While I personally could never choose abortion (a fact for which Bug should be eternally grateful), I have always defended a woman’s right to make that decision for herself. With one caveat: I don’t think the option should be available past the first trimester unless there are specific, extreme, extenuating circumstances. I have always based my decision on the fact that somewhere between the 13th and 16th weeks of gestation, the tiny being, whether you want to call it a fetus, a baby or a blob, begins to feel pain (Read the first paragraph under ANATOMICAL AND FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PAIN PERCEPTION for a quick overview of this topic). As a mother, hell as a human being, the thought of causing any other living being pain is simply unacceptable. (We even mandate the humane (pain-free) killing of animals and death-row inmates by law!) And once you understand the stages of development of a fetus, I personally can’t understand how anybody could choose abortion. Especially after the 12th week.
Even with this personal opinion, I have never judged any woman who chose to have an abortion whether out of selfishness, desperation or ignorance of other possible options. I have counseled women, some my own “kids,” while they cried and agonized, trying to decide what to do. I’ve supported them through the days, weeks and months after the abortion as they worked through the process of grieving and the reevaluation of their lives. (Yes, even the ones who knew in their hearts that they’d made the right decision for their own lives went through some sort of grieving process whether it was for the lost child or their own lost innocence.)
I’ve walked with them through what I call the Wondering Times: I wonder what he/she would have looked like in that outfit. I wonder if he would love baseball as much as my dad does. I wonder if she would have wanted to play dress-up like my niece does. I wonder... I wonder... I wonder... and on it goes even for those who KNEW they’d ultimately made the right decision for their own lives. Not that they all would have made a different decision even now, but there is still (at least for everyone I’ve worked with) a bit of pain in living with the aftermath of that final decision.
That pain is often magnified 1000 fold upon the birth of their first full-term baby when the reality of that long-ago decision blasts them full force in the heart. The only thing more painful than being the person who has to watch her suffer through the guilt and grieving process all over again is being the woman who has to live through it. But none of this is why I’m revisiting this topic. I am back here again to talk about why Obama’s stand on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) concretes my decision to NOT vote for him.
I have a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR issue with the provision allowing a woman (as stated on page 8, lines 6, 7, and 8), “...(C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman...”
It's that word "viability" that sticks in my craw. By the document’s own definition on page 7, lines 10-15:
10 (3) VIABILITY.— The term ‘‘viability’’ means
11 that stage of pregnancy when, in the best medical
12 judgment of the attending physician based on the
13 particular medical facts of the case before the physic-
14 cian, there is a reasonable likelihood of the sustained
15 survival of the fetus outside of the woman.
Did you read that? “...there is a reasonable likelihood of the sustained survival of the fetus outside of the woman.” And this document is proposing that it should be killed even though it has a “reasonable likelihood of ... sustained survival....” And by the way, doesn’t a “fetus” become a “baby” once it’s outside the woman? Yet FOCA would allow for the post-delivery death of that baby if its life might cause some sort of problem to “the life or health of the woman...” This begs the question, WHAT HARM CAN IT DO THE WOMAN AFTER IT’S OUT OF HER that would be serious enough as to require the baby’s death??
It’s not MURDER, though, says FOCA – it’s “abortion” even though the baby was viable at the time it was removed from the uterus. Really? If it comes out alive and has a reasonable likelihood of survival, but is then allowed to lay there and die instead that's not murder?? Well then what does that say about the teenagers who give birth in bathrooms and put the baby in the trash can? What’s the difference? Is the scared, desperate teen’s act a crime simply because there was no doctor there to get paid for having induced labor so the child could be left to die? Why should these girls be raked over the coals in the press, be more traumatized and ostracized by the public outcry over their heinous choice and then sent to prison to PAY for their CRIMES, but the women who choose to pay a clinic or a hospital to kill the kid are allowed to go home and get on with the rest of their lives? Can anybody explain that to me??? WHAT. IS. THE. DIFFERENCE??? If one is OK, then they both should be. If one is not, then NEITHER SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE!!
Second, I have a HUGE problem with the fact that they want to make this whole thing retroactive: (Starting on page 8 and continuing on page 9.
23 SEC. 6. RETROACTIVE EFFECT.
24 This Act applies to every Federal, State, and local
25 statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, deci-
1 sion, policy, practice, or other action enacted, adopted, or
2 implemented before (emphasis added), on, or after the date of enactment
3 of this Act.
Plus.. P.L.U.S. they want it to be enforceable by Civil action:
13 (c) CIVIL ACTION.—An individual aggrieved by a vio-
14 lation of this section may obtain appropriate relief (include
15 ing relief against a government) in a civil action.
Guess what, folks. If they make it retroactive and allow “relief...in a civil action” it could be interpreted to mean that any woman who feels that her civil rights according to this new document have EVER been violated can go back and sue the government. I know I'm excited about the idea of having MY tax dollars be paid out to every woman who ever made the choice to have an abortion even though it was against the law at the time. Hey, how about if we just go ahead and legalize ALL killings and then pay off the murderers who were "unlawfully imprisoned" by that bad law??? (Please note: In case you didn't notice it, the last two sentences were dripping with sarcasm when they came out of my head!)
Just one final note to all my kids: I applaud the fact that you are free thinkers and speak your mind. However, I also require that you all be polite and mindful that you (like your Damama) are not always right. As always, you are welcome to state your opinion as long as you don't go on any personal attack missions.
Ok - I'm done ranting. For tonight.