• mechashiva

    Excellent analysis of this issue. I really liked the point you made about focusing on fetal development and constitutionality of term restrictions rather than the situations of the women seeking later abortions. I fall into those traps myself sometimes, and I really shouldn’t since I do know better. The way the debate is framed to focus on the uterus, it is really easy to lose sight of the women.

  • saltyc

    Very important information that needs to be understood.

    “pro-life” policies such as the Hyde ammendment, insurance non-coverage, limiting number of providers and stigma absolutely have the consequence of causing later abortion.

     

    The most heartbreaking thing is talking to a young pregnant woman who doesn’t want to be pregnant is stuck in a “pro-life” family, it is a lot like a young gay person stuck in a homophobic family. The very support structure that was there to nurture, support and guide you now is betraying you. What if they had parental notification laws for homosexuality?

     

    I volunteer for a local grass-roots abortion fund and I have to admit that when talking to a woman who is past 19 weeks, I do feel queasy. I have a weak stomach, that’s why I don’t eat meat except for fish on rare occasion, and I don’t watch violent movies etc. I could not even bring myself to kill a brown recluse spider I found in my linen closet, my partner set it free outside.

    But for all the reasons others have noted here, I absolutely support her right to bodily autonomy and self-determination, and if she can find a provider, I will help her get an abortion.

    I do believe we should limit the time a woman gets an abortion, 24 weeks seems like a reasonable cut-off, not for philosophical reasons but practical ones, mainly in the interest of protecting women and providers.

    And woman will get abortions earlier if abortion is liberalized, as they do in countries with fewer restrictions.

     

    Also I want to say something about the pressure that exists to make women give up their babies for adoption. This is one of the goals, if I’m not mistaken, of the so-called common ground movement, to convince women to change their minds and carry a pregnancy to term then give the baby up for adoption. I spoke to a pregnant woman recently wanted an abortion who said she does not believe in adoption. I can totally relate, and this was a reason I had an abortion too. It would be wrong for me to give up a child to a stranger, for me the responsible, moral thing if I brought a child into the world would be to take care of it.

    Now I am NOT saying that another woman is wrong for giving up a baby for adoption, I would never say that.

    Some people would say that’s moral relativism, but in the real world you need a way to hold apparently contradictory views.

    When people insist on trying to convince a woman to give up a baby for adoption, that’s  just as wrong as not supporting a woman who does want to give a baby up for adoption. In both cases she is following for conscientious, moral principles.

  • hekate

    I do believe we should limit the time a woman gets an abortion, 24 weeks seems like a reasonable cut-off, not for philosophical reasons but practical ones, mainly in the interest of protecting women and providers.

    Why should the restrictions be legislated? Abortion should be treated like every other medical procedure: the patient and her doctor make the decision for what’s appropriate and safe. Shouldn’t we trust physicians to counsel women as to when an abortion is appropriate? We trust physicians to decide when other procedures are safe, so why not this one? 

  • saltyc

    Yeah, what do I mean by “we” in the we should limit

    I agree that assessment should come from physicians who know more about it than I or legislators do.

    Philosophically, ethically, I would say any woman has the right to not be pregnant, at any time. I think it would be very hard to find a practitioner willing to do it after it becomes so much more difficult and the possibility of more complications arising. But standards of practice should be in place to avoid the errant practitioner willing to do very risky procedures.

    But yeah, I’m skating on thin ice here. I really don’t know what I’m talking about.

  • saltyc

    wrong place

  • crowepps

    I don’t agree that you don’t know what you’re talking about because your position sounds consistent with what works in the real world.  The example of Canada, which leaves the decision in the hands of those involved, is pretty clear, and so is the example of Mexico, where the Church has sailed right past banning abortion and birth control and now insists the government has the right to punish women for stillbirth.  They haven’t yet QUITE made it illegal to be female, but they’re certainly trying!

     

    The problem as I see it is that it would be difficult to set up reasonable standards of practice, it would definitely be hard to enforce them (since they are rarely enforced NOW in other matters) and it might be difficult to get a referral to an appropriate doctor if your primary care physician feels he/she has the right to impose his moral values on his patients.

  • arekushieru

    And that’s the point I was trying to conveigh, on another thread.  You said it so much better than I could!  So, agree with crowepps, you are being VERY clear!  :D

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~I do not believe the statistics on women and girls who get abortions because of rape. My mother made me go to a therapist when I was sixteen, I did not tell him anything, he asked over and over again, so did my mother.
    I said no, no, no! It wasn’t until I was nineteen that I realized what had happened clearly. I do not know one woman, who would tell the truth and say, I am getting an abortion because I was raped. Especially right after some one is raped, most can’t say it~

    • bj-survivor

      ~I do not believe the statistics on women and girls who get abortions because of rape. My mother made me go to a therapist when I was sixteen, I did not tell him anything, he asked over and over again, so did my mother.
      I said no, no, no! It wasn’t until I was nineteen that I realized what had happened clearly. I do not know one woman, who would tell the truth and say, I am getting an abortion because I was raped. Especially right after some one is raped, most can’t say it~

      I’ve been raped, twice, in fact. And I still have a hard time talking about it or even bringing it up or responding to others who talk about their rapes. I probably come across as callous when I am noticeably absent from discussions or even expressions of empathy toward others who are open about the crimes committed against them. For that, I am sincerely sorry, but I just get tongue-/keyboard-tied when it becomes too personal. It’s been over two decades and I’m still processing it. Please know that even though I am silent, I am your compatriot in that agony, that rage, that violation that you feel.

      Thank you, FBIR, for your raw passion on the issue of women’s right to control their own bodies, of your no-holds-barred, spot-on indictment of “pro-life” ideology as window-dressing for promotion of rape culture.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~So many women in my family has been raped, the only way I know about most of the rapes is another female was there and told people. We are forbidden to speak about it to them, they pretend it never happened. I think over half of the rape victims in the world immediately block it out as best they can, and try to pretend it never happened. I have never talked to people on the Internet so hateful and heartless as pro lifers, I was crying tonight about something one said. I have not noticed you being callous, just the opposite. (And thank you sweetie! Try your best to have a sweet gorgeous life, I love you!)~

  • purplemistydez

    Thank you both for your honesty and openness.

  • lina

    This is so important. This part in particular: “Many Americans become uncomfortable with later abortion because they focus on the developmental level of the fetus rather than on the rights of the pregnant woman, overlooking the myriad reasons that women need later abortions.”

    When we look at the way the whole debate over healthcare reform turned into a brawl over abortion, did you ever hear the people who are supposed to be on the side of women’s rights within Congress ever challenge the immorality of the Hyde amendment, or raise the issue of women’s human rights, or even talk about one of these stories of real life women who are suffering as a result of this society’s institutionalized oppression of women? This is why I think that task falls to us non-politicians. We’ve got to mobilize for our right to be human!

  • runningshoe
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