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Saturday, June 30, 2012

A ban that I could really get behind.

Finally, a ban is suggested for a practice that makes my stomach turn. Sex-selection abortion. As in, a woman already has a boy or a girl at home, then finds out she's expecting another of the same, so she terminates. As in, the crap China has in place. Yes, not only is this going on here in the US, but now, the House has REJECTED a ban to stop these types of abortions.

As you all know, I find abortions acceptable in a number of situations. If a girl was being responsible and "life" just happened to her and she honestly CANNOT afford a child, I think it's acceptable (if it's done early....not reason to knowingly wait until 20 weeks for an abortion). If a condition is uncovered where the baby is suffering, or will suffer, I think it's appropriate for a family to be able to make that decision. Of course, if the life of the mother is at all means. But to terminate a pregnancy because you didn't want one more boy or you didn't want a girl? Seriously? How shallow have we become, as a society that we would throw away a child for such a reason? The least these women could do is carry the baby and adopt him/her out. I can't wrap my brain around this.

How do you feel about this?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kermit Gosnell's Little House of Horrors (IMPORTED and Updated)

I would first like to say that this post was imported from my first blog, The Souvenir. For anyone to consider what Gosnell has done being "abortion", is ridiculous. This was blatant murder...plain and simple. As a mother, as a pro-choicer, I am appalled. The horrible things that happened at this "clinic" are inexcusable. For this to be disguised as an abortion clinic....a place of help for women, is despicable. So, for the record, I DO NOT support Kermit Gosnell, nor any of his workers. 

In February of last year, Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia was raided. As authorities entered, they found dozens of women slumped over, moaning, and nearly comatose sitting in bloody recliners covered in blood stained blankets. There were no licensed medical personnel present, though all the patients there were drugged. They proceeded to find the lifeless and tortured bodies of 45 babies, some of which were past the point of viability. The babies had slits in the back of their necks and their spinal cords had been severed. Welcome to the Philadelphia house of horrors, also known as Dr. Kermit Gosnell's family practice/abortion clinic. In a grand jury report released last week, there was a picture of a post viability baby boy, who medical examiners estimated to be at least 32 weeks gestation. The picture was taken by a staff member on her cell phone, who after she watched the doctor kill the baby and toss him into a rubbermaid shoe box, felt she should document it because the baby was so big..something must be off. She failed to ever report the incident or turn the picture over to authorities. Another picture showed the incision made by Gosnell on another infant where the spinal cord had been severed. Other pictures revealed specimen cups (yes, the kind you typically pee in) containing severed baby feet. Gosnell claimed he kept the feet in case an issue of paternity ever presented itself. The staff never saw him do anything with the baby feet. In the pictures, you can see corroded tubes that doubled as the suction tubes used in early trimester suction abortions and breathing resuscitation tubes. Yes, this abortion equipment is designed for one time use. The exam tables were ripped. The instruments were splattered with dried blood. There was even a thick layer of dust covering the equipment...the dust was visible in the pictures. Employees claimed that Gosnell would never arrive to the clinic before 8pm or so, after his patients were either ready to deliver, or had already delivered their babies. They also said it wasn't uncommon for him to leave the office without properly disposing of the fetuses, and that the smell of the office made it evident the morning after he would fail to do so. A flea infested cat was allowed to roam the office, and defecate wherever it felt the need. Gosnell also left a pre-signed prescription pad for anyone who came in with the money to pay for their drugs of choice (he was the third leading doctor in the state to prescribe demarol). This is what led to the raid--not the countless complaints of malpractice that had been made...not the countless women who had contracted STD's from unsanitized tools, not even because of the women who left his clinic with perforated uteruses, bowels, and cervixes. They didn't even raid the place due to the woman who had lost her life at the clinic. No, they raided due to drug trafficking. The clinic staff consisted of two unlicensed doctors (in addition to Gosnell), and 7 unlicensed "medical assistants" of which was the 15 year old daughter to the office manager. The staff reported hearing Gosnell joke frequently about the babies as he was killing them "This baby is big enough to walk me to the bus stop", or as another child was writhing as he tried to severe the spinal cord, "Now there's a chicken with its head cut off!". So, this raid happened in February of 2010. Gosnell, along with staff members, was arrested last week. He is currently being held without bond. In his home, they found a gun and $240,000 in cash. Keep in mind, no pregnancies were terminated before the procedures began. Each of these babies was killed AFTER being born. The women were still out of it as he killed them. The staff says that for a while, he would slit the base of the skull and suction out the brains (as is procedure in the now banned "partial birth abortion", those during the PBA, this is done while the head of the child is still inside of the mother) so that it would look like the babies were killed that way, instead of being killed after they were born. The staff says this practice didn't last long.

Now, will someone please explain to me why something so outrageous is getting no media attention? It's being reported on news websites, but not spoken of on actual news broadcasts.

I usually don't go along with Operation Rescue (as they tend to be a little extreme for my taste), but they've got the whole story (as it's being reported on CNN websites) all in one place. WARNING: If you choose to view the pictures, PREPARE yourself.

If you go to the OR website (one that I do not typically support), type Kermit Gosnell into their search bar and you will get VERY graphic search results. Please brace yourself if you plan to view them.
If you visit the site, 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A while back, I asked my very conservative, pro-life mother if she would have let me have an abortion if I had been raped and impregnated around the age of 15 or 16 (a point where my body could handle it, but I couldn't, mentally). She said she wasn't sure. That if I was 9 or 10, there wouldn't be a question....but if my body could handle it, she would struggle with that decision.

As a mother of a daughter, who considers herself "involved" with the abortion debate, this is a question I've asked myself many times. For me, it would be a devastating situation all around. I would hate to know that my daughter was violated. It would kill me. It would kill me to see my young daughter pregnant, especially by rape. But the only question from me would be "What do YOU want?" and then to ask her if she was sure of her decision, either way. There would be so many things for her to consider. It wouldn't be my place.

So, if you are the mother of a daughter, where do you stand with this question? What would you do?

Monday, June 18, 2012

So, most readers know that while I am fiercely pro-choice, I also like to keep up with the pro-life side of things just to see what's going on within the debate. Because of that, I follow Secular Pro-Life on Facebook. They're a pro-life group of people from every type of spiritual (or lack of) background and today, they posted this link to their blog. It was a post about how apparently, in 2009, some professor from Oxford University brought up the idea to start using aborted fetus' organs for transplant patients. If that isn't creepy enough, the idea was that if they could convince at least a small percentage of women seeking abortions to carry their pregnancies to a point where the fetus' organs would be viable, they would pretty much be able to clean out the transplant waiting lists. So...let's encourage late term abortions for the sake of harvesting organs?

Now, I have heard of families who have late term abortions for medical reasons, donating their child's body for research or donating what organs they can. But this idea sounds like the guy wants to set up a big preggo-farm where women can get pregnant and get abortions repeatedly, back to back. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

And I think even the most pro-choice people would agree that this is 52 different kinds of wrong on about 10 different levels. Thank GOD, it will never be made legal (not to say it isn't happening SOMEWHERE in the world), but just the sheer thought of someone thinking that it's a great idea gives me the heeby jeebies.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Mother's Choice

I became a mother at the age of 19. I had been married for only 5 months to my Marine when we found out. I was terrified. But quickly, I fell in love with this little life that was growing inside of me. How could I not? At about 4 months along, we made a move 3 hours north. So, with no friends or family nearby, I spent my days preparing for this new baby that seemed to pop into our lives out of nowhere. At 7 months, I went in for a regular check up with my OB, she measured me and said she was referring me to a maternal fetal specialist because she thought that my measurements may be off. She told me that they would do an ultrasound and check things out. All I heard was “ultrasound”. We had not yet learned the gender, so I was ecstatic to have the chance to find out. I knew nothing about measurements or what ones that were off could mean. After about an hour long scan, we were told that our baby was a girl and that we needed to come back in two weeks. I don’t even remember the explanation they gave us for the return visit. I was so na├»ve. At the second appointment, we were told that our baby had a big head (if you saw my husband, you would understand why I never thought this was a big deal) and that would probably need a c-section to deliver. I was a little confused when the specialist requested us in his office after our scan and gave us the “all clear”. I had no idea that we were ever not “all clear”.

Between our first daughter and our last child, a son, I learned a lot. As you’ve read before (if you’re a regular reader), I did a research paper in 2010 on abortion. The things that I uncovered shook me to my core. A few months into my research, I came across an online support board, Terminations for Medical Reasons. The stories that I was reading were not the kind of things most people would expect to see when reading stories of abortion.

You see, when most people think of someone having an abortion, they envision a young girl sneaking into her local Planned Parenthood, hidden behind dark glasses and baggy clothes. It seems despicable that a young girl would be making such a life changing decision without her parents knowing, and even that she would be partaking in such dangerous adult actions. They hear the word “abortion” and they think: irresponsible, careless, heartless, murderer. But beyond that, people aren’t giving this conversation much thought. The pro-life side is imagining these young girls leaving their local clinics relieved, and in good spirits. But no one is thinking about the devastated women who are sitting inside of those walls. For some women, this option is no “choice”. As a mother myself, I can sympathize. My daughter starts to wobble on her bike, and I immediately have the instinct to dash towards her to catch her before she falls. My son skins his knee, and seeing him cry is enough to put me in tears. My youngest son stirs in the middle of the night, and I am on my feet and beside his bed. It’s a mother’s instinct to protect her child. So when a mother goes in for a routine ultrasound and her doctor starts throwing words at her like Spina Bifida (a spinal defect),  Arnold’s Chiari  (a brain malformation), myelomeningocele (where the spinal cord and back bone do not close before birth), and enlarged ventricles, a mother goes into protective mode. This was the case for Carol and her daughter, Nora.
Carol went in for her anatomy scan at 19 weeks, 1 day. As she lay on the exam table, watching her sweet baby girl, she had no idea that in a matter of minutes her doctor would come in and inform her of his devastating suspicions. Just a few days later, at 20 weeks, her doctor confirmed the suspicion that Nora had Spina Bifida. How does anyone digest such news? Carol and her husband decided to terminate the pregnancy out of love for their baby girl. What kind of life can a child have under such circumstances? The termination took place at 21 weeks, 2 days. As ironic as it may sound, Carol’s experience was one of the best that a woman in this situation could hope for. She was able to terminate at a hospital in Detroit, with no protestors and compassionate healthcare professionals.

Other mothers, like Nicole, aren’t so lucky. They have to face angry protestors, which only make the act of letting their child go even harder. And one has to wonder, how is it possible for someone to judge another so harshly when the situation is one such as this? Nicole’s baby, Hannah, was diagnosed at around 20 weeks with Trisomy 13. In cases of Trisomy 13, a patient (in this case, Hannah) has an additional chromosome 13, which can cause problems in development such as heart and kidney defects and more than 80% of children diagnosed will die within the first year of life.
Nicole describes her situation as “cold”. Unlike Carol’s hospital experience, Nicole was sent to a clinic and forced to share a waiting room with girls who were there to terminate unwanted, unplanned pregnancies. She even described some as “happy to be there”.  And on top of the uncomfortable waiting room and protestors, the care she received from the staff was lackluster, at best. It is interesting to note that Nicole’s cold experience took place just 4 short months ago. Women are still receiving this heartless, disconnected kind of care.

For some reason, the pro-life side sees these cases (terminations for medical reasons) as no different as a woman just deciding that she doesn’t want to be a mother. And while I am about as pro-choice as they come, the situations are drastically different. You have one woman (or girl) who has an unwanted pregnancy and needs to end it. And you have another who has tried for this baby, wanted this baby, and loved this baby since day one. These mothers are choosing to live in pain every day for the rest of their lives so that their sick babies won’t have to. As a mother myself, I look at these women with complete admiration. How brave would a woman have to be to make that choice? How would you go into that decision knowing that people would judge you so harshly, that your family and friends may not approve, and most importantly, that you would be losing this little part of yourself? I read these women’s stories and the only thing that comes to mind is “selfless”.

In closing, I cannot imagine being in this situation. I’ve had my own scares with each of my pregnancies, and each time, it felt like my world was crumbling…but everything always turned out to be alright. These women don’t get the “all clear”. They get a terrible decision thrown in their faces: carry your sick baby to term and watch them suffer and/or die. OR, terminate your pregnancy and spend the rest of your days trying to heal. Neither choice is easy. Neither choice is black and white. In fact, there seems to be a gray haze over the entire issue. It is a terrible decision to have to make, but one that needs to be made. And it is an option that women and their families need to have. No one ever wants to have to use the option, but everyone needs it in place. To expect women to carry pregnancies to term that may have devastating effects on their own health, their marriages, their finances, and even their other children is wrong. That is the one simple thing about this debate. It is wrong for a woman to not have the option.