Family Matters

Pro-Choice or No Choice? North Dakota Wants to Ban Abortion for Fetal Abnormalities

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Vanessa Vick / Getty Images/Photo Researchers RM

Testing for fetal abnormalities can alert expectant parents to potential health problems to come. And it’s the parents who should decide on how to act on those results, right?

Not necessarily. In North Dakota, the governor is considering signing two anti-abortion bills that would be among the most restrictive in the nation. The state House and Senate have endorsed separate legislation that prohibits abortions after six weeks and bans them for reasons of gender or fetal abnormalities. If signed, the bills would take the decision of what to do when a pregnancy is not developing as expected out of the hands of parents. Abortion-rights advocates are expected to fight any new laws in court, elevating the debate in North Dakota to the level of political theater.

The situation unspooling there is certainly dramatic: while states enacted 43 new restrictions on abortion last year, North Dakota’s effort to ban abortion even for conditions incompatible with life — such as anencephaly in which parts of the brain and skull don’t form, or Tay-Sachs disease, a degenerative condition that paralyzes babies and typically prevents them from reaching their third birthday — reaches farther than any state has in limiting a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy.

The fetal abnormalities bill would ban abortion due to “any defect, disease or disorder that is inherited genetically.” It also extends to any physical disfigurement. In essence, it means that women in North Dakota who are told they may be carrying a baby with Down syndrome, spina bifida, or a fatal condition will have no choice but to have the baby; they would no longer be able to legally end their pregnancies. (As it stands, women in North Dakota don’t have a ton of options: as noted in a Time cover story by Kate Pickert, it’s one of four states with just one abortion clinic.) In addition to the medical reasons for aborting, expectant mothers may decide to end such pregnancies for a variety of reasons; in some cases, mothers may feel psychologically or emotionally unable to care for a child who may have special medical or developmental needs, while still others may feel economically incapable of supporting a child that may need such additional medical care.

While the latest genetic testing techniques add a fresh twist to the debate, the proposed abortion restrictions in North Dakota only reawakens the decades-old discussion over whether a woman has the right to chose to end a pregnancy, for whatever reason.

“We should not be discriminating against unborn disabled children,” says Daniel McConchie, vice president of government affairs for Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group that has helped draft legislation tightening restrictions on abortion in many states. The group argues that abortions because of fetal abnormalities amounts to eugenics, or an attempt to impose cultural perceptions of normality on reproductive decisions.

But neither should there be discrimination against mothers, says Elizabeth Nash of the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute. “You are talking about making an incredibly difficult situation immeasurably more difficult,” says Nash, who tracks state regulations on reproductive health.

(MOREWhy Abortion-Rights Activists Have Been Losing Ever Since Roe v. Wade)

The legislation puts North Dakota at the epicenter of the most recent efforts to curtail abortion; in recent weeks Arkansas passed legislation that would ban abortions after 12 weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can generally be found on ultrasound. The other bill before Governor Jack Dalrymple would ban abortion in North Dakota even earlier in pregnancy, at six weeks, which may be long before a woman even realizes she’s pregnant.

How would such laws affect women who wanted an abortion, but were forced to carry their babies to term? There isn’t much data on this, but last fall, researchers at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association presented the preliminary results of a study that examined the impact of denying abortions to women who requested them. Expectant mothers who couldn’t get an abortion because they just exceeded the gestational limit for the procedure in their state — the range is currently as low as 10 weeks and as high as 26 weeks — were compared to women who arrived at clinics shortly before the threshold and were able to end their pregnancies. Five years later, researchers found that the greatest impact of being denied an abortion was on socioeconomic status: women who couldn’t get an abortion were three times likelier to be living or staying in poverty compared to women who received abortions they wanted.

“Women are remarkably resilient,” says Tracy Weitz, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University of California, San Francisco and a medical sociologist who researches abortion in the U.S. “There does not appear to be long-term mental health consequences from being denied an abortion or from having an abortion.” In other words, women learn to love their kids; they just don’t have the economic resources to raise them.

The calculus is inevitably trickier, however, when it comes to pregnancies that don’t develop normally. Children with disabilities need medical care and therapy, yet North Dakota’s legislation doesn’t earmark additional money for such services. “If you force women to have an unwanted pregnancy, if that child suffers from some sort of fetal anomaly you need more in-home support, a better educational system, more care for kids with special needs,” says Weitz. “Legislatures get away with pretending this is about compassion for the unborn but their policy clearly says it’s not.”

Last year, I reported about a lawsuit filed by parents of a daughter with Down syndrome, one of the best-known chromosomal disorders for which testing is available:

In March, the parents of a 4-year-old Oregon girl with Down syndrome won a $2.9 million lawsuit after doctors failed to diagnose her condition prenatally. Ariel and Deborah Levy — who say they would have ended the pregnancy had they known about the diagnosis — won a “wrongful birth” lawsuit against Portland-based Legacy Health System. “These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,” their attorney, David K. Miller, told an ABC News affiliate. “Their mission since the beginning was to provide for her, and that’s what this is all about.”

McConchie, who suffered a spinal cord injury as an adult that confines him to a wheelchair, says North Dakota’s legislation is about “protecting those most vulnerable among us.” If women don’t want — or can’t afford — to have a child with special needs, says McConchie, they should consider putting the child up for adoption. “There are other options than terminating someone’s life simply because a parent doesn’t want a particular child or they deem themselves unfit to be a parent in a certain situation,” he says.

Research shows that between 70% to 90% of women who find out while pregnant that their fetus has Down syndrome choose to abort. A continually evolving battery of tests make it possible for women to learn this information earlier than ever — even as soon as ten weeks into pregnancy — and that concerns groups such as Americans United for Life, which worries that such testing will eventually lead to unilateral abortions for any chromosomal aberration.

(MOREIn Texas, a Pregnant Teen Sues Her Parents to Avoid an Abortion)

“The bill in North Dakota highlights a current national debate: will babies with Down syndrome slowly start to disappear with the advent of new noninvasive blood tests?” says Dr. Brian Skotko, co-director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Down syndrome program. “New technology means more women will be getting a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. And more prenatal diagnoses mean more women will need to make that personal decision on how to proceed with their pregnancy. In North Dakota, there will only be one option under the current law.”

Amy Julia Becker learned that her daughter, Penny, has Down syndrome once she was born. While she’s sympathetic to the North Dakota legislation, she believes a better approach is endorsed by states such as Kentucky and Massachusetts, which require doctors to provide the latest, evidence-based information on not only the limitations of the condition but the “good lives that are possible for people with Down syndrome.”

“Pro-choice advocates should be concerned about the correlation between prenatal testing and abortion of babies with disabilities because data suggest that women often are not given the information they need in order to make an informed choice about their child, their family, and their future,” Becker wrote in her recent ebook about prenatal testing.

And part of being completely informed involves being free to make a decision based on that information. “If you’re getting prenatal tests, you are hoping to have a baby you can take care of,” says Nash. “If your baby has anencephaly with serious brain issues, you are not going to be able to raise a child. To find out you can’t obtain an abortion is heartbreaking. You are already in a very difficult place.”

Last year, Texas freelance writer Carolyn Jones shared her experience deciding to end a pregnancy that doctors told her involved disabilities so severe that it was doubtful her child would be born alive. She recoiled at using the term “abortion” to describe what she went through, writing in the Texas Observer that “it felt like a physical blow to hear that word, abortion, in the context of our much-wanted child.”

(MOREStudy: Free Birth Control Slashes Abortion Rates)

Before getting an abortion, Jones had to obtain an additional state-mandated ultrasound – at the time, Texas was one of seven states that required women contemplating abortion for any reason to hear a doctor describe in detail their fetus’ anatomy. She later learned of a clause that allows women carrying babies with irreversible abnormalities to opt out. “You can imagine that having politicians muscling in on the most private and devastating personal situation I’ve ever been [in] was terrible,” Jones said at the time. “As devastating as this is, I feel at peace with the choice I made.”

Critics of the legislation are concerned that the penalties called for in the bill — up to a year in prison for any physician performing an abortion either because of gender or a fetal anomaly — may also discourage doctors from completely sharing results of genetic tests with expectant mothers, in an effort to avoid the difficult decisions, and potential prosecution, that may come from such disclosure.

If North Dakota’s Dalrymple signs the fetal anomaly legislation into law, women won’t be able to opt out — from an ultrasound or from caring for a disabled child. Dalrymple must now weigh if that’s an achievement he wants his state to claim.

131 comments
maryos3
maryos3

Who are they, these people in the legislature to determine yes or no  on fetal abnormalities?  This is a family matter, not some outsiders bungling things up.  They want to interefere in matters that are none of their business.  What then, if the abnormalities cost tremendous health care burdens on the family. Will these congressmen pick up the tab?  I'm sure that they won't.  They probably will complain that medical costs are exorbitant but didn't mind 9 months previous about the health of either the mother or this deformed baby, so probably, if lucky, might survive.  Animals who have miscarriages, are a natural part of the process, eliminating nature's mistakes.

ctmem
ctmem

Laws will fail to address the issue.  Compliance is not the same as compassion.  This is the problem with trying to legalize morality. http://goo.gl/byqKR

KatBlackBlue
KatBlackBlue

Until women have the complete right to decide how their own bodies are used, we cannot call our country a democracy.

wiltshil
wiltshil

I just don't agree that adoption for those children is always the answer. We have so many children waiting to be adopted and in our system already. If a parent cannot take care of the child it should be their choice. All things need to be considered. What really is the adoption rate of children with Down syndrome? Mothers getting attached to children with no brains? That is emotionally damaging. 

garyk
garyk

“There does not appear to be long-term mental health consequences from being denied an abortion or from having an abortion.” "In other words, women learn to love their kids; they just don’t have the economic resources to raise them."

What a shock it will be when researchers discover people have consciences.  That is, if, by then, we haven't completely anesthetized them.

Kindness
Kindness

Comical. The lead in question of this article is that of a pro-death liberal that presumes all readers would agree with him. Has the pro abortion side of this debate lost all perspective? "What? There are people that have qualms about destroying a human being at x months of development."

DT
DT

Too many posts that veer off on rabbit trails.  In order to debate objectively, there needs to be a consensus about the choices we are talking about.  It all comes down to what is actually taking place when a fetus is removed from a woman.  If the fetus is a part of the woman, then we can debate whether or not she should be to do what she wants with HER body.  If the fetus is a separate human being, then the debate becomes does the woman, or anyone else, have the right to terminate a separate human being?  In either instance, the point at which a new/separate human being is present has to be determined....not by opinion nor circumstance...but rather by science.  Once that is established, then dialogue can proceed.  Until then anyone's thoughts and comments are circumstantial at best.  So, is there a scientific definition...not religious or secular opinion...as to when a new individual life begins?  or at least what qualifies someone as living vs. non-living?

sensibleX
sensibleX

"In other words, women learn to love their kids; they just don’t have the economic resources to raise them." -- So, basically, this is an economics problem, not a medical problem. You don't need an abortion because the baby is deformed or you might die, but because you *might* end up poor. Isn't this the problem that open adoption solves? Also, didn't Obama sign some sort of gender pay equality legislation a couple of years ago? What happened with that? Maybe the focus for women's rights organizations really needs to be on economic opportunities for women -- loosening government restrictions on entrepreneurs and small businesses, which provide the ONLY outlet for women trapped in low paying jobs. The glass ceiling won't go away, so we must make it easier and cheaper for women to go into business for themselves. 

garyk
garyk

The witness of a conscience by itself would never allow killing.  It has to be desensitized.  Trivializing life itself.  "Useless eaters" -- that was once a term to do it.  Look what that once "justified."

The systematic pounding on the conscience to make it numb.  Things that would normally make you throw up.  Now they can be done as easily as breathing the air.

Ah, the advancements of humanity.  Someday, just maybe.  The things we see, the things we do.  No shock at all.

No more humanity in humanity.

garyk
garyk

"Five years later, researchers found that the greatest impact of being denied an abortion was on socioeconomic status: women who couldn’t get an abortion were three times likelier to be living or staying in poverty compared to women who received abortions they wanted."

The life of a child in return for a better economic outlook. Never mind about "R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y." That can be surgically removed, too. "I want a better life for myself, I want an abortion." ???

We're talking about "killing."  Call it whatever "stage" you want -- it is killing a created thing.  And, it is not the baby's fault.  It never is.

freonpsandoz
freonpsandoz

The question of when life begins is a religious and philosophical one, not a scientific one. Those who oppose abortion claim to be "saving innocent lives," when what they are really doing is forcing their religious beliefs about when life begins on everyone else.

brasilieno
brasilieno

And lets not forget, for those who consider themselves feminists, that there are MILLIONS and MILLIONS of missing women around the world. YEP. Feminists who are pro-choice are preventing the birth of millions of girls around the world. Isn't that just amazing.

Possibly 200 Million Girls Missing Due to Sex-Selection Abortion

- http://www.lifenews.com/2012/10/23/possibly-200-million-girls-missing-due-to-sex-selection-abortion/

Millions of missing girls: Gita Aravamudan on sex-selective abortion

 - http://www.globalconversation.org/2013/02/18/millions-missing-girls-gita-aravamudan-sex-selective-abortion

All in the name of freedom! All in the name of Choice! Seems like a crime to me.

brasilieno
brasilieno

Strange, I also thought choice starts with the decision to have (or not) sex, the choice continues with the decision to use (or not) contraceptives. An adult then accepts responsibility for their actions.  If you choose to have unprotected sex, just like driving drunk, or using a weapon carelessly, you have to live with the results and take responsibility for your actions.  If you choose to smoke, you cannot blame anyone else when you come down with lung cancer. If you choose to take drugs you cannot blame anyone else for ending up dead and/or in jail. It would be nice if we could go around and abort those who we are not happy with, be it the unborn, be it your boss, be it an elected member in DC. However, aborting Senators, Congressmen and the President is not allowed, so why should we be allowed to abort an innocent unborn child one minute from being born?  Fair is fair, is it not?

connieeichhorn
connieeichhorn

When did the government feel it necessary to become involved in my personal like?  There are 3 reasons why abortion is legal!  1.  Rape.  Do you think you would love that child?  No  2.  Incest.  Enough said.  3.  Deforminiy.  If it is proven that the child will never have a good life.  Other than that, abortion is not granted!

HiFreqTraitor
HiFreqTraitor

Yes, I'm sure this is really a big deal for all 12 people living in N. Dakota.

DrJKH
DrJKH

It's very disturbing that there are so many people that think there is anything that can justify murdering a baby.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

The Roe v. Wade decision explicitly delineated the time frame as - "The State has the right to intervene PRIOR TO FETAL VIABILITY ONLY to protect the health of the mother, and may regulate the procedure AFTER VIABILTY so long as there is always an exception for preserving maternal health."

Roe v. Wade will prevail

JuliaScales
JuliaScales

It's funny it says there are "70 people listening" in the comment section, yet listening doesn't seem to be happening at all. There are people arguing pro-life sentiments from a judgmental religious standpoint and people arguing pro-choice sentiments from a belittling elitist standpoint. There are real reasons for both sides of the issue. Personally, I tend to be pro-life, but I can argue that from a feminist standpoint as well as a diversity standpoint (in regard to ability, socioeconomic class, and race) and surprisingly not just from a "religitard" standpoint as one of the commentators has stated. Try to respect and understand the other's viewpoint and maybe we can actually make some progress.  

EMontana
EMontana

It's not a matter of judging disabled children as worthless. It's the fact children with disabilities tend to rack up doctor bills mostly within their first four years of life. Imagine the worst case scenerio: 16 year old girl gets pregnant, finds out it has a disability, and because of this law she can't abort it. Her parents support her, but the child's doctor bills still bring down an entire family's income, the mother's college money, and the parents steady lifestyle. They all end up with nothing to eat and little to wear, but hey, the kid's alive, right?

JasonMillican
JasonMillican

You people scare me - all you in favor of killing handicaped people.  You're not doing this (yet) when they are big and can look you in the eye, as you judge them worthless, burdensome, and unworthy of living, but when they are little, defenseless, and totally innocent of any offence other than being alive and in your eyes blemished and imperfect.  Are any of you "perfect"?  The answer is no.  Unfortunately for the little ones, you are powerful, judgemental, ruthless, and without mercy.  You scare me.

HeatherGleason
HeatherGleason

@wiltshil I am not for the legislation. BUT.. it might be easier to just have better services in place for when these sorts of abnormalities and extra challenges in life occur. Pro-life activists are so set on making sure life continues and no one is denied their birth, but they fail to see that the bigger problem is how to handle life once you are here. Our society is sorely lacking in proper social services that just improving this access and also changing the mentality of the rest of society to see "social services" as an okay thing would help. Right now, the attitudes of society is not very favorable to those who need social services help, yet, we talk about how valuable life is and how we are compassionate. It is not compassionate to force someone into a life when it will be nothing but suffering. Normal people suffer. We need to remedy this in a better fashion.

HeatherGleason
HeatherGleason

@Kindness I am personally for life as I accept every child I have birthed as a gift from God. BUT.. I do believe in choice for all as this country is a democracy and to deny a choice is against this. And, I want the right to change my mind should circumstances change. I was blessed with healthy "normal" children. And, even though I have my personal views, I can easily talk myself into "superficially" rationalizing an abortion. For one thing, any amount of pain that one thinks a fetus is feeling lasts less than minute before their death. Is this really so bad? Isn't the pain of life itself much more of a pain in comparison? Sure, life shows us miracles and we get many good things to try, but we also all struggle and suffer in some way. I can merely focus on the negative and create such a horrible possible future scenario, that I would feel no guilt whatsoever. To think that I am saving an unborn child from a life of abuse, hell, constant medication, hospital visitations, social ostricization, and isolation would certainly make me feel better about my actions. My actions would be compassionate and end suffering.

MMF
MMF

@DT Well said. However, I do not think it is a question of when life begins- we all agree that what is in the womb is a baby because after all- a woman aborts because she doesn't want to have a baby. So we all agree it's a baby whether the baby is scientifically classified as a separate human being or not, although I agree, we need to define this too. You rightly point out that it has nothing to do with religious or secular opinions. In my opinion- it is a human rights issue. 

HeatherGleason
HeatherGleason

@DT I don't think anyone will argue that a fetus is life in the same way a small cell is life. Life begins at conception when the mother and father cells unite. But, a baby is considered an individual by most standards when they are capable of surviving outside the womb and separate from it's mother.

wrathbrow
wrathbrow

@garyk  

Your own personal labels does not make it true. Your making hyper active statements with caps and subjective words and then indicating that since you said them they are true for everyone. Notice I'm not saying your wrong or your right, just that your making statements for yourself and expecting them to be what others should think.

FairDaizie
FairDaizie

@freonpsandoz  That's nonsense. Science can certainly determine when a new life begins. The philosophical differences come in deciding when that matters enough to inconvenience anyone. 

HeatherGleason
HeatherGleason

@brasilieno I am a feminist and this does not anger me. I understand the culture of China and other countries whereas they are only allowed one child. And, in some parts of India, a girl means the father will have to give away his property and other possessions as a dowry when she gets married. A woman in some countries is seen as a curse.  Women are still not equal in the US.. It is understandable to want the thing that is considered more valuable or to want to avoid giving away your entire fortune because you had a girl. That would sort of piss me off.. wouldn't it piss you off brasilieno? You work hard your whole life and give it all away because of your kid? A girl means poverty, a boy means wealth. HMMMMM.. what would you chose? Don't say "love" while your stomach is growling and you sit in the freezing rain with no house. What really needs to change is the status of women around the world in order to eliminate sex selective abortions. But, abortions would still happen no matter what. 

DrC
DrC

@brasilieno Sorry but life is not that simple. Have you ever heard of contraceptive sabotage?  A couple is using the best contraceptive method available to them and someone sabotages it resulting in an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy.  Apparently the culprit is usually an abusive boyfriend or husband.  Is there a law against that?  There should be!!

timetogetloud
timetogetloud

@connieeichhorn Wow...deformity proves a child will have a bad life? What ignorance. Every down-syndrome person I know has an amazing life filled with laughter and love.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JuliaScales Can you please explain how you consider yourself a feminist but are also anti-choice? I'm not being facetious. I'm genuinely curious. I've just been seeing other people say this, but how can you say that women don't have the right to choose what to do with their bodies while at the same time saying that you're for women's rights? Are you just personally anti-choice or do you agree with this bill -pushing your own personal beliefs on the rest of us?

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JasonMillican People like you scare me. No one is in favor of killing handicapped people. It's not like we're in the midst of a genocide here. Some people are just not able to care for a child who has disabilities or a fatal illness. What if a woman was pregnant with a child who had Tay-Sachs? Are you seriously suggesting that she should be forced to carry the pregnancy to full term, only to watch her child die a slow, painful agonizing death before the age of three? Have you no compassion?

Also, google the name Savita Halappanavar. See for yourself the consequences of this law.

MMF
MMF

@HeatherGleason @DT I was not capable of surviving outside the womb and separate from my mother until I was 18. If you ask my mother, she'd probably say until I was 23. 

Children with Down Syndrome can survive outside the womb and many other children with other disabilities too, but we still judge their lives to be unworthy of life which is shameful. 

We also forget that disabilities can sometimes be "invisible". We don't get to see them until they are 5, 10 or even 23. We are too obsessed with being the perfect human being that doesn't exist. 

LisaEngel
LisaEngel

@DrC @brasilieno

Millions of couples who cannot have children... NO CHILD is unwanted. Somewhere there are thousands of couples who very much WANT these babies, with anomalies or not.

HeatherGleason
HeatherGleason

@timetogetloud @connieeichhorn You're right Connie. It is s true!! When I observe those with down syndrome, they seem to be happier with life in general and always bless me immensely. But, it is the capabilities of the parents and a support system that does often times make a difference. Such a child requires more energy and resources to assist in their guidance through life, and if that is not available, then the child could be seen as a burden.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@timetogetloud@connieeichhornThis article is not just about Down Syndrome. That is not the only genetic abnormality out there yet it is the only one that keeps getting brought up. There are medical issues you know.

Kindness
Kindness

@silverbuttons @JuliaScales hey isn't the real "choice" whether to have sex? assuming all the risks ( pregnancy, disease, love). The risk of pregnancy should really be assumed. Unless we have asexual reproduction its not really only a woman' s choice is it?@silverbuttons @JuliaScales @silverbuttons @JuliaScales

JuliaScales
JuliaScales

@silverbuttons Yeah, definitely. We live in a male-dominant society in which the woman's body is not fully appreciated. So, as a result, pregnancy is viewed as a weakness and a problem. In addition, although we all know that pregnancy is the result of sex and that sex outside wedlock is quite common; people often act as though pregnancy outside wedlock should be a point of shame. This shaming and judging ostracizes the woman, making her feel unwelcome everywhere from the workplace to school and maybe even in her own family. By judging these women, we eliminate choice. Abortion is it.

Abortion allows her to escape the judgment without challenging these attitudes, which are clearly constructed by a male-dominant society. As a result, as much as I hate abortion, I do not think it is the real problem. I really believe the only reason a woman gets an abortion is due to a lack of a strong support system (and information in cases involving disability, etc.). So the argument should instead focus more on creating more services for women and reducing the stigma around pregnancy. Then, a law surrounding the abortion issue would be unnecessary because abortion would be largely unnecessary.

johndingleberry
johndingleberry

@silverbuttons @JuliaScalesIf you believe that an unborn child has life (and therefore possesses individual rights), then pregnancy is no longer an issue of what to do with "their [women's] bodies," but what to do with someone ELSE'S body. You can be for women's rights and be pro-life in this way.

JasonMillican
JasonMillican

You say "No one is in favor of killing handicapped people" and then you explain why it is good to kill handicapped people.  You say "It's not like we're in the midst of a genocide", yet, a huge percentage of today's generation had their life snuffed-out of them and the killing continues. 

Your reasoning is reminiscent of the slogan posted above the death camp gates "Arbeit macht frei" (Labor makes you free).  The sign in your camp reads "Der Tod ist gut für die Behinderten" (Death is good for the handicapped).   Beyond scary.

LisaEngel
LisaEngel

@HeatherGleason @LisaEngelI'm not familiar with foster children statistics. Maybe you could post some to back up your statement. I do however speak from experience as a birth mom who gave up my son for adoption 17 years ago. It is an open adoption and I got to pick the parents. I was handed 2 thick binders of literally thousands of hopeful prospective families just dying to adopt a child. And that was just for my region, a 200 km radius. Again, NO CHILD IS UNWANTED.

LisaEngel
LisaEngel

@HeatherGleason @LisaEngel

I'm not familiar with foster children statistics. Maybe you could post some to back up your statement. I do however speak from experience as a birth mom who gave up my son for adoption 17 years ago. It is an open adoption and I got to pick the parents. I was handed 2 thick binders of literally thousands of hopeful prospective families just dying to adopt a child. And that was just for my region, a 200 km radius. Again, NO CHILD IS UNWANTED.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JuliaScales@silverbuttonsI disagree with that judge's decision. That is terrible. I appreciate your level-headed response though. Women need to be able to have these conversations without lowering ourselves to name-calling and other useless tactics. 

If you get a chance, google the name Savita Halappanavar from Ireland. Her case is what I fear our country would turn into should these laws be allowed to pass. Placing the life of the fetus before the life of the mother. I don't know if you've read about it or not. But it is quite scary that this can happen in the western world in 2013.

Anyway, I think we can both agree that women do need a larger support system and different choices. I think abortion needs to be used as a last resort But the reality of our country as it is right now- the religious divide, the debt, the cutting of funding for mental health services, the cutting of funding for responsible health education and contraception, etc. etc. etc- I just think that taking choice away is wrong. (A side note: there have been studies saying that when comprehensive sex education is available in a state the abortion/pregnancy rate goes down- here is one such study- http://www.livescience.com/23726-birth-control-abortion-rate.html) Until we as women can unite and try to bring  attention to/fix these issues taking away a woman's choice is not in anyone's best interest.

JuliaScales
JuliaScales

@silverbuttons  (Surprisingly, the court actually can mandate an abortion. A woman with a mental disability in Nevada this November had to fight to carry her baby to term. Although the judge allowed it, he held that he did have the authority to mandate an abortion should he see fit. However, this likely does not concern the average women since this is really just prejudice against people with disabilities.)

I still think each of those situations could be overcome with adequate support, even in regard to rape. Women who are raped lose a huge part of who they are. One very strong woman who had this experience expressed that though the baby had half her rapist's DNA, s/he also had half of her DNA. By getting an abortion, she would be losing just that much more of who she was.

I don't expect that of all women, especially given the way our society currently is. I just worry that the option of an abortion allows society to have a "swept under the rug" approach to the problem. No need to change attitudes or increase resources. Just abort the baby and we won't have a problem.

I don't mean to sound anti-choice just as you don't mean to sound anti-life. What I am really for is creating a society in which all pregnancies can be celebrated rather than feared, so that full-term pregnancies (whether they result in adoption or raising the child oneself) become the choice.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JuliaScales Okay, I definitely see your point and where you're coming from. And I agree with you on most things. I agree that there should be much more focus on support systems, and maybe funding for women who have exhausted their options and need help. Education and contraception would also really benefit us, especially teens and their partners. The thing is, a lot of times, women feel as if they are backed into a corner. Say, there is an abusive partner in the picture, or she was raped and had no choice in the matter. Say she was already in poverty and couldn't even take care of herself let alone a baby. Say the woman had schizophrenia. To bring a child into any of these situations is just irresponsible.

I agree, that there should be way more options so abortion as a whole would be largely unnecessary, but these options don't exist yet and with the politics as they are right now- those options probably won't be provided for quite some time. There are times when it is indeed medically, if not emotionally and financially necessary to have an abortion. Women need to be able to have a choice as to whether or not they wish  to bring a child into this world. If a woman is pro-life no one is forcing her to terminate her pregnancy. Hopefully this woman has the means to raise a child. But just as no one is forcing her to have an abortion, no one should be forcing the woman who is not able to raise a child to carry that pregnancy to full term. That's what having a choice is. Pro Choice does not equal anti-life.

sparkzbarca
sparkzbarca

@johndingleberry well of course it has life but so does a fly. And certainly for quite awhile a flies life is more meaningful. Do we need to restrict the rights of indivudals to "murder" flies. The issue to me is that saying something is human implies it has human traits and qualities. 

I mean every woman will at some time in her life almost certainly have an egg that is insemenated and terminates shortly after without her even knowing (particularly if she uses birth control). The scary thing with life begins at conception is that birth control then kills people. YOU therefore NEED A LINE

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JasonMillican One more thing, if you are Jewish, you should know how devastating something like Tay-Sachs is and that it is not just a disability, but a death sentence from the moment that baby is born.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JasonMillican  If you are part Jew you shouldn't be pulling out the Nazi card at your convenience. There is no point to respond to your comment any further as it is obvious your fingers are in your ears. A man doesn't get to speak to a woman about abortion issues. Your morals and politics don't belong inside my uterus. It's not your decision to make. And either you did Google that woman's name but are turning a blind eye to the consequences of laws like you support OR you just don't care to educate yourself further.

JasonMillican
JasonMillican

Sadly, silverbuttons, you are supporting the greatest number of death camps in the history of mankind, through abortion clinics.  The comparison is valid.  Just because the killings are behind closed doors and the bodies are piled up in trash cans doesn't make it less horrific.  The local Germans living beside the camps claimed ignorance to the genicide, just as you claimed no knowledge of genicide in your previous comment.  However, you can't claim ignorace since you are cheering them on.

Yes, I am a male, part Jew, with Jewish friends, and aganist the killing of the little ones who are handicapped of every gender and ethnicity.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

@JasonMillicanAnd like I said, google Savita Halappanavar and tell me that you want your country to act like that and you would like your wife to be treated like that.

silverbuttons
silverbuttons

Don't talk to me about deathcamps. My guess is that you've never seen a Jew in your life. How you can say that it is merciful to bring a child into this world just to watch them die is beyond me. But people like you (a man, non jew) don't get to talk to people like me (a woman and a Jew) about abortion and death camps.

sparkzbarca
sparkzbarca

@johndingleberry thats because BC doesnt stop conception just stops the cycle but the actual sperm entering egg bit totally happens.

sparkzbarca
sparkzbarca

@johndingleberry @silverbuttons @JasonMillican Yea but if they aren't a human they don't get protections and if life begins at conception then birth control is murder. According to the CDC 99% percent of women will use BC at some time in there life. So the logical conclusion to this is we charge every woman who has ever recieved a BC prescription with murder or we accept that life doesnt begin at conception.