I voted on Monday and wanted to be DONE with the election so I didn’t watch the debate on Wednesday. I am, however, hearing pieces of what was said and one topic that everyone seems to want to talk about is what Hillary and Trump said regarding late-term abortions, whether unborn babies have rights, etc.
I know that this is a serious issue and that people on both sides have very passionate feelings about it. However, I have one request:
COULD Y’ALL PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THOSE FACING THESE DECISIONS ARE ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT MERELY TALKING POINTS?!?!?!?
I’m asking this as one who has both had their life endangered by their pregnancy and one who faced the possibility of having a baby with disabilities and was asked to consider terminating the pregnancy. Last year, I had a close family member ask me if we could screen for autism in the womb so I could abort my next kid if they were autistic. (I no longer have a relationship with said family member for a reason.) My views on abortion did a complete 180 after my pregnancy with Daniel, especially after I read the following quotation from former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop:
Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.
When I was trying to find the correct words for the above quotation, I came across another quotation of his that fit our current situation as a nation:
The American ideal is not that we all agree with each other, or even like each other, every minute of the day. It is rather that we will respect each other’s rights, especially the right to be different, and that, at the end of the day, we will understand that we are one people, one country, and one community, and that our well-being is inextricably bound up with the well-being of each and every one of our fellow citizens.
For the record, I think that Hillary is misguided in her view that unborn children aren’t people and don’t have rights… but I also know that what she’s trying to avoid is a woman being forced to carry a child, even if doing so *WILL* kill her. With Trump, I do not believe for one second that he is pro-life nor that his election as president will lead to Roe v. Wade being thrown out as people claim it will. Five of the seven justices who were in the majority on that decision were Republican appointees and it was a Democratic appointee who wrote the dissent. When it was upheld in Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, the five justices in the majority were all Republican appointees and the lone Democratic appointee on the court voted to overturn it. (Source)
I guess what I’m trying to say in all of this is that unless you, yourself, have been in my shoes, don’t even pretend that you have any right to judge any decision I did or did not make. I obviously decided in favor of not aborting Daniel (my words were along the lines of “I’ll have the ultrasound but I will not do amniocentesis nor will I abort my child because they will be loved regardless of the outcome” and the ultrasound backed up my decision); but I have several friends who made the decision to terminate the pregnancy when it was discovered that their child had problems that were indeed incompatible with life (I think in one case, the skull had not formed and the brain was floating in the amniotic fluid) and I can’t even comprehend the idea of telling them that they were wrong when I might have made the same decision when given the same information. It’s very easy to say that you would not decide to go a certain direction when given a hypothetical situation but it’s a decision that will feel like it’s about to rip you in half when it’s your baby or your life that is in jeopardy.
I’m also aware that this is not the most fluid response to what is going on but it’s a really tough issue for me and I’m trying to sort through all of my feelings right now.