There is no applicable title for this think piece, except, maybe COMMON SENSE. Duh.

There is no applicable title for this think piece, except, maybe COMMON SENSE. Duh.

Warning: I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to be a popular opinion. I don’t usually keep mah trap shut when I feel strongly about something – big shocker there! – so why should this be any different?

Or, “that’s her. The one with HER OWN OPINION.”

People are simply losing their shit about the New York State bill that was signed into law that allows abortions up to full-term. Opinions are everywhere, and most of them are the voices of outraged people who fear that New York State is about to lose its moniker, “The Empire State” and become “The Infanticide State”. I’ll admit, on the very face of it, the words are shocking and carry a very, heavy weight when you think about the reality of it. I was initially taken aback; when you read the words, “full-term” your mind conjures up immediate visuals of sweet, cherubic newborn babies, swaddled in blankets and smelling of baby powder.

Then, the more analytical, common-sense part of my brain said, “Wait a minute. Read the whole thing.”

Who in their right mind thinks that this law is for simple birth control and “killing of babies”? If your answer is “Religious and Evangelical Right-To-Lifers” I would then insist that you revisit my words “in their right mind” and then answer. I know, the rusted ass turd holding the Oval Office (and the nation) hostage right now threw out the words “babies ripped from the womb” into the mainstream, but you need to first consider the source and then remember that he has allegedly paid for a few abortions, if you want to believe pretty credible sources. I don’t know anyone that disgusting or heartless that they’d carry a child to full-term, or near, and then decide, “Yeah, I can’t be bothered” and decide abortion is the answer. People can be hateful and I am a pretty harsh critic of most humans, but even I believe that this isn’t a line most would cross. No, this law won’t hurt innocent babies or allow irresponsible whores to continue to be whores. It will assist parents in making the most humane, loving, difficult decision when they have an unviable pregnancy. It will allow them to make it without the shame foisted upon them by others or the questionable legalities. It will not assuage their own, personal pain or pangs of guilt, but those are human conditions we all experience and are as such, ours to own.

Late-term abortions are mercy killings, as much as I deplore the term. Is it killing if it gives peace to the afflicted? We have such a tumultuous, terrible struggle with the idea of euthanasia or even putting our sick pets down; this is a whole other kettle of fish. Why is it somehow more merciful and compassionate to have your vet inject your pet with something to end their suffering, or to allow a terminally-ill person to make the same choice? Why is it completely unthinkable that a parent or parents should be allowed to make the same, agonizingly heartbreaking decision to give their unborn child the same measure of peace?

Here’s a simple explanation, if you’ve been reading and you still want to say, “But….”:

The Reproductive Act only does three things:

– Decriminalizes abortion. Neither a woman or her doctor can be jailed for performing this procedure.

– It allows them to remove a fetus beyond 24 weeks who has died in utero (or has a malformation making it unviable), thus making a tragic situation maybe a fraction less devastating than it already is.

– It will allow other qualified health professionals to perform the procedure. And not in your run-of-the-mill Planned Parenthood Clinic, either.

This does NOT allow the abortion of a healthy full-term baby from a healthy mom, no matter how many Bible thumpers tell you it does.

I’ve recalled all the sad stories I have read and heard, secondhand, about babies who were born with unsurvivable conditions; babies whose mothers carried them to term, heartbroken by the knowledge that their child, if it survived the birthing process, would only live for a few minutes or an hour. Babies with conditions so terrible, the doctors were certain that every moment, as fleeting as it would be, was going to be filled with pain and agony. I’m not talking about chromosome abnormalities or even physical limitations; I’m describing malignant tumors, brain malformations, and fatal organ abnormalities. These aren’t just “quality of life” conditions. They are terminal, and by terminal, I mean that every moment these babies spend, both inside as well as outside the womb, is characterized by unendurable suffering.

Think about that for a moment. Is there anything worse for a parent than when their child is in pain? From simple colds to broken bones and even the unthinkable: a serious, life-threatening condition or injury; a parent will do anything to “make it better.” Now, imagine carrying a child who you have yet to meet, but who you have grown and nurtured, shared hopes and dreams for, and anticipated his or her arrival so excitedly; the love you feel for this little stranger who is also not a stranger is infinite and all-encompassing.

Then imagine an ultrasound, thought to be just a look at your baby; maybe this is a 20 or 21 week appointment. When the technician goes quiet and then leaves the room, returning with a more senior colleague, you are gripped with a fear so great it threatens to swallow you whole. They tell you that something isn’t right. There are urgent consultations, more tests, and then a final, terrible sit-down with experts. Your baby, that growing, kicking, part of you, is missing part or most of his or her brain, or has a malignant tumor that has tentacled into their brain, lungs, heart, and spine. Your baby will perhaps breathe at birth, but your baby will feel nothing but agony. Your love cannot fix this. Modern medical science cannot fix this. There is only pain, and then the memory of your child taking a first breath and then a last in the haze of perhaps an hour or less.

Would you want that? Or would you want the pain to end for your child as quickly as possible? Could you survive weeks and months of carrying a child who you know is in agonizing pain and who will die in your arms as soon as you deliver? Every time your baby kicked, would you want to lose your mind, wondering if that was because they were hurting and there was nothing you could do to make it better?

I couldn’t. Maybe you could. Maybe you just believe that’s how it has to be. That’s your right. But this same right, in the other direction, should be extended. Your beliefs are yours. Mine belong to me. And there are others who don’t feel the way you might, and they deserve a choice without repercussions. Abortion is legal in all 50 states. Each state has its own set of rules. In some, abortion is illegal after 20 weeks. In others, it’s 22 or 24. I would also state that abortions at this stage are not the typical, $400 procedure one receives in a clinic. They cost upwards of $20,000 and while the baby is injected with a drug to stop its heart quite painlessly, the mother still has to deliver. I would fervently hope that any serious medical conditions that would affect the viability of a baby would be discovered before the second trimester is over, but that is not always the case. And that is absolutely heartbreaking. But why compound that pain by saying, “Sorry, we know your baby is going to die and is in pain as we speak, but you need to give birth naturally, as was intended”?

There is also the language within this law that provides for the termination of a pregnancy if the mother’s life is at risk. I, personally, don’t know a single mother who would make that choice willingly. I had a high-risk first pregnancy and had my doctor asked me to choose when I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, I would have told her to get fucked. I know that I was never more frightened when I was told that both our lives were in danger and that a cesarean section needed to be performed right away. Had you asked me then, in my petrified state, to choose in the event of a catastrophic event, Zachary would be telling you this story; not me. There are mothers whose lives are at a significantly higher risk, where one or both lives could be lost, and I can only imagine how hard that is. While some might argue that this makes things more manageable, I would argue that it is much more complicated than a simple decision. But isn’t it at least comforting to know that no one else can make that choice but you?

Isn’t that the point? Your body, your choice.

There are some things that the government, and churches, and perfect strangers should “scroll past”, as technology dictates these days. As I dictate, it’s a bit blunter:

Mind your own, fucking business.

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12 thoughts on “There is no applicable title for this think piece, except, maybe COMMON SENSE. Duh.

  1. JoJo and I were talking about this the other day. We’re both reasonably intelligent people and read the news article about the late-term abortions being for non-viable fetuses or when the mother’s life is in danger, and so on and so forth. Not that my no-uterus having self has a right to a big opinion, but it’s like I tell JoJo: “It’s not that I’m pro-abortion, I’m just pro-choice.” I mean, it’s not my place to judge a woman who made a mistake, or was raped, or might be carrying a dead fetus, or whose life is in danger, etc. that she can’t make her own choice for her own body. How I FEEL about it doesn’t freakin’ matter. I’m tired of religious people whose heads obviously aren’t in the real world telling other people how to live.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother actually endured this very thing in 1967 when NO abortions were legal. They knew at six months that my older sister would be born without a brain and only part of her brain stem and that she might take a breath and live, at most, a few hours, or she would would be stillborn. My mother carried her to term was induced into a four hour labor, and gave birth. My sister lived only 45 minutes. I don’t know that my mother would’ve chosen to terminate the pregnancy, even if she had the choice, because she was VERY anti-abortion. However, as anti-abortion as she was, she did feel like it needed to be legal because she understood the dangers of illegal abortions.

    As a consequence of the very complicated pregnancy, she ended up back in the ER a week after giving birth because she had a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) that nearly took her leg and nearly took her life when it became a pulmonary embolism. I can only imagine the terror my father felt, knowing he had just lost his firstborn and could possibly lose his wife. In those days, there wasn’t much treatment for clots other than blood thinners. The clots in her leg were never completely dissolved and ended up hardening over time, which severely hampered the circulation in her leg. Over the years, she would develop small ulcers on the leg that would ALWAYS get infected and get worse and on more than one occasion, they threatened to amputate.

    She was told after the blood clots never to get pregnant again but she also couldn’t take birth control pills, so when she accidentally got pregnant with me, she was again faced with the possibility of losing her baby and possibly her life. Luckily, things worked out, but she HAD to play it through, because in 1971, women still didn’t have a choice. We should never have to go back to a time when there are no choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just can’t imagine not letting someone decide what is best for their body and their life. What happened with your mom is absolutely terrifying. All the women dying from illegal abortions was atrocious. Telling women that their birth control doesn’t have to be paid for by their medical plan is immoral (as you pointed out, sometimes it can put them in a life-threatening pregnancy situation). While I don’t know anyone who LOVES abortion (I can’t even imagine having to have that talk with myself if I found myself pregnant on accident, or from rape, incest, etc.), I think reasonable people can accept that it is something each woman has to decide for herself since it is her body and her life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I dont even pretend to understand what it could be like to find yourself pregnant – for whatever reason it happened – and for it to be the worst, possible thing to happen to you. I did go through this with my daughter when she was 16, and I was careful to give her access to every option. While I may have felt a certain way, it was not up to me. She needed to know that she had my support whatever her choice. She chose to have him, and he will be 16 in April. I cannot imagine the anguish a woman goes through when told her child is unviable. I cannot imagine the pain of losing that life and then being forced to carry it until it either delivers or the decision is made to deliver. The terrible things women go through! I don’t usually bash men; I love men. But men have treated women like shit historically, and it’s time to put them in their place.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes I hear the Thumpers and I want to scream at them … that they didn’t sit in that chair beside my infant son’s incubator and tell the doctors, after trying everything, that they could turn off his life support machine … and that they therefore simply have no right to an opinion about another person having to look at or think about the child in their arms or womb, know what a torment his or her life would be with no legs and three fingers left and a trach and a colostomy, and make the loving decision, though in doing so it feels like their soul is being annihilated by flaming heart-swords. No. Right. Whatsoever. I’m both pro-life and pro-choice and I have never understood why they say there’s a dichotomy there. Why do their hearts never break for the mothers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s just it, isn’t it? To have the choice is what matters. And to always, always, always have empathy. No one likes being told what to do, from the most inconsequential of matters to matters thst are monumental and serious and which dictate who we are, and will become, because of the choices we make. Who would choose misery for their child over peace? And I don’t even want to go there, because I know such people exist. What you went through was shattering. That you’re still here, after that, is a gift.

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    1. Last night, there was a post by a local yokel in a group for our town’s residents to vent about our town. This guy is a notorious shite-stirrer and he posted a long diatribe of misinformation about this law. The fact that we are in PENNSYLVANIA notwithstanding and this having nothing to do with our town, I was really proud that a bunch of local women took the piss out of him, with one posting the actual law and refuting his lies. Sure, a few were in support of him, but that’s to be expected. I was less than kind in my response to his bullshit. It seems that’s the only thing they understand. A local Physician Assistant posted a misinformative meme on her personal page, too. SOMEONE IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. A lot of people were outraged. That practice is going to receive some phone calls on Monday.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why oh why can’t these matters simply be discussed between the doctor and the mother? Same thing w euthanasia. If I can put down my dog, surely someone would be kind enough to put me down when the time comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why does no one speak up for the animals? Why is it okay to decide, with your vet, that Fido is too sick to save? We have more empathy for animals than we do humans.

      My kids and husband know the deal with me. No lifesaving measures if it means I’m being fed through a tube, breathing with a machine, or in a vegetative state for the rest of my life, stuck in a bed. Then, burn me up and plant me under a sapling in a protected area.

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