The “Born Alive” Myth: Tale Turned Political Tool


Mediabistro quotes a particularly shocking moment of Kate Harding’s account of Law & Order’s disturbing abortion “debate.” During the trial of the killer of a late-term abortion doctor, a nurse testifies that the slain doctor

once (or was it only once?) botched a late-term abortion, causing the woman to go into labor and deliver a live baby. So, as any good abortion provider would, he asked the accidental mother if he should "finish the job" and then stabbed the live baby in the head with a pair of scissors. We learn this from the nurse who attended the homicide, then subsequently left the clinic and went to work in a neo-natal unit at a hospital, symbolically converted to the pro-life cause. No one representing the New York criminal justice system ever thinks to ask this nurse why she didn’t, you know, report the murder she witnessed. The important thing, obviously, is that the experience changed her heart.

The myth of the born-alive fetus has long been a weapon in the pro-life arsenal. Earlier this year, the South Carolina State House passed a “born alive” bill, requiring that in the case of a botched abortion in which a baby is born alive, every effort must be made to keep the baby alive.Of course, abortions are nearly always performed on fetuses that could not be born because they’re not even close to being alive. And if a (very) late-term abortion goes wrong, and somehow birth happens instead, doctors are already required to care for the newborn.

You see, for OB/GYNs, the boundaries are clear. A baby is a baby, and a fetus is a fetus. The anti-choice movement wants to argue that this isn’t the case—hence the use of words like “genocide” and “baby-killer.” As of The Curvature points out, the unnecessary and redundant bill was part of an effort to fortify negative associations about the abortion procedure, women who have it, and doctors who perform it. The bill legitimizes the myth of the baby-killing doctor and seizes upon a fictional abortion scenario to imply that, even if the abortion is first-trimester and the fetus is palm-sized, it’s a slippery slope from abortion to murder. And the kind of people involved with abortion—doctors, women, activists—are so morally reprehensible that they can’t be trusted to observe the boundaries between a legal medical procedure and a crime.

“Born alive” bills are also a way for anti-choice legislators to gang up on their pro-choice colleagues by reframing the debate as “pro-baby” vs. “anti-baby.” (It’s similar to the way that a legislator who votes to change a draconian drug sentencing law is accused of being a friend to drug dealers.) When Obama voted against Illinois’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act as a state senator, it was incoherently used against him during the Presidential campaign—one of Jill Stanek’s claims was that Obama believed that a woman “alone should decide whether her baby lives or dies.” Women do not have that right in the United States, and Obama certainly didn’t think they should. But the substitution of “baby” for “fetus” in the debate over born-alive bills is just another way for opponents of abortion to derail the abortion debate by blurring the lines between abortion and infanticide.

In short, these bills bring the gruesome allegations of the pro-life fringe into mainstream political debate. And now, thanks to Law & Order, into mainstream TV.

Last Friday’s episode gives troubling credence to the argument favored by defenders of abortion-doctor killers, in what Harding calls “ the moral of this episode”:

The question of whether it’s morally correct to kill a living human being just for doing his job actually cannot be separated from the question of whether it’s morally correct to terminate a pregnancy!

Taking on the ethics of abortion in a television series is great—but the ridiculous “born alive” tale of the baby-stabbing doctor has nothing to do with the ethics of abortion.

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.

  • cpcwatcher

    Thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU for this analysis of the “born alive” myth. That’s all… just thanks, it’s very well written!

  • cpcwatcher

    Actually I have one more thing to add. The antis always claim that abortion providers use termination methods to “ensure the baby is not born alive.” As if it’s a bad thing… come on, can you imagine a 25 week gestated fetus actually being “born alive,” gasping for breath with under- or non-developed lungs, on top of what ever birth defect has led the woman to choose (and be able to access) a later-term abortion?? Truth be told, very few of these fetuses would be able to survive at term (hence the late-term abortion), so why would we want them to be “born” instead of terminated? So they can have a short-lived and very painful brief life, while Mom looks on already traumatized from a pregnancy gone wrong? I think the term “mercy killings” is apt here. There’s a reason that pregnancy cannot continue, and it’s not because some woman just DECIDED to get a very expensive, 4+ day procedure halfway across the country because she “changed her mind.”

  • progo35

    First of all, it’s not a fetus after it is born. It is an infant. Secondly, yes, this has happened. Perhaps not at Dr. Tiller’s practice, but several people testified during the ratification of the US born alive act to having witnessed such events as medical personnel. Lastly, CPC Watcher, you are perpetuating a myth about a 25 week old fetus not possibly being able to live after being “born alive.” My nephew was born at 25 weeks gestation because his mom had preeclampsia and because of the state of the art medical care he recieved, he is fine. So, being born that early does NOT mean that the individual involved will have a “short life fully of suffering.” Please don’t spread myths as you ask others to stop spreading them.

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

  • julie-watkins

    Thanks for the article. Of course, this is the usual situation, "nearly always" will be stillborn or die in hours or days. However, LifeSite or whoever will always look for the exception, the case where the teenager was in denial and only admits she’s pregnant and doesn’t want to be a when it’s too close to viability. By the time her parents have the money it’s legally ambigious. If abortion clinics weren’t marginalized and pushed to the fringes there would be better oversight.


     

    I’ve gotten in a testy blog & maillist disagreements when I won’t back down about when "the line" is (except birth) — of course my position is call "abortion on demand", and a scandal. (I say one thing, I’m being told I’ve said something else. It’s also the case that the exception is called the rule.)


     

    If there are stringent "but reasonable" limits about having "must be to preserve the woman’s health" — it puts too much 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" 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" AG.

     

    The pro-criminalization groups will 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!!!" When I get the accusation: you want No Limits!!! my answer is: I didn’t say that. I don’t want laws, I want medical standards.

  • progo35

    BTW, the episode’s account of a botched abortion procedure recounts “Dr. Benning” asking the woman involved if she wanted him to “complete the procedure,” not “finish the job,” as Kate Harding reported.

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

  • jeornom

    …can you imagine a 25 week gestated fetus actually being "born alive," gasping for breath…

     

    Yes, let’s think about that. The 78% of us who support restrictions on abortion (Gallup) can imagine a fetus as a baby that will breathe air (or would soon) if only it were on the other side of the uterus.

     

    Many here at RHRC avoid consideration of the baby (or "baby"), and instead pin anti-abortion sentiment on fanaticism and misogyny. Protecting fragile, defenseless human life is a biological instinct, and you shouldn’t be surprised that people don’t suppress that instinct.

     

    I think the term "mercy killings" is apt here.

     

    "Killing" is the key word here. The fetus is alive, and will be killed. Keep in mind that mercy killing (euthanasia) is illegal, unless it’s a dog or cat being put down by a vet. I’m sure you aren’t equating a late 2nd trimester fetus with a dog.

  • amanda-marcotte

    The testimony I know of was from Jill Stanek, an anti-choice extremist who also wants to ban birth control, and who was separated from her job because of her flagrant lying and fantasizing about non-existent violence at the hospital.

     

    Using anti-choice testimony about anything is fraught.  The whole movement is sucked in by the idea that dishonesty in service of the agenda is defensible. 

  • heather-corinna

    Every time someone goes on about this, it’s clear to those of us who know better — from the clinical end — how little they are aware of the real ways these abortions are performed. I’m not going to go on about it, I already had a piece here which addresses this and other myths some time ago, and there is plenty of medical information easily available and easy to find online about them, but all I can think when anyone talks about "born alive" is that it’s clear they either did the homework and are being knowingly dishonest, or that they want so badly to believe myths instead of facts that they avoid doing the homework.

  • jodi-jacobson

    to link your piece here.

    You could not be more correct that people are not doing their homework, have ideological biases against facts, and refuse to understand either the evidence or what women go through in making these choices.

     

    Jodi

  • kater7

    To Heather and Jodi,

    For a lot of average people, that may be true. They listen to people and make their viewpoints based on who it getting through. However, I spend some of my time (apparently because I’m masochistic) reading Jill Stanek’s blog – the people who comment on this issue DO know about the ways the abortions are performed and what women go through – they just don’t care! It doesn’t matter what the women go through, or their reasons, nor do they care about any untruths….for them, that doesn’t matter – despite all their talk about supporting women, and caring for women, as soon as a woman would even THINK about having a late-term abortion, she’s a baby-killer. They don’t care about her reasons because no reason is ever good enough for them, and therefore all women should do what they would think is good enough. They don’t want to empathize or see things from another point of view. And they certainly don’t want to hear the truth…

    Perhaps this sounds like a blanket condemnation and I’m sure there are some anti-abortion people who are empathetic and DO care…but I have to say I’m skeptical.

  • progo35

    Ah, yes, Amanda Marcotte. Why should we believe anything you say in this regard, as you clearly want to discredit Jill Stanek and present her testimony as false even though it was collaborated by another nurse who worked at the hospital? You believe that all "anti choicers" want to hurt women, etc. Thus, you are not above lying, at least in my book.  

     

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

  • jivinj

    It’s amazing that Kathleen Reeves thinks children being born alive during abortions is a myth. Just this year, Emily Douglas from the RH Reality Check noted an incident in which an abortionist lost his license because he was absent when a woman gave birth to live child after he began an abortion procedure. The abortion clinic owner is now on trial after throwing the child in a biohazard bag.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/02/09/roundup-florida-doctor-loses-license-over-live-birth-case

    “You see, for OB/GYNs, the boundaries are clear. A baby is a baby, and a fetus is a fetus. ”

    Would you care to be a little more specific? What is the boundary? Partially-born? Fully born? Is it okay for an abortionist to kill a child if the leg of the child is still in the mother?

  • heather-corinna

    Stanek has discredited herself.  Her claims were never substantiated, which is unsurprising.

     

    She also continues to discredit herself regularly, such as with statements like  that the Chinese are eating infants: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2007/04/sweet_and_sour_.html Or, that it’s justified to abuse women who have had abortions: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2007/03/new_stanek_wnd_11.html

     

    If you want to pick someone pro-life to defend the credibility of, I’d advise against choosing Stanek. That’s going to take a Sisyphusian effort on your part, to say the least.

     

  • crowepps

    It might be wise to take into consideration that people who are filled with zeal about controversial issues can create false memories by starting with things that ‘might happen’, convincing themselves those things ‘probably happened’ and ending up sure that they ‘saw it with their own eyes’. Mentally healthy people of good will can sincerely give false testimony and this is MORE likely if they spend a lot of time with a “corroborating witness”.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/06/60minutes/main4848039.shtml

  • progo35

    I have no problem defending Stanek’s allegations about what went on at that hospital because her statements were COLLABORATED by another nurse. Your “she said x” crap has nothing to do with what happened in those cases where babies were born alive at Christ Hospital. If she had been the only one saying it, then you’d have an argument there, but her statements were collaborated by another nurse who witnessed these events. So, stop trying to discredit everyone who ever saw something unbecoming to your cause by ignoring crucial information about what they saw. The fact is that Stanek is not the only one who saw it. So, what she said about other issues is irrelevant.

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

  • amanda-marcotte

    Has a wild imagination and a loose relationship with the truth.  And yes, I do believe that anti-choicers are motivated by contempt and fear of female sexuality, which is why the resistance to women’s liberation rarely stops with abortion, but extends to resisting birth control, gay rights, and abstinence-only curriculum that teaches stifling "traditional" gender roles. You scoff despite all the evidence against you, but scoffing is not an argument.  Stanek herself tends to use misogynist language against her opponents, accusing us of being slutty, basically.

     

    After Dr. Tiller’s murder, Stanek posted helpful pictures and other identifying information about other abortion doctors that provide late term abortion.  Obviously, that’s as good as painting a target on them.  She’s a fanatic who thinks it’s cute to give moral support to murderers.

     

    She managed to get a formal investigation into her clearly implausible claims, and they found nothing.  Which any fool could have told you, reading her testimony, because it was so obviously fanciful.

     

    She’s also claimed the President supports pedophilia.

     

    I claim that people who suscribe to a bibilical view of gender relations and just so happen to be against abortion may hold these views together for a reason, and it’s not a coincidence.  That’s hardly an outrageous statement, but a cool observation of the facts.  The comparison simply doesn’t hold, unless your worldview is that distorted.

  • amanda-marcotte

    There’s no reason to think that corroboration is a cut and dry thing, especially if the corroborator has spent a lot of time listening to the person with a wild imagination spin their stories and try to convince them they saw something they didn’t.  That’s what the police call witness contamination, and it happens even when you don’t have people with aggressive agendas, like Stanek has.

  • crowepps

    You might want to read the original CNN story.  First, the doctor lost his license because "he falsified medical records, inappropriately delegated tasks to unlicensed personnel and committed malpractice."  Confusingly, the child was found not in a sealed biohazard bag but instead in a cardboard box and "Documents from the state Department of Health said its cause of death was determined to be "extreme prematurity."  The mother who went there and requested the abortion is suing on her own behalf and on behalf of the child she had decided to abort.

    CNN Story:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/06/florida.abortion/index.html

    Department of Health Complaint against doctor:

    http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/06/renelinque.pdf

     

    This is exactly what should and hopefully would happen if the supervising doctor at ANY medical clinic tolerated unlicensed personnel administering drugs and doing medical procedures for ANY complaint and then covered up their incompetence.  If abortions were removed from their ‘ghetto’ and once again incorporated into normal OB/GYN practice at hospitals, this kind of criminal activity would be less likely.

  • progo35

    There is no evidence to suggest that the other nurse "spent a lot of time listening to the person with a wild imagination spin their stories and try to convince them they saw something they didn’t." The two nurses, Stanek and one other woman, testified independently of one another, the other nurse even going so far as to refer to the born alive infant as a "fetus" after it’s birth. Face it: Stanek’s account was corroborated by another witness who saw the same thing. You can go around claiming "witness contamination" if you want, but you have absolutely no proof with which to back up that statement. 

     

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

  • crowepps

    The facts are:
    Jill Stanek and Allison Baker were both outspoken ProLife advocates BEFORE they made the complaint. The Illinois Department of Public Health did an investigation and found there was no evidence to support their accusations about “what went on at the hospital”. Stanek and Baker were fired.

     

    What Jill Stanek has to say about other issues is of use to those who don’t have any other way of assessing her statements, not only as to her credibility but also her credulousness. If she takes seriously an obvious hoax like “video of Chinese Cannibals eating fetuses” she is not very bright and it would be pretty easy for her to fool herself.

  • crowepps

    The Illinois Department of Public Health investigated. The two witnesses, who knew each other and spent time together BEFORE they testified were both known ProLife activists who were incensed that abortions were being done at ‘their’ hospital. I am sure they were both very sincere about how horrible they thought that was and how it made them feel, however the fact that the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate their statements is “proof” that the two of them were the only ones who believed these things were true and all the other hospital personnel contradicted their statements and said those things didn’t happen in the way they testified.

     

    If you google [man friend 'absolute truth' alien abduction] you will find thousands of entries where two people corroborate each other and insist that their experience is the “absolute truth”. By saying that I am not trying to mock Jill Stanek, but to clarify that a passionate BELIEF that something MUST be true is not the same as actual truth.

  • julie-watkins

    Years ago I learned a lesson about truth and sincerity. A friend in my social group did a lot of work for an event and said that at the next meeting "no one said ‘thank you’!!!" I hadn’t been there, but I believed her memories — probably because I had other issues with the "rude" people. Well, it turned out they had said "thank you", … but not as expansively as my friend thought was her due. So, in her stewing and moodiness at being slighted, her memory changed. Well, that was a bad mistake on my part. Since then I’ve been alert and have collected several other examples. She wasn’t lying, but she did need to be corrected. If there’s a great physocological need for a certain thing to be true, I believe memories can change. That "all the other hospital personnel contradicted their statements and said those things didn’t happen in the way they testified" shows almost certainly that the same kind of thing happened in the discredited "born alive" incident.
  • heather-corinna

    Progo: I find the notion that someone’s overall credibility has nothing to do with their credibility about something specific (especially when it involves the same or similar issues) ridiculous.

     

    I also think suggesting as much is a stretch, and probably not something you’d suspend when, say, considering political candidates, choosing a healthcare provider or picking a babysitter.

     

    Please understand that I don’t personally find everyone who is pro-life not to be credible.  Not by a long shot.  My comments were about this particular individual, who has gone to great lengths to clearly show how little credibility her words tend to have.

  • harry834

    Is the investigation still going on? Is it safe to conclude that Jill Stanek was doing what we think she was doing?

  • harry834

    Jill’s past record warrants a good look-through of the merit of her statements now. But I still remember that in the end, the boy who cried wolf was telling the truth.

  • heather-corinna

    That boy’s statements were NOT found to be false by a department of health after a thorough investigation. Stanek’s were.

  • crowepps

    Actually, as I remember, the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf was FICTION and the purpose of the tale was to warn that if you lie a number of times, when you actually do tell the truth no one will believe you.  I do understand that people on the ProLife side of this argument believe they have good reasons for their beliefs.  Exaggerating the truth, inflating isolated incidents into standard procedure or just outright lying unfortunately DETRACTS from their position instead of supporting it.  Just like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, their attempts to get people to listen to them by making up incredible stuff lead to indifference from those they are trying to persuade.

  • kater7

    The Boy Who Cried Wolf is also a fictional story, encouraging readers to tell the truth at all times so they are credible. The fact that Stanek’s statements were found false means that she wasn’t telling the truth at all times..and can not be found credible now.

  • crowepps

    This all happened a decade ago, in 1999, and Ms. Stanek has allowed it to define her ever since.

  • crowepps

    Certainly memories are formed out of what the witness was paying attention to at the time. If a person insists he remembers the accident clearly but couldn’t possibly see it from the location he states he was in, then his vivid eye-witness account is most likely extrapolated from his knowledge of the intersection and the sounds he heard, not from actually seeing what happened. This comes up all the time in MVA lawsuits where the witnesses disagree.

  • jill-stanek

    Good morning! I thought I’d jump in here.

     

    Before I do, could you explain this statement from your piece, Kathleen?

     

    Of course, abortions are nearly always performed on fetuses that could not be born because they’re not even close to being alive.

     

    I’ve read it several times and still don’t understand. It is only considered an induced abortion if the baby is alive when the procedure begins.

     

    Now, although the debate has apparently devolved into discrediting me, I believe the theses originally proposed were that there is no such thing as an abortion survivor ("The myth of the born-alive fetus…"), and if they were to survive, abortionists would care for them ("doctors are already required to care for the newborn…")

     

    First, it is no "myth" that babies survive abortions. Late-term abortionists Tiller and Carhart both admitted this (Tiller on video: http://ow.ly/yQqf, "It’s just sloppy technique"; Carhart during the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban hearings, according to the Associated Press: http://ow.ly/yQBk, "Carhart said at least once a month, an entire fetus is expelled from the mother during a D&E he is performing. ‘The fetuses are alive at the time of delivery,’ he said. There is a heartbeat ‘very frequently.’")

     

    Furthermore, Barack Obama agreed babies survive abortions. As the only IL state senator to speak against passage of the IL Born Alive Infants Protection Act on the senate floor, he said plenty to corroborate he knew this happens (3-30-01, pgs 84-90: http://ow.ly/yQJN, 4-4-02, pgs 28-35: http://ow.ly/yQKY).

     

    Is it a stretch to suspect that an abortionist who has been paid to kill a baby might not turn around and try to save a botch? Rational, objective, clear-headed people would be concerned. Only this year Obama has accused unethical doctors of performing tonsillectomies and amputating limbs for a buck. Why should this be a stretch?

     

    Case in point, earlier this year Democrat Miami-Dade prosecutor
    Kathleen Rundle filed criminal charges against abortion mill owner
    Belkis Gonzalez related to her zipping a living abortion survivor into
    a biohazard bag and throwing the baby on her FL clinic roof
    (http://ow.ly/yQHd).

     

    Finally, re: your allegation that I "incoherently" claimed during the presidential campaign that "Obama believed that a woman ‘alone should decide whether her baby lives or dies,’" following is what he said on the IL state senate floor, 4-4-02, pg 33 of the transcript. He was arguing against a bill that would have required a 2nd objective physician to be called in to assess abortion survivors for viability: 

     

    "[A]dding a – an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion."

     

    Obama was saying that to attempt to save abortion survivors would be a "burden" to a mother AND her abortionist if her "original decision" was to abort.

     

    Hope this helps.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Because I know that evidence and data are a difficult concept for some in the anti-choice movement, especially for someone who claims to abhor abortion but also seeks to limit access to contraception, which reduces unintended pregnancy and by extension the number of abortions.

     

    Ninety percent of all abortions carried out in the United States occur in the first trimester, the vast majority of those–and an increasing share–by or before 8 weeks.

     

    Less than one percent of all abortions carried out in the US are late abortions. These are carried out for justifiable legal and medical reasons, including as you well know, conditions in which the fetal anomalies render the fetus "incompatible with life."

     

    Women who choose abortions after the first trimester do so for a relatively limited range of reasons. One is that an earlier abortion was not financially or otherwise feasible, thanks to the efforts of the anti-choice movement, and these delays lead to second trimester abortions. Second trimester abortions that could have occurred much earlier also may be the only option for women and girls facing pregnancy in situations of domestic violence, incest or rape and who have been made to feel so shamed they are unable to secure the needed assistance to procure an earlier term abortions, or who have visited those helpful "crisis pregnancy centers" and therefore face delays, or who have found that their pregnancies are not viable or they are unable to carry a child with a severe disability.

     

    Third trimester abortions invariably involve a woman who is pregnant with a wanted child, who finds out that her child is profoundly disabled, has anomalies incompatible with life, or is already dead in the womb. These fetuses are unable to live outside the womb.

     

    As someone else here noted, were we able to have a real conversation about women’s rights to determine whether, when and with whom to have children, to have real access to contraception and related services, and unfettered access to early, safe abortion, the number of second trimester abortions likely would fall precipitously (as would the number of abortions overall). It is unlikely that the number of third term abortions would fall because these are not "accidents" of pregnancy, they are tragedies in which a wanted pregnancy turns into a nightmare.

     

    And if we were able to have a rationale conversation about public health and medical practice, any provider that in fact acted outside medical and legal norms would be fairly tried without defaming an entire class of providers who have dedicated their lives to serving women.  While I don’t trust your data on its face, I don’t think that a single surgeon found guilty of malpractice in a heart surgery means that all heart surgeons are culpable; nor do I think that a single doctor who performs outside the norm of practice in abortion care or any other speciality makes other providers culpable.

     

    Let’s face facts, Jill.  I know it is hard, but you can try.

     

    Jodi Jacobson

  • progo35

    Jodi-that was a really lame response. You did absolutely nothing to respond to Jill’s contentions but instead recited a litany of unrelated facts that everyone already knows. Way to sidestep the debate, Jodi!

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

  • crowepps

    I’ve read it several times and still don’t understand. It is only considered an induced abortion if the baby is alive when the procedure begins.

    Do you have any link to support this startling statement? I am not a nurse, but even without the benefit of that specialized knowledge, I know that ‘abortion’ is the correct medical term for the premature ending of a pregnancy.

     

    In the case of ‘spontaneous abortion’ the fetus usually is already dead and the expelling of it begins naturally. The lay term for this is ‘miscarriage’ but that is not a medical term.

     

    In the condition ‘missed abortion’ the fetus is already dead but has not spontaneously aborted and the fetus must be removed by D&C, which technically is ‘induced abortion’. I know because that happened to me.

     

    My check through various medical dictionaries has no reference whatsoever to whether or not the fetus is alive at the start of an ‘induced abortion’.

    Induced abortion: An abortion that is brought about intentionally. Also called an artificial or therapeutic abortion. As opposed to a spontaneous abortion (a miscarriage).
    http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=17775

    abortion /abor·tion/ (ah-bor´shun)
    1. expulsion from the uterus of the products of conception before the fetus is viable.
    2. premature stoppage of a natural or a pathological process.
    http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/induced+abortion

    induced abortion abortion brought on intentionally by medication or instrumentation.
    spontaneous abortion spontaneous ending of a pregnancy before the fetus is sufficiently developed to survive; chromosomal abnormalities cause at least half of these. In the United States this definition refers to pregnancies that end before 20 weeks’ gestation. Popularly called miscarriage.
    Dorlands Medical Dictionary
    http://www.mercksource.com/pp/us/cns/cns_hl_dorlands_split.jsp?pg=/ppdocs/us/common/dorlands/dorland/one/000000230.htm

  • jill-stanek

    Jodi,

     

    Kathleen’s topic wasn’t why pregnant mothers abort late in pregnancy, or how often they abort late.

     

    Kathleen’s topic was that it is a "myth" to say there are abortion survivors, and even if so abortionists would try to save them. I didn’t bring this topic up, Kathleen did.  Again, the title of her piece: "The ‘Born Alive’ Myth: Tale Turned Political Tool."

     

    That’s what I was refuting with well-documented substantiation. And it wasn’t "my" data. I was careful to present corroboration you would believe: direct links to Barack Obama’s testimony, a CNN article, an Associated Press article, and an actual video of Tiller speaking.

     

    Let’s stick to the topic.  I’m happy to debate all else you brought up in another post.

  • jill-stanek

    Jodi,

     

    Kathleen’s topic wasn’t why pregnant mothers abort late in pregnancy, or how often they abort late.

     

    Kathleen’s topic was that it is a "myth" to say there are abortion survivors, and even if so abortionists would try to save them. I didn’t bring this topic up, Kathleen did.  Again, the title of her piece: "The ‘Born Alive’ Myth: Tale Turned Political Tool."

     

    That’s what I was refuting with well-documented substantiation. And it wasn’t "my" data. I was careful to present corroboration you would believe: direct links to Barack Obama’s testimony, a CNN article, an Associated Press article, and an actual video of Tiller speaking.

     

    Let’s stick to the topic.  I’m happy to debate all else you brought up in another post.

  • jodi-jacobson

    The testimony you cite has Senator Obama discussing the theoretical and constitutional points of a law being proposed by anti-choice proponents once again trying to change the subject by proposing and seeking votes on a "born alive" bill and/or a so-called "partial birth abortion" bill, both of which are creations of the extreme right.

     

    Senator Obama was responding to language crafted by an anti-choice legislator and asking "were such a situation to take place," and also noting that, as you must well know but fail to acknowledge doctors are already required by medical ethics and by law to treat and/or provide care to any fetus that actually is born.

     

    It is a myth exactly because the overwhelming facts are clear: Fetuses that undergo abortions are not "alive," and if in a case in which a late term fetus does live for any length of time despite fetal anomalies incompatible with life–whether that be 10 seconds, 5 minutes or 5 hours–doctors are already required to provide all possible care.

     

    Your agenda, as you have so plainly made clear in so many places, is to deny all women access to contraception and abortion, and to ensure that all abortions that do take place are as difficult and later term as possible so you can then cry about "late elective abortions."

     

    I wonder Jill…..do the needs and the trials of the women in question *ever* cross your mind?  Does your belittlement of the women who spoke out in support of Dr. Tiller and what he did for them and their families ever bother you?

     

    Or are you too consumed with your effort to twist, twist, twist, the facts and the truth beyond recongition?  If you spent 1/100th of your time and energy ensuring everyone in this country had access to birth control and accurate information, there would be many fewer unintended pregnancies and hence abortions.  But….I guess you’d have to admit that reducing abortion is not your real agenda then.

     

    Jodi 

  • jill-stanek

    Crowepps, this is basic stuff. Read the ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) definition (http://ow.ly/yVbO):

     

    What is Induced Abortion?

    Abortion occurs when the fetus is expelled from a woman’s uterus.
    When a procedure is done to end a pregnancy, it is called "induced
    abortion." Most abortions are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

     

    A pregnant mother whose baby has died naturally doesn’t have an "abortion" if her baby isn’t expelled naturally, which is yes, a "spontaneous abortion." She has a D&C procedure, or a D&E procedure, or induced labor procedure, etc., but the terminology "induced abortion" is only used if the baby is alive at the onset, "to end a pregnancy."

     

    For instance, these Guttmacher stats (http://ow.ly/yVAj) on reasons mothers get induced abortions do not include natural prenatal deaths. Mothers don’t miscarry because "a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%)."

     

    And these Guttmacher stats (http://ow.ly/yVCK), "Facts on induced abortion worldwide," do not include prenatal babies who die naturally.

     

    Roe v. Wade wasn’t able about legalizing removal of babies from the uterus who had died naturally. 

     

    C’mon. Can’t believe we’re having this conversation.

  • paladin

    Oh, my word. Jodi Jacobson wrote:

    Because I know that evidence and data are a difficult concept for some in the anti-choice movement,

    …and, apparently, the ad hominem fallacy is a difficult error to avoid, in the abortion-tolerant camp. Is this vitriol seriously your “reasoned” response to an opposing view? It takes no special ability to froth, rage and sneer.

    especially for someone who claims to abhor abortion but also seeks to limit access to contraception, which reduces unintended pregnancy and by extension the number of abortions.

    Mm-hmm. There are a few suppressed minors in your attempted conclusion, friend:

    1) You assume (with no clear basis) that the availability of artificial contraception does nothing to change the probability that a man and woman will have sexual intercourse. That’s a rather wild assumption, I think; for those who are after “kicks” without responsibilities, the illusion of “risk-free, responsibility-free sex” (which is blithering nonsense, anyway) really might serve to promote sex, wouldn’t it? And–if you remember Probability 101–a larger pool of trials will certainly work to increase the probability of events which depend on it, yes? (Translation: more sex, more–*ahem*–“unexpected” pregnancies, and more opportunities to “choose” abortion.)

    2) You assume (with no clear basis) that the mindset necessary to use artificial contraception does nothing to change the probability that a woman (or, more usually, the man and/or relative who coerces the woman) will seek an abortion in an attempt to “remedy the initial contraceptive failure”. This is also a dizzying statement; if the couple is trying not to conceive while having sex, doesn’t it seem likely to you that such a couple, etc., would be MORE likely (than those who were not trying to avoid children in the first place) to resort to abortion, if their artificial contraceptive fails?

    Beyond all that: you seem especially vehement about minimizing the number of “late-term” abortions (e.g. going to great pains to say that most abortions are before [x] weeks, etc.). May I ask why? If a fetus is a fetus, then what’s so abhorrent about late-term abortions that you’d want to minimize them? After all: partial-birth abortion is touted as being safer than many chemical abortions (less risk of “fetal parts” causing dangerous infection) and safer than many surgical abortions (less risk of uterine rupture/damage due to doctor not being able to see what he/she is doing), right? Why the reluctance to kill the “fetus” at any age? Why the urge to present abortion as an “early-term activity?” I’m genuinely curious, here… because you seem to have at least some residual distaste for the idea of late-term abortions… but it’s making you seem rather inconsistent. Care to explain?

    Finally: you’d stand a much better chance of being taken seriously (and not dismissed as a raving boor) if you’d avoid the very demonization of your opponents that you decry in them.

  • paladin

    Sorry… the third sentence in point #1 should have read:

    a larger pool of trials will certainly work to increase the probability expected value (i.e. expected incidence) of events which depend on it, yes?

    Speed kills, even in typing and composing…

  • jill-stanek

    Jodi,

     

    Simple questions:

     

    If the IL Born Alive Infants Protection Act was not needed, why was it eventually signed into law, in 2005, after Obama had left the state senate? Why did a Democrat House, Democrat Senate, and Democrat governor (pro-abort Blagojevich) all agree to it?

     

    And why did Obama lie for 4 years and say he would have supported an identical IL version that passed overwhelmingly on the federal level, when it was discovered last August that he actually opposed an identical version? 

     

    You imply IL’s Born Alive was crafty legislation proposed by an "anti-choice legislator," so why did NARAL go neutral on it?

     

    And have you actually read Obama’s testimonies? I quoted him. He was not debating theory.

  • crowepps

    “While we don’t have a record of Obama’s 2003 comments on SB 1082, he did express his objection to the 2001 and 2002 bills.

     

    Obama, Senate floor, 2002: [A]dding a – an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion. … I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births.

     

    Obama, Senate floor, 2001: Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.

     

    Obama’s critics are free to speculate on his motives for voting against the bills, and postulate a lack of concern for babies’ welfare. But his stated reasons for opposing “born-alive” bills have to do with preserving abortion rights, a position he is known to support and has never hidden.

     

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obama_and_infanticide.html

  • crowepps

    Your definition doesn’t say anything at all about the fetus being alive at the beginning of the procedure.

     

    I am just boggled that nobody else has called you on confusing ‘induced abortion for unwanted pregnancy’, which is what Guttmacher keeps statistics on, and ‘therapeutic induced abortions’ because even though the procedures may be medically identical and they are ALL properly termed ‘abortion’ there is a big difference between voluntary and involuntary.

    Dilation & Curettage (D&C):

    Dilation and curettage is a surgical abortion procedure performed during the first 12 to 15 weeks gestation.

    Dilation & Evacuation (D&E):

    Dilation and evacuation is a surgical abortion procedure performed between 15 to 21 weeks gestation.

    http://www.americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/surgicalabortions.html

  • paladin

    crowepps wrote, in reply to Jill Stanek:

    I am not a nurse, but even without the benefit of that specialized knowledge, I know that ‘abortion’ is the correct medical term for the premature ending of a pregnancy.

    I’ll let Jill thrash out the semantics on that point, if she has the superhuman patience needed to wade through it with you. But seriously: even if we grant your premise (that “abortion” can technically apply to the ending of any pregnancy), your whole point is muddled, here. Are you seriously proposing that the entire pro-life movement is up in arms over spontaneous abortions (colloquially known as “miscarriages”) or the surgical/induced removal of a child who died in utero through natural causes? (If so, may I be the first to say that you’ve misunderstood your opponents badly?) Because if not, your whole interjection reads as a sustained, petulant “crowing” about a technicality which has nothing at all to do with the moral issue at hand (i.e. directly willed and induced abortions that kill the child in utero). In other words: even if we grant your (somewhat murky) point, so what?

    Red herring, much?

  • jill-stanek

    Crowepps wrote:

     

    Obama’s critics are free to speculate on his motives for voting against the bills, and postulate a lack of concern for babies’ welfare. But his stated reasons for opposing "born-alive" bills have to do with
    preserving abortion rights, a position he is known to support and has
    never hidden.

     

    Exactly. Obama defended infanticide for fear it would interfere with a mother’s right to abort.

     

    Did you actually read what you cut and pasted? I’ve previously provided the context for the 1st quote you noted.

     

    Re: the 2nd quote, READ IT. Obama was saying that to give premature BORN babies the same legal rights as full-term BORN babies would be to potentially undercut Roe in his not-very-bright opinion as a supposed constitutional expert. His opinion was shown the door when Born Alive passed both on the federal and state level. Obama was arguing to consider BORN babies as included in the right to abort.

  • jill-stanek

    Crowepps, you frankly don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re in over your head. A "therapeutic induced abortion" refers to aborting for health reasons, usually because a preborn baby is ill or has a handicap. Still, that baby is alive when the procedure is initiated.

     

    A dr. can perform a D&C to abort and a D&C for an incomplete miscarriage. Same procedure, different terminology and rationale.

     

    Read Guttmacher all day long and you’ll never see it differentiating between "induced abortions" of living babies and supposed "induced abortions" for miscarriage – because there is no such thing.

  • prochoiceferret

    (Translation: more sex, more–*ahem*–"unexpected" pregnancies, and more opportunities to "choose" abortion.)

    Isn’t it wonderful that we have actual studies we can rely on for insight on questions like this, rather than sophistic handwaving?

    2) You assume (with no clear basis) that the mindset necessary to use artificial contraception does nothing to change the probability that a woman (or, more usually, the man and/or relative who coerces the woman) will seek an abortion in an attempt to "remedy the initial contraceptive failure".

    You’re referring to the mindset of, "I like sex, but I don’t want a kid right now?" Yes, that might increase the probability of seeking an abortion. Are you suggesting that the answer is for everyone to start thinking, "I like sex, but I like BABIES even more!!!!!" ?
    Also, why do you think a man or relative is more usually the one to coerce the woman to have an abortion? It’s not like all women go googly-eyed over the prospect of having a baby, you know.

    Beyond all that: you seem especially vehement about minimizing the number of "late-term" abortions (e.g. going to great pains to say that most abortions are before [x] weeks, etc.). May I ask why? If a fetus is a fetus, then what’s so abhorrent about late-term abortions that you’d want to minimize them?

    The fact that they are more medically risky, more expensive, and in general more difficult than early-term abortions. (If "partial-birth abortion is touted as being …" in your experience, then it must have been by some anti-choice advocate, because "partial-birth abortion" is an anti-choice term.) You know, kind of how your dentist admonishes you to brush your teeth to avoid cavities. Not because doing a filling or extraction is morally repugnant, but because it’s better not to let things get to that point!

  • jill-stanek

    Paladin, I wish I’d thought to argue that basic point first.

     

    Had anyone told me before today there are pro-aborts who actually believe pro-lifers are up in arms against surgically removing babies who have died naturally en utero but have not spontaneously delivered I would have said they were crazy.

     

    But here they are.

  • crowepps

    I was responding to the incorrect statement that the fetus has to be alive or it isn’t an ‘induced abortion’ – a statement which is STILL incorrect.  I was taken aback that someone who purports to have been a nurse would make such an obvious error.

     

    I certainly don’t claim to speak for the ‘entire ProLife movement’ and I am certain neither you nor Jill would claim to speak for them either.

     

     

     

     

  • ahunt

    1) You assume (with no clear basis) that the availability of artificial
    contraception does nothing to change the probability that a man and
    woman will have sexual intercourse. That’s a rather wild assumption, I
    think; for those who are after "kicks" without responsibilities, the
    illusion of "risk-free, responsibility-free sex" (which is blithering
    nonsense, anyway) really might serve to promote sex, wouldn’t it?
    And–if you remember Probability 101–a larger pool of trials will
    certainly work to increase the probability of events which depend on
    it, yes? (Translation: more sex, more–*ahem*–"unexpected"
    pregnancies, and more opportunities to "choose" abortion.)

     

    If I’m following you correctly…you think that a lack of availability of contraception will lead to fewer abortions because people will have less sex?

     

    Just checking

  • crowepps

    <blockquote>Obama was arguing to consider BORN babies as included in the right to abort. </blockquote>

     

    His statement seems to me to pretty clearly state that SAYING THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between previable (before 24 weeks) and viable (24 weeks) and born (40 weeks) would ban all abortion.  He was not saying it would be okay to abort babies after they were born.  I don’t even think it implies that he said it was okay to abort after 24 weeks.  He was saying that the law wasn’t CLEAR and would have the effect of banning ALL abortions even though the persons promoting it kept saying that’s not what they really wanted the law to accomplish.

  • paladin

    ProChoiceFerret wrote, in reply to my comment:

    Isn’t it wonderful that we have actual studies we can rely on for insight on questions like this, rather than sophistic handwaving?

    That depends on the studies, I suppose. Aside from an opportunity to hurl a gratuitous snark, why do you mention this? Do you have any studies to mention that support your point, or challenge mine? As it stands (and especially given what you write below), all your comment tells me is that you really, really didn’t like what I said. (Fair enough, but then, just say so!)

    You’re referring to the mindset of, “I like sex, but I don’t want a kid right now?” Yes, that might increase the probability of seeking an abortion.

    That was, in fact, my entire point… with which you’ve now agreed. (Jodi might not thank you for that, I suspect.) Read the above: the core of Jodi’s argument was the idea that artificial contraception “reduces unintended pregnancy and by extension the number of abortions”. I rebutted the idea, and you corroborated my rebuttal. I think that settles that particular matter; don’t you?

    Are you suggesting that the answer is for everyone to start thinking, “I like sex, but I like BABIES even more!!!!!” ?

    :) Horrors! What a monster one would have to be, to think anything of the sort!

    But seriously: I wasn’t suggesting anything (in my particular comment) other than the fact that Jodi’s claim (of “contraception reduces abortions”) didn’t hold water, and that her attempted rebuke of Jill was nonsensical. That’s all.

    Also, why do you think a man or relative is more usually the one to coerce the woman to have an abortion? It’s not like all women go googly-eyed over the prospect of having a baby, you know.

    Um… you seem to be implying that “not being googly-eyed over having a baby” automatically translates into “willingness to end the life of that baby, in utero”; and even most abortion-tolerant people would decry your idea as dangerous nonsense.

    Also, places like TheUnChoice.com, Feminists for Life, Silent No More, and other sources of testimonies from real women (and not simply “anti-choice mythical beings”) who actually had abortions, and who now describe the horrors it brought them, lead me to think so. Care to comment on them?

    [Paladin]
    Beyond all that: you seem especially vehement about minimizing the number of “late-term” abortions (e.g. going to great pains to say that most abortions are before [x] weeks, etc.). May I ask why? If a fetus is a fetus, then what’s so abhorrent about late-term abortions that you’d want to minimize them?

    [ProChoiceFerret]
    The fact that they are more medically risky, more expensive, and in general more difficult than early-term abortions.

    Okay… I call. Show me your hand. What “studies” (which you were extolling, earlier) or other data do you have to back up those claims? I’m interested.

    (If “partial-birth abortion is touted as being …” in your experience, then it must have been by some anti-choice advocate, because “partial-birth abortion” is an anti-choice term.)

    Well… okay. If you insist, I’ll replace the term:

    If “drawing the baby mostly outside his/her mother’s womb [save for his/her head], followed by stabbing the back of the baby’s head with a sharp utensil and using a powerful vacuum to suck the baby’s brains out and collapse his/her head enough for easy completion of ‘delivery'” is touted as being …”

    …though I think that’s rather clunky, myself.

    You know, kind of how your dentist admonishes you to brush your teeth to avoid cavities.

    Ah. So you think there’s moral parity between cavities and babies? I have to say, that’s pretty extreme…

    Not because doing a filling or extraction is morally repugnant, but because it’s better not to let things get to that point!

    I see. So prevention of any stripe is better than any alternative? You do realize that pro-life people are upset about the MEANS by which the birth is prevented, don’t you? Seriously: would a wife be justified in putting a bullet in her husband’s head, in order to prevent a potentially dangerous case of nerves or ulcers from, say, enduring his relentless snoring? Wouldn’t a less invasive (and fatal) method be preferable?

  • paladin

    ahunt wrote:

    If I’m following you correctly…you think that a lack of availability of contraception will lead to fewer abortions because people will have less sex?

    Not quite.

    I think that, had artificial contraceptives never been available, and had they never been promoted aggressively (especially to teens) along with the promotion of raw sexual licence (i.e. “do it if you like it, and if no participant of any species objects”), fewer people would have the idea of abortion occur to them at all (save, perhaps, in a nightmare).

    I also think that, had the “contraceptive mentality” never been touted as a “wonderful thing” (whether for supposed “female freedom”, or whatever pretext you like), then the very idea of “sex involves babies” (which is as easy to find as any biology book) wouldn’t strike a disturbing percentage of people as poisonous, abhorrent, and (for all I know) worse than death itself.

    But no, there’s something to be said for an evil “taking on a life of its own”, and for a fire “raging out of control”. If contraception were withdrawn (and I *do* think that’d be an excellent thing, regardless), it probably wouldn’t be a “magic bullet” by which abortion would plummet and/or disappear overnight… any more than pouring water on the original badly-placed campfire (as good an action as that may be) would quench the 10,000-acre forest fire that it has now started. Catastrophes can sometimes take a long time to subside.

  • jill-stanek

    Crowepps, you’re arguing against something so basic to the abortion debate that I can’t even identify with you. Before today I truly didn’t realize the depth of ignorance on your side. Carry on. I tried.

  • prochoiceferret

    That was, in fact, my entire point… with which you’ve now agreed. (Jodi might not thank you for that, I suspect.) Read the above: the core of Jodi’s argument was the idea that artificial contraception "reduces unintended pregnancy and by extension the number of abortions". I rebutted the idea, and you corroborated my rebuttal. I think that settles that particular matter; don’t you?

    Um, sorry, no. If a woman becomes pregnant, and she doesn’t want another child, then yes, she’ll be likely to want an abortion. That much is pretty obvious. But that’s presuming, however, that she didn’t use contraception, or wanted to and couldn’t get/use it, or used it and it failed. Surprise!!! It’s not as simple as you seem to think it is!!!

    :) Horrors! What a monster one would have to be, to think anything of the sort!

    There’s nothing wrong with that… IF the woman isn’t coerced into it by external forces.

    But seriously: I wasn’t suggesting anything (in my particular comment) other than the fact that Jodi’s claim (of "contraception reduces abortions") didn’t hold water, and that her attempted rebuke of Jill was nonsensical. That’s all.

    Well, you suggested it, all right. I can suggest that a ferret can defeat a bear in bite-to-bite combat, too….

    Um… you seem to be implying that "not being googly-eyed over having a baby" automatically translates into "willingness to end the life of that baby, in utero"; and even most abortion-tolerant people would decry your idea as dangerous nonsense.

    Feel free to try and defend the point that no woman ever really wants an abortion, such that any woman who does get one must have been coerced into doing it by someone else.

    Also, places like TheUnChoice.com, Feminists for Life, Silent No More, and other sources of testimonies from real women (and not simply "anti-choice mythical beings") who actually had abortions, and who now describe the horrors it brought them, lead me to think so. Care to comment on them?

    Some women who have abortions regret doing so. What about all the women who do have abortions, and are incredibly glad and relieved that they didn’t have to go through a pregnancy they didn’t want? (Oh, btw, ImNotSorry.net.)

    Okay… I call. Show me your hand. What "studies" (which you were extolling, earlier) or other data do you have to back up those claims? I’m interested.

    Ask a doctor who has time to waste on you. Good luck trying to make the point that late-term abortions, with a larger fetus and significant changes already affecting the woman’s body, are safer than early-term ones.
    (Hey, I haven’t seen any studies showing that a dental filling is less expensive and troublesome than an extraction… I call shenanigans!)

    Well… okay. If you insist, I’ll replace the term: [snip] …though I think that’s rather clunky, myself.

    You have some bags to unpack, I see.

    Ah. So you think there’s moral parity between cavities and babies? I have to say, that’s pretty extreme…

    Ah. So you think Adolf Hitler would make a great U.S. president? I have to say, that’s pretty extreme…

    Oh, sorry, I was just pulling non sequiturs out of my tail. (They don’t smell so good, I know.) The point, which you missed entirely, was how basic common sense gets thrown out the window when abortion is being discussed. We favor early-term abortions over late-term ones on the principle that they are safer, easier, less expensive, what have you—reasoning that applies in countless other day-to-day situations, not least dental care—and yet when it comes to abortion, you refuse to see it as that same common sense, but as a sign of nefariousness.

    It’s like your IQ drops into the low 60s just for that one particular subject. If you applied this same level of reasoning to the rest of your life, you’d hardly be able to function as adults.

  • ahunt

    Wow…lotsa assumptions here. Where to begin?

    Let us start with the “contraceptive mentality.” I hear this one frequently, and I’m never sure what to make of it. The objection appears to be the idea that sex has been “divorced” from procreation. But sex has always been “divorced” from reproduction to a large extent…otherwise no one would ever have “engaged” for the pure recreation of it. Indeed, it can be legitimately suggested that “pregnancy” is but a secondary purpose. After all, it only took three specific romps out of a thousand or so…to give us our three sons. IOWs…997* sexual acts were entered into for the pure pleasure of it. Why is that…do you think?

  • princess-rot

    Like anti-choicers are wont to do, you have forgotten that pregnancy is a process, and a 42 weeks long process at that. A 25-week FETUS is only a little over half way, and has very little chance of survival, especially if its already being aborted for some crippling defect.

    Many here at RHRC avoid consideration of the baby (or "baby"), and
    instead pin anti-abortion sentiment on fanaticism and misogyny.

    Both of those, and an overwhelming fear of mortality, as well as a desire for superiority and control.

  • phylosopher

    I’ve heard the bs line form the anti-choicers that abortion isn’t healthcare, because pregnancy doesn’t fix an illness or malfunction. The very existence of late term but fetal anomaly shows that abortion is indeed healthcare, because, normally, a woman’s properly functioning bpdy would reject the malformed fetus. Therefore, an abortion is correcting this lack/malfunction of the rejection system of the woman’s body.

  • crowepps

    I think that, had artificial contraceptives never been available, and had they never been promoted aggressively (especially to teens) along with the promotion of raw sexual licence (i.e. “do it if you like it, and if no participant of any species objects”), fewer people would have the idea of abortion occur to them at all (save, perhaps, in a nightmare).

    That’s a very interesting idea. I’m not sure exactly what you mean by ‘artificial contraceptives’ but I’m guessing you mean the pill? How do you explain the enormous pile of historical evidence about herbal recipes for abortion? The Latin complaints about how the upper classes in Rome are doomed because women are having abortions?

     

    Isn’t it likely that if someone doesn’t WANT to be pregnant, then the idea of looking for some way of stopping the pregnancy is just going to LEAP to her mind even if she’s never heard the word ‘abortion’?

     

    Certainly well over 100 years ago when Comstock was fulminating against the ‘obscenity’ of providing information about birth control to married couples and abortion was not only highly illegal but a deep dark secret, women seemed to manage to spontaneously come up with the idea over and over again whenever a pregnancy was unwanted. Deliberately falling down the stairs or drinking poison aren’t as safe as the methods in use now, but they are just as sure.

    Prehistory to 5th century
    The first recorded evidence of induced abortion, is from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus in 1550 BC.[3] A Chinese record documents the number of royal concubines who had abortions in China between the years 500 and 515 BC.[4] According to Chinese folklore, the legendary Emperor Shennong prescribed the use of mercury to induce abortions nearly 5000 years ago.[5]

     

    Many of the methods employed in early and primitive cultures were non-surgical. Physical activities like strenuous labor, climbing, paddling, weightlifting, or diving were a common technique. Others included the use of irritant leaves, fasting, bloodletting, pouring hot water onto the abdomen, and lying on a heated coconut shell.[6] In primitive cultures, techniques developed through observation, adaptation of obstetrical methods, and transculturation.[7] Archaeological discoveries indicate early surgical attempts at the extraction of a fetus; however, such methods are not believed to have been common, given the infrequency with which they are mentioned in ancient medical texts.[8]

     

    [edit] References in classical literature
    Much of what is known about the methods and practice of abortion in Greek and Roman history comes from early classical texts. Abortion, as a gynecological procedure, was primarily the province of women who were either midwives or well-informed laypeople. In his Theaetetus, Plato mentions a midwife’s ability to induce abortion in the early stages of pregnancy.[9][10]

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion

  • yor-bro-ken

    ms. Reeves,

    To which specie of fetus are you referring?

    If you are having difficulty determining the correct answer to that question I can give you a hint.

    When your mother was pregnant with you, what specie of embryo/fetus was resident in her uterus?

    The answer is so obvious even a fifth grader can get it right.

    yor bro ken

  • idscforlife

    "Truth be told, very few of these fetuses would be able to survive at term (hence the late-term abortion), so why would we want them to be "born" instead of terminated?"

     

    For the record, most of the "fetuses" that you are talking about, are actually children who happen to have Down syndrome, and their survival rate is INCREDIBLE! I assure you that they do beautifully if they are given a chance to be born. We invite you to take the time learn more about Down syndrome.  We hope that people can see that it is nothing to be afraid of. Sadly, individuals who happen to have down syndrome,  are aborted at a rate of 90% in America, the largest number of abortions for defective purposes.  So if real truth be told, many of these children would live, if only given the chance.

    http://idscforlife.wordpress.com/

  • phylosopher

    Define?  hell, Stanek’s making quite a living off the lecture circuit from it.  She’s now almost retirement age(64), "blogging" by using other sources and getting interns to do the heavy lifting – Stanek’s strong suit is not logic. 

  • asitis

    What ken…. the same tired spiel here too?

    Oh, and Jill Stanek at 4:40pm:
    Had anyone told me before today there are pro-lifers/ant-choicers who actually believe pro-choicers don’t love children, don’t support children’s rights and welfare, and are against parenthood I would have said they were crazy.

    But here they are.

  • phylosopher

    Abortion  may also have been lees frequent because infanticide was widely accepted and practiced. I beleive it was in Rome, or was it Greece, that the child was not named, nor part of the family and was summarily exposed.  Ah yes, here it is Rome:

    http://www.classicsunveiled.com/romel/html/romechildren.html

     

    Certainly, the modern alternative of pre-viable abortion is much better?

     

  • phylosopher

    Since Msssss. Stanek has pretty much banned any real dicusssion on her "blog" by banning and censoring anyone who disagrees with her extremist antichoice views – I suggest you get your filthy fingers back on your side of the keyboard.

     

    We’ve had this duscussion before.  DNA is not the sole arbiter of personhood – my fingernail has human DNA – so what?

  • mechashiva

    Induced abortion can also refer to an abortion performed to complete a miscarriage or to remove a fetus that has died in the womb but has not been expelled. Any time a pregnancy is ended by human hands rather than by the woman’s natural processes, the term "induced abortion" applies, regardless of whether fetal demise has occurred already.

  • progo35

    Thank you, Mecha. I find your position reasonable and realistic. The only way to have a productive debate on these kinds of issues is for clinic and hosptial workers to be honest.

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

  • mechashiva

    For two years, I worked at an abortion clinic that provided its services up to 24 weeks EGA.

     

    Miscarriages do happen rarely, and they are a risk we inform patients of when they recieve laminaria for cervical dilation. Some clinics use digoxin to stop the fetal heartbeat for all second trimester cases, others for cases after a certain point in gestation, and some do not use digoxin at all (it has some benefits and some risks, which clinics must weigh in their decision to use it). If digoxin is not used on a fetus that is developed enough to be potentially viable, then a miscarriage could result in a live infant.

     

    I do not doubt that this has happened, rare as it may be. There is enough variation in the way clinics operate, risk of miscarriage, and error in ultrasound measurements that I see it as a minute possibility. I also do not doubt that such events would be mishandled in some cases.

     

    However, to use the "born alive" scenario as a tool for restricing abortion access or to demonize all abortion providers is wrong. Such events are not the norm, and poor management of a medical crisis occurs in all areas of medicine. Using such rare crises as the basis for legislation that micromanages abortion is inappropriate. Such cases should be handled as they are in all other departments of medicine… through the AMA and malpractice lawsuits.

  • therealistmom

    … until they are born. There are no "children" with Down syndrome until after birth.

     Like my beautiful 13 year old daughter, who happens to have trisomy 21 (46 XX, but with a form of Robertsonian translocation  where an extra piece of a #21 is stuck to one of the other #21 chromosomes). She is vibrant, bright, reading at a second grade level, doing double-digit math. Thankfully she has been spared most of the health issues that can be related to Down syndrome.

     Having said this, I fully support the right of women to choose not to carry a fetus to term, for whatever reason.  As much as I advocate the inclusion of people with DS and other mental disabilities in the public sphere, I also advocate for the right of a woman to determine she does NOT want to bear a child who will be to some extent mentally handicapped (anywhere from mild to severe retardation) and runs the risk of various health issues from none at all to potentially fatal heart defects, blood and bone cancers, gastrointestinal defects, early onset Altzheimers and dementia among others.

     Information is key- both sides need to be presented to a woman who finds her fetus has trisomy 21, the risks and potential problems as well as the relative "normalcy" of children with DS and the support systems available should they decide to carry the pregnancy to term. Then she, and only she, can make the choice. 

  • princess-rot

    I also think that, had the "contraceptive mentality" never been touted
    as a "wonderful thing" (whether for supposed "female freedom", or
    whatever pretext you like), then the very idea of "sex involves babies"
    (which is as easy to find as any biology book) wouldn’t strike a
    disturbing percentage of people as poisonous, abhorrent, and (for all I
    know) worse than death itself.

     

    But we do not live in such a world, so dispense the evo-psych notion that almost everyone "naturally" wants babies. Sex feels good, that is why people do it. That is why the clitoris (and its male counterpart) has absolutely no other purpose beyond a tool to feel pleasure. Pregnancy, childbirth (and child raising) is arduous, taxing and painful so nature and to come up with a way to make sure that we kept performing the act that would (sometimes) lead to babies.Even the getting-pregnant thing is a lottery, sorry pro-lifer, but "sex equals babies" is not an absolute.

     

    Before effective abortion and birth control, there was infanticide by exposure, suffocating or drowning.There was a naturally abortfacient plant that was eaten into extinction in Ancient Greece. Sometimes nature would take care of it by famine, disaster or pestilence, but humanity has always tried to control its numbers artificially.

     

    I cannot get behind the "breeder mentality",either. Children are not toys or accessories that give you status and cred as a person. Not everyone is cut out for parenting, or even wants to bear a child. I am actually abhorred by the thought of pregnancy and parenthood. I do not want  or like children. I think society is already far too child-centric already and it would drive me batshit to live in a world like the one pro-lifers want.

     

    tl;dr: Basically, you are confusing your personal opinion with objective fact. What is life-affirming and wonderful to you will make others want to boil their heads.

  • idscforlife

    adoption?  Wouldn’t that be a healther option for all involved?

  • idscforlife

    Just in case anyone would want to know, there are 200 families waiting to adopt children with Down syndrome.

    http://idscforlife.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/the-adoption-option/

  • paladin

    Wow. Just, wow. Coming to this forum (or, at very least, to this thread) is eerily like going to a playground full of ill-tempered, ill-mannered 8-year-olds whose idea of civility and logic during debate is “Nyah, nyah, neener neener!” (Seriously: “Dook dook dook?” How old *are* you, anyway, Ferret?) I’ve had reasoned (if heated and/or pointed) debate on the topic of abortion, before… but that very idea really seems beyond the contributors that I’ve read on this thread, thus far.

    I’m happy to debate with reasonable people… but I have no desire to go tit-for-tat with people who seem only to want to scream, yell, throw insults, and do everything but be civil or reasonable. (Why on earth would any sane person desire that? What’s the point?) If that makes you happy, knock yourselves out. But life’s too short to argue with a brick wall, a friend used to say. The palpable rage on this site is downright sickening… and there’s better air to breathe, elsewhere. If you ever want to try civility and actual discussion, look me up. Otherwise, may God help you.

  • prochoiceferret

    I’m happy to debate with reasonable people… but I have no desire to go tit-for-tat with people

    And while you compare us to "ill-mannered 8-year-olds," we continue to fight for women to have the control of their bodies and their lives that you would deny them. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

  • therealistmom

    Are you suggesting it is "healthier" for a woman who greatly desires a child, but knows she is not able mentally or financially to take care of a child with DS to go through a pregnancy, give birth, and give the resulting baby up for adoption? It may be for some… but for others it would be devastating.

    Are you suggesting it is "healthier" for an infant to be born with severe cardiovascular defects, an infant who would not be eligible for a heart transplant under the current criteria, which automatically excludes people with genetic disorders, specifically Down syndrome? This is a very real possibility for infants with trisomy 21. Thankfully medical technology has improved greatly, and life-saving surgery is available for a lot of the valve conditions, but for some there could be extensive bouts of open-heart surgery with no chance of survival. We must leave it to the woman and the advice of trusted medical professionals to decide if ending the pregnancy before the fetus has awareness or capacity for pain is more merciful than continuing until birth- or even if she and her family feel competent to take on the challenges.

     There can be no one-size-fits-all answer, black and white, which is why the choice MUST lie with the pregnant woman.