Wednesday, July 9, 2008

About late-term abortions

Despite my pro-choice stand, late-term abortions might be a tougher issue for me. Pro-lifers have given stories of doctors throwing stillborns "kicking" into trash bags. I don't know how much truth there is to these stories, but I think they are worth studying.

But here is what we do know: The vast majority of abortions take place in the early stages of pregnancy. Perhaps the best way to prevent late-term abortions is to have no barriers to early-term abortions. Try telling that to the "life starts at conception" pro-lifer. Hopefully not all pro-lifers are that extreme, though the "pro-life" label seems to be defined with that "conception = life" rule.

So pro-lifers can't - or won't - tell the difference between a microscopic zygote and a late-term fetus. Why should we take their concerns seriously?

I do still think the late-term "kicking/trashbag" stories should be investigated. But I don't support the so-called "partial-birth abortion" least not now.

Like I said, only a tiny minority of abortions take place in the late-term. And the reasons for these late abortions usually involve a woman who was carrying a dearly wanted pregnancy that turned complicated. I mean, why would a woman who didn't want her pregnancy wait for 7-9 months? That sort of thing probably happens in developing countries where the anti-abortion laws are far stricter. In this case the woman is not at fault; the laws are.

The anti-abortionists imagine an epidemic of woman aborting 7-8 month fetuses to get back into their designer jeans. They believe the worst about women's moral character, unless she chooses not to abort. And this contempt for a woman they don't even know casts doubt on whether their legions of "abortion-surviving women" are really as regretful as they say they are. I believe many of their stories are hard to contest, but considering that they only support women if they show regret, I wonder if some are just showing sorrow to avoid being abandoned.

I think all women who've had an abortion deserve support, regardless of how they feel about their decision. But giving these women support is not the same as giving these women the power to take away other women's legal right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Roe v Wade allows any woman who wants an abortion to have one - it does not force abortions on unwilling women.

So its time for these survivors to stop forcing pregnancy on unwilling women.

I comment on this issue as "Harry834" in this RH Reality post:

Obama's Late Term Abortion Comments Ignore Stark Realities

My long comment is titled "this is why".


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MellanKelly said...

Hey Harry... I'm sorry my comment comes so late but I've been busy doing summer stuff (and with three children that can get complicated and time-consuming). I'd like to share with you an article on why women have late term abortions. Feel free to visit whenever you get the chance:
Also worth reading is the testimony before congress (and then President Clinton), from the women who have had the (now banned) IDX procedure here:

I don't know if those links will work... I hope so. I, personally, do not believe that abortion should be restricted in any way. I have no issue with late term abortion because I am able to acknowledge that each individual woman is experiencing her own unique circumstances and I believe that it would be wrong to set some arbitrary cut-off time for a woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy. Just my two cents.

Hope all is well with you!