« anna quindlen's column from newsweek | Main | state with no law 3 »

Thursday, December 09, 2004



hello every1 howube?
im not o kay



Anne Basso

Oshun, I'm not emotional at the moment, but I sure do appreciate your concern.:-) While I do fail to see your point regarding my logic, I have a few points in regards to your latest comment.

Miscarriage, or a form of natural death cannot be compared to the deliberate killing of a baby in utero. That's like comparing a murdered adult to one who dies of natural causes. They're unrelated.

Even a newborn infant cannot support it's own life outside of the uterus. It may be able to breathe but it is dependant upon someone to feed it, clothe it, and change it's diapers or it will die. A newborn is hardly self-sustaining. The body sytems in a human being aren't fully developed until a person is in their early twenties. That's a medical fact. When should it become wrong to take their life? Babies in utero have a heartbeat at 4 weeks. There are measurable brain waves not long after. The baby is genetically seperate at the moment of conception. So why is the baby not a person? Because it can't breathe on it's own? Well, does that hold true for people on respirators? Because it can't eat on it's own? Does that logic hold true for people on feeding tubes? I fail to see your point. As for my position being religious rhetoric, I am a religious person, but it is you, not me, who introduced religion into the conversation. I haven't brought it up once.

I think philisophically, it is a dangerous precedent to begin to choose who will live and die based on our ideas (again subjective) about what constitutes a meaningful existance. I don't think a mother has a right to terminate the life of her child because of a congenital birth defect. I don't think it is our right to terminate another persons existence at any point EXCEPT when our own life is in danger. Self-defense. Even a woman who is in danger from her pregnancy has options that exclude killing her fetus. Which is not to say that the baby wont die, simply that it wont be murdered. A woman with an ectopic pregnancy can have the child removed without ripping it to pieces. My dearest friend had a pregnancy that was threatening to kill her. She induced, delivered, and the baby was still-born. That is not the same as someone taking the child almost out of her body and then sucking it's brain out. That has nothing to do with my faith. My faith certainly backs me up on that view, but has nothing to do with the science.

I happen to be a nurse. I have taken care of people with brain trauma, AIDS, congenital birth defects, and a host of other issues. Their lives all had meaning and value, though by your standards, you might not think so. Granted, my belief is also subjective, but I doubt that you would try to argue that they aren't people with rights. Is that only because you can see them? Is it easier to deny the personhood of a fetus because it isn't visible? If there were a window to the uterus, might you feel differently? Do you honestly think there's no emotional on your side of the argument?

I do have a sense of humor, but there is a time and a place for everything. For example, I have a hard time laughing at the holocaust, but I think Hitler is an idiot and laugh at him every time I see him on TV.


Anne- I find this conversation with you funny. Not to be rude...but the way that your argumentation and position shifts to try and make a point that is ultimately illogical- it makes me laugh.
It's just my take on it...don't get offended...and emotional->please-->don't get emotional.

Okay- If what you are now saying is truely how you "feel"...what about women who miscarry?

Cause the reality is, a fetus cannot live outside of the womb "on it's own" until the third tri-mester. Therefore- a fetus is not able to sustain it's own life. It's a fact...but I'm sure that your emotional response to this is not based in science but religious retoric.

That's all fine and good...but stick to the question so that I can show you the flaw in your argumentation...
What about women who spontaniously miscarry?
Or women who opt for a DNC (that's an abortion for people who can't stomach the word abortion) when they find out that thier fetus has a congenital birth defect(downs syndrome,for example)? What dose science say then?
Or is your science based in Your understanding of Your God? Be honest...the bible say's not to lie---of was that abe lincoln? Scientific factoid, i guess...you don't have to answer that...just the one above. (it's a joke...be emotional...laugh!!!)

Anne Basso

Wow, Oshun, you couldn't be more wrong. It's true that I have a variety of emotions surrounding my decision to abort. But that is not the end all be all of the situation.

If the fetus is alive, and a totally separate human being from it's mother, then it too has rights. From all of the scientific data I have seen, that has been proven.

This woman has had lots of choices. If she has children that need her so much that she can't risk another baby, then perhaps she shouldn't have made the choice that created it.

You're not talking about saving lives. Each abortion is the deliberate destruction of a human life. A baby with it's own set of genes, it's own DNA, and it's own rights.

You are basing a woman's right to choose to kill her baby based on her perceptions, her feelings, and her situation. All of those things are subjective. Which is not to say that it is easy, or that these women very often aren't in a tough position. But killing her child is not the answer. The only difference between the baby in a womans uterus, and the one outside of it is location and age.

I have no desire to be in your uterus. But I do have a desire to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. The babies who are being torn limb from limb and destroyed through what has been shown to be an incredibly painful process.

Quality of life is important, but it is not life itself. Abortion has not ended child abuse. Because there are lots of babies who are wanted, but for all the wrong reasons. How much a mother wants her baby does not change the baby. I am me, whether my mom wanted me or not. It may effect my experience. I have been around many people who had hard childhoods, but it would never once occur to me to say, "Gee, it would have been better if your mom had aborted you."

I have no desire to step on your civil liberties. But your liberties should by all rights, end at the ability to take the life of someone else. A fetus is NOT it's mother. It is NOT just uterine contents. It is not JUST products of conception. It is a person. Just as, I am house contents, I am still a product of concetion, I am not my mother, and I am a person. This isn't about your civil liberties, it's about the civil liberties of millions of children who never get the chance to speak for themselves.


Ahh Anne-
Women are seperate from the fetus they house for nine months (that's 3/4 (75%) of a year. We could talk about scientific data for days, but that would not really change your feelings on being anti-abortion because your rational for being anti-abortion is based on your emotional response to a situation you are regretful about. Science has nothing to do with it.
It's really very simple: Abortion SAVES LIVES. If Julianna had carried that fetus to term, and had birthed another baby the quality of life for everyone (her, her sppecial needs child and her new child) would have been jepordized. Have you ever been around a stressed out parent and seen how the children suffer emotional, verbal and physical abues or neglect?
Isn't quality of life a concern worth taking into consideration when we talk about "options?"
Do you really think that it is better to have children whose parents cannot provide adiquate houseing, food, or education?
And why are you so angry with other women who want to exercise thier legal rights to have abortions simply becasue you are unhappy with the decision you made?
For me,this is not about right or worng...it is simply about women making choices for themselves. It's about women thinking about thier own lives first...and SAVING THE LIFE THEY HAVE,rather than destroying the life of another.
I too have had to make the difficult decision to have abortions...and I would do it again.
Have your opinions and beliefs...but please keep them away from my civil liberties and off of my uterus...
If you don't like abortion...don't have one...but making abortion illegal means that women will die from unclean, unsafe bak-alley abortions. Isn't protecting life what your comment was all about?
And if abortion is murder...what about women who miscarry? Are they murderers too?

Anne Basso

Oshunluv, this is absolutely a real woman, with real feelings and thoughts and needs. But to say that she SAVED A LIFE is not true. Who would have died had she given birth? No one.

The truth is, she ended a life. While I feel for any woman who chooses abortion (as I did and it nearly killed me) I also feel for the child who had no rights at all. I respect a woman's right to choose things for herself, but I draw that line at her right to kill another person.

My own personal experience is that I was given NO alternatives, NO counciling, and NO information on possible emotional side effects of abortion. While this is not the experience of every women, I have to wonder how much choice is really involved in that.

The reason I felt for Julianna, is because she felt she had no othter choice. While her feelings are valid, they are completely subjective, and she made a choice based on that subjective data. It makes me sad, and my heart aches for her and for her child who will never draw breath.

I am pro-life, and I do believe that abortion should not be legal. But I believe that because I believe that the taking of another human life is wrong, and should not be allowed no matter how someone feels. Women have so many choices, killing their children should not be one of them. We should be offering other support and alternatives.

Also, I would be totally willing to change my mind on this issue, if someone can prove to me through objective and scientific data that the child in utero is not a separate human being.


Sarah wrote:
"I guess you might say you're pro-life as well? Well, we probably all consider ourselves pro-life in one way or another, but the term has become very politically loaded and has a lot of, to my mind, unpleasant connotations. I think if you say you're pro-life, a lot of people will assume that you believe abortion should be illegal, as that's what is normally meant by the term."

This is a common generalization of the pro-life movement based on stereotyping. The pro-life movement is diverse in beliefs on how the number of abortions should be reduced, however we all have one thing in common, a respect for unborn life. Over the last 4 years, I've met numerous pro-lifers who are working to help women face problem pregnancies and providing post-abortion counseling. Keep in mind that while extremists are the loudest, they only make up a small portion of the pro-life movement and the mainstream movement doesn't condone violence. Keep in focus, each side of the debate shouldn't focus on attacking the opposition, but rather the issues leading to an unplanned pregnancy and abortion. Thank you for giving me a chance to share my beliefs and views with you with such civil conversation. It has been enjoyable, however I tire of debate after a time.
Take Care,


Rachael - I mostly agree with the things you say here, but I wonder why you don't call yourself pro-choice. If you're not for making abortion illegal, and you believe women should have the rights, opportunities and resources/support to make the best choice for themselves and their families, without being pressured into a "choice" that isn't truly theirs - how is that not pro-choice?

I guess you might say you're pro-life as well? Well, we probably all consider ourselves pro-life in one way or another, but the term has become very politically loaded and has a lot of, to my mind, unpleasant connotations. I think if you say you're pro-life, a lot of people will assume that you believe abortion should be illegal, as that's what is normally meant by the term.


Here are some things many pro-life women like myself are doing to assist women facing problem pregnancies.

Volunteering at Pregnancy Resource Centers
Pregnancy Resource Centers are international charitable organizations seeking to alievitate the social and financial pressures which cause a woman to feel abortion is her only option. The objective of pregnancy resource centers is not a political one, but a most practical one: to to ensure that every woman knows that the resources she needs in order to continue her pregnancy are available. These centers offer ultrasound, material and emotional support, and community referrals for assistance(housing/safe shelter, continuing education, substance/alcohol abuse recovery, etc) during pregnancy and beyond. Also many include post-abortion counseling. Most such organizations organizations are not involved in public debate or anti-abortion political activism. Unfortuantly there are those some centers which use unethical tactics, and they are few, the majority have a policy on client care with the highest expectations and welcome feedback from clients. For more information about pregnancy resource centers, go to

Non-Judgemental Post-abortion Counseling for the Grieving:
National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing
Vicki Thorn, Director
National office of Project Rachel, a ministry of th Catholic Church composed of a network of specially trained clergy, spiritual directors and therapists who provide compassionate care to those who are struggling with the aftermath of abortion. Provides confidential help to women and men of all faiths. For referrals to support groups and out reaches of various denominations, contact the national referral number.
Toll-free number: 1-800-5WE-CARE (national referrals number)
PO Box 070477
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0477
Telephone Number: (414) 483-4141

Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D., and J. Kevin Burke MSS/LSW, Directors
Offers post-abortion healing and support through weekend retreats and support groups at many sites across the U.S. and abroad. Provides leadership and clinical training seminars, conferences, publications and resources for other healing ministries that wish to offer the retreats. Current retreat dates and locations are listed on the web site.
Toll-free number: 1-877-HOPE-4-ME (1-877-467-3463)
PO Box 195
Bridgeport, PA 19405

Online Message Boards Where Women Can Receive Caring and Non-judgemental Pregnancy and Post-Abortion Support:

Feminists for Life:
The Spring 1999 issue of The American Feminist (Feminist for Life publication) explores the various ways women cope with unplanned pregnancies, whatever their individual situations.

A Few from the List of Topics FFL deals with
Equality in the Workplace
Victory Over Violence
After an Abortion
Father's Rights and Responsibilities



I'm glad you gave me a chance and heard me out. For clearification I said "I'm actually NOT in favor of legislating laws to make abortion illegal." You have misread into my opinion, while accusing me of the same thing. Call it even?

No, you're right, there are numerous ways of addressing the issue. I can understand your concern about civil rights. However, I see it more than as women's rights versus the fetus. Look past the abortion rights war. The need for abortion is a symptom of a greater problem. I see a dire need for better support systems and resources, better education on birth control and the body, and self esteem issues. No, no woman should be pitted against her child, this was not the way of our feminist foremothers. I am anti-abortion yes, but rather than limiting choices as you see it, I'm not for outlawing abortion, rather I'm working to provide better alternatives so that abortion doesn't have to be the only viable choice available to the woman. Might some women choose to carry to term if she had the resources and support, perhaps. Much like many pro-choice I'm wanting to see the number of abortions reduced, but not through outlawing abortion, but rather addressing the challenges women face that lead to abortion. This is also the goal of Feminists for Life. Regardless whether abortion is illegal or legal, the same issues that drive women to abortion will be there, unless someone is willing to offer a helping hand to these women and their families.

Below, I've provided the websites where I've read abortion stories to better understand women and their circumstances.
PASS Awareness Site

Abortion Concern

Quotes from Feminists, including our feminists foremothers:
"When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society - so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged." Mattie Brinkerhoffn, The Revolution, September 2, 1869, pages 138 and 139.

There is tremendous sadness, loneliness in the cry, A woman's right to choose.' No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg." -- Frederica Mathewes-Green in her essay, 'Beyond "It's a Baby" '

"It is a cruel joke to call this a woman's "choice". We may choose to sacrifice our life and career plans, or choose to undergo humiliating invasive surgery and sacrifice our offspring. How fortunate we are--we have a choice!" -- Frederica Mathewes-Green in her essay, 'The Bitter Price of "Choice" '

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organizer of the first Women's Convention, Seneca Falls, N.Y., 1848


Hey Rachael-
After considering your words carefully, I simply want to say that I believe that your intentions are correct, but your solution is not well thought threw in my opinion. I, too, am in full support of women who choose to have children. I think women should have health babies and families, and I agree that providing services that support woman is one part of addressing the problem.
However, I am not an extremist in any way. I don’t think that there is ONE universal response to a subject as complex as pregnancy or reproductive rights. I do believe that we all have the freedom and a constitutional right to CHOOSE whatever is right for OUR personal, private, and individual circumstance.
It really comes down to this: women have the right to legal and safe abortion in this Country, and you should respect that right and that woman’s decision. I am not suggesting that you go out and have an abortion, if that is not the right answer FOR YOU. I am just asking you to have a little humanity, find a little humility, and show respect for the liberties that other women are choosing to exercise,for whatever reasons.
This is not about pro-life or pro-choice for me. For me, being pro-choice is being pro-life. I am for the life of the woman who already has an existence; and I do not want women to be phased out the decision making process about their bodies, their lives or their futures at any time, much less when they are dealing with pregnancy (wanted or unwanted).
If we begin to tell pregnant women that their choices to carry a fetus (or baby) to full term, what other liberties will woman lose next? Will that woman be silenced in a principal's office because her child’s voice holds more social value, more importance, or more weight than her voice? Will women's voting voice be silenced too? When we being to take away rights from women and place too much infisus on the unborn, we negate women’s voices to determine their own futures.
It’s really that simple Rachael. I don’t want anyone taking away my voice. Consequently, I will not allow anyone not you, not any pro-lifer organization, or the government to silence my right to reproductive self-determination.
As for your words on my assumption…please don’t allow yourself to become overly emotional, and make these debates become personal attacks. For clarification, the link you supplied as support for your "theories" on providing more choices to women says in the first sentence that you believe that abortion should be illegal. Consequently, my assumption about your position on the legality of abortion was correct. So why the theatrics?
I do respect your opinions; I think it is wonderful that you are struggling over these issues, as I am. But please- let us not muddy the issues with misrepresentations of eachothers opinions. If you think abortion is wrong…say so and Stick to your guns about it!!! After all- all I am really advocating for is the freedom to exercise my opinion, my voice, and my choice to have an abortion if I want to.
Hope we can debate the matter some more- Hope all is well with you-
Peace& Freedom-my sister


When you said "Abortions saves lives" in your post I thought you were implying abortion is the best choice for all (not just this woman). And I just wanted to point out there are a variety of different experiences.

Ok, let's talk about Juliana. The counselor indicated she wishfully wanted to keep the child, however she felt torn because her special needs son needs extra attention and her current partner is threatening to take the baby away and the relationship is rocky. She didn't really have a good emotional support system. Also, understandably raising a child with disabilities is difficult enough. What about providing her with support for the son she has now? Perhaps she would of benefited from a small, community support group of other mothers raising children with disabilities. "Right to choose" is an empty phrase when women including "Juliana" indicate their social circumstances and lack of emotional support from those close to her provide her with no other choice than abortion.
I don't look down on "Juliana" or other women for their choice, but rather I'm sad about the circumstances that lead to the abortion.
I have not said in this blog that abortions should be outlawed, you are assuming that. No, as I stated before I'm for making the alternatives to abortion more viable to women facing problem pregnancies and offer resources to improve her living circumstances. Not just saying "here, these are your other options" but offering her real support and resources. You can learn more about this in my reply here:


Umm- for clarification...doctors typically suggest that women consider alternatives to abortion prior to proforming one. What is so interesting in this little debate we have going here, is that both of the pro-lifer's keep taking about "women" and "feelings." Anne says she "feel[s]" deeply for the "woman" and Racheal is talking about how "many woman feel." But this post is not about "women"...it's about Juliana. Juliana is a person. Juliana has feelings and a brain. Juliana is a living, breathing woman with a name and Juliana (like so many other women) has made a decision.
If you are being honest when you say you respect her "feelings," please respect Juliana's right to choose. Respect Juliana's right to determine her own destany and the destany of her family. Medical abortions sometimes go wrong...as do heart surgeries...are you suggesting we outlaw heart surgeries so that no lives will die on hospital tables? Do you think that underground clinics performing open heart surgeries will reduce the number of proceedures being performed? Making things illegal doesn't make them go away...it just means that more lifes are endangered and more people will die...do you really think that is the answer?
I do not.


That's a horrible thing to say and an incorrect generalization about prolifers. I would never judge a woman that way. I actually do have compassion for the woman who has chosen abortion, regardless of why. However, I do recognize that perhaps if better alternatives were offered perhaps there wouldn't need to be as many abortions.


I'm not going to say that abortion is bad and harmful for every women, but I would like to point out nor it this medical procedure necessarily the right choice for every woman. Many women feel abortion is not desirable, but their only choice when their circumstances don't allow for other alternatives, such as in this women's case. Also, what about women who have been killed by so-called "safe and legal" abortion? What about their families?
Real Choice: Collaterial Damage
Legal Action for Women

What about the women who were coerced into their abortion by a doctor, parent, or boyfriend/husband? And don't even try to tell me that statistical numbers are small, because these aren't numbers we're talking about, these are real women like you and me. While abortion may benefit some, it doesn't benefit all.


This story, this is the real deal, ladies. Arbotion SAVES lives. In this case, choosing an abortion means Juliana is saving HER LIFE and the life of her children. She is showing great maturity by fully assessing the needs of her "baby" and making choices about her reproductive rights. Choice is not only about abortion...it's about healthy families...and this one sounds very healthy to me with a women like that at the helm!


Um, UV, I'm pro-life, I'm not a wacko, and I've NEVER thought only slutty, horrible women get pregnant OR have abortions.

I believe abortion is not a good choice for a number of reasons, none of which I'll get into here.

I just think it's unfair to make comments as judgemental as you think the other side is.


Thanks for sharing this sad story. It provides a balance to the anti-choice wackos who insist that only slutty, horrible women have abortions for purely selfish reasons. Choosing to focus your energy and resources on existing *born* children is often the right thing to do. Keep up the good work.


I feel deeply for the woman you write of. She is obviously in a deep place of pain, hurt, and fear. I disagree with your (and her) conclusions, but will keep her in my prayers.

The comments to this entry are closed.