Monday, February 14, 2005

Hard Choices – Abortion

John over at Tazmedic Mumblings has struck upon something here. The first question was “Views on Iraq” which is a pretty tough question. Today (actually last night) he put out his next one in what will undoubtedly become a defining series throughout the Internet. Yes, I mean it. It’s like playing 20 questions to get to know someone better, but with blogs and full-on declarative statements. The following is on the hotbed topic of abortion:

I do not subscribe to any one primary school of thought when it comes to the topic of abortion. To call me pro-life would diminish my thoughts on first-trimester abortion. To call me pro-choice would diminish my stance on late term, or partial birth abortion. Neither of these choices reaches anywhere near talking about counseling and the psychological effects involved. Yes, as with everything else I do, I “nuked” the issue.

I have a really hard time with the school of thought that says a cytoplasm is a living human with thoughts and feelings. I don’t think it is. At that point, I feel it’s just a ball of cells getting ready to become life. Up until the start of the first trimester I don’t really have an issue with abortion.

Because of my upbringing, I’ve been told that the moment the sperm cell enters the egg cell a new life is created, with feelings and emotions. There is part of me that still believes that through either unintentional brainwashing by those that feel that way, most of my family, or if I really feel something genuine about it. I’m pretty sure though that real life does not begin until at least some of the nerves are functional and the body has some form.

Once the fetus is formed with a nervous system and non-reflex movement I’m pretty much convinced that is a life. From what I can gather, about the time a fetus starts moving on its own inside the womb is when you are caring for a life. It’s like an awakening inside you as to what has just happened. You know that life exists at this point, but it still can’t be supported outside of the womb. It would die at this point. None of its survival functions would support it.

In the third trimester of pregnancy it becomes a grotesquely obvious answer. This being, if not given some sort of injection or crushing its skull can support itself outside the womb. The only difference besides this fetus and a baby is a few inches of someone else’s tissue. In my opinion it is murder and needs to be written as such.

So there you have it. There should be no abortion after the first trimester. In a perfect world, that would be my wishes. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes you have to make compromises in order to push towards your goals. I don’t think an all or nothing stance will help anyone. Without a compromise you will stay as far away from your attainable goal as you started. It’s effectively beating your head up against the wall.

As a solution to this, it would be better to hold with a ban on all third trimester abortions. This would do absolutely nothing to quell the screaming from the life or choice groups, but it would be moving somewhere instead of going nowhere. Remember that laws can always be changed. Our constitution is a living document that can change as time goes on. Hence, the laws underneath it can change as well. I think if we start with calling “viability” the same as life it would be an easier pill to swallow for some. So for now, I would be happier with a compromise. It’s a step.

The other part of this compromise would be to allow for a cesarean section to be preformed and the newborn sent for adoption. If I remember correctly, the average wait time for a newborn is around six to nine months for a non-white child. It ranges from nine month to two years for a white child with no problems. I am not sure of all of the demographics of the adoption system, but I know that if we do things this way there will be a large influx of children into the system and we would need a solution for our adoption, foster care and orphanage systems. That, however, is a topic for another paper.

Some people have been up in arms because there may not be provisions for the life of the mother in extreme cases. If abortion were completely and totally outlawed it would cause the death of both the parent and the infant. I think this is completely the wrong way to look at it. In a health-threatening situation the mother always wins. Women that die during childbirth are one thing. It still happens on occasion and I would not take the life of a woman that freely wants to give their life to give birth to her child, but if you were going to die due to toxosis or some other pregnancy disease, I have absolutely no problems with terminating the pregnancy.

Something my father spoke with me about was the horrible stress that women often encounter in a pregnancy. They experience it before, during and after their pregnancy, whether it was terminated or brought to full term. I know there is a group out there called planned abortion parenthood, but they do little to no good in the real counseling of a young woman that has just recently found themselves pregnant.

They don’t need someone with an agenda. They need someone who can talk them through their options and inform them of the support they will have available no matter if the keep the baby or chose to terminate. Some women do not have effects of their pregnancy until much later on in their lives. I would suggest abortion counseling be available for the life of that woman.

The last topic I would like to bring up is something that came to light during the Scott Peterson trial, fetal murder. As far as I’m concerned, if the woman is showing the signs of her pregnancy she is pregnant and anyone violating that is guilty of fetal murder, period. You can squabble over first degree, second degree or whatever, but when someone takes a swing at someone’s belly that’s attempted murder.

Well, that pretty much concludes my views on Abortion and the related issues. Feel free to run back over to John’s place and see what everyone else has to say on the topic. If you feel that I missed something please let me know and I’ll add it in. There’s always a hidden topic that’s not covered.

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