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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Late night ramblings.

When I became pro-choice, I wasn't sure what to expect. Obviously, my interactions with the pro-choice side hadn't exactly been "rosy" before my conversion. And I realize that I've got my own, unique pro-choice opinions. Once I started this blog, I expected that women who had had abortions would be wary of speaking with me, and that pro-choice organizations, activists, and the like would be more open to talking to me. Wrong. It was the exact opposite. Women were happy to share their stories with me. They were happy for the world (or my small audience, at least) to hear their stories and to open people's minds to what "abortion" can really mean. However, when it came to getting in touch with clinic workers, activists, and women from pro-choice organizations, I didn't have much luck. Many were much too busy to talk to a new blogger with a small following. Some were wary of my true intentions. Others just didn't care to. I got lucky with one clinic worker, and she was nice enough to help me put together a piece for the anniversary of George Tiller's death. I will be forever grateful to her for helping me navigate through the pro-choice community in my earlier days.

Lately, my following has started to grow. Along with my "following", my friend base in the pro-choice community has started growing, as well. Though, I can still sense some reluctance. It's discouraging, but I can't bring myself to give up pushing for interviews and connections. Because of my unique views on abortion, I feel like I could help bridge the gap between the two sides, and that's important to me. Once a bridge is formed, the gap tends to lessen.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I post tonight with a heavy heart and furious mind, as a family out of New York has lost their wife and daughter after a complication from a late term abortion (due to a fetal anomaly). I know that this family was looking forward to meeting their daughter/granddaughter. And I know that their hearts had to break once they realized that the pregnancy was not meant to be. They had already named the baby. But to lose the baby's mother, as well, during such an excruciating time is nothing short of salt being rubbed in a wound. This whole unfortunate ordeal breaks my heart.

Unfortunately, when ANY medical procedure is done, risks are present, regardless of the procedure. With any SURGICAL procedure, the risk of death is always present. Always. Anytime that anesthesia is introduced, the risk is greater. The later in a pregnancy, the most risky the termination. That has nothing to do with the doctor performing it. Those are just the facts.

So when the pro-life side decides to publish this poor young woman's name, her husband's name, her parents' names, her employment information and the information as to how she died, as well as the "notes" taken from the pro-life harassment comity that happened to be stationed outside of a clinic, I get pretty pissed off. I know what it's like to lose someone. And I know that if, during our time of acceptance and healing, someone posted personal information in a public forum, such as the INTERNET, there would be no place for them to hide.

The ironic part of all of this is that the majority of the hard core pro-lifers who tend to do this sort of thing, claim to be a God fearing group of people, first and foremost. What person could think that it is morally acceptable to exploit this family's tragedy in such a way? For their own political agenda? How is that okay? How is that acceptable? It's not. In no way is that acceptable. It's doing nothing other than causing pain: to this family in their time of sorrow and to this doctor who just lost a patient.

I've thought long and hard about whether to post links to this poor woman's story. But I have decided not to. They are already getting so much exposure in such a private time, I don't think it would be appropriate to spread this any father than it's already gone. I realize this story can easily be found online (because the pro-lifers have done such a fabulous job of spreading it like wildfire among themselves), but I *personally* do not wish to share.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Humble Opinion (if you're not open minded, save yourself the heartache)

As I always say, anyone who knows me and has followed this blog knows that I used to be pro-life. Strongly pro-life. So I think that because I understand that side (as much as it frustrates me now), I have pretty unique pro-choice views. And that tends to piss off some people.

For example, I do think that there should be limitations. I think there should be a cut off for elective abortions, and a separate cut off for certain circumstances, such as medical reasons, rape, or incest. For those of you wondering why I'm all for women being able to terminate late term due to rape or incest, it's because many young girls are scared to speak up if they've been a victim of rape or incest. Therefore, often there pregnancies are undetected by any adult until the girl is showing (often not until 5 or 6 months, and even later than that for some girls). As far as medical reasons, often a fetal anomaly cannot be detected until the anatomy scan, which generally occurs between 18-20 weeks. Some women don't even get ultrasounds before that point. Likewise, often maternal problems aren't detected until later in the pregnancy either. My thoughts on limitations tend to irritate others in the pro-choice community. Everyone likes to say that it's stupid for me to think that women would be flocking to their local abortion clinics to have abortions "just because" at 30 weeks. And that would be stupid. But here's the thing: the world is full of stupid people. I do believe that there would be women (not many, but still), who would terminate late term just because they were allowed to and certain circumstances have put them there (think: martial separation late in a pregnancy. I don't think this type of thing really makes sense as a reason to terminate). Call me anti-woman if you want...but that's just how I feel about it. I don't think it's wrong for a woman to terminate because she simply doesn't want to be pregnant, I just think that kind of abortion should happen ASAP (which also leads me to point out that I believe the government should put some sort of help out there for these women, as the majority of insurance companies don't cover abortions and some women can't come up with a few hundred dollars in the instance of unintended pregnancy). As far as medical reasons--I don't believe that at 38 weeks, a woman should be able to terminate, UNLESS (note people, this is a BIG "unless"), the baby is actively suffering in utero. I'm a mom. I know that none of us would want our children to suffer. Period. If the baby is suffering, and a family wants to terminate, they should be allowed to. But if it's a case of they're okay right now, but they won't survive once they're born, let nature take it's course. Of course, just my opinion. I probably feel this way BECAUSE I am a mom. While I consider myself strongly pro-choice, I've never had the outlook that the fetus isn't a baby. From the start, in my opinion, there is (at the very least) potential for life. I understand that life happens. I understand that women don't want their children to suffer. I understand that sometimes the choice has to be made to save the mother. But that doesn't make me feel any less empathy for the pregnancy, the child, the fetus...whatever you prefer to call it. But in the grand scheme of things, I realize that I am nothing more than a blogger. I write my thoughts out, and a few people read them. And while I am so  incredibly grateful that people spend their incredibly valuable time reading what I write, I realize that at this point in my life, I probably won't be making a difference in this debate. When it comes down to it, we've got a ton of Republican men who believe women should still be barefoot in the kitchen, holding our political offices. And as long as they want this right to be taken away, the very real threat remains. One blog isn't going to change that.

With all of that said, I do respect the feelings and opinions of my pro-choice friends...even the ones who believe abortion should be available on demand, with no restrictions. Because those are their opinions. And I believe that anyone who is willing to speak out on their true feelings on abortion (an often emotionally charged issue), deserves respect. Period. This is not an easy topic to discuss these days. But the fact that it's not easy doesn't mean that we don't need to be facing it. Our rights are in more danger now than they have been since the passing of Roe v Wade. Now is the time for us to speak up and speak out and work to preserve the rights that we have. Not only for ourselves, our friends, and sisters...but for future generations. For our children and their children.

In order for this fight to be won, we have to respect each other in the battle. We're all fighting for the same thing, regardless of whether or not our opinions of the details differ. We all believe that women should have the chance to make a choice: parent, adopt, abort.