an After abortion: 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003

3,400 confidential and totally free groups to call and go to in the U.S...1,400 outside the U.S. . . . 98 of these in Canada.
Free, financial help given to women and families in need.More help given to women, families.
Helping with mortgage payments and more.More help.
The $1,950 need has been met!CPCs help women with groceries, clothing, cribs, "safe haven" places.
Help for those whose babies haveDown Syndrome and Other Birth Defects.
CALL 1-888-510-BABY or click on the picture on the left, if you gave birth or are about to and can't care for your baby, to give your baby to a worker at a nearby hospital (some states also include police stations or fire stations), NO QUESTIONS ASKED. YOU WON'T GET IN ANY TROUBLE or even have to tell your name; Safehaven people will help the baby be adopted and cared for.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

The UK Life League, a British pro-life group has reported that Jane Russell, the 1940s and '50s
Hollywood movie star and pinup girl, now aged 82, gave an interview this
week slamming abortion. "People should never, ever have an abortion.
Don't talk to me about it being a woman's right to choose what she does
with her own body. The choice is between life and death," said Russell.

Describing her shock at finding herself pregnant at 18: "The only solution
was to find a quack and get an abortion. I had a botched abortion and it
was terrible. Afterwards my own doctor said: 'What butcher did this to
you?' I had to be taken to hospital. I was so ill I nearly died. I've never
known pain like it." Russell says that due to the abortion she was not
able to have any other children.

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The hardest thing I have ever done.

A story from the May 31 Guardian, this is a first-hand account of a married woman who aborted her 23-week-old fetus upon learning he had Down's Syndrome.

"I have horrible thoughts. I think the whole experience has made me a
pretty nasty person. As though I went power mad for a week, killing my
innocent unborn child, and now I am tainted for ever. I am a darker,
harder version of myself. I give pregnant women dirty looks. I get
terribly irritated by my close friends and family. I've realised that
being a nice person is a luxury some can't afford. Being generous and
kind generally happens only when you're happy. Being deeply unhappy and
kind to others at the same time is nigh on impossible. Because, when
you're angry with the world for dealing you such a shit time, you begin
to hate the people who populate it. And attribute some blame to them.
The "why me?" factor is very strong. Why me and not you, you bastard?"

Please read the entire story.

Note the role played by hospital personnel in this abortion.

The hospital seems to not have mentioned adoption, or the fact that thousands and thousands of families are registered who would have been ecstatic and delighted to have welcomed this child into their family.

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Friday, May 30, 2003

We'll have kids one day. We won't kill them when we're older.

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From the Sarasota Herald Tribume, Two current disputes over unborn babies are a clarifying moment.

"So the question is, Do these two women have the mental capacity to make that decision? The answer quite plainly is that they do not.

So then the question evolves. Since these women cannot give their consent, should the baby be killed without the mother's permission?"

However, as the Miami Herald reports this morning, the child of the 28-year-old was aborted at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

"After two weeks of often heart-wrenching legal drama that transformed the unborn child of a disabled rape victim into a national symbol for anti-abortion activists, doctors aborted the 24-week-old fetus Thursday to protect its mother.

Thursday's abortion ended a sad, dramatic two days in which Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Arthur Rothenberg sought to craft a resolution to the legal squabble that protected both the rape victim and her unborn child."

Meanwhile, a columnist at Florida Today comments on the 22-year-old:

"The pregnancy of the profoundly retarded woman, who has been in the care of the Department of Children and Families since she was 3, has become a trial balloon in the abortion-rights debate. But abuse and neglect of the disabled in state care is the broader issue in this case and must not be overshadowed by abortion controversy."

Both the Miami Herald and Florida Today seem to be offended that these individual lives have been caught up in a national debate about abortion rights. That's like complaining that Dred Scott got overshadowed by that gosh-darn squabble over slavery.

There is, though, a rupture of dignity when people you don't know take up your case and use it as an example in their particular political agenda. There's also a rupture of dignity when you're not competent to give consent and a judge orders invasive surgery on your body. And there's a rupture of dignity when you are killed by a saline injection and then dismembered.

Update The S.I.C.L.E. Cell comments.

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Thursday, May 29, 2003

Yet another reason to hate the New York Yankees from the Boston Herald.

"A Boston woman has filed a paternity suit against the Bronx Bombers' utility infielder, Enrique Wilson, claiming he got her pregnant, told her to have an abortion, and then shut her out."

UPDATE: Another inconvenient pregnancy, link courtesy of Diotima.

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Orlando group says Miami disabled woman will not abort fetus.

If this child is saved, and adopted by a family that loves and cares for him or her, will everyone join in celebrating this outcome? Or will some people feel perturbed, sullen and bitter about that and maybe even try very hard to prevent it from happening?

UPDATE: Here's a picture of a 24-week-old fetus, which is the age of the baby whose fate hangs in the balance. Click through on the 3rd trimester button, and it's the top picture there.

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A shining example.

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Bias at the LA Times?

Bill O'Reilly weighs in: "This is not a liberal/conservative issue. This is an honesty issue."

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

More attention paid to womb than to the woman herself.

That is Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman's take on the mentally disabled woman in Florida who is pregnant because she was raped.

Goodman is angry that this woman wasn't protected from rape and sees the ungainliness in a heightened interest in her that is due to her child and not to her. The fact that the government can't prevent rape, though, isn't a reason to suppose that it is therefore illicit for governments to protect 6-month-old fetuses.

Goodman quickly seques into her main concern:

"If an ''unborn child'' carries the same legal weight as the woman, so much for abortion rights. If someone can be convicted of murdering an ''unborn child,'' how long before a doctor can be so accused, or a woman?"

So much for abortion rights?

This reaction is fascinating. Everyone knows that states with fetal homicide laws specifically exempt abortions. They can hardly do otherwise.

So why this frantic concern that if states choose to resent the murder of unborn babies that their mothers have chosen to bear, pretty soon there'll be no more Roe v Wade?

The claim is that regardless of whether a mother believes that her unborn child is just as much of a person as she is, the state must never, ever agree with her.

In other words, the debate about abortion--as far as Ellen Goodman is concerned--simply IS a debate about the moral status of the fetus, and it is a debate where the state is obliged to affirmatively assert the non-personhood of the unborn.

That's pretty shaky ground, especially when many people are pro-choice not because they think unborn children aren't real people--they may be agnostic on that--but because they hesitate to force women who (rightly or wrongly) don't see an unborn child as a real human being to go through a pregnancy against her will.

See, for instance, Baude's recent response to Sara Butler's The Abortion Post to End All Abortion Posts, where he writes:

"I tentatively support some abortion for precisely the same reason that Sara doesn't--humility. I don't know if a fetus is a human being, and I can't subject unwilling women to hours of misery (years sometimes--it isn't fun to bring up a child one does not want, not for the mother nor for the child) for a creature I wasn't even sure was human."

(Creature? Creature?? Might it be a very small panda or perhaps an armadillo? But that's another post.)

See also what should now be referred to as the Cigar and Cucumber argument and if Blogger is continuing to defy permalinks, go to Summa Contra Mundum and scroll to The Socratic Dialogue from May 27.

To return briefly to the main focus of my own little blog, if we are all to agree that the personhood of the fetus is not completely straightforward in the way that the personhood of a two-week-old baby is completely straightfoward unless you are Peter Singer, think of how strange it is that anyone can maintain with a straight face that the only emotion women feel after abortion is relief.

Does anyone seriously believe that it is in the nature of womankind as we know it to have an abortion as a frightened 17-year-old and then to never henceforward have thoughts cross your mind about whether what you aborted was a real baby? If people who haven't personally aborted a child struggle with this question, as they do, and often with passion and distress--is it such a stretch to suppose that these same questions might cross in a considerably more tormenting way the minds of those who have chosen abortion?

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Empty Playgrounds, a poem by Norma McCorvey

EMPTY PLAYGROUNDS, by Norma Leah McCorvey, formerly "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade.

I sit across from a playground that I visited this eve with a small child.
I know of such places where children play.
I know that I am the cause of them not being here today.
These playgrounds for "innocent children" now dead because of sins I helped do.
I hope, Lord, that the wonderful playground is well guarded with angels.
Angels who will protect them keep them happy and safe.
Angels who will make them smile and laugh.
So that when that glorious day comes; the children will not hold "the sin" against me.
For every time I see a playground empty, I will know that yours will be full.
The sun is now setting, and my heart hurts, Lord.
For the numbers who from abortion have been torn apart.
I pray you can put them back together and make them whole.
If you like, Lord, use my body to make your precious children whole again.
I ask you to do this not only for them, Lord, but also for the love I have for each of them.
Lord, God, you gave your only Son, and He died and shed His blood for us.
All I did was give my baby away so that "women could tear theirs apart."
For this I will never be able to look in your face, out of shame.

The following explanation was on Norma's former website, and 'though I can't seem to find it online anymore, I'll quote it here:
The story of "Empty Playgrounds" started one day, some years ago, during the summer. I was driving back from lunch and passed an empty playground; the swings were empty, swaying back and forth. After passing this empty playground, I turned around and passed it again. An overwhelming feeling of guilt consumed me. I started looking for the children. The swings were made for children and there simply were none to enjoy them! I began to think to myself that because of abortion, many children had been killed and so were not able to fill the swings of this playground. I was stricken with the fact that no one seemed to notice these vacant playgrounds and didn't even seem to care. All I could do was sit in my truck and cry and cry; soon, there were no tears, there was only sadness.

-Norma McCorvey, Director, Roe No More Ministry

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Monday, May 26, 2003

One in five women depressed during pregnancy.

Further studies should be done to learn what percentage of women who become depressed during pregnancy aborted an earlier pregnancy.

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A NASDAQ company I won't be investing with.

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Maine legislature rejects abortion regulations.

"Augusta Republican Julie Ann O'Brien, a co-sponsor of the bill, said it was the only abortion-related bill she would support. The House rejected four other abortion bills on Thursday that have yet to be considered in the Senate.

O'Brien said she sees no harm in enforcing a 24-hour waiting period and supports another part of the bill that seeks to give women a brochure that talks about the risks involved with abortion and childbirth.
'I can't understand how that endangers or in any way jeopardizes the lives, physical or mental, of our women,' she said.

On the other side, Rep. Lisa Marrache, D-Waterville, is a physician, who said women agonize over the decision to have an abortion.

'Have you ever talked to a woman considering abortion?' she asked. 'I have. They think long and hard. It's one of the biggest decisions of their lives.'"

While Lisa Marrache, as a physician, may well have spoken in her consultation room with women considering an abortion, she is wilfully disregarding the brute fact that the majority of women who enter an abortion clinic don't have an established relationship with a friendly and comforting doctor. They have two pink lines on a home pregnancy test and a boyfriend telling them that now is really not such a good time.

I particularly liked one of the five abortion bills that was rejected in Maine. This bill would have required abortionists to foot the mental health bills of minors when the abortion was performed without parental or judicial approval. It's hard for me to imagine why such a bill wouldn't pass handily.

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How some Ms. Magazine readers view the new abortion regulations in Texas.

The new regulations involve a 24-hour "reflection period" and require that the woman be showin pictures of fetuses at different stages of development. One of the Ms. posters uses the word "terrorize" to describe this. Huh.

Pro-choice advocates invariably object to 24-hour waiting periods on the grounds that waiting periods are nothing more than an ill-disguised attempt to reduce access to abortion by making it more expensive. They ask us to consider the woman who lives a long distance from an abortion clinic who will now have to pay for a motel room as well as for the abortion.

A few points.

States with 24-hour-waiting periods find that some women decide not to have an abortion during that 24-hour reflection period. Pro-choice opposition to these waiting period laws never reflects the slightest joy about that.

The pro-choice position always has been that we must have legal abortion because otherwise desperate women will butcher themselves with coat-hangers. It's hard to imagine that a woman who is that desperate wouldn't find a way to pay for a cheap motel room for one night. However, if that is a real issue in some cases, wouldn't you think that our public-minded abortionists could survey their rural patients for financial need and deduct the cost of a cheap hotel room from the cost of the abortion? Or couldn't a local pro-abortion group ask its members to provide free overnight lodging in their own homes for desperate, poor, rural women seeking abortions?

Public interest groups routinely and regularly dip into their own pockets and open their own homes to further social goals that they care about.

This leaves me with the impression that what really bothers pro-choice advocates about 24-hour waiting period laws is the very idea that there IS something to reflect about in that 24-hour period.

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