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Wednesday, April 27, 2005



Anne: "Still no one answered my question as to how a parent can be responsible for a child who DOES suffer complications when the parents don't know she's just had an abortion."

It's a good question and one without a good answer, or at least one I don't have a good answer to. One would have to deal with whatever symptoms came up as they came up. The secrecy, of course, would make it worse: a girl who felt she had to hide her pregnancy and subsequent abortion from her parents is probably not going to tell them about any aftereffects she feels.

Ideally, the problem would never arise. But a girl might not feel able to tell her parents about a pregnancy even if they have a good relationship. She may be afraid of their reaction or just of disappointing them. If my daughter were in that situation, I'd much rather her aunt or cousin or friend take her to have a safe, aseptic, legal abortion than that she ask her boyfriend to beat her with a baseball bat or she attack herself with a coathanger or any of the other horrid things that girls resorted to prior to the legalization of abortion.

Anne Basso

DP, you make all very good points.

The statistics I'm always wary of. I've read reports of post-abortion problems not going down in the books properly. Still no one answered my question as to how a parent can be responsible for a child who DOES suffer complications when the parents don't know she's just had an abortion.

I hear what you're saying about adoption as well, and you're right. It's not free. But abortion isn't either. And I see two people involved. One of whom has a 100% chance of death upon abortion.


"Of course, I hope and pray that my children are never in a position to worry about an unwed pregnancy. No, I don't say unplanned. Surprise babies can be the most fun when you are open to life."

I too hope that your children-and my children and everyone else's children- are never faced with a pregnancy that they feel they can not handle without extreme sacrifice. I won't even say an "unwed pregnancy": my partner and I had an unwed but very much wanted pregnancy and we now have a very much loved and wanted baby whom we are raising together. I 'm very happy I didn't miss her just because we didn't feel comfortable with the idea of marriage.


Anne B: I don't object to adoption. If a woman wants to carry her fetus to term and give it up for adoption, I think that is very generous of her. However, that option is not risk free either physically or psychologically. First, it is about ten times as dangerous to complete a pregnancy as to obtain a legal abortion (legal abortion has a mortality rate of less than 1 per 100,000 whereas pregnancy and delivery have a mortality of around 9-10 per 1000,000 in the US). Second, studies have shown that women who give up their children for adoption have very high rates of depression, unresolved grief, and psychosomatic illness. (See, for example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=3945198 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10438084)

Again, I am not against adoption as an option, but I am very much against forcing or coercing women into choosing to have babies and give them up for adoption. Or deceptively presenting adoption as a risk free, consequence free alternative.

Anne Basso

1) OF COURSE I'm outraged by the idea of a girl asking her boyfriend to hit her with a baseball bat to abort! The two views are not mutually exclusive. I tend to think that the culture's view that unborn life is so worthless is to blame for that, but that's just my opinion!

2) Abortion is not the only option. I would strongly encourage my teenaged daughter to consider adoption. I don't consider following one bad decision with another (especially one that takes a life) to be a great option. And should she chose to keep the child, then I would want them to live with us. That way the child could have the stability of a mother and father in the home and lots of love and guidance.

3) I know three people who concieved after rape. One of them was raped by a family member. All three chose adoption and believe that it brought them some healing. One act of violence is not cured by another. I consider abortion an act of violence against the unborn child and the mother. Though I accept that others disagree with me.

4) When I think about this issue, I think about my children. My precious children for whom I would be heartbroken if they tried to make a decision like this without the benifit of my experience, my wisdom, and my love.

I know that most of you are looking at it from a totally different perspective. I just can't support anything that I believes weakens my position and my parental authority. I cannot have all of the responsibility without the authority. Until they are 18, I answer for them, and I have to account for them. Still, no one answered my question about what a parent is supposed to do for a child who becomes ill after an abortion? That is just as reasonable a scenario as the girl raped by her mother's boyfriend. Women can and do have complications following an abortion. How can her parents be responsible for her care when they don't know something that important?

Of course, I hope and pray that my children are never in a position to worry about an unwed pregnancy. No, I don't say unplanned. Surprise babies can be the most fun when you are open to life.


There are definately 13 year olds with the IQs of cantelopes who need a parent to make decisions for them.

L.G.: Why can't I make my own decision?
Judge Alvarez: I don't know.
L.G.: You don't know? Aren't you the judge?
. . . . . . .
Department of Children and Family Services: The Department of Children and Families has the custodial responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the child.
L.G.: I think if I want to make the decision, it's my business and I can do that. It would make no sense to have the baby. I don't think I should have the baby because I'm 13, I'm in a shelter and I can't get a job. DCF would take the baby anyway [but] If I do have it, I'm not going to let them take it.
. . . . . . .
L.G.: Since you guys are supposedly here for the best interest of me, then wouldn't you all look at that fact that it'd be more dangerous for me to have the baby than to have an abortion?
Judge Alvarez: A good point.
OBGYN: At her age and at her stage of gestation ... her risk of death from an abortion procedure is about 1 in 34,000. The risk of death in pregnancy is about 1 in 10,000.
. . . . . . .

What is more important to us as a society? Protecting a young girls ability to make decisions for herself that involve her emotional and physical health as long as her lifelong economic responsibilities or protecting a parent from having their kid do what they don't want them to do?


Anne, there are laws against transporting minors across state lines for "immoral purposes" - which means prostitution. Obviously, nobody has ever tried to outlaw relatives or friends
driving a teenager someplace for a baseball game or something like that! (I'm not comparing abortion to a baseball game - just pointing out that it's never been illegal for someone to drive somewhere with a teenager except for the specific purpose of prostitution.)

And you have to remember that the effect this kind of law will have is of making it impossible for a 14-year-old who's been raped by her mother's boyfriend to avoid telling her mother. In some cases like that, that's a matter of life and death.

If someone is "utterly incapable of making responsible choices" what are they doing even CONSIDERING parenthood? A parent who can't make responsible choices is a parent who can't parent. And therefore shouldn't parent. It's as simple of that.

Of course, I believe that kids ARE capable of making responsible choices. Such as using birth control. If only people will give them the information.


Anne: Doesn't the image of a young woman like your daughter is/will be soon asking her boyfriend to beat her with a baseball bat until she miscarries or inserting a coathanger into her uterus bother you at all? Because that is what young women denied the possibility of legal abortion frequently end up doing.

As far as fetal development at this stage, I'm all for telling women who might want an abortion the truth about fetal development, if they ask. For example, that the fetus doesn't have thalamo-cortical connections until about week 26 (early third trimester)--that is, it has no concious sensation of pain until that point. (See, for example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10814894)
I am very much against scaring her with untrue statements about the "baby" who isn't there yet.

Anne Basso

This story just makes me so sad. She was into her second trimester? Did she even understand what her baby was at that point? Are girls given any information on fetal development before a second trimester abortion? I honestly don't know, but I think it would be important information to have before making a decision like that.

I find it interesting that the girls mother was more sympathetic than the girl realized. I'll grant that there are parents out there who wouldn't be, but I truly believe that they're in the minority.

As far as the law thing, I'm really in favor of it. Mostly because as the mother of two daughters, I'm horrified by the idea that someone could take my minor child, for whom I am responsible into another state to make such a huge decision without me! Isn't it illegal to transport a minor across state lines anyway? If my child has to have my persmission to get a tylenol at school, why not for this? What if there was a problem, and she's home and I don't know that this happened? Will I be able to care for her properly? The thought just scares me to death.

I will say that it sounds like you work in a much nicer clinic than I went to. I had no counciling, they hardly spoke to me except to tell me where to sign. It was all very impersonal and added to all of the negative feelings I had. I was so young, so utterly incapable of making responsible choices.

Ol Cranky

You have to honor a different state's laws about abortion but you don't have to honor marriages from a state that permits gay marriage? So much for State's Rights. . .shall we shop murder charges to states that allow the death penalty regardless of where the murder occured?


Thank you for this site. Thank you for writing this. Thank you. Thank you.

I blogged about my own abortion today. And as I wrote, it was one of the best things that happened to me because of the kindness I saw. From people like you.

Thank you.

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