AlterNet Article: Abortion

eddies grrleddies grrl Posts: 509
edited June 2006 in A Moving Train
Pregnant and Unhappy About It
By Chrisse France, Women's Media Center
Posted on June 22, 2006, Printed on June 28, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/37924/
Last week I attended the hearing on Ohio's proposed abortion ban held by the House Health Committee. This bill, in its present form, is the strictest in the country. It would ban all abortions in our state and even make it a felony to transport a woman to another state to seek abortion care. There are no exceptions for rape, incest or to save a woman's life or health.

The bill's proponents dominated the six hours of testimony. Most of it consisted of scientific and theological debate on when life begins. Only a handful of witnesses told personal stories supporting and opposing the bill.

I came prepared to share women's experiences, collected through journals that we put in the waiting rooms in the abortion clinic where I work. I left disheartened when they adjourned the hearing before I could testify. It demonstrated once again just how wide is the gap between the abortion "issue" and the abortion "experience." Women's lives and struggles continue to be lost in the debate.


To my unborn child: When I made the decision to let you go, it was the best for you and your sister. It was hard for me to have a baby at 16 and go to school and work. I don't want you to have to suffer because it is not fair to you. --Journal entry by Preterm client

As an abortion provider, I see women every day who don't identify with either the pro-choice or "pro-life" movement. They come because they're pregnant and don't want to be. Many come because they desperately want to be good mothers and know that, at this particular time in their lives, they can't fulfill that promise. They're aware that they are about to terminate a potential life, the possibility of a baby that might be welcomed and well cared for at another time and in other circumstances.


This wasn't an easy decision, but the right one. I'm sad and hurt, but strong. The tears I cry are for the child I'll never know. If I had one wish … that this child knows it took great love to do this.

Abortion opponents usually base their position on moral grounds yet seldom acknowledge that women are capable of making responsible, moral decisions about their families and futures. I feel privileged to support these women, as they and their families grapple with the most fundamental questions of life and death, motherhood and womanhood, love and faith.


These tears are for all of the scared girls and women who have come here. I am here with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. She is 20 weeks pregnant. Their situation is different from most who walk through this door, but the feelings are the same. They want their baby. They want it a lot. On Saturday they went for an ultrasound to see what the baby's sex is. The next thing they heard was, "There is no amniotic fluid, no kidneys, and only partial lungs. Your baby will not survive outside the womb." A decision was made to end this pregnancy now. Coming here was very hard. Seeing the protesters outside, if they only knew.

Our lawmakers and the public need to understand that the abortion decision isn't a simple matter of when life begins or whether abortion constitutes the killing of human life. Just listen to any woman who has struggled with the question of whether to carry a pregnancy to term.

This is why we took some of our journal entries and developed them into a theater piece, which premiered this month at a benefit Preterm held. We'll continue to look for opportunities to share women's stories, in the hope that they'll reach people in a way that political debate cannot.

Chrisse France is executive director of the Preterm Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/37924/
Life is the riddle
Of which we're caught in the middle.
A couple of lucky ones
Tangled up in too much love
~cowboy junkies
Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • know1know1 Posts: 6,554
    I find the first two "journal" entries to be extremely and selfishly pathetic. They are thinly veiled excuses and weak justifications for not wanting to be inconvenienced by the results of their irresponsible actions. But that's just my opinion...
    The only people we should try to get even with...
    ...are those who've helped us.

    Right 'round the corner could be bigger than ourselves.
  • bootlegger10bootlegger10 Posts: 11,056

    \
    To my unborn child: When I made the decision to let you go, it was the best for you and your sister. It was hard for me to have a baby at 16 and go to school and work. I don't want you to have to suffer because it is not fair to you. --Journal entry by Preterm client


    This wasn't an easy decision, but the right one. I'm sad and hurt, but strong. The tears I cry are for the child I'll never know. If I had one wish … that this child knows it took great love to do this.

    The 2nd one makes no sense. The woman loved the baby so much, that she killed it. I'm sure the dead baby is saying, "my mother loved me so much that she killed me so she could continue on with her life and not be inconvenienced." At least have the baby and give it up for adoption. That would be an example of loving the child. Women have yet to figure out that human beings reproduce by having sex, and that the woman is the one to carry the child. It's nature.

    The first quote is an example of being selfish, not loving. Life isn't easy. I doubt the child is going to be poor and ask his mommy why she didn't abort him.
  • soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,211
    If I had one wish … that this child knows it took great love to do this.[/i]

    that statement really bothers me.

    not that i agree with this ban we've got going. it's a very difficult issue and i feel like we're going about it all backwards in this country.
    deserve's got nothing to do with it.
  • hippiemomhippiemom Posts: 3,326
    I don't care for those journal entries either. Sounds to me like those were women who should not have had abortions, if they're so troubled about it.

    Personally, I don't believe a fetus at that stage of development is a person, and it doesn't take any more "love" to have an abortion than it does to have an appendectomy.

    I'm adamantly pro-choice and think this is something that needs to be left up to each individual woman, but I really don't understand how anyone could have an abortion if they truly believed they were taking the life of a child. Trying to rationalize it away is stupid ... if it's a child, there's no justification for killing it unless your own life is at risk. If it's a potential child, on the other hand, do as you wish.
    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." ~ MLK, 1963
  • know1know1 Posts: 6,554
    hippiemom wrote:
    I'm adamantly pro-choice and think this is something that needs to be left up to each individual woman, but I really don't understand how anyone could have an abortion if they truly believed they were taking the life of a child. Trying to rationalize it away is stupid ... if it's a child, there's no justification for killing it unless your own life is at risk. If it's a potential child, on the other hand, do as you wish.

    Other than the belief about when life begins, I'll agree with most of the rest of this.

    This "journalist" really didn't head into those debates with some very convincing arguments.
    The only people we should try to get even with...
    ...are those who've helped us.

    Right 'round the corner could be bigger than ourselves.
  • sonicreducersonicreducer Posts: 713
    if we spent half the money that we spent on this war on education for everyone in this country,... i bet the abortion rate would fall. i bet if parents were better parents, the abortion rate would fall. there are so many things we could do to stop this dreadful decision making. stop thinking of it as what is right and what is wrong. IT OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T WORK. try a different method.
    you're a real hooker. im gonna slap you in public.
    ~Ron Burgundy
  • The 2nd one makes no sense. The woman loved the baby so much, that she killed it. I'm sure the dead baby is saying, "my mother loved me so much that she killed me so she could continue on with her life and not be inconvenienced." At least have the baby and give it up for adoption. That would be an example of loving the child. Women have yet to figure out that human beings reproduce by having sex, and that the woman is the one to carry the child. It's nature.

    The first quote is an example of being selfish, not loving. Life isn't easy. I doubt the child is going to be poor and ask his mommy why she didn't abort him.


    It takes two to make a baby. It should read :People have yet to figure out that sex means reproduction. Let me guess, you're male?

    Anyway, again, all I will say is I'm pro-choice, and I don't believe an embryo is a life. It is potential life, which is a huge difference. Again we have to bring back the argument, if a womans lifestyle meant she induced a miscarriage, would she be tried for murder? Should she?

    And don't use the 'it goes against nature' argument as well, since nearly all medical remedies and cures do. Also, should infertile couples be refused IVF treatment as it goes against nature?

    Also, why so much hate? And people should not be so judgemental. I read a good quote earlier, 'A mind is like a parachute, useless unless open'. Kind of fitting for a lot of debates on this forum.
  • know1know1 Posts: 6,554
    Again we have to bring back the argument, if a womans lifestyle meant she induced a miscarriage, would she be tried for murder? Should she?

    In my state, if a drunk driver gets in a wreck and causes the infant in a pregnant woman to "die", then they are tried for murder. Now I don't care who you are, but that law and abortion are a huge contradiction.
    The only people we should try to get even with...
    ...are those who've helped us.

    Right 'round the corner could be bigger than ourselves.
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    hippiemom wrote:
    if it's a child, there's no justification for killing it unless your own life is at risk. If it's a potential child, on the other hand, do as you wish.

    I don't understand the first point, the whole life of the mother being at risk. I understand it even less now that my wife and I are new parents. We have a 5.5 month little boy and we would both give up our lives to preserve his.

    As to the second point, if it's a (or you think it might be) potential child why not err on the side of caution?

    On another front, I would like to see some stats on the percentage of abortions performed solely because the mother's life was in danger.
  • decides2dreamdecides2dream Posts: 14,928
    hippiemom wrote:
    I don't care for those journal entries either. Sounds to me like those were women who should not have had abortions, if they're so troubled about it.

    Personally, I don't believe a fetus at that stage of development is a person, and it doesn't take any more "love" to have an abortion than it does to have an appendectomy.

    I'm adamantly pro-choice and think this is something that needs to be left up to each individual woman, but I really don't understand how anyone could have an abortion if they truly believed they were taking the life of a child. Trying to rationalize it away is stupid ... if it's a child, there's no justification for killing it unless your own life is at risk. If it's a potential child, on the other hand, do as you wish.


    agreed.
    scary stuff going on....but none of those entires sound like very infomred thoughts on the subject. sad really. yes...a zygote/embryo/young fetus....sure living cells, but the potential to become a human...but not there, not even close in my mind....so while i would not want to be faced with the decision of having an abortion or not...i also do not see it in the same light as some of these entires seem to view it all.
    Stay with me...
    Let's just breathe...


  • hippiemomhippiemom Posts: 3,326
    Laz wrote:
    I don't understand the first point, the whole life of the mother being at risk. I understand it even less now that my wife and I are new parents. We have a 5.5 month little boy and we would both give up our lives to preserve his.
    I have two kids and would sacrifice my life for theirs, but I don't think that the law should compel us to do this. In fact, the law does not compel anyone else to give up their life to save another, not even their own child. You cannot be prosecuted for failing to rush into a burning building to save your kids. The fact that most parents would have to be physically restrained to prevent them from rushing into the building is irrelevant. It's a legal issue, and demanding that pregnant women and pregnant women only sacrifice their lives for another would be unequal treatment under the law.
    Laz wrote:
    As to the second point, if it's a (or you think it might be) potential child why not err on the side of caution?
    If it's a potential child, and I don't want a child, the sensible thing to do would be to prevent it from becoming a child.
    Laz wrote:
    On another front, I would like to see some stats on the percentage of abortions performed solely because the mother's life was in danger.
    I don't know any stats off the top of my head, and I'm not going to go hunt for them because I'm lazy and it doesn't matter to me anyway, but I'm sure the number is quite small.
    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." ~ MLK, 1963
  • The thing I don't get is, why do so many people get so angry and hate filled about the abortion issue? If you don't like it, don't do it, I don't like smoking, but people do it, it's extremely harmful to my lungs, but I'm not going to want to kill someone for it, I just walk away or stand aside, because everyone is entitled to live their life as they see fit.

    Seriously, there are much bigger issues to worry about.
  • Eliot RosewaterEliot Rosewater Posts: 2,684
    It takes two to make a baby. It should read :People have yet to figure out that sex means reproduction. Let me guess, you're male?

    Also, why so much hate? And people should not be so judgemental. I read a good quote earlier, 'A mind is like a parachute, useless unless open'. Kind of fitting for a lot of debates on this forum.
    That's a great quote from Will Rogers. And even though you weren't asking me, I am in fact a man. And as a man, it frustrates me that men are let off the hook a lot when it comes to pregnancy and abortion. I'm pro-choice, but have the belief that if a man and woman are in a relationship, particularly a marriage, then the man should be able to have some input on a decision regarding abortion. And I don't know what is right.....but that seems right to me. Yet at the same time, I think the woman's opinion should have a little more weight since (during the pregnancy) it obviously affects her much, much more. I don't have a solution, but I would love to see more men taking accountability when it comes to both pregnancy and abortion.
  • Eliot RosewaterEliot Rosewater Posts: 2,684
    hippiemom wrote:
    I don't care for those journal entries either. Sounds to me like those were women who should not have had abortions, if they're so troubled about it.

    Personally, I don't believe a fetus at that stage of development is a person, and it doesn't take any more "love" to have an abortion than it does to have an appendectomy.

    I'm adamantly pro-choice and think this is something that needs to be left up to each individual woman, but I really don't understand how anyone could have an abortion if they truly believed they were taking the life of a child. Trying to rationalize it away is stupid ... if it's a child, there's no justification for killing it unless your own life is at risk. If it's a potential child, on the other hand, do as you wish.
    Hippiemom, very well said. That's a very sound way view abortion. I've always just been kinda pro-choice because I believe in agency, but never really gotten into it much more than that to where I would try to justify it or defend it. I appreciate your post.
  • soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,211
    Laz wrote:
    I don't understand the first point, the whole life of the mother being at risk. I understand it even less now that my wife and I are new parents. We have a 5.5 month little boy and we would both give up our lives to preserve his.

    On another front, I would like to see some stats on the percentage of abortions performed solely because the mother's life was in danger.

    im sure it's a small number. as to abortions for the health of the mother... i rather doubt many of those would result in a healthy child. im guessing most of those means they BOTH die.
    deserve's got nothing to do with it.
  • eddies grrleddies grrl Posts: 509
    stop thinking of it as what is right and what is wrong. IT OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T WORK. try a different method.


    i agree.
    Life is the riddle
    Of which we're caught in the middle.
    A couple of lucky ones
    Tangled up in too much love
    ~cowboy junkies
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    stop thinking of it as what is right and what is wrong. IT OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T WORK. try a different method.

    so is it wrong to think of 'it as what is right and wrong'?
  • eddies grrleddies grrl Posts: 509
    Laz wrote:
    so is it wrong to think of 'it as what is right and wrong'?


    i think more to the point is, "stop judging and come up with viable alternatives".

    and by viable, i mean alternatives that will actually WORK and be UTILIZED. it's all well and good to spout on & on about how the child could be put up for adoption if the parents don't want to raise them, but unless you're doing the adopting, you need to shut that shit up. and if you think prevention is the answer to many unwanted pregnancies, then vote people into office who support good, early sex ed (including birth control education) AND the free distribution of condoms, etc. instead of the repressed, regressed dickheads middle america, usa keeps voting for.

    edit- for "birth control education"
    Life is the riddle
    Of which we're caught in the middle.
    A couple of lucky ones
    Tangled up in too much love
    ~cowboy junkies
  • SadPandaSadPanda Posts: 30
    I think birth control should be as available as Coca-cola is ... we should be able to get it out of a vending machine .... not condoms I am talking here ...I mean THE PILL ...
    ....why is it 2006 and we still do not have easy access to THE PILL?
    Knoxville 98, Charlotte 00, Greensboro 00, Atlanta 00, Nashville 00, Seattle 01, Birmingham 03, Raleigh 03, Charlotte 03, Nashville 03, Atlanta 03, Lexington 03, Asheville 04. http://www.swankpad.org/luau/
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    i think more to the point is, "stop judging and come up with viable alternatives".

    You still didn't answer my question... if you ask someone to stop judging you obviously think that judging is wrong

    I don't mean to be a stick-in-the-mud, but it seems a little hard to get away from 'right and wrong'
  • eddies grrleddies grrl Posts: 509
    Laz wrote:
    You still didn't answer my question... if you ask someone to stop judging you obviously think that judging is wrong

    yes, judging others is wrong. jeesh, even jesus said THAT. :rolleyes:

    until you've walked in their shoes... yada yada. this can't possibly be a foreign concept to you. some questions don't get directly answered because the answers seem pretty obvious.
    Life is the riddle
    Of which we're caught in the middle.
    A couple of lucky ones
    Tangled up in too much love
    ~cowboy junkies
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    yes, judging others is wrong. jeesh, even jesus said THAT. :rolleyes:

    If judging others is wrong then why can't you apply 'stop thinking about what is right and what is wrong' to the act of judging?
  • eddies grrleddies grrl Posts: 509
    Laz wrote:
    If judging others is wrong then why can't you apply 'stop thinking about what is right and what is wrong' to the act of judging?

    is that a serious question? because i just took a benadryl and only have energy for real questions, not stupid semantics.

    :p
    Life is the riddle
    Of which we're caught in the middle.
    A couple of lucky ones
    Tangled up in too much love
    ~cowboy junkies
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    is that a serious question? because i just took a benadryl and only have energy for real questions, not stupid semantics.

    :p

    All I'm trying to do is find out to what kind of things we can apply 'right and wrong' to. You and I agree that 'judging' is wrong. When a judge sentences a convicted felon, is he wrong for judging? Of course he's not, but why if 'judging' is wrong?

    Really I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud...
  • eddies grrleddies grrl Posts: 509
    Laz wrote:
    All I'm trying to do is find out to what kind of things we can apply 'right and wrong' to. You and I agree that 'judging' is wrong. When a judge sentences a convicted felon, is he wrong for judging? Of course he's not, but why if 'judging' is wrong?

    Really I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud...

    well, you're doing a great impersonation.

    a judge is in a position of authority and, hopefully, has wisdom that the rest of us don't about a wide variety of topics, as well as the law to guide them. that said, it had absolutely nothing to do with this conversation, unless you want to play semantics. which i don't.

    i believe that there are certain situations where "right and wrong" can be applied, but i don't believe it can or should be applied to the issue of abortion. if for no other reason than that it obviously doesn't work in reducing the incidence of unwanted pregnancies OR abortions. the point the first person who spoke about "right and wrong" was trying to make, i think, is that that line of thinking is ineffective.
    Life is the riddle
    Of which we're caught in the middle.
    A couple of lucky ones
    Tangled up in too much love
    ~cowboy junkies
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 16,094
    well, you're doing a great impersonation.

    i just spit some iced tea on the screen after this one :D
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    i believe that there are certain situations where "right and wrong" can be applied, but i don't believe it can or should be applied to the issue of abortion.

    So like I originally said, you believe it's wrong to apply 'right and wrong' to the issue of abortion, correct? So if someone came along and said 'right and wrong' should apply to abortion, then you'd say he's in the wrong...

    I don't like arguing semantics either, I know a guy who has a PhD in semantics and he is quite a stick in the mud sometimes, oh no I just judged him :)
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 16,094
    it's all well and good to spout on & on about how the child could be put up for adoption if the parents don't want to raise them, but unless you're doing the adopting, you need to shut that shit up.


    i know first hand that the foster family, and adoption systems are flooded... there is a great demand for adoptive and foster parents
  • LazLaz Posts: 118
    my2hands wrote:
    i just spit some iced tea on the screen after this one :D

    Yeah I had good chuckle at it too
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 16,094
    Laz wrote:
    Yeah I had good chuckle at it too


    you better watch it... she can be fiesty ;)
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