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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Comments

Nicola Ker

It makes me sad to see such violent words being tossed. I have always been taught not to judge unless you walk a mile in somone elses shoes. Let us show compassion to those who have made the choice to abort as they are human and are the ones that truley need love at a very difficult time. Show some kindness it is easy and ignorant to bellow insults and hurt to these women.

KLee

Bon -- thank you for offering people who come to you more options than just the one you're there for. That's not true in the case of a lot of clinics. I know it isn't in my corner of the world.

I had an abortion when I was 20. I was raped and became pregnant from it. I was offered VERY little in the way of counselling, but the therapist I *did* speak with, however briefly, helped me greatly. I may not feel so guilty today had I been given the chance or opportunity to see her for more than just five minutes.

I used to think that abortion was wrong, on every level. My faith, and I think the human condition, leads me toward the path that more death is not a good thing. I thought abortion was murder. I would have never forced my opinion on someone else, but that was the way I felt.

Then I was raped. I would have not been able to hold on, to make it through such a horrible time in my life had I been forced to carry that baby. It was hard enough to decide that I had to resort to what I had always felt was murder. It was different, once it was *me* we were talking about. You can talk hypotheticals all you want, but it's always different when it's *you.*

I still feel guilty, to this day. I feel like I killed a person, however young and unformed it might have been. But, I am the sane person I am today because I had that abortion. I hated it, and I would never do it again, barring the same sort of circumstance. But, I will support any woman's right to do so if she wishes. It's not for me, but it does serve a purpose.

You must have a very hard job. I don't know if I could handle that much pain on a daily basis. Thank you for doing a job no one really wants to do -- and for taking flak for doing it.

Grace

P.S. of course, one can donate ONE kidney, part of a liver, etc., and live. But nobody forces anyone to do so. There are, however, persistent urban legends about organ mills that kidnap people, drug them, remove their organs and leave them in bathtubs full of ice.

Grace

As it happens, NOT that it's relevant to the discussion, I have never had an abortion and was 23 and married when I first had sex. Sorry to burst your bubble.

It is possible for someone else (the father, an adoptive parent, a grandparent, etc. etc.) to nurture a newborn or older child, and in fact it is incumbent on society to ensure that children are adequately cared for. It is NOT possible for someone else to nurture a fetus. (To quote "Life of Brian," "where's the fetus goin' to gestate? You goin' to keep it in a box?") Therefore, the choice of what to do about the potential (repeat, POTENTIAL; NOT actual) life is SOLELY the mother's, since no one can replace her labor in gestation and birth.

Trope

Bon--it's good to know that some clinics, like the ones you work with, will turn down a patient who has obviously not finished thinking through her choice. But the responsibility ultimately lies with the woman requesting the abortion. It's good to provide support, it's good to counsel, but your clinical judgement--however experienced--cannot replace her choice. Some women would rather rush into an abortion and spend the next twenty years wailing and gnashing their teeth than make the decision that's right for them the first time. Some of them will even look for someone else to blame, like their parent or their partner or their doctor. It's really sad to see these women give away their autonomy.

I do not regret my abortion. For me, it was the best choice at that time. I'm annoyed that people would assume I am crazy because of it, especially folks who have never met me, but I can deal. Josephine saying it, or declaring that I need drugs, doesn't make it so. And in the case of the patient Bon describes, blaming a doctor or a clinic does not negate the choice she made. She needs to take responsibility as she grieves.

Lou and Bon, thanks for writing and for enduring the debate. Grace, hang in there.

Angela

Gina,
While I don't know for a fact that they cannot turn anyone away, I would venture to say that yes, they can turn women away. Guess what, it's apparent that they don't. Why? Money.

Gina

Pretty intense comments here. I just have a question, though... do all abortion providers have the option of not providing the service at their discretion? I guess I was always under the impression that if you wanted it you could get it. Could there then be a situation in which a woman is forced to carry to term because no clinic will perform the procedure for her? Very interesting.

Jacqueline

Grace,

Your anger is personal. Trying to defend yourself will not remove the pain from any of your personal abortions. Healing is only found through Christ.
-Jacque

Josephine

Grace you have slid into absurdity. I am not willing to force a woman to get woman pregnant and then force them to carry the baby. Im just talking about letting babies that are already there live. 9 months is little to ask for another human beings safty and life.

If you drug someone and remove thier kidneys they will die. fewer than 1% of woman actually die in childbirth or in the process(the maternal death rates count everyone who has been pregnant in the last year or is pregnant when they die regaurdless of whether the pregnancy was the cause of thier death).

Its nine months or another persons life. I am not willing to allow woman and men(Mostly the men so lets get real folks OK) decide to kill thier child.

And yes I am saying more than 40% of the female population has some need or another for psycotropic drugs antidepressants and therapy. Something has gone wrong. We are supressing our natural inclinations and killing our children to please the men we are supposed to be equal to. The lie is exposed. Abortion is a tool used against woman and it is causing mental disturbances. If you dont think you have any ask the family members around you. Likely you dont notice the things you do that drives others to worry about you. I know my sister thinks she is a fully rational person. She aint

Crystal Lake

So, Grace, do you think it's okay for a parent to abuse and neglect their born children? After all, infants, teenagers, and toddlers are stealing what rightfully belongs to their parents by constantly depending on them to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and loved! Why not kill them? Especially babies, they'd die without somebody to take care of them! How evil of us to expect parents or guardians to look after children! Don't you think so?

Your argument from personal property is BS of the worst degree since following from your logic, you'd support the killing of all unwanted children not merely those who are unborn. All children take up personal resources, not merely those in the embryonic and fetal stages of human development.

Parents are legally responsible for their children post-natally? Why? And then, why do we discriminate against unborn children? Because they aren't old enough to be considered 'human'? Or because they happen to live inside a body?

'To force a woman to carry a child she is not willing to carry is to force her into slavery'

Cool, so does that make every parent a slave, then? What if they aren't willing to care for their child and it were not possible for the parent (whether male or female) to give the child up to foster care or adoption? Should the state force a parent to look after a child? By your logic, they should not -

Additionally, the slavery analogy works best from the fetus perspective. Only a slaveowner has the power of life and death over his slave. That is the power mothers have now while their babies are in utero. It is also instructive to note that historically - slaves were considered less than persons, just like with fetuses. That is how you strip aside any semblance of human rights and parental responsibility, merely by dehumanizing the victim. No prolifer I've ever heard of does that to women...ever!

'who can't see the difference between their OWN OPINIONS and the LAWS of a FREE SOCIETY'

No need to yell. Actually, the prolifers have reproductive biology on their side...not merely their opinions. It is your personal preference which leads you to believe that the fetus is not a human being. Look up the word fetus. The word 'fetus' merely means a baby that hasn't been born yet. So, if a baby were to be born an hour from now, he would still be a fetus at this present time.

A free society? What kind of 'free society' allows parents to kill their children? I suppose freedom only works if you happen to have exited the birth canal.

'and want to prevent women from having the birth control and education and support they need to control their OWN REPRODUCTIVE LIVES.'

Pregnant women have already reproduced. Reproductive rights isn't an issue in the larger abortion debate. I, for one, support (genuine) contraception and education (subject to parental discretion if the female is a minor).

'If anything, the transplant patient has MORE of a claim, being, you know, an actual rather than a potential human being. Real, live, fully formed human beings die on transplant lists all the time.'

Well, that depends on your definition of 'fully formed', I suppose. I know I wasn't 'fully formed' until after puberty, and even human brains aren't fully developed until WELL after birth.

As well, fetuses are real and alive. Check out a science textbook for more details. As well, check out a dictionary, and a 3-D ultrasound scan.

Angela

Here's a thought: If you aren't ready to handle the reponsibility of a child then DON'T. HAVE. SEX.

Yes, an unborn baby is completely dependent on it's mother. However, so is that baby after birth. A baby or small child cannot fend for itself, so the theory goes, since this child is a parasite, I have the right to kill it?

I believe Mother Teresa said it very succintly: "It is a poverty that a child has to die so that you may live as you wish".

Grace

"I have no problem forcing women to have babies"?

Phew. That really says it all, doesn't it?

To quote the brilliant BitchPhD, whose blog led me here, do you have a problem with kidnapping people and harvesting their organs without their consent? Because that's what you're talking about. A fetus is fully dependent on its mother's body. To force a woman to carry a child she is not willing to carry is to force her into slavery - laboring on someone else's behalf when she is unwilling to do so. Even if she avoids the burden of raising the child by giving it up for adoption (again, a choice that cannot in conscience be forced on anyone), the fetus has still been nourished in HER body, and HERS alone, for 9 months. How is that different from drugging someone and removing their kidneys in order to save the life of a transplant patient? If anything, the transplant patient has MORE of a claim, being, you know, an actual rather than a potential human being. Real, live, fully formed human beings die on transplant lists all the time.

P.S. I know plenty of perfectly sane people who have had abortions. Or are you claiming that 40% of the US female population is batshit crazy? Yes, there's something wrong with our society when 40% of women need abortion services at some point in their lives. I would submit that it is RANTING, PURITANICAL PEOPLE who can't see the difference between their OWN OPINIONS and the LAWS of a FREE SOCIETY, and want to prevent women from having the birth control and education and support they need to control their OWN REPRODUCTIVE LIVES.

Pauline

I applaude you for what you are doing and for putting this information out there. I think every woman should have a choice. I can't imagine a society where we don't. Keep up the good work!!!

Jacqueline

Note: I don't want anyone to die/be killed. That's why I'm pro-life.

I want abortion clinic workers to repent and be forgiven and quit the business of killing babies.

Their dying/killing just gives Satan another soul. We don't want that. I don't want anyone to perish and neither does God. So I doubt he will kill them because you pray for it.

While Richard's anger is valid, his comment was not. I apologize on his behalf but do warn you that there is indeed a hell and Jesus is the only way not to go there. I don't kill babies and I would be going to hell without Jesus.

Josephine

Richard if shes dead tomorrow another steps in to take her place. If she converts they think twice about it.With so many leaving the field and becoming prolife you can see the effect on future doctors. Nobody wants to become an abortionist.

Josephine

Sarah S,

Im sorry I failed to mention that on graduation night I was a full state away and my daughter is now soon to be 11. I made my own choices and took them. And FYI I wasnt appalled at the idea because they were taking away my choice, I was appalled because they wanted to kill my baby. Its the killing part thats wrong. I have no problem "forcing woman to have babies". Excepting that I dont force them to have sex. What we are doing is trying to prevent killing of innocent unborn people. I am personally trying to prevent other woman becoming like my sister. See Im trying to prevent violence. Abortion is violence commited on woman by men and woman. There is no violence in bringing forward life instead of grisly slimy death.

PowerTee

This is a fascinating blog . . . and I have to admit that your accounts of your work are compelling. But I can't accept the moral relativism implicit in your post. If abortion is wrong, then the ability to choose abortion isn't admirable, it's conscienceless. If abortion is wrong, then emotional difficulty which follow the choice is "healthy." I appreciate your candor on this site, and I hope that you will be careful to acknowledge reality and follow your experiences to right conclusions.

richard brolly

You sick puppy let me get this right you killed the baby and than because of you caholic background baptised the baby you killed. You are not a Catholic , you are the just like Dr. Mengel who killed babies Jewish babies. You are now in my prayers the one that I say that wants you ass DEAD BY TOMMOROW. GO TO HELL YOU PICE OF SHIT

SarahS

Josephine: Your story is sad, that is true. You were not given a choice in what happened to you, and that is even sadder. However, two wrongs don't make a right and now you strive to make sure no one else has a choice because you didn't. I'm sure that the people who had you committed and arranged for your abortion did so because they thought they should make the decision, that you weren't capable of making it yourself, and that is wrong. But you have to realize that you do the same thing, just with a different hat on, by claiming that no one should be able to have an abortion. In doing so, you encourage the same kind of violence that was done to you to be done to other women. And I find that saddest of all.

linda  Shown

Bottom line: YOU KILL BABIES! It's that simple!

Ann

Maura,

Off topic: And CNN doesn't tell you what to think?

On topic: "We should work toward a society where more people have the education and the emotional maturity and stability to be able to make choices and take responsibility for them." Would this lead to "wise" abortions, or rather, as "emotional maturity," "stability," "responsibility" would likely dictate, few, if any, abortions, as an abortion by definition is in blunt contrast to the ethical values you hope to foster. Back to the real world, how does the narrative presented above do anything but contrast with your "ideal" society, or the goals of moving closer thereto, as all I hear is consternation and rationalizations against someone who upon having had an abortion dares to be angry she did. Seems to me she is the one trying to move towards emotional maturity, stability, and responsibility and you and yours are so many with other things on your minds and your heads in a dark place filled with sound bites and self-importance and superiority disguised by terminology and feigned caring.

Been there with you Maura. On that side. Said all the same blah, blah, blah. With all the same self-assurance. But then. Well. You know the rest of the story.

Ann

Josephine

Excuse me but you are invested in the decision. If every unhappily pregnant woman decided to up and give the child to another family you would be out of buisness. This is your paycheck and you have as much vested interest in continuing your buisness as my husband has in continuing his job.. Unless youve got a few million dollars laying around waiting for that blessed day when you no longer have to "help a woman" with her unfortunate circumstances.

I do see that you know abortions can cause significant psycological harm. Yet you continue to do them. I have know several woman who have had abortions and even the ones who come out swearing they are AOK are a little nuts. They change significantly and really to everyone around them it looks like they are in panic mode constantly. You know even if the woman says shes doing great and "it was the best decision she ever made" there is a family out there who has to deal with her and gradually watch her self implode. My sister for instance. When I was in foster care and pregnant she was also pregnant and had an abortion. Ohh she was so great and if it was good for her it must be good for me too. Well she gave testimony along with my therapist(who was in my foster mothers pocket)in front of a judge to have me declared incompetant. So they could take me to a mental facility drug me and then take me to an abortion clinic and murder my 22 week child. It helped her and it was so great and she just had to have company. Well It was supposed to happen after I graduated so it would be summer and noone would know what my foster mother had done. She was president of the foster care review board, her boyfriend was a well known contractor for the area and she had a nice position at the Baptist book store. And here was her star foster child-the only one without a drug record or who managed to graduate from high school- and I refused to hide the fact that I had gotten pregnant. They were gonna kill my kid regaurdless of my choice and they had a clinic lined up to do it.. Not the same one my sister went to though.

And my sister. Well she has nightmares now of her 3 miscarriages her aborted child and wont bond with the 2 boys she had. She made her husband-the guy who didnt want the 1st one- in her words"get his balls cut off". And you know what she still claims it was the best thing at the time. See these woman have families and they come home to us and terrorize us. I wonder how many of the people who post on this blog are the "aunt who we dont want over". Or the one we dont let baby sit the kids. It doesnt matter if you helping the woman or not you destroying a family.

Abortion, like suicide, is a permantant solution to a temporary problem. It destroys a child, a family and causes great harm to those whos family member you are councelling. And my sister did have a clinic like yours. She swears they grilled her. My ass!

Maura

I think your phrase, "the burden of choice", is very interesting in this context. In the end, the woman who was so undecided blamed the clinic and blamed legal abortion for a choice that she regretted. And at times I've read the "abortion regret stories" that anti-abortion groups post on their Web sites, and I get the same sense -- some women regret their choice to terminate their pregnancies, and rather than take responsibility for their own choices, they blame choice in general and they actively work to remove that choice for other women.

The fact is, choice IS a burden. Free will is a burden. Democracy is a burden. And many people - not just women - would rather be passive and have decisions made FOR them. They'd rather not vote, they'd rather choose a bossy, demanding partner, they'd rather watch Fox News and have people tell them what to think. They hate when they have to make choices, and when they make a choice that they regret, they like to have someone else to blame.

But not all people, and not all American women, are like this. Many of us understand that reproductive choice is both a right and a responsibility. It's not a "given", unfortunately, and we have to keep fighting to make sure that other women also have the opportunity to make reproductive decisions for themselves. We understand that sometimes people make the wrong choices, and sometimes people will regret the choices that they make. Sometimes there are no "good" choices; only less bad ones. Life is not a game show. Sometimes we don't always find out what the "right answer" is, because sometimes there isn't one. But women have the capacity to be thoughtful, deliberative moral beings. We should not legislate to protect people who aren't prepared to make choices. We should work toward a society where more people have the education and the emotional maturity and stability to be able to make choices and take responsibility for them.

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