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Old 04-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #706
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Good point and well taken. Yes, I have spoken with women who have and no, they did not seem to make the decision lightly. When dealing with the individual I have found that the decision is not made lightly at all. However, when listening to the masses, say...protestors outside of a clininc for example, my personal experience is that by and large neither person on either side have any experience. Not all, of course, but by and large. They either have never seen a baby born as early as even 20 weeks to see that it really is a life that's being taken or haven't considered certain emotional effects it will have on the woman after the procedure. On the other side of the issue, the protestor has never been in a position to make the decison and so judging comes way too easily. And so it was a poor way to phrase it, but what I had in mind when writing "lightly" were those who are quick to speak without understanding. Those types can be found on either side of any argument.

The case in Pennsylvania is downright criminal and I agree is sick indeed. And I agree that it is tempting to separate the two - the case from the abortion discussion. But again, when you look at the development of the baby at 24 weeks (legal limit in Pennsylvania) and compare it to a 29 week old baby as pictured, I can easily use the evidence in this case to show that the baby is a live, real person. My sister is a neonatal ICU nurse and takes care of babies born as early as even 20 weeks and are the size of our hand. A lot of those babies survive. The bottom line is I think this case will open some people's eyes regarding abortion in general.


i agree with much of this post, but i'd add that everyone's goal should be to reduce and one day eradicate unwanted pregnancy, and for women to be able to get medical care as early as possible. many people are uncomfortable with abortion after the first trimester (12 weeks), and the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first three months. usually abortions that happen afterwards are because there's something wrong with the mother (she's on drugs, she's very young, she has no health care, etc.) or because there's a catastrophic health problem with the baby. abortions after the first three months are rarely ones of "convenience," to use a term i don't like. i know a married mother of 4, who was your typical suburban super mom with the minivan and the soccer practice, who had a late term abortion (don't know what month) because the baby never grew a brain -- in essence, she would have given birth to a vegetable. late term abortion is obviously graphic and visual and, yes, i've looked at the bloody photos and seen the tiny fingers and understand it's power. but the visceral reaction we have is out of context and it ignores the mother -- why is she having one to begin with? did she just decide, after being pregnant for 6 months, "nah, i'd rather go to Bermuda."
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #707
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:41 PM   #708
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i agree with much of this post, but i'd add that everyone's goal should be to reduce and one day eradicate unwanted pregnancy, and for women to be able to get medical care as early as possible. many people are uncomfortable with abortion after the first trimester (12 weeks), and the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first three months. usually abortions that happen afterwards are because there's something wrong with the mother (she's on drugs, she's very young, she has no health care, etc.) or because there's a catastrophic health problem with the baby. abortions after the first three months are rarely ones of "convenience," to use a term i don't like. i know a married mother of 4, who was your typical suburban super mom with the minivan and the soccer practice, who had a late term abortion (don't know what month) because the baby never grew a brain -- in essence, she would have given birth to a vegetable. late term abortion is obviously graphic and visual and, yes, i've looked at the bloody photos and seen the tiny fingers and understand it's power. but the visceral reaction we have is out of context and it ignores the mother -- why is she having one to begin with? did she just decide, after being pregnant for 6 months, "nah, i'd rather go to Bermuda."

I really appreciate your responses. I can say that my decision was 100% out of convenience and mere panic at the thought of being tied to this particular individual via a child for the rest of my life. Listening to some of the folks on TV who are pro-choice, it is easy for me to judge them to also base their stance on convenience - "a woman doesn't have to be pregnant if she doesn't want to be." Mix my impressions of those types of statements made on a national platform with my own experience and voila - a logical fallacy forms: all abortions are for convenience; but of course that isn't true and you are correct for drawing attention to it.

I know I'm ignoring the aspect of this issue dealing with the immediate health of the mother and/or child - that is truly something I haven't worked out yet so forgive me for not addressing it. There are obvious cases where the mother's health is in immediate risk or it is already known that the baby will be born brain dead such as the case you described. I pray I'm never in that position. Where I get stuck is, should we abort on the mere risk? I think that is where I have trouble tackling that aspect of abortion. But as for the convenience argument, another quick story. My wife was sexually abused by a 35 year old from the age of 12 thru 16 and became pregnant. Her dad, after discovering the truth, pressured her to have an abortion but my wife would have no part and chose to give the baby up for adoption. I've heard arguments for promoting abortion in a situation such as this; rape or even statutory rape. But, I have to say that I see a stark difference between my reaction and my wife's. My wife, even at the age of 16, dealt with her situation in a healthier, pro-life manner while I chose convenience. So between my wife and I, we have that personal experience that we can draw upon to help teens and women to hopefully choose life over convenience when that is the only issue. Again, as for the health of the mother and child, whether it be the mere risk or an immediate and known state of health, I am not entirely sure. I might get slammed for this, but I would like to think that if it is a mere risk then we would take that risk and deal with the consequences, good or bad. I know my wife would, but who really knows until we face it head on.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:46 PM   #709
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i'm not sure anyone really "promotes" abortion -- some people are adamant that it be left up to the woman to choose, and some who think that she should have no say in the matter.

i am very, very sorry for what happened to your wife, and i admire the choice she made because it was the right thing for her. and that's what pro-choice people believe -- if you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one. if you think others shouldn't have an abortion, by all means, persuade if you want, but making it illegal isn't the way to stop abortion. not at all.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:51 PM   #710
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My sister is a neonatal ICU nurse and takes care of babies born as early as even 20 weeks and are the size of our hand. A lot of those babies survive.
That's not true. I think that the earliest born surviving baby was just shy of 22 weeks (21 weeks and 6 days). In fact, I believe in the UK, the medical guidelines for resuscitation are 22 weeks and a few days and in the US viability = 23 weeks. Only at 25 weeks do you even reach 50% survival rate (and that is with a $1 million + effort and most likely significant health issues).
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:53 PM   #711
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I could only stomach about half of that article so forgive me if I missed any facts and am over reacting, but I doubt that I am. I am a Christian and this story disgusts me.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #712
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That's not true. I think that the earliest born surviving baby was just shy of 22 weeks (21 weeks and 6 days). In fact, I believe in the UK, the medical guidelines for resuscitation are 22 weeks and a few days and in the US viability = 23 weeks. Only at 25 weeks do you even reach 50% survival rate (and that is with a $1 million + effort and most likely significant health issues).

I think you are right. I was typing from memory and should have been more careful with my facts.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:03 PM   #713
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I know I'm ignoring the aspect of this issue dealing with the immediate health of the mother and/or child - that is truly something I haven't worked out yet so forgive me for not addressing it.
First, I just want to say that it's really nice to have you join the discussion - even though I may disagree with your views, they are presented really thoughtfully and I think that most of us can see where you are coming from.

My question with respect to the above is, what is the implication of you "working" this out? I mean, to me, it seems like a very personal decision between partners, or for the woman in case where the partner is not around. That's pretty much where it ends. Whatever you may think of it is one thing, but it's not in any way something that should be forced on anyone else.

I just welcomed a nephew last month who was born with a serious chromosomal condition. He is cute and cuddly and everyone adores him. His parents knew that he would be born with the condition and it did not change their decision to have him. I gather that something like 90% of babies diagnosed with similar conditions are aborted. Which sounds terrible and cruel but when the reality of the situation hits us, maybe not. It is one thing for two people to have such a special needs baby when they are excited to raise their child despite the obstacles, when they are financially able to provide for him and make sure that he has access to the best schools, physiotherapy, doctors, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, when they are ready to really devote time to him (for example one parent not returning to work or at least not full time). But what about people who are utterly unprepared? Who can't afford it, who are devastated by the diagnosis, whose families are completely unsupportive, who can't afford to take a lot of time off work for the next 18 years nevermind quit work, who live in communities where access for people with disabilities is very limited, etc, etc? Do we make decisions for them? Do we have them have a baby that has extremely low chances of being adopted and will likely do very poorly in a foster care system that simply isn't built to provide him with the type of ongoing care that he needs? You know, these are really difficult decisions, and I think that as Irvine said, that's the whole point of being pro-choice: leave it up to those people who will have to live with the consequences of their decisions and not the rest of us armchair quarterbacks.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:16 AM   #714
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:44 PM   #715
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That's not true. I think that the earliest born surviving baby was just shy of 22 weeks (21 weeks and 6 days). In fact, I believe in the UK, the medical guidelines for resuscitation are 22 weeks and a few days and in the US viability = 23 weeks. Only at 25 weeks do you even reach 50% survival rate (and that is with a $1 million + effort and most likely significant health issues).
I just wanted to acknowledge that your numbers are spot on. I had a conversation with my sister about this issue and she corrected me. So, thanks for keeping me honest.

And tragically, it appears to be happening right here in my home town.
Douglas Karpen: Second 'house of horrors' abortion clinic is investigated in Texas | Mail Online
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #716
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First, I just want to say that it's really nice to have you join the discussion - even though I may disagree with your views, they are presented really thoughtfully and I think that most of us can see where you are coming from.

My question with respect to the above is, what is the implication of you "working" this out? I mean, to me, it seems like a very personal decision between partners, or for the woman in case where the partner is not around. That's pretty much where it ends. Whatever you may think of it is one thing, but it's not in any way something that should be forced on anyone else.

I just welcomed a nephew last month who was born with a serious chromosomal condition. He is cute and cuddly and everyone adores him. His parents knew that he would be born with the condition and it did not change their decision to have him. I gather that something like 90% of babies diagnosed with similar conditions are aborted. Which sounds terrible and cruel but when the reality of the situation hits us, maybe not. It is one thing for two people to have such a special needs baby when they are excited to raise their child despite the obstacles, when they are financially able to provide for him and make sure that he has access to the best schools, physiotherapy, doctors, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, when they are ready to really devote time to him (for example one parent not returning to work or at least not full time). But what about people who are utterly unprepared? Who can't afford it, who are devastated by the diagnosis, whose families are completely unsupportive, who can't afford to take a lot of time off work for the next 18 years nevermind quit work, who live in communities where access for people with disabilities is very limited, etc, etc? Do we make decisions for them? Do we have them have a baby that has extremely low chances of being adopted and will likely do very poorly in a foster care system that simply isn't built to provide him with the type of ongoing care that he needs? You know, these are really difficult decisions, and I think that as Irvine said, that's the whole point of being pro-choice: leave it up to those people who will have to live with the consequences of their decisions and not the rest of us armchair quarterbacks.
My “working it out” had to do with if I think an abortion is right under any circumstance, specifically if the health of the mother / child was in immediate risk. I was reading the different views and scenarios and soaking in the fact that people in the world really do face hard circumstances. After a few weeks of not replying and thinking, I have to stand up for what I truly believe and contradict some of my more tolerant statements:
I don’t believe that an abortion is right under any circumstances; which means that I am condemning my own actions. Life should be given every opportunity. Nor do I believe that poverty or unpreparedness is an excuse. We certainly wouldn’t accept those as a defense for murdering another living adult or child. The fact of murder is not a “view” to be forced or rejected. It is murder and is against the law to varying degrees except in cases of self-defense. Abortion is murder that has been deemed socially acceptable and legal and therefore a woman’s choice because of the view that the baby is not yet truly “alive.” If you are pro-choice and also believe that the baby is alive then your choice is murder, and given some of the scenarios explained on this forum and others, it is deemed justifiable murder as if it were for self-defense and preservation. I’ve read and I’ve listened and I don’t see it any other way. I am also guilty and judge not. So my point is to discuss, learn, sway hearts and minds. I am a Christian and I see a great need for this in my own faith.
And as I posted before, this is going down in my home town also. To our horror, I don’t think Gosnell is the exception:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325786/Douglas-Karpen-Second-house-horrors-abortion-clinic-investigated-Texas.html
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #717
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If you have concluded that it is murder, then it logically follows that you would want to prosecute criminals - the woman, the doctor, the accomplices who drove her to her appointment, etc. Where do we begin? How long should they spend in jail?
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #718
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My “working it out” had to do with if I think an abortion is right under any circumstance, specifically if the health of the mother / child was in immediate risk. I was reading the different views and scenarios and soaking in the fact that people in the world really do face hard circumstances. After a few weeks of not replying and thinking, I have to stand up for what I truly believe and contradict some of my more tolerant statements:
I don’t believe that an abortion is right under any circumstances; which means that I am condemning my own actions. Life should be given every opportunity. Nor do I believe that poverty or unpreparedness is an excuse. We certainly wouldn’t accept those as a defense for murdering another living adult or child. The fact of murder is not a “view” to be forced or rejected. It is murder and is against the law to varying degrees except in cases of self-defense. Abortion is murder that has been deemed socially acceptable and legal and therefore a woman’s choice because of the view that the baby is not yet truly “alive.” If you are pro-choice and also believe that the baby is alive then your choice is murder, and given some of the scenarios explained on this forum and others, it is deemed justifiable murder as if it were for self-defense and preservation. I’ve read and I’ve listened and I don’t see it any other way. I am also guilty and judge not. So my point is to discuss, learn, sway hearts and minds. I am a Christian and I see a great need for this in my own faith.
And as I posted before, this is going down in my home town also. To our horror, I don’t think Gosnell is the exception:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325786/Douglas-Karpen-Second-house-horrors-abortion-clinic-investigated-Texas.html
Abortion is murder, I see it that way too. But in some circumstances, it is not the same as killing a born human being, like a child or an adult.

If a woman was raped and becomes pregnant, I don't think she should be condemned for aborting the child. Rape can psychologically damage a woman, and the fact that she is carrying her rapist's child may seem like insult to injury. I agree that the child is innocent because no child chooses its father, but I can't blame the woman for being unable to separate her pregnancy to what the rapist did to her. Some can, and if they do, I say God bless them because I don't know if I could be that strong.

Now poverty or unpreparedness, I can see why some say those women - and the men who may stand by them - are irresponsible. Birth control is not 100% effective, so I do think everyone needs to be responsible for their own sexuality. If you want to get laid this weekend, you should be aware you that a pregnancy may occur, and there's no way you can be nonchalant about that.

This doesn't mean I believe in abstinence or shaming anyone who has sex outside of marriage. I just think we should be more serious and mature about our sexual activity, and not in the pleasurable sense. I knew a few girls who had pregnancy scares, yet continued having casual sex like the scares were just a bump on the road. Honestly, is that a wise move? Yeah, hormones can get wild, but that's not an excuse. I'm not saying we should go back to suppressing our sexuality like the Victorians, but take more responsibility for our actions.

I want to add, though, that I do not support the suggestions to make abortion illegal - such as investigating miscarriages or denying a woman can get pregnant through rape. Those add more to the problem of not just abortion, but sex, women's rights, misogyny, the list goes on. That is why I get pissed when over the pro-life politicians because they are not thinking clearly at all.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:42 AM   #719
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That's not true. I think that the earliest born surviving baby was just shy of 22 weeks (21 weeks and 6 days). In fact, I believe in the UK, the medical guidelines for resuscitation are 22 weeks and a few days and in the US viability = 23 weeks. Only at 25 weeks do you even reach 50% survival rate (and that is with a $1 million + effort and most likely significant health issues).
I don't have numbers on those that are born outside a hospital setting, but I would not be surprised in the least if they reduced those chances (of survival and likelihood of serious issues) dramatically.

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i'm not sure anyone really "promotes" abortion -- some people are adamant that it be left up to the woman to choose, and some who think that she should have no say in the matter. i am very, very sorry for what happened to your wife, and i admire the choice she made because it was the right thing for her. and that's what pro-choice people believe -- if you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one. if you think others shouldn't have an abortion, by all means, persuade if you want, but making it illegal isn't the way to stop abortion. not at all.
A big problem is has to do with the fact that often pro-choice is portrayed as being the opposite of pro-life, meaning pro-life = anti-abortion. Ergo, pro-choice = pro-abortion. And as you were saying, that's hardly true at all, and nothing more than an inaccurate message, designed to simplify and fit better as slogans on protest posters, modified to fit an agenda rather than really promote discussion and legal progress.

Having never been pregnant, wanted or unwanted, I often subscribe to the belief that it's really none of my business. If I still voted, particular candidate's stance on abortion wouldn't be a high priority issue for me unless a major part of that candidate's platform had to do with aggressively trying to make abortion entirely illegal.


i find that seeing 20-ish week old fetuses has the opposite effect on me that it often does others--looking past the weird slurping that its tongue is doing and into a half-formed airway that is laughable to try to intubate, while trying to figure out how one even does CPR on a chest barely the width of two fingers (especially when I can see partially formed cardio vasculature through its translucent skin), makes me firmly believe we're still dealing with something that is not a person yet. That doesn't equate to murder to me. Still, it's not something I have to deal with on a personal level.

And antiram's post about means/ability to provide care/support/etc. Agreed, and better-written than I'm capable of at 4:45am.

I'm with jive on the pa nutcase. Dude's a psycho in a whole different category than a pro-choice/pro-life debate.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #720
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I'd say before the fetus is capable of surviving outside of the womb, it has the potential for life. It's kind of in limbo between actual life and not existing at all.
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