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Thursday, March 28, 2013

What defines a person?

Often, the abortion argument comes down to one question: When does a embryo/fetus/baby (whichever term you prefer) become a "person"? According to Webster's, there are 7 different definitions of a "person". None of which include a scientific definition involving a embryo, fetus, or baby. The irritating truth is: There is no one definition of a person. There is no black and white answer. "Person" means different things to different people.

For some people, the day they find out they're pregnant, they consider themselves to have another person growing inside of them. Other people consider the first kick a sign of personhood. Others believe that a fetus is a person only after it's born. In reality, emotion plays a big part in this answer.

However, after that question is answered (by each individual), the question of when one person is equal to another, or how long one person's rights outweigh another's. This is where the debate often gets heated. Again, this is often fueled by emotion. Even if one doesn't feel emotion towards a possible child, one is likely to still feel very emotional when it comes to women's rights and how far they should go (or in some extreme cases, if they should even exist at all).

The important thing to remember, while discussing the sensitive issue of abortion, is to respect everyone's individual views on when a embryo/fetus/baby (even though it may be exhausting, lol) reaches personhood. Doing so can result in a level headed conversation that has more potential to open minds.

x Keep Talking,


Monday, March 25, 2013

Carol Carr and Huntington's Disease

On June 8th, 2002, Carol Carr walked into her son's nursing home and shot and killed them as they laid side by side in their room. Carol's sons, Andy and Randy Carr, were in the last agonizing stages of Huntington's disease. The same disease had already taken Carr's husband, daughter, oldest son (who killed himself when he learned that he had the disease) and was then taking two of her other sons. Eventually, Carr's youngest son was diagnosed, as well.

Carr did not try to elude police, waiting in the lobby of the nursing home until they came and got her. One police officer reported that Carr begged him to kill her once she was placed in the squad car. He said he felt nothing but sympathy for her. Carr's remaining son said that his mother did not act out of malice, but out of love. The overwhelming majority of people supported Carr. Even the lead detective in the case classified the deaths as "mercy killings". Carol Carr ended up pleading guilty to assisted suicide (which brings up a whole host of questions and discussions on it's own). She was sentenced to 5 years in prison, but only served 14 months before being released on parole. As part of her parole, Carol Carr is not allowed to be the primary caregiver to her remaining son when his HD starts to progress. Understandable.

With all the commotion that pro-lifers put out regarding late term abortions (for medical reasons, at that), how do you think they feel about this type of thing? What are your thoughts?

Would death change my mind?

Once, while talking to my mother, she told me that my views on abortion (specifically late term abortion for medical reasons) would change if I was ever confronted with death. I kind of blew her off, but when I was faced with the death of my dad, I couldn't help but wonder if I would come out of it with a completely different view on abortion.

I didn't see my dad die. But I saw him suffer. I saw how scared he was. I saw how much pain he was in. I watched him struggle to breathe. I saw him after they sedated him because they said the pain alone  would send his body into shock and kill him.

And as much as it hurt, and as much as it scared me...I remember wanting it to be over for him. If that meant we had to let him go, that's what I wanted my mom to do.

As sad as it is, we know that baby making is not a perfect science. No matter how perfectly a woman carries a pregnancy, chromosomes and genes play a big role in producing a baby. And while it is amazing that we have the medical technology to detect these problems before a baby is born, it leaves women with a heavy, life altering choice to make. Some women choose to research and prepare for the issue that they're about to take on, and then the baby is born and they embrace that new lifestyle and make it work the best they can. Others simply can't handle it. Not because they're not strong enough, but because they don't have the heart to let their child suffer. Of course, a million and two other factors can come into play when making such a decision (finances, living children, physical/mental effect to the mother, and more). For many, it is as simple as not wanting their child to suffer. I understand.

As a mother, I would do anything to keep my children from suffering. I think any mother can relate to that. In 2002, a mother in Georgia shot her two sons in their nursing home, claiming that she couldn't stand to watch them deteriorate and suffer from Huntington's disease any longer (a more detailed post about that story to come). A surprising number of people backed her and had nothing but sympathy for her. Some would say she got off easy.

Who can blame a mother for making the choice to save her child from suffering? No one argues that this isn't a devastating choice for a mother (or family) to have to make. The idea is gut wrenching. But sometimes life throws us curve us choices that we have to make, no matter how hopeless or painful it may be.  

Is there ever an instance (when it comes to terminations for medical reasons) that you don't support a woman's right to terminate?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital

I didn't hear about this book until a couple of months ago, and then I anxiously ordered it on Amazon. After reading a few reviews and quotes from the book, I was honestly nervous about what I was about to dive into. I read somewhere (though I'm drawing a blank at the moment) that this book was not initially released in the United States, and now I see why. Because the one thing you should know about this book is that is is graphic. Dr. Magda Denes did not hold back in her descriptions of what she saw. Another thing you should know is that this publication is dated. Much of the lingo (as well as techniques) are outdated (as you would expect with a book that is almost 40 years old). The book was published in 1976 after over a year of research (and by the time it was published, the hospital that the book is based on, closed). One thing you have to remember about that time was that they were still performing saline abortions then. And a good portion of the book is dedicated to that. Because of that, I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone.

An interesting aspect of this book is that Dr. Denes (a clinical psychologist who immigrated to NYC. She died in 1996) previously had an abortion. Of course, it took three visits to the hospital for her to work herself up to it. The first two times, she walked out, unsure of her decision. A time later, she returned to the same abortion hospital to observe, interview, and eventually publish this book. I like the fact that we're reading these interviews and stories from a psychologist's point of view. I think it puts a whole new element into what we're reading.

The book is broken down into different sections. The Hospital (non-medical workers, policies, etc.), Saline Floor: Staff (here she compiles information gathered on the individuals who worked on the saline floor), Saline Floor: Patients and Parents (interviews and stories gathered from the girls and women undergoing saline abortions, as well as their parents, D & C Floor: Staff (again, individuals who worked on the D & C floor), and finally D & C Floor: Patients, Parents, and Boyfriends (same concept as the saline floor version). While interviewing the individuals, Dr. Denes is clearly "shrinking them", so to speak. And you can pick up on her opinions in her writing. Some of the stories will leave you with a "What the hell....?" response, while others will leave you saddened and even frustrated. Many of the women who were interviewed for this book seemed pretty nonchalant about the whole ordeal. In other interviews, you can clearly pick up a sense of low self worth and women/girls using sex to get what they want...only to be left with the burden of aborting. It is a pretty intense, mind blowing read.

One thing that stood out to me, is that many of the doctors who were interviewed for this book seem to possess a seriously warped view of women in general. Even the doctors who are married. They speak of their extra marital affairs as if they are nothing (which may have been the norm back then), then treat some of their patients in a rough manner (at least "rough" according to me). It is mind boggling.

All in all, this is a good read. But between what you're reading about (in graphic detail), the interviews with doctors, patients, and parents, and your own opinion of it's a lot to wrap your mind around. Do not dive into this book expecting anything current. This book, as well as many of the techniques used, is outdated (as previously stated). The best part for me was the psychological aspect. I like the little notes that Dr. Denes made while interviewing these people. I like her take on them. I also appreciate the fact that Dr. Denes can identify abortion as a necessary service, while at the same time having empathy about it. She seems to appreciate that while it's needed, it's also a sad occurrence. As you regular readers are probably picking up on...I feel like I can identify with her views on the matter.

In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital
Magda Denes
Amazon link:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Grasping at Straws.

I've been noticing a recurring topic among pro-lifers lately. Maybe I just missed it earlier. Maybe I blocked it out because it annoys the shit out of me. I'm not really sure. But over the last few days, it's come to my attention in the most irritating way.

Kermit Gosnell.

It seems that every pro-life argument leads to this man. "Well, if you support late term abortion, do you support Gosnell's work?"....No. Just no. There are so many things wrong with this argument, I don't even know where to start. But I guess I'll start here: I consider this guy a fraud. A murderer, a skeeze, a liar, a greedy p.o.s., but never...not once since I've read his story have I considered him a "doctor". Doctors help people, right? Abortion providers help women, no? Can a logical pro-lifer honestly look at the Gosnell case, and then look at someone like Dr. Tiller and actually think that the two compare? Really? On one hand, you have a man that had his office staffed by unqualified employees, a man who drugged women in order to "deal" with them, a man who delivered babies alive (with no effort to stop the heart, etc. before the procedure) and then "snipped" their spinal cords, and let's not forget...a man who maintained a "medical facility" about as well as goldfish maintains it's memory. On the other hand, you have a man who had highly qualified staff in place to handle the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of the women that sought their help, a man who had buffers in place to make sure that women were sure of their decisions, and procedures in place to make sure that they these women were well taken care of at all times. How do the two compare? They don't.

But this is what the pro-lifers (who are clearly GRASPING at straws with the Gosnell argument) don't realize: Making abortion illegal won't stop abortions (Which brings to mind the fact that most pro-lifers are gun-toting Americans...and isn't their argument that making guns illegal won't take them off the streets? Same concept here, people). But it will force women to seek out the grade of back-alley care that Gosnell provided. And I promise you, these bastards would come out of the woodwork if suddenly they realized that women were willing to pay top dollar for cut rate care.

Gosnell "care" is what we'll face if abortion is made illegal. Is that what we want for ourselves? For our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, and friends? There's not even a question...if abortion is made illegal, Gosnell will become the "norm".

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Throughout the month, I'll be putting together an elaborate list of resources for unwanted pregnancies. Clinics, with personal reviews, contact info etc...adoption resources, government name it. If you have experience with any of the above, PLEASE consider sharing the information you have so my list will be complete--not only with where to go, but with what to avoid.

ANY STATE, ANY AREA. We have readers from all over the world!

Thanks so much!