Katie's Blog-ness

Abortion November 6, 2012

Filed under: Politics and Patriotism — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 10:24 am
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Oh, how heavy my heart is right now. I have been researching abortion for weeks now, trying to understand truly the mindsets of those involved in both sides of the argument and to flush out my own thoughts more fully. Tonight I had planned to finish writing what I had started and stopped writing many times before. Then I ended up referred to an article entitled “If You Don’t Want a Baby, Just Don’t Have Sex?” I thought, “Wow, imagine someone actually suggesting that as a viable option.” Well, I was sadly mistaken in thinking that was the intent of the article. In essence their idea was that there is no need for us to connect sex and procreation anymore. I want to go over so many harmful things I noticed in the logic of this article, but I feel the need to let that be and focus on this: choices do have consequences. So many people seem to have actually managed to believe that we can truly choose the consequences of our actions all the time these days. Well, that is not how agency works. We are free to choose, but once the choice has been made, the results are typically out of our hands.

I am not so naive as to think that purely focusing on abstinence education will solve the problem of all unwanted pregnancies in the world. But I am also too much a realist to not recognize that when that aspect of sexual training and education is left out – the option of abstinence I mean – then the numbers of unwanted pregnancies will increase. I get so tired of the voices of the world trying to convince all humankind that we are too base of animals to choose to not have sex when the time is right for abstinence. I saw this in one discussion of abortion, “Telling teenagers to abstain when hormones are most active is just absurd.” Actually,this is exactly the best time to teach abstinence! Well, I am so grateful my parents told me to abstain! I had so many people mock me in high school for honestly and genuinely deciding to never have sex until I was married. They would tell me it was an impossible thing that I was seeking. Well, I did not take the opportunity to declare my virginity to them on graduation day, but I think I would have enjoyed the shock on their faces if I had. I think most of them would have passed out with the shock to have had many of my other friends that had made similar choices to mine that were also graduating high school as virgins, happy in our power over our own lives.

Those in the “pro-choice” movement keep talking about the wrong choices. We have to focus on truly empowering women, and men, to have real power in their lives, sexual and otherwise. Education in ALL the possibilities is absolutely key! That CANNOT exclude abstinence as a genuinely viable option! I know that many people will still choose to engage in sexual activity, and some even at young ages, but they should not be made to feel that if they choose not to, they are broken in some way. The pressure to engage in “recreational” sex comes from peers, the media of all varieties, and even from teachers, and our government itself. The first two may never stand a chance of going away, but there is no excuse for the last two on that list to be contributors in adding approval for and even encouragement for people to engage in something that causes so much disease, heartbreak, and even unwanted pregnancies.

To those that are reading this with the eyes of a “pro-life” advocate, allow me to mention that we must not pretend that abstinence is the only way to help prevent those pregnancies that might leave someone carrying a baby they don’t want. We must work to teach about the risks and benefits of all varieties of contraceptives. From calendaring to condoms and IUDs to surgical sterilization, there are options for those that choose to engage in sexual activity – married or not – but that wish to avoid having children. Please, let us not be blind to the real possibilities to help those that want the sex, but don’t want the pregnancies.

Now, I have heard so many term abortion as a form of “birth control.” Well, that is not what abortion is. Neither is that what a condom is. Condoms, IUDs, “the pill,” sterilizations, and so forth work to prevent conception. Hence the term contraception. Some contraceptive methods may also be able to claim the benefit of protecting from the contraction of certain diseases. However, no contraceptives can claim to control birth, since if they are doing their job, then no baby is formed in the first place. Abortion does not prevent birth either, it simply forces birth to occur in a way that kills the baby in the process or shortly thereafter. The baby may not be birthed whole, but in parts. Either way, the baby must some out of the mother, which is the definition of birth. So really, abortion is a birth inducer. I am not sure why the choice to focus on the term “birth control,” but is leads me to think it is another ploy to make it seem that women can have some overpowering control over the consequences of their actions.

When someone goes to Las Vegas and takes a bankroll with them, they knowingly take on the potential risk of losing it. They don’t want that consequence, but it is part of the reality. They may take precautions to protect themselves from that outcome. They may take their lucky rabbit’s foot or wear their lucky socks. They may count the cards. They may even have some kind of “foolproof” system for tracking every single possibility in the game they are playing and have only a one or two in a thousand chance at loosing. But as long as they hit the table in Vegas, there is a chance, no matter how much they reduce that chance. Perhaps they will truly be the luckiest and best player ever and not loose a dime, but even then, they know as well as everyone else, it only takes one distraction in their concentration of executing their foolproof plan to have all of that dumped on its head. If they did run into that one in a thousand goof up and loose their whole bankroll, what would their options be? Would it work to have them simply walk to the cashier’s desk and demand to walk away like nothing had ever transpired – full bankroll in hand? Not likely. What if they simply shot the dealer and walked away with bankroll in hand? So not going to be OK with that situation either.

Why then is it OK for women and men to choose to have sex, no matter how many precautions they have taken, and expect someone else to make up for their “mistake” if they do end up pregnant? Why would the world put a stamp of approval on murder as a means to get out of the situation? Especially if the one being murdered is innocent of any wrong? “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil…” (Isaiah 5:20). In essence, we as a society are trying to place a positive stamp of approval on the murder of innocent children for the sake of parental selfishness. At the same time we look on self control leading to abstinence as some kind of harmfully unrealistic ambition. Wow! I can only imagine the tears our Father in Heaven sheds over such a state.

Now, there are some “But what about…?” questions that inevitably come up in any discussion of abortion that I wish to discuss. First is the question of life. Is a baby that is yet unborn actually alive? How big must it be to be considered alive? And so on goes the question about the life of the baby. To that I answer with a few thoughts. I have heard this phrase almost word for word dozens of times and find it somewhat unrelated, but still important in this discussion. “If scientists found a two-celled organism on Mars, it would be hailed as a discovery of life and touted as one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time.” I guess that means that the two-celled development that begins at conception better be called life too. Also, upon conception, new DNA is started. It is unique from both the mother’s and father’s DNA. It is not a simple extension of the mother’s body, it is separate and new. But, does that constitute life that is eligible for protection under the constitution of the United States of America?

The opening of the Constitution says, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Golly, every time I read that, I simply get goosebumps! But let me take some of the tings in the midst of those beautiful words and relate them to the topic of abortion. I want to hold off on the phrase “establish Justice” for the moment, because I want to answer that in the next question. Next comes “insure domestic Tranquility.” Some may argue that adding a baby or even a pregnancy can disrupt or destroy the parent’s domestic tranquility, which may be true enough. However, there is absolutely nothing tranquil about an abortion. I don’t know how many of you have seen an abortion, but it is horrific and utterly destructive and violent. Nope, no tranquility. As for “provide for the common defence” goes, while a baby may disrupt the tranquility of a mother or father’s life, generally they are not in any danger from the situation and are not in need of being defended. The child is completely defenseless and most certainly is in need of defending. The numbers of abortions performed have often been related to the horrors of what Hitler and others have done. Surely participating in so many innocent deaths is not in harmony with the Constitution’s call for providing for the common defense – common, not just for big people, but for all. I think “promote the general Welfare” is much like the item about domestic tranquility, though I am led to believe that this welfare is not simply physical welfare, but includes emotional and spiritual welfare as well. Surely the general welfare of the babies is harmed, but for many women, abortion is highly damaging to their emotional and spiritual well being. Some of the various potential side effects of abortion can also do incredible damage to the physical welfare of the mother – even up to the point of death.

Then comes the biggie. This is the one that the idea of the “pro-choice” movement must surely depend upon most directly. It sets out to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” I have had someone tell me that by supporting “Pro-life” principles, I am in essence sentencing those women carrying unwanted babies to a life of slavery for at least those nine moths, and for life if she raises the child herself. I suppose I can understand that notion, since I know there are surely days that I feel like a slave to my kids and did on occasion while pregnant as well. However, this was a self elected slavery. It is my indentured servitude that I give in exchange for being able to receive the amazing rewards of motherhood. For a woman that did not want to become pregnant, I can see them saying, “But I didn’t want to have this indenture.” To that I would respond that while they gambled to get into their indenture rather than simply signing up with full expectation of what was coming, they still played the game. They made their choice, made in freedom, to have sex which opens the door to potential indentured-ness. Once they received their payment, the sex that they wanted, they are no longer free to rescind on the other half of the gambled for agreement. Part of the blessing of liberty includes the resulting consequences – for good or ill – that some from the choices we are free to make. I also must point out the end of that phrase does not end with securing those blessing for ourselves, it takes the additional step to secure them for our posterity. That is exactly what the child in the womb is and they have had their right to liberty secured by the constitution every bit as much as any of the rest of us. I never saw a disclaimer that negated the Constitution for everyone but the most helpless and innocent among us.

Now, no doubt some would raise the question against my comparison to an indentured servitude in the case of rape or incest. Surely they did not voluntarily become indentured by their own accord, but by the choice and actions of another person. Even though the percentage of abortions done for those reasons are relatively few, I have often struggled with this topic myself. I have honestly vacillated about the answer for this. I know that I would still not choose abortion, but can see that the whole harm to a person’s domestic tranquility is even bigger than it would be otherwise. I had always considered the instance of rape or incest as somehow “exceptions” to the wrong-ness of abortion. And I can very much see how many could see them that way. However, I was watching a YouTube and I finally found my place of peace in that as well (as strange as might be from some random YouTube video). He pointed out that we would not take someone that was not responsible for someone else’s crime and put them to death for it – at least not if we knew they were innocent. That is what abortion in those tragic cases represents. It is killing a child because its father broke the law. We would not do that with any other circumstance or their would be outcry of “foul play.” If my father did something worth of a death sentence, they would never kill me in his place. And while carrying her attacker’s child may cause additional hardship on the mother at what is already a devastating time, avoiding inflicting additional pain to her does not trump the right of the baby to live. My heart aches for anyone that would have to endure such a horrific experience, but by giving another person the chance at life they may find some level of healing, that is if those helping her through the experience can help her to see it in that light, rather than focusing all of their energies on blaming the child for the mother’s pain. Let blame lay with the guilty party and let both of the other people involved come out better and stronger and alive in spite of the wretchedness of the father and the situation. It is truly amazing to see how someone can take something so evil and allow it to be turned to become something so beautiful as new life.

But what if that new life can only come at the expense of the life or health of the mother? That is the only “What if?” question that I feel deserves a slightly different possibility list. Allow me to express why. First, if the health of the mother is compromised, but not actually causing the danger of death, then, live with it. Both mother and baby can LIVE with it. I don’t say it like that because I don’t think it’s hard. I’ve been on bed-rest with other kids, a job, and a home to worry about, but in order to protect the life I was responsible for, bed-rest and extra doctors visits seem like such a small thing. If the mother is so sick that for some reason the life of the mother is in eminent danger, then it seems like there would be a responsibility to carry the baby as long as possible and then attempt, with all the best possible efforts available, to deliver and save the baby as well as the mother. It is amazing how early a baby can actually be born and still survive so well. There is no excuse to carry a baby to six months and abort the pregnancy instead of trying to save that baby’s life. If holding out as long as possible and then delivering the baby with the intent to help it to live is does not provide a long enough time in the womb for the baby’s survival, then perhaps we could work to spend money and time developing ways to do surrogacy at that point. Or even work to develop medical methods to simulate the womb to care for those babies. That would be a much more humane use of time and funds than spending money on performing and perfecting abortions. But, just like there have been mothers in war-torn areas that had to choose to permanently silence a baby to keep herself and the rest of the people around her safe, perhaps I can see in those very rare circumstances having abortion be an option to consider with the deepest consideration by all those that will be affected. Just like a mother in such a deplorable situation due to war, the aborting mother will still have to live with the knowledge of what the choice to abort means for her and for her baby. That is a burden that must be considered, as well as the life of the baby and the mother, when deciding to abort to protect the mother’s life. And protecting the mother’s style of life, does not count here.

Now comes another “What if?” question. What about when the mother truly does not want the baby? Is that kind to the baby to be brought into life with a mother that does not want him/her? Absolutely! At least, absolutely when the consideration of adoption covers the tragedy there. I have a very strong and personal idea about this thought. I have far too many friends that have waited and waited and waited to be able to have the chance to adopt a baby because they so want to be parents. All of those dear friends would be grateful to the core for some mother to give them the chance to love and raise a baby that would otherwise be unwanted. How useless and senseless an idea it is to suggest that just because they are not wanted, those babies should die. Then rather then having protective services come in and help kids that are being neglected or abused, perhaps they should simply come in and kill them instead. Right? No! However, it is not any less repugnant to act like abortion is not only an option, but a perfectly appropriate option.

I guess that if I had to sum this all up I would simply have to say, I love babies. I love life and do not believe that anyone has the right to take another life unless it is to protect their own life—not lifestyle—or the lives of others. I think that the very best summary is provided right in our own Declaration of Independence. “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (I didn’t notice a “But…” clause in there excluding those that are still residing in a womb. Did you?)


15 Responses to “Abortion”

  1. monk-monk Says:

    “Is that kind to the baby to be brought into life with a mother that does not want him/her? Absolutely! At least, absolutely when the consideration of adoption covers the tragedy there. I have a very strong and personal idea about this thought. I have far too many friends that have waited and waited and waited to be able to have the chance to adopt a baby because they so want to be parents. All of those dear friends would be grateful to the core for some mother to give them the chance to love and raise a baby that would otherwise be unwanted.”

    This point is interesting, but doesn’t address the child being born into the situation. I know children of rape who were given away to adoption. When they tried to re-connect with their biological family, they were rejected as a reminder of the rape. Many of my adopted friends, even those not conceived from rape, wish that they would have ceased to exist earlier i.e. abortion, than be punished for a lifetime being a child of rape. It also focuses so much on the potential parents waiting for a child…should a child be born just because some people want to have a baby? Is adoption about providing babies for couples or for finding homes for children who need them?

    • No, that baby should be allowed to live, because it is the first of our unalienable rights – the right to life. I feel bad for your friends that have taken that situation so hard. I can’t even imagine. However, that does not hold water as a reason to kill the baby for me. If so, then perhaps instead of sending social services in to protect a child that feels no love, but only hatred from their parents, we should just put those children out of their misery. I can’t condone either one of those ideas. I hope that those faced with that kind of heartache are able to someday overcome it, but either way, they deserve the chance to live. It is up to them if they work through it or not.

  2. leenilee Says:

    Fundamentally, for me, I do not believe abortion to be murder because I do not consider a bunch of cells growing within a woman its own entity. The “Martian argument” holds no water with me since we all kill living cells all the time, oops there goes another skin cell.
    Your argument about the bunch of cells being separate from the mother because of the difference in DNA also doesn’t wash. A parasite growing inside of a woman would also have different DNA, but I wouldn’t think twice about killing it.
    It’s pointless to argue pro life or pro choice in my opinion. Both arguments are based on different beliefs. Most prolifers talk a great deal about God which does nothing for their argument since there are plenty of us who don’t believe in god. You will never convince me there is a god just like I could never convince you there isn’t one.
    As far as abstinence goes, that’s great that you didn’t want to have sex before marriage and you stuck with that, but the rest of us who have had wonderful and terrible sexual experiences outside of marriage are no more wrong than you are right. It’s not empowering a woman to deny her biological urges. It’s empowering to have choices. Abortion for an unwanted pregnancy is one of those choices.

    • I am not a huge fan of the “Martian argument” either, I only included it because I have heard it so many times and it does go to proving that there is life there. Most people that I have had attempt to dismiss the value and rights of the child in the womb have done so based on there not being life until after the child is born. The only purpose of the Martian bit was to show life. Just because something is living, like the skin cells or the parasite you mentioned – or even the chicken that provided my kids chicken nuggets last week (if they are really made of chicken – debatable – LOL). None of them are individual human beings. the baby growing in a human mother’s womb is a living human being. Calling it a clump of cells or a fetus or an embryo does not change that fact. Those are simply stages of life, just the same as infant, toddler, adolescent, etc. I do believe in God and that does weigh in on my thoughts about this subject. I chose not to hide that or discount that influence. However, just like any other piece of this logical puzzle, it is only one piece. It is admittedly a bigger piece that the Martian piece is, but still only one piece among many. I have no problem with those that choose to have sex before marriage – I would have if it were me. What I have a problem with is saying that because people do choose to have sex outside of marriage (or within a marriage) and are not willing to deal with the consequences of that choice, then we as a society are expected to approve of and condone murder. I am all about empowering choices! Choose to not have sex, choose to use a condom, choose to pull out, choose what time of the month to have sex, choose to use a host of other potential contraceptives. Once you make that choice, then live by that choice. Once you have made the choice, no one deserves to die for it.

      In my research on this topic I ran across a paper calling for yet another expansion of the role of abortion in our society. They were genuinely calling for after-delivery abortion (right now I can’t remember the term they gave it). Yes, if after the delivery the parents realized the baby had a birth defect or was the wrong sex or that they just really didn’t want the baby after all, they could then choose an after-birth abortion. I was both shocked and not all that surprised to read that. Once we say it is OK to kill for convenience sake, where can a new line be drawn to limit that. Where does it go from there. Right after birth apparently (since really there is no difference with that than a partial birth abortion except that they don’t intentionally hurt the baby on the way out). How long before that is the newly accepted norm? I remember back in the day when “pro-choice” was first pushing hard for morning-after pills and the like, but the idea of a 9-month gestation, partial birth abortion was out of the realm of acceptable. Not so much any more. So after we get good and comfy with immediately after birth abortions, then does it get extended to a little while later when you realize your child is handicapped in some way? I mean really, where would the line be able to be drawn? For me it is a very simple line. Don’t murder. See, very simple. Even as I write that though I realize that there are exceptions even to that. I believe in defending one’s own life, the lives of others, and freedom. Even if that requires taking a life. But when I write that, I do not mean freedom from the consequences of our own actions. I mean freedom to make those actions in the first place. If you want to say that a mother should have the choice to kill her child, then I honestly believe the only way that should ever happen is to repeal any laws against murder. It can’t be illegal to murder anyone except the most weak and unable to defend themselves. That goes way beyond being the worst kind of bullies to being just sick.

      • leenilee Says:

        Yes but pro choicers including me don’t see it as murder or killing a baby, that’s the difference. I am certainly no proponent of child murders and I don’t consider abortion to be murder. I would also argue that having an unplanned pregnancy is a possible outcome of sex and a woman is dealing with that consequence by having an abortion.
        Also, being a woman who gave her child up for adoption, the choice is not between abortion and adoption. There are 2 choices to be made, abortion or choosing to carry a pregnancy to term AND choosing to parent or choosing to give the baby away. Just want to make it clear that they are not one and the same choice.

      • I have heard that before, that pro-choice folks simply disqualify one form of murder as being called murder. But unless the argument is that there is not life there (which was why I went into the “Martian” thing), I have never found anyone able to tell me why abortion is not murder. “Because we don’t see it that way” is not enough of a reason for me. I want logical reasoning to reclassify murder as anything else. If you have some form of logical reasoning that says it is accurate to seperate abortion from murder, I would be interested in that. I could call it infanticide if you prefer instead (though that is not really quite accurate unless it refers to those babies that survive the initial attempt at the abortion and are officially in the infant phase of development by being outside of the womb before finally dying). But either way, it is murder.

        And I suppose that you are accurate, having an abortion would be a way to deal with the consequences of having sex and getting pregnant. However, typically murder is not considered an appropriate way to deal with the consequences of a choice like that. Imagine if it were. A man could kill his sex partner if she got pregnant to deal with that unwanted pregnancy – it’s been done before, but it wasn’t right then and it’s not right now. Murdering the baby, that was completely not at fault in the situation and has even less opportunity to try to defend itself seems at least equally disturbing to me. What disturbs me most is that I am sure that what I just said about being equally disturbed by the two scenarios is completely the opposite of what would be considered socially acceptable to say. It is way more socially acceptable to kill a baby as a means to deal with a pregnancy that was not intended, than to suggest it is equal to murdering an adult, that has power to defend themselves.

        Also, I am sorry if I made it sound like there was only one choice available, I just do not see murder as an option that should be a legally or socially OK choice for those “just because I don’t want the pregnancy or the baby” situations.

      • leenilee Says:

        I can tell you why I don’t see it as murder…because it is not viable outside a woman’s uterus. I know it sounds crass, but until the age of viability (which can vary) it can be viewed as having a parasitic relationship with its host. I do not see an 8 week in utero as being a fully formed human being and therefore terminating it is not murder. Again, nothing I can say will change your mind about when someone becomes an actual person. But life alone does not make abortion murder. Trees are living, but when we cut one down for getting in the way it is not considered murder. You can not prove that it is a human being anymore than I can prove to you that it is not. Obviously in my arguments I am not speaking about late term abortions and I wouldn’t because I am woefully uneducated about them. It is my understanding that women undergoing these late procedures do so for health reasons for either themselves or their unborn. The term partial birth abortion seems to be more of a political talking point than anything else.

      • I already addressed the difference between a tree or any other form of life being destroyed. It is not murder to kill a tree, but it is to kill a human. But that baby in the womb is a human in its unique developmental stage and supported on the best form of life support yet created. Viability is one of the questions that came up in the original Roe v. Wade case and even those that passed that law could not decide on a specific time to say “OK, before this there is no baby, but after this it is a baby that can’t be killed.” They sort of seemed to lean (come of them specifically) towards a 1st trimester limit as to when an abortion would be legal, but they didn’t stick with it. But even then, why the first trimester. I have seen a 10 week gestation baby that reacted to stimulus and had controlled moment. To me that screams fully life. I am sure I could not convince you of that. But unless there is a way to absolutely determine the gestational age at which point a baby is a baby (which I think is a complete impossibility, BTW), then where can a line be drawn. I debated it for YEARS. I know many people say that conception is that absolute point, but again, I don’t think it is provable either way. I never felt sure until having a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago. He termed it an “all or nothing” idea. This is what he said, “The risk of an abortion being murder makes the enterprise wrong… I guess the same principle applies here as in the legal system – better a guilty person goes free than an innocent person is imprisoned. Likewise, better no abortion is made even if it isn’t murder, than an abortion is made if there’s a risk that it is murder.” I have to agree with him.

        Here goes a reason why “viability” cannot be the determiner. What of the baby that comes out premature, barely able to breath – or not even able to without assistance, and only able to survive with the help of amazing modern medical marvels? I have a friend whose baby was born at 23 weeks. She was not able to breath, eat, or most anything else on her own. After a long battle for her life is doing amazingly well, is strong, and fully a darling angel baby girl. Since she was not “viable” without great lengths being taken to sustain her life, should any random passerby have been able to yank her IV tube out and stop the flow of oxygen into her tiny hoses providing the additional needed help to breath? It seems that would be called murder.

        As for late term abortion. It is considered legal to have an abortion all the way to the full 9-months of gestation. Those babies could very readily be delivered live, but is instead are murdered at the hands of their own mother and a doctor that theoretically took an oath to do no harm. How is is possible that killing the baby inside (or even after the failed attempt, even though they are then outside) makes it OK, when if given the chance to be on the outside, that baby would absolutely be viable outside of that womb. If someone came along and took one of my brand new babies, stuck them somewhere without any help, that baby would have died. That makes it seem that they could also be called not viable, since they are unable to keep themselves alive once taken off of my automatic life support system for them. If I not doing everything to take care of my baby enough, they would lock me up for child endangerment, neglect, and whatever other charges they would bring against me. Yet my doctor could kill it without any repercussions as long as they did it just before delivery.

        And before you tell me that both of those examples are past some designated date of viability, let me simply ask some questions. Who determines “viability?” Is that determination done somehow on a case by case basis or as a flat set date? What happens if a mother mated an abortion the day after that “viability” date? What if a new, science changer pregnancy came along where the baby was delivered – and survived – a day before that “viability” date? Again, I really appreciate my friend’s assessment of his all or nothing idea. It appears that anymore, pro-choice is pushing towards “all” and I am pushing towards “none.”

        Sorry. “Viability” is not a good enough argument.

      • I was going to ignore the last two sentences of that comment because it seemed so pointless to go into it further. But after thinking about it decided to talk about it after all. (Heck, it’s my blog. I can blab and not have to feel super guilty about it I suppose.)

        First, if a late term abortion is being done to protect the mother, then I gotta say that both a vaginal delivery or a C-section are both simpler and less invasive procedures for the mother. C-section is invasive, but not as time intensively invasive as a late term abortion. Early abortions are not as invasive, but they get pretty involved in those later months. As for why they are so complicated, I am brought to yet another feeling of War on Women (another post, but one that is definitively connected to abortion issues. I decided to do a little bit more research into late term abortion. It has been a while since I really researched specific abortion procedures and I only looked for a few minutes just now. What I saw was disturbing to say the least. There was a Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by the Supreme Court in 2003. A partial birth is generally one in which labor is induced for the mother, the baby is delivered just enough to get the neck out and then they are either strangled or have their throats slit or simply are decapitated. I apologize for the gruesomeness, but it is what it is. Then the rest of the lifeless baby is delivered. Hence the “partial birth” thing. The baby is partly born like normal, but the rest is taken out dead like a normal abortion. What disturbs me is that the partial birth method does relatively little harm to the mother’s body. It is essentially as safe for the mother as delivering the baby would be. The other option for a late term abortion is to dilate the cervix and then physically dismember the baby and take it out piece by piece and then to scrape everything out inside to make sure they got everything out. While the second method seems more cruel to the baby, it is absolutely more intrusive on the woman’s body, with more potential complications associated with it. But which one did the supreme court ban. The first option, that is much simpler and uses the natural processes of the woman’s body to make it work. That leave the more dangerous option available to the women. I have no proof of my next statement, but I will say it anyway. I wonder if the reason for which one they banned is that they chose the one that is easier to see that the baby had the potential to live, before doing the deed to kill it. I really have no idea if that had anything to do with it, but either way it seems like the true welfare of the mother was not the biggest factor in this particular decision.

  3. leenilee Says:

    Your friend’s baby was viable. I guess I need to clarify that I am talking about the majority of abortions that occur which are WELL before the age of viability. It is my personal thought process that late term abortions should not occur after that and point of fact, most do not. A first trimester embryo has zero chance of living outside the woman’s body, no matter if mechanical means are used. Science is progressing, but even though we can keep some extreme preemies alive, they usually experience life with severe deficits. In many cases, people choose not to intervene with all means necessary to keep that preemie alive because of the deficits that occur. But that’s a whole other issue/argument.
    Yes, the big ball of semi formed cells could be classified as being of the human species, but it’s not a person. If it’s not a person, terminating it is not murder. And here is where we part ways because in my mind, there is no risk of it being murder. None. In a typical first trimester abortion, a group of unwanted cells is being removed, period. You believe there to be a risk of it being murder and so I see why you are arguing against it. And this is why we all will never be able to agree. To argue it further is pointless.
    Thank you for explaining partial birth abortions. Yes, that certainly does sound gruesome. It also leads me to believe that any woman undergoing that procedure would have a [very] good reason for doing so. It doesn’t sound like something women would be lining up for. It sounds like a very involved medical procedure.
    In any case, I always love a healthy debate. Thank you for your intelligent debate points. I always like to hear others perspectives even if I adamantly disagree.

    • Pat Torbert Says:

      This is a very long discussion and I have just skimmed through it…..so if this has been mentioned and I missed it, please forgive me.

      In my opinion and from a discussion I have had with a young mother who had an abortion (because she was not married and it wasn’t convenient to have the baby)there may be emotional consequences after aborting a baby.

      • I am all for skimming sometimes! Thank you for sharing that thought. I absolutely think that the after effects of an abortion – even not counting the potential health risks – on the mother can be very harmful. I have heard many stories of women that were quite emotionally scarred by their experience and choice afterwards. One story I remember hearing was of this woman that felt very confident she had made the right choice and actually had two abortions in her younger years. Then, later, she became pregnant when she was prepared and eager to be a mother. As the baby grew inside of her and she felt those first stirrings of movement, she realized that the baby in her womb was alive. It brought back those earlier choices and removed all confidence of her choice having been the right one. She realized that she had removed her oldest two children from all her future family pictures and it wore at her. I can only imagine how much that would wear down someone, but I don’t think I can ever fully understand how wracking that kind of realization would be on my heart. Thank you Pat for bringing that up. I think we often focus on the mother only in terms of “how awful to have to carry a baby you don’t want” and ignore the lifelong possibility for worse “how awful” thoughts. We need to love and support those that have made that choice for themselves already and we need to educate those that are considering abortion of all the realities of what they are considering.

    • Leenilee, I thank you as well for bringing up your thoughts in such a wonderful to discuss way. I love that about talking about things like this in this kind of forum because I can get thoughts from people that are coming from all different directions. I need to let you know that I have edited your reply to remove one word. (I do not allow swearing on my posts for the benefit of anyone reading from my normal blog readership, which are mostly church teachers for little kids – not fans of that type of language.) If you would rather I can remove your whole post, but I really enjoyed the thoughts you shared and would very much like to leave it right where it is. I will totally leave that up to you.

      You are so welcome to ignore this comment, but I like exceptions – a lot. So I want to respond to what you said anyway. Yes, most abortions do happen before the arbitrary age of viability and I can see what you are saying in terms of that. I also wonder why that makes it OK or why that changes the baby magically from being a human to being something else. Really, my friends baby is the perfect example of my thoughts on this end of the subject. Her body was doing an amazingly good job of providing all the life support that baby needed. When the baby was born, she had to make do with less advanced life support. I would love to see our society spend money on figuring out how to provide the needed life support for developing babies instead of litigating laws for killing them instead. If we had technology available that was as good at providing life support for a baby, that “age of viability” could be reduced immensely. The mother’s body does not develop those babies further after conception has taken place. The baby does it all on its own. It relies on the mother to provide the right environment and nourishment needed, but it grows just dandy all on its own. If we could artificially provide a similar environment outside the womb for the baby, then I would be fine with a woman saying, “I don’t want to be pregnant” and take the baby out, still providing all the needed support for the baby by other means. Simply put, we just can’t do that yet. Just because we can’t do that yet, does not mean that those babies should die in the meantime. The “age of viability” is entirely arbitrary and is only based on the age at which a baby can potentially cared for outside the womb and still survive. As our medical abilities have improved, that age has gotten earlier. It has only to do with our ability to provide the needed medical help required for that baby, not on what the baby is. At least, that is, until we start discussing abortion. Then magically the babies that have yet to reach “viability” suddenly become something less than human.

      Also, I have seen a baby in the 10th week of gestation via ultrasound. That tiny little boy was very much human. He could move independently. He could respond to sensory input. He had ten fingers and ten little toes. His heart was beating and providing for his tiny body. It was amazing and it was life. I have never seen one smaller than that, but I know that 12 weeks – or the end of the first trimester – is not an OK line to draw. When that line should be drawn is not something I think any of us know enough to say for certain that a baby is not alive enough or human enough, so the line I choose is the one that errs one the side of life.

      • leenilee Says:

        Oops sorry if I swore, I honestly did not mean to, by all means edit it out. Sometimes my fingers just go wild, ha ha.

      • Hahaha! Sooooo get that. Fortunately I can’t maintain my blog via my phone or all kinds of wonky things would come out of that lovely auto-fill attribute! Sometimes I am shocked by the things I say that way. It’s like I have phone tourettes or something! Thanks for being OK with that and for your comments! 🙂

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