performed a
    late term abortion without counseling the parents — and getting a
    second opinion from another doctor. My doctor described the day of my
    surgery as the worst in his professional career."
     
    Dr. Tiller did not only perform late term abortions in "extreme medical need." He did them at will.
    And what does Kellogg mean by Tiller "counseling the parents"? Of
    course he "counseled" them; late-term abortion is a major medical
    procedure! Kellogg’s doctor might have had a hard day, but Tiller did
    this every day
    - he chose it. And just what, might I ask, is so hard about this
    decision, if Kellogg truly made the "right" one? If late-term abortion
    is medically "necessary", what need can there be for second
    opinions, counseling of options, etc?
     
    Kellogg’s last sentence is especially deceptive and indeed, manipulative:

    "My
    doctor knew the procedure and was willing to perform it; something that
    has already become rare and will be rarer still if doctors have to put
    their lives on the line to perform this life saving medical procedure.
    If it’s you or your daughter, will you be so lucky?"

    Quite
    honestly: how dare she say that. She paints abortionists as heroes who
    "put their lives on the line to perform this live saving medical
    procedure." However, medical situations in which the woman’s life can
    only be saved by a late-term abortion are incredibly rare. They
    represent a failure in medicine. The answer to "medically necessary" abortions is to make them medically unnecessary. That is
    the challenge. Her manipulative "if it’s you or your daughter, will you
    be so lucky?" is about as honest as claiming we need to kill all the
    sharks in the world because one of them might take a bite out of you or
    your daughter.

     
    Finally, at a deeper level, Kellogg’s argument is one of exception.
    And honestly, you could not find a more extreme exception than the
    personal one she describes. Through this exception, where she chose to
    have her son half-birthed, and have his brains vacuumed out, she
    proceeds to argue that George Tiller was a hero for doing this to
    dozens (if not hundreds) of children, and then she even has the nerve
    to scare her readers into wanting this "right" to be preserved for
    mothers and their daughters.
     
    This is not common ground. It’s a repulsive trick.
    It’s
    especially repulsive because Kellogg is presuming that no one will dare
    disagree with her because, by inference, she can claim they "want" her
    to die or would "be okay" with it. 
     
    Well of course I don’t
    want her to die. I desperately want her, and all innocent human beings,
    to live. But I cannot condone her killing of another person to ensure
    the continuation of her own life. And I will not stand
    by and allow her to use the choice she made to preserve her life as a
    false justification for killing other innocent lives, including and up
    to those lives which are in no way threatening another person – such as the sick and disabled.
     
    As
    I said at the outset, there are pro-abortionists who want me to move
    West, but I wish to move East. Meeting her in the "common ground" she
    offers of allowing late-term abortions, is a step in the wrong
    direction. It’s a step towards death.

     

  • invalid-0

    Just to point out – they did create a separate series on common ground that they are hosting. You can click the link above to go to the posts in that are being run in that series. This particular thread is just not part of it, instead its part of the general forum.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks for taking the time to point out you didn’t ever expect to find common ground. You are correct in your last statement, any excuse to protect the life of the unborn will do.

  • invalid-0

    Did Jodi write a piece in the common ground series?

  • invalid-0

    And your case of this is just below…copied in by Jodi from the link.

  • invalid-0

    …and this is her exact quote here regarding common ground.

    So as I said, if this is what passes for “thoughtful” in your book with respect to women dying in pregnancy, than you are right, we have no common ground. I never assumed I did with people who deny sex and sexuality, deny women’s rights to reproductive and sexual health services and would rather see a full-grown woman die to save a non-viable fetus.

    Doesn’t mean there aren’t other people/areas within the topic of abortion to find common ground with.

  • invalid-0

    Your comment is just obscene. Doesn’t your faith structure also call for charity? This is the antithesis of even basic humanity.

    People can talk/type until they’re blue in the face, but people who think like you do just don’t understand probabilities (as opposed to possibilities). From
    Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2003;88:F199-F202
    :

    Objective: To describe the outcome of labour, signs of life at birth, and duration of survival after delivery at 20–23 weeks gestation…

    Patients: 1306 babies delivered at 20–23 weeks gestation.

    Results: Termination of pregnancy accounted for 33% of deliveries at 20–23 weeks; these were excluded from further analysis. Spontaneous delivery occurred at a frequency of 2.5/1000 deliveries; 30% died before the onset of labour, 27% died during labour, and 35% showed signs of life at birth. Of the latter, 8% were not registered as statutory live births. Of the live born infants, the largest group (39%) had a heart beat but no other signs of life. There was no trend for infants of lower gestation to show fewer signs of life. Duration of survival varied widely (median 60 minutes at 20–22 weeks), and this did not increase with gestation until 23 weeks (median six hours), probably because of selective treatment. Survival curves are presented for each gestation group. At 23 weeks, 4.5% survived to 1 year of age; all were > 500 g birth weight. Below 23 weeks gestation, none survived, and 94% had died within 4 hours of age.

    Conclusions: This information on surviving labour, signs of life at birth, duration of survival, and birth weight at 20–23 weeks gestation should help decision making in the management of pre-viable delivery.

    To the author of the original post: Best wishes and health to you and yours!

  • jodi-jacobson

    I have written several pieces on the common ground debate on RH Reality Check.

    If you type the words "common ground" (without the quotation marks) into the search function at the top of the site, you will get a list of all articles addressing these issues written by many people including me, Amanda Marcotte, Gloria Feldt, Frances Kissling and others, even before the launch of this separate discussion.

    My articles focus primarily on the evidence of what works and what does not and why I think clear goals need to be articulated.
    I can also provide links here to several articles if you wish.

    Best wishes, Jodi

  • invalid-0

    Thanks, my comment was a bit short…so the follow up at 1:59pm was mine too. Having read some of your posts on other topics your focus has been on evidence based solutions, which I’d expect….

    ….but not to expect that any ‘common ground’ could be found in some non-medical second-guessing of Kellogg and her doctor, as if women should have to risk dying when they were attempting to give life.

  • invalid-0

    This is a truly sad story about how we now glorify those who are unable to see past their own desires and sacrifice unto death for others, even for their own children. I will be praying for you and for a re-awakening of courageous humility in our selfish society!

  • invalid-0

    This is a truly sad story about how we now glorify those who are unable to see past their own desires

    Read as: It’s sad women have a right to life.

    and sacrifice unto death for others

    Read as: because better a dead woman and a dead child because that’s twice the martyrs (and, incidentally, have you donated your own heart for somebody else? How selfish of you. Tsk, tsk.)

    I will be praying for you

    Please keep your vicious god to yourself.

  • invalid-0

    Where and when did you get your medical degree, JS? I invite you to share your credentials and your expertise with those of us who are dismissing you as a jackass without any idea of what you are braying about!

  • invalid-0

    Um…permit me to point out that Cecily’s death would very likely have been in vain…and there would be no “fierce daughter.” Seems to me Cecily “erred on the side of life.”

  • therealistmom

    where she was carrying TWINS. One was already dead. This is a dangerous situation to begin with, and the toxemia was immediate and serious. A C-section or induced labor very likely would have killed this woman, and for what? To deliver a fetus that had NO reasonable chance at life. A twin would have been small even for that extreme prematurity, and poorly developed.

    I am not a doctor, and neither are you. We have to trust in the MD’s and the women to make the choices in these cases. What would a “panel of doctors” do, except delay treatment to someone who is DYING? Oh, I know, we can make a political game out of finding extreme anti-choice physicians who will never admit that the procedure might be necessary.

    Cecily I applaud you for the courage to share your experiences and bringing a human face to these tragic situations. Thank you.

  • progo35

    Colleen-get bent. The odds of having a productive discussion with your attitude are very slim. As you said, that amounts to seventeen percent. that means that 82 percent of pro life people would not force a woman whose life is at risk to continue a pregnancy.  

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Here is the information on the info I provided. Look it up.

     

    Gianelli DM. 1996. Bill banning partial-birth
    abortions goes to Clinton. American Medical News. April 15, 1996:9, 10.

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    colleens statistics weren’t that it was 17% of prolifers …it was 17% of adults when including prochoicers…meaning the percentage if calculated only using prolifers alone would be a higher percentage.

  • progo35

    Anon-you should reread that pathetic attempt to respond to this particular point of contention, as it makes absolutely no sense. "Um….this poll was of adults, not pro lifers…so…uh…the percentage must be higher because both pro choice and pro life people were polled on this question…"

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • colleen

    As you said, that amounts to seventeen percent. that means that 82
    percent of pro life people would not force a woman whose life is at
    risk to continue a pregnancy.  

     Whatever are you talking about? At least in this poll 17% of all adults in the US do not believe that abortions should be permitted under any circumstances. Not rape, not incest, not to preserve the life or health of the mother. Not to save the life of a raped 9 year old. The poll was of adults (both pro-choice and anti-abortion) and was not confined to the’pro-life’ movement. Had you actually read the poll you might have noticed.

    You were trying to deny that such monsters exist, I was pointing out that they constitute a big chunk of your ‘pro-life’ movement. Do  try to focus.

     

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • invalid-0

    I read the poll she links to with the 17% progo. I didn’t ‘uh’ my comment on the poll…no need to, of course you do as you are on the defensive on it so would rather put ‘uhs’ in it than offer a real argument against it. Saying it was prolifers was your mistake . progo…the ‘uh’ is your issue in an attempt to ignore it without refuting it.

  • progo35

    I’ve read the poll, too, and I interpret the 22 percent as referring to the pro life movement, as it was taken from the percentage of people in the US who oppose abortion. Thus, that part of the pole referred to the prolife movment. 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    From the link colleen provided I only see two types of populations used for the polls. Those of adults or those of registered voters …none that limit themselves to pro-lifers as the sample population for calculating the percentage. So not sure where the 17% of adults gets compared to 82% of pro-lifers….and now 22%?

  • colleen

    and I interpret the 22 percent as referring to the pro life movement,
    as it was taken from the percentage of people in the US who oppose
    abortion. Thus, that part of the pole referred to the prolife movment.

     

     This makes no sense at all. Perhaps you read a different ‘pole’ or perhaps you have no idea how to intrepret ‘poles’ but the fact remains that about 40% of the anti-abortion movement would make all abortions illegal, no exceptions. Not for rape, not for incest, not to save the life or for the health of the woman (or child in some cases). 40% is a big chunk of youir movement. Indeed they often post here.

     nasty sorts they are too….

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • invalid-0

    get bent??? really?!? you hijack just about every single discussion on this website & you have the nerve to tell someone “get bent”? you’re not here for discussion – i think you often verge on being a troll. i just caught your discussion hijack on the article about the extra credit in school & the virginity pledge. you don’t even care what the post was about – you’ll find a reason to jump in & have a contrary view.
    yeah, you’ve got some freaking nerve telling anyone here to ‘get bent’.

  • emma

    This is a truly sad story about how we now glorify those who are unable to see past their own desires and sacrifice unto death for others, even for their own children.

    Yes, Anonymous Catholic, isn’t is just awful when women think we’re more than walking, talking incubators whose lives are actually worth something?
    You know what makes me sad? Commenters who post here to inform people they should have died.

     

    You know what else makes me sad? Commenters who berate people for not dying without having bothered to read the damned article on which they’re commenting. The author wrote that her doctors had stated that the foetus wasn’t likely to survive if born at that point. That means that, if the author had died, the foetus wouldn’t have survived either.

     

    Much as you lot like to pretend that foetuses develop in disembodied uteri that aren’t attached to living, thinking, breathing women, this is actually not the case, and pregnancies do not continue after the pregnant woman is dead.

     

    So, because you hate human life so much, you would have the author die for a foetus that was also going to die. Good to know you ‘value life’.

  • invalid-0

    Read “courageous humility” as Catholic-Speak for: “Stop getting all uppity and thinking you women are anything but an ambulatory incubator.”

    More misogynistic drivel from the World’s Largest Pedophilia Ring. Keep making those babies, the priests need new chewtoys!

  • harry834

    a difference between the general national community of prolifers versus those nuts that are driven to scream at women in front of clinic. But it is the latter that M has to deal with every day.

    To what extent should the general, non-nutty, pro-life commuity take responsibility for these nuts? Perhaps to large extent, not too much because we cant control them

  • http://www.bekahferguson.com/ invalid-0

    Anonymous said: “While you now suppose to be compassionate in Cecily’s circumstance, you still think that the state has the right to intervene when someone in her situation needs to make the decision of whether to save her own life or that of her potential child.”

    You are supposing a lot without asking me. This isn’t true at all. I DO support the termination of pregnancy when the mother’s life is at stake. If two people are drowning and we can only save one of them, then we must save the one we can. In early pregnancy, a fetus can not be removed without dying. If the mother has cancer or ectopic pregnancy, then the loss of her baby is tragic yes, but necessary to save the life of the mother. In later pregnancy however, if the fetus is viable, the fetus can be saved through early induction or c-section and abortion is unnecessary! In 2nd and 3rd trimester pregnancies, I believe that both mom and baby should be saved. In the story shared on this website, the baby was not able to be saved and my heart truly goes out to the mother.

    It should be noted that prior to the legalization of abortion of demand, it *was* legal for women to terminate their pregnancy under life-threatening circumstances.

    So, to clarify, as a prolifer, I believe that abortion should be illegal for all reasons except life-threatening circumstances.

  • invalid-0

    As heartrenching and very tragic this story is, there was no NEED to kill the preborn child. Please don’t insult people’s intelligence. Not uncommon on this site, obviously. If doctors were able to get the child out of the womb dead then they could have just as likely brought him out alive and tried to save his life, too. It’s just that killing the poor little guy outside of the womb would be called MURDER. It’s interesting, how a few inches makes it a crime punishable by imprisonment. hmmm…

    There is NEVER a NEED to intentionally and directly kill a preborn baby, that’s a fact! Stop lying. Name-calling people as “delusional” is a sign of desperation. A woman need not give up her life while pregnant, but she should be sure that others are trying to save and help the child as well. If you can’t save two people from a burning vehicle, you don’t shoot the one you can’t save in the head. Do your best to save them BOTH!

  • invalid-0

    Bekah,

    You used the analogy of two people who are drowning then we have to try to save one. I agree with this, however, in trying to save even one of them we don’t shoot the other in the head. Our goal is to ultimately try to save both, if we can’t then we can’t and everything possible has been done to save BOTH. No need to directly and intentionally kill anyone.

  • therealistmom

    …which I hold in considerable doubt, as any legitimate registered nurse would be aware that every reputable medical association has dismissed the abortion/ breast cancer link, the every reputable psychiatric association has dismissed the concept of “Post-Abortion Syndrome”, and the risk of preterm labor is increased only by the amount any other situation that dilates the cervix would (ie giving birth)… I somehow doubt you are more qualified to know what procedures would be appropriate in this woman’s circumstances than the actual OBSTETRICIANS who helped her.

    Your pronouncement that there is “never a need” flatly denies the fact there are circumstances where labor induction or hysterotomy could kill the woman instead of save her, or that the fetus may be too small to survive. Attempting labor or a major abdominal surgery that likely would have killed both of them for a tiny chance the fetus might survive, or mourning the loss of a wanted pregnancy that just wasn’t meant to be because of complications… hmmm. No brainer to me.