Too damn bad, live with it
I was listening to some complaints today by a woman who has family in Nebraska. Her gripe is that Nebraska has passed a law barring most abortions (except in cases of health risk to the mother) after the 20th week of pregnancy. In most states the defining factor is “viability” and thus the typical cutoff is usually between 22 and 24 weeks. The rationale in Nebraska is that the fetus can feel pain at the 20 week point and they are now using “fetal pain” as their defining factor.
Bitching about how they are “throwing the Goddamn constitution in the trash” in Nebraska, this woman proceeded to rant about how her family’s rights are being trampled by this law and how no one has a right to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own body. “No one should be allowed to make that decision for you, only YOU,” she declared with finality.
To me, this begs an obvious question — what about that baby’s rights? If no one can decide what happens to YOU, then how is it that the Mother should be allowed to decide what happens to her baby? Shouldn’t that be the baby’s decision?
The whole “right” to determine what happens to your body argument is flawed in first place. What about the father of the baby? What if Mom wants an abortion and Dad does not? Should Dad have a right to overrule that, since the baby is half his? And if so, doesn’t this further negate the argument that only the Mother gets to decide? Let’s carry that in the opposite direction just for fun, shall we? What if Dad wants an abortion and Mom does not? Is anyone really going to argue that Dad has the right to force Mom to have an abortion? What if the underage daughter wants to keep her baby but her parents want her to have an abortion? Do they get to decide what will happen to HER body? At what point does SHE get to decide since, after all, it is HER body? (And I won’t even toss the “what about the baby’s father and/or the baby’s underage father’s parents” equation into the mix.) The whole thing is flawed, there’s no way around it.
The first thing about this law that so incensed this woman was that according to her this will now stop any Nebraska woman getting an abortion because her baby has died in utero, and they will be forced to continue to carry the baby to term and give birth to a dead baby, with all the resultant trauma from having to go through labor and delivery.
This of course is a crock of shit, because no state refuses such a procedure. The woman whose baby dies before birth who is made to continue on thru labor is not being made to continue because of abortion laws (although I have heard pro-choice advocates claim this as fact). The fact is a healthy woman’s body will usually miscarry (ie: deliver) without need for medical intervention. The point of allowing this sad process to continue its natural course is to not compromise the Mother’s health. It is far less taxing on a woman’s body to just give birth than it is to perform a D&C or D&E.
When it is determined to be healthier for the Mother to “get it over with” and remove the deceased baby, they do just that — and because of the nature of these things, the method of choice barring any medical necessity to do otherwise is to induce labor and let nature take its course — which means she’s still going through the trauma of labor and delivery.
In fact, I might also point out that the procedure for a late term “partial birth” abortion is to induce labor and deliver the baby feet first, stopping just before the head leaves the mother’s body (at that point, the abortion supporters argue that because it has not taken a breath of oxygen it is not a baby, “just a fetus”). A pair of surgical scissors is then stabbed into the back of the baby’s neck at the base of the skull. The scissors are opened and closed several times to enlarge the opening. A catheter tube is inserted into the baby’s skull and its brain is suctioned out, killing it. The abortionist then removes the rest of the now-dead baby, and follows all the normal post-childbirth procedures. (And if that’s not utterly barbaric sounding to you — it isn’t to Barack Hussein Obama – then I stipulate that you don’t have a heart or a soul.)
Her next — and far more vehement — complaint was that denying a woman that extra two to four weeks to decide if she wants to abort her baby is going to cause undue (maternal) suffering. “Not everyone can make an instantaneous decision” she proclaimed, insisting that to deny them this extra time to decide what they want to do is itself a violation of the constitution because it is inducing undue pain and suffering.
Disregarding that whether or not one should have a baby is a decision best made before one becomes pregnant, I’ll nitpick and point out that 20 weeks is not “instantaneous” — even if you don’t find out you’re pregnant for the first three months (12 weeks) you still have another eight weeks on top of that (two more months) to decide. If you can’t make up your mind before 20 weeks, if you still need an additional two to four weeks to decide, you need to just have the baby and give it up for adoption at birth because you’re definitely not ready for parenthood.
Her third — and most vehement of all — argument was that “fetal pain” is not “scientific” and has not been “legally established” as a “valid concern” and thus should not affect anything.
This argument is most readily answered with five words: go watch “The Silent Scream.” The doctor who performed the 11-week abortion shown in the film, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, wrote a book entitled “The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind.” I am convinced that no one can watch “The Silent Scream” and come away believing that “fetal pain” is not a proven fact — and keep in mind that the baby being aborted is only in the 11th week.
Personally, I also believe firmly that any woman contemplating an abortion should be given the opportunity to view the film if she chooses to do so and I believe she should be offered the chance to see her baby on an ultrasound. I’d like to say both of those should be *required* before an abortion (at any stage of pregnancy) can be performed, but I’d settle for at least giving them the option.
There is far too much evidence to support the very real existence of fetal pain and whether or not that has been “legally established” is irrelevant. For God’s sake, read the testimony of abortion doctors and nurses who will tell you of watching the baby react in pain and horror as it is being killed during a partial birth abortion. Listen to the testimony of nurses who talk about “failed” abortions where the baby is born alive despite the best efforts of medical professionals to end its life. If that newly born baby is feeling pain why wasn’t it feeling it three minutes ago when it was still inside the Mother?
She also complained — at length — about how this was violating Nebraskans’ “constitutional right” to an abortion and that the Supreme Court had “rightly” declared that states cannot in any way infringe upon that right.
Never mind that Roe vs. Wade — which relies (loosely) upon the constitution to make its argument — does not say that. Specifically, the decision handed down by the Supreme Court was that during the first trimester, the state cannot stop a woman from having an abortion. In the second trimester, they can, except in cases of risk to the Mother. In the third trimester, they can impose whatever restrictions they want, including the outright denial of same.
When I could no longer look disinterested and pretend I was completing my Sudoku puzzle, the woman said “I suppose you disagree.”
My response was as polite as I could make it. I said “I happen to know from other conversations that you are a very strong opponent of Capital Punishment in any case whatsoever.” She agreed that I was correct, she is violently opposed to the death penalty no matter what the criminal has done. I said “doesn’t it strike you as kind of odd — even hypocritical — that you have a huge problem with killing criminals … even those who have killed multiple innocent people … yet you have no problem at all with killing an unborn baby? That you in fact want extra time in which to decide if you want to do it or not?”
After I got home I read a couple articles about the Nebraska law and learned that …
In addition to banning abortions beyond 20 weeks, the new law closes a loop hole that would allow a woman to cite her mental health as a reason for having an abortion past the cut-off. Striking the “mental health” exception represents a huge blow to Nebraska’s most notorious abortionist, LeRoy Carhart, who performs abortions at 22 weeks and even later if any medical or mental justification can be found. Abortion opponents expressed their hope that the new law would force Carhart to close up shop in Nebraska. [New American]
Further reading disclosed that in the state of Nebraska, Carhart is the *only* abortionist who performed abortions past 20 weeks anyhow.
Oh, incidentally, the question I asked her, about whether or not she was a hypocrite: She decided to change her seat rather than answer. I didn’t mind, though, her perfume was making my eyes bleed.