A Response To Pro-Choice Arguments: Defending A Disabled Unborn Child’s Right to Life

So recently I came across this post on Facebook posted by an organization called “Let Them Live.” I thought it gave a perspective not often discussed but gives you some insight into the impact that abortion has not just on women but on families. I also found an interesting and common pro-choice response in the comments section.  Afterwards I do a breakdown of the pro-choice response and the logical and compassionate flaws that I found in this person’s argument. So here is the post:

 

Let Them Live:

 

“Everyone, meet Kelly.

She was born and died March 31st 1995.

Her life was taken due to a test that said she would have Down Syndrome.

My mother was injected with a solution, that put her into labor.

Kelly was born, and as you can see, was born blood red.

She lived for 45 minutes while the solution slowly burned her insides.

The hands you see in the photo are my fathers. He held her until she finally passed away.

He had no say in this decision, he wanted his daughter, regardless of some test.

She would have been loved unconditionally, by a father and her sisters.

Now, I’ve spent 20 years asking why, why was she taken from me?

I’ll never forget sitting on the couch being told my sister was never coming home from the hospital.

Wondering in my little mind what went wrong, how did this happen, why would God kill an innocent human being?

It wasn’t until I caught my dad a few years later, in the middle of the night, working on a website about her, that I found out what the truth was and what an abortion was.

All I could think of was why would anyone want to hurt my sister in such a devastating way.

It took years before I spoke to my mother again.

It’s taken years to talk about it.

No one ever thinks of the effect abortion has on a family.

It was a final straw that led to my parents divorce.

It led to me not talking to my mother for over 15 years.

We still don’t talk about it, to this day.

Kelly will be 24 in March.

I’ll never get to hold her.

I’ll never get to see her.

I’ll never get to call her.

I’ll never be a big sister.

All of that experience was taken from me, by one very selfish decision.

Now, I dare one of you to tell me, she didn’t deserve to live.

I dare you to tell me, she deserved to die a slow and agonizing death.

I dare you, to tell me, that abortion doesn’t take a life.” – Shelly

 

Response from the “compassionate and logical” pro-choice crowd. I chose it because it highlights many common arguments from pro-choicers:

 

Oh, don’t try this emotional manipulation crap, it’s all to conform people to your views. There are medically and financially necessary situations for an abortion, and forcing people to give birth to babies with shit like anencephaly, or put them in a situation where the family/parent can’t even promise a good life for the kid. You preach sympathy, let legitimately lack it. You have to think of the long run, and the fact that not every kid will turn out to be some miraculous “I beat abortion” story. What’s the point in having them persist in life when they run the risk of dying or killing themselves, anyways? And what about the mother? I don’t give a shit about the rarity of those situations, they DO happen, and they deserve individual treatment. Loss of life is devastating, and I’d treat abortion as a last resort, but I’d rather end something before it began, than risk having that beautiful beginning become tarnished by the circumstances of life and illness. I can jerk at emotions, too. Don’t play this game and look at it more objectively and logically. Not everything will turn out “just fine” and that’s the hard fact of life. I’m really glad that some of you have stories of abortion refusal, and I’m glad that you/your loved one has persisted so long and are living fulfilling lives. Really. They are obviously better off where they’re at. That just isn’t always the case. I would have rather been ended before I began, than have grown up to be some schizo with physical ailments that’ll land me on SSI. I’d rather be healthy but unhappy than disabled, due to my own mind and body going against me.

That’s just my take and I expect an equally emotion fueled response. Considering that, take this and go because appealing to emotion is already a logical fallacy on its own, but even I don’t always listen to logic, let alone someone actually passionate about the subject.

Tl;dr, you’re a fully autonomous human being with a parasitic kidlet in you that isn’t even self-aware. If that’s life to you, eat a rock for ethical reasons.

 

So here are the problems with this woman’s arguments:

 

1. The lady who posted this seems to miss some of the logical conclusions and information she could have both “logically and compassionately” gleaned from this post. First, that there is a reason why the current pro-life movement is growing and increasingly younger. Because abortion doesn’t only affect the mother but the whole family. And it is a tragedy for siblings and father’s to lose a sibling/child and they should have the right to grieve without being made to feel like selfish monsters. I believe it is also particularly disturbing for the child who may think, what was to stop that from being me? Am I of so little worth?

 

2. While I can definitely feel compassion for being in financial straits due to a health condition of a child, I do not think, when it comes to abortion, that is a moral reason for taking a life in or out of the womb. Why? Because the unborn child is ALREADY ALIVE. She is already a patient not a decision to be made.  What I do personally believe is that NO parent should be in dire financial straits because of the life and death health condition of a child. But this does not justify killing the child. What we need is proper and compassionate legislation that will help parents financially in these difficult situations. Since when is money a consideration in whether you allow another human being to live or die? It should never be. In fact I am a bit surprised with our willingness to completely fund other non-life and death surgeries, that we leave poor parents who desperately want to care for both their current family and their sick child (both born and unborn) out in the cold. But it still is never a reason to justify the seriousness of taking a life.

 

3. Next, using Anencephaly and Down Syndrome as her personal examples when she has no personal experience with the condition seems particularly grievous. I am not sure people who have children with these conditions appreciate people using them as a poster child for reasons for abortion. Perhaps she should talk to my friend who had a child with Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect related to Anencephaly), and she can explain how the doctors tried to pressure her to abort even after she refused and how stressful that was for her. Also this lady seems to attack the notion that not everyone has a miraculous birth (of course not every story is an “I beat abortion story”, because those people are DEAD) the point is: while doctors can give predictions, we don’t know what that baby is going to be like until after they are born, and does not knowing justify the painful and excruciating ending of life of a viable late term child? Ethically not knowing does not justify such a grave and serious action. Also another point of note is the fact that so many people are having their pro-life beliefs reinforced because of the high number of false positives these tests produce. If you read the comments following this and other similar posts, this may be the biggest lesson here. We are literally making life and death decisions on a test that produces high false positives and those people are increasingly speaking out.

To learn more about the high false positive rate of prenatal testing please see:  https://www.nbcnews.com/health/womens-health/prenatal-tests-have-high-failure-rate-triggering-abortions-n267301

 To read my friend’s first person account about having a child with Spina Bifida please see this post: https://washingtonforlife.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/medical-professionals-in-washington-state-devalue-children-with-disability-one-mothers-story/

4. Ableism: We live in a society that does not value human beings for simply existing but for what they contribute to society and that is a problem. It leads us to devalue anyone who is not able to perform the same functions of 90% of the population. We think that if that person can not think on my level, if they cannot perform these tasks, if they never reach MY level of development then their life is not as valuable as mine. This is a startlingly Eugenics like approach that we seem to have not been able to purge from our thinking. Being able to do or not do something is not the basis for human rights. Human Rights exists not for what you can or cannot do but by virtue of being a member of the human race and like it or not, according to science the unborn are members of the human race from the moment of conception. Therefore, human rights apply and to deny human rights because an unborn child may not be as developed as I am or because they are disabled is unjust and morally wrong.

 

5. Length of life: “What’s the point in having them persist in life when they run the risk of dying or killing themselves, anyways?” Say what??? If I were to die next week would that justify you killing me now? No, we would still call that murder and some might argue it was all the more tragic because I was denied the little time I had left on this earth. Not to mention the fallibility of human doctors in making predictions about life and death. Start talking to people and you will see how many times a doctor has gotten such things completely wrong.  And on that note, I would like to point out that WHEN we get a horrible prognosis and an estimated life expectancy (ie. You have six months left to live) we celebrate when we beat those odds, but in the case of an unborn child, we get ANGRY if a mother isn’t allowed to just decide to take that life early instead of seeing if that baby might beat the life expectancy odds, like a mother would ever do that to her BORN child (Oh wait, she can’t because it’s illegal).

Length of life is not an ethical or moral reason for ending a life early. If length of life makes a life worth living, who is to say what that length is? Is it two weeks? Two years? 10 years? 45? 61? Is a 51 year old of more worth than a 12 year old? Is a 12 year old of more worth than a 2 year old? Is a 40 week newborn of more worth than a viable 37 week unborn child?  Should a doctor deny care to a 2 year old if they determine that 2 year old only has 2 weeks left to live? Should a doctor choose to care for the 40 year old over care for the 2 year old with the same prognosis? Length of life is not a justification for preemptively taking life.

What is an acceptable “risk of dying” that allows you to end someone’s life? Why does this double standard apply to unborn children and not to born children as well? WHY IS THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE SUICIDE BEING USED AS A REASON TO KILL UNBORN CHILDREN???? IS SHE IMPLYING THAT PEOPLE WITH DOWN SYNDROME AND ANENCEPHALY ARE KILLING THEMSELVES IN HIGHER NUMBERS THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION??? IS SHE SAYING THIS IS DUE TO THEIR DISABILITY??? I’d like to see THAT data.

 

6. Personal preference: this may be the weakest logically AND compassionately and yet many pro-choicers fall into this fallacy. For someone who is advocating that each case is different, putting in your own point of view does not take into account what people in that actual situation feel. They don’t take into account the pressure and misinformation that the parents may already have or that the doctor or families may instill on them. But most importantly, how dare she speak as if she knows what it is like to have Down Syndrome or Anecephaly or  even “schizo” ( can that even be predicted before birth?) or any other condition she has not experienced. She says she would rather be dead but has she actually asked anyone with Down Syndrome or who is “schizo” if they would rather be dead? If you want to know if people with these conditions wish they were aborted we better go to the source and ask them NOT some lady who has no clue what it is like to exist with these conditions and can only make speculations on an uninformed opinion. This is a dangerous devaluation of anyone who is not “normal” aka: not like me.

Here is an Article summarizing a testimony give by Frank Stephens, a man with Down Syndrome, the article also points out that the abortion rate for Down Syndrome in some countries is above 90%: 

“Seriously, I don’t feel I should have to justify my existence, but to those who question the value of people with Down Syndrome, I would make three points.

First, we are a medical gift to society, a blueprint for medical research into cancer, Alzheimers, and immune system diroders. Second, we are an unusually powerful source of happiness: a Harvard-based study has discovered that people with Down Syndrome, as well as their parents and siblings, are happier than society at large. Surely happiness is worth something? Finally, we are the canary in the eugenics coal mine. We are giving the world a chance to think about the ethics of choosing which humans get a chance at life. So we are helping to defeat cancer and Alzheimers and we make the world a happier place. Is there really no place for us in the world?”

To read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/i-am-a-man-with-down-syndrome-and-my-life-is-worth-living/544325/

Here some activists with Down Syndrome are asking to be put on the endangered species list: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=qIYPwP5Nec4

7. Dehumanization: And now we get to the core of what leads to this Human Rights Violation. In order to justify the taking of innocent life, most people must agree that a developing unborn child is somehow, “not like me” or “lesser” than I am now. First we start out with the term “parasitic” as if the unborn child is nothing more than a “parasite” or “growth” within the mother that is somehow not fully human instead of a unique human being passing through a state of development that we must all pass through in order to reach our so called “autonomous” state. Calling this unborn child a parasite was specifically meant to demean and devalue that unborn child. However this is not a logical nor a scientific argument that can justify the taking of innocent human life but must be done by most of the pro-choice crowd in order to justify why the mother has the power to make such a serious and horrible decision. The problem with this is that even newborns are not in an autonomous state, so does that justify killing a newborn child? In fact I would argue that my two year old is not in a fully autonomous state as she would die without someone caring for her, so does that justify the moral and legal killing of my child? Most of us would recoil in horror at the thought and rightly so.

 

Here is a Facebook post about a Dr. that witnessed her first abortion procedure while she was in medical school. I post this because rarely is the unborn child humanized but here you can begin to see what an unborn child is subject to in a late term abortion procedure: https://www.facebook.com/jodie.jolley/posts/10205556628231795

 

8. Being “self-aware”: This argument may be the most insidious because, sure a unborn baby may not be self aware, but neither is a newborn. In fact some would say that until a child can speak, there is little proof that the child is self-aware. Is it ok to kill newborns and toddlers because they are not self-aware? At no time should self-awareness justify the taking of life. If someone were unconscious does that justify the taking of their life? Surely not, it is merely and hopefully a point in time where they lack self-awareness, but we know that time will end as that person comes out of that unconscious state and live a full life.  Again an unborn child is merely a human being passing through a necessary stage of development, just like a newborn, or a toddler, or a six year old child. To justify dismemberment or poisoning that child just because they cannot sit and ponder on their own existence yet is morally barbaric and a sign of an insidious belief in a mental Eugenics that devalues anyone, not just the unborn, who is not “mentally fit” enough to be granted personhood.

 

9. Science: the lady throws out the words “objectivity” “logic” and “compassion” like if she uses these words it will make her objectively morally and logically superior. She is right sometimes not everything will be “fine.” Life is hard and circumstances often beyond our control make them that way and we should always have compassion on those placed in difficult situations and try to cultivate policies that will give people the flexibility they need to deal with those situations in a healthy manner. However what have studies shown IS a healthy manner, objectively speaking? Is it lying to ourselves, self-justification? A lack of compassion for other human beings who aren’t like us? Treating others as non-human and violating their human rights so we can then do what we want and not feel bad about it? Devaluing another human being based on what they can and can’t do? None of this sounds like objectivity, sound logic, or compassion.

Science shows us that life begins at conception and that conception produces a unique human life. That is not convenient because for the first part of that time it requires that an unborn child resides in a woman’s body. Again not convenient but the scientific truth. If we acknowledge that the unborn child inside the mother is a human being, what other justification do we need to grant it human rights? It is a dangerous road to tack on additions to this stipulation because almost every justification that can be made for abortion inside the mother’s womb could be made for those outside the womb. It is time we acknowledge the hard truth: A woman who has conceived a child is ALREADY a mother of a unique human child and that child is in her care. Just because that child cannot be seen, just because that mother cannot yet hold that child in their arms does not change this logical and scientific fact. All considerations as to what should be done after this point, must be done only for the most serious and grave reasons and guarded by law so that the human rights of the most vulnerable humans among us are protected.

 

  1. Also, if you believe life begins after the baby passes through the “magical” birth canal or when a doctor says so, go eat an ethical, philosophical, AND scientific rock. (Whatever that means)

Medical Professionals in Washington State Devalue Babies with Disability: One Mother’s Story

This post is written by a guest writer Rachel who told me about her story about her experience with her son who was diagnosed prenatally with Spina Bifida in Washington state. 

March 2017, I’m not sure I could tell you the actual date. What I do know is we were beyond excited to find out the sex of our baby. It was our second together, but would make kid number 7 in our life (think of it kind of like a his, hers and ours). My husband planned to go to work late so he could attend the ultrasound with me.  We planned to reveal the gender to our immediate family at a dinner that night. We went in hoping to not spot the gender on accident while they went through the routine of checking the baby out.

I remember thinking this wasn’t how it happened last time, but this was only my second pregnancy. They measured the head multiple times and paid way too much attention to the feet and spine. When I thought we were done, she said she needed to bring in the doctor to make sure she did everything correctly. I really wasn’t alarmed at all. I guess she was a good liar. The doctor came in and introduced herself and began all the same tests and checks all over again. I was still chalking this up to having a bad memory of how it went down with our daughter. Once she looked over everything, she looked at us frankly and, from what I can remember, told us our child has Spina Bifida.

My husband started crying, and I knew it wasn’t good. To be completely honest, I had no idea what was going on. I don’t recall ever even hearing that term before. I think she started talking about other details, because I had to say “I don’t even know what spina bifida is or what that means.”

She explained my baby had a hole in his spine. I think this is about the time she rocked my world. The next thing I know she was giving me the option of abortion! I still didn’t understand what spina bifida was.

I was trying to understand what this meant for my baby and our family. Before I even understood what a wonderful life a person with spina bifida can lead, she was already giving me the option of ending his life. (I still didn’t know he was a he at this point).

I instantly told her that wasn’t an option for us. Even though I still didn’t know what lay ahead, we wanted our baby no matter what. She was kind enough to prep me that I would need to see specialists at the University of Washington and Seattle Childrens hospital.  She informed us they would again “give me my options.” She explained that the hospital we were in was a Catholic hospital and most people that work there do so because of their beliefs. She explained that they wouldn’t pressure me, but the other hospitals would be asking multiple times and probably not as gentle.

We left feeling so confused and upset. With a million things running through our heads, they added to the stress by bringing up ending our child’s life.

We were lucky to get an appointment two days later in Seattle with specialists who would confirm what was in the ultrasound. They gave us more information about what lay ahead.  She was correct in telling us that we would be asked again.

We were asked multiple times in the short 4 hours we were there. I was adamant that we would keep him, no matter what.

Part of me can understand the justification that “it’s their job to give me options”. What I can’t understand is why we were given the option to end my son’s life before I even knew what we were talking about. During our appointment they called him a fetus multiple times and each time I would call him my baby. That was really uncomfortable and frustrating to me. Again, I understand doctor lingo. While I was struggling, it would have been helpful to have them use the same terms I was using.

My heart hurts for people who can only see the negative of having a child with a disability. I won’t lie and say that life is grand. The medical bills would blow your mind. The doctor appointments seem never ending. We have had 3 surgeries in 6 months. The joy our little man brings to our life is worth Every. Bit. Of. The. Hard. His smile lights our world, his laugh would melt you. He brings a smile to anyone who meets him. He is our warrior, and he is making the world a better place. Even if it’s just our world right now.

Abortion is not the easy way out. It leaves behind pain. Having our little man has had some heartache, but having him here brings so much more joy than that!

Click here to read more about how abortion impacts men and women in Washington State.

Lets Save Time: Don’t Make Assumptions Because I am Pro-life.

When I first started my Washington For Life Facebook page, I started out with a post from Democrats for Life discussing how the pro-life movement needs to diversify and have bi-partisan support in order to achieve its long-term goals. I found it interesting to note that the first two people to comment on the post either wanted to 1. Cuss me out or 2. Wanted to deny that Democrats could also be either Christian or Pro-life.

Many times when I am reading comments about articles concerning abortion or pro-life issues, I see that people love to get off the topic of abortion and engage in attacks about other issues such as “Those horrible godless Democrats are killing babies!” First off, as many as 1/3 of the Democratic party is pro-life and just because someone is Democrat doesn’t naturally follow that they don’t believe in God. Or on the flip side, people who are speaking against pro-life supporters will say that they don’t care about the vulnerable, don’t care about women’s rights, are hypocrits because they don’t adopt, are old men, republican, and don’t believe in taking care of the mother or the baby after birth, are anti-feminist etc, etc.

Here is the problem…you don’t know me. In fact all you know about me is that I am pro-life. That tells you virtually nothing else about me. Most of the pro-choice’s attacks don’t apply to me (And, I would argue do not apply to may pro-life people). First of all, I am neither Republican or Democrat. I find my beliefs lie on a sliding scale that swings between the two. But I am pro-life. I am a woman and a millennial and pro-life. I believe in policies that help the poor (WHY IN THE WORLD ISN’T CHIP PASSED YET?!?!?) and pro-life. I believe in policies that help women and children, and *gasp! Outside of abortion, I believe in access to birth control…and I’m pro-life! I believe in the support of government programs for the poor need to be not only effective but expanded. And I’m pro-life. I believe women should have equal pay, I believe the workplace should have family friendly policies in place for both men and women, I believe that women are equal in capacity and ability and decision making to men and that sexual harrassment is inexcusable. And I’m pro-life. I believe in women having as much opportunity and choice as possible in life and in their reproductive choices. I just don’t believe in killing or promoting the killing of unborn children.

I believe in helping vulnerable populations which include: homeless, children, poor, minorities, immigrants, refugees, disabled, the abused, sexually exploited, women with unplanned pregnancies etc.  And I’m pro-life. For me being pro-life fits into this list of helping those who are vulnerable. I could not in good conscience take it off and still claim to be an advocate for vulnerable populations.  I believe in adoption and plan on adopting not because I need to because I am pro-life, but because I believe in helping vulnerable populations and working to improve others lives. I believe in making sure minorities and  disadvantaged children get the opportunities they need to be successful in life.

Look, I don’t have the answers to everything and maybe you disagree with me on some things but all I want to point out is that just because I’m pro-life doesn’t automatically make me pro or anti anything else.

To paint the pro-life movement as a bunch of old, religious, republican men is irresponsible and simply not true and anyone from either side of the aisle that promotes that are promoting a draconian and false image. Pro-lifers increasingly come from all walks of life. They are Christian, Muslim and Athiests. They are LGBT and straight. They are scientists and religionists (and both!) and doctors and nurses. They are Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians. They are feminists. They are men and women, young and old. They believe in social justice for the poor, minorities, immigrants, refugees, the disabled, abused, women and children. In other words they come from ALL walks of life.

So Please! Save us all some time and take this into consideration in the future when commenting on abortion or pro-life posts. Maybe then we can take one more step toward a real discussion of women, the unborn and reproductive rights.

For further reading, and a probably better covering of this topic see “The Pro-Birth Fallacy.”

Why “95% of Women Not Regretting Abortion” Will Not Change a Pro-Lifer’s Mind on Abortion.

Recently I read a report published on Plos One entitled: Decision Rightness and Emotional Response to Abortion: A Longitudinal Study. In the study is the much loved statistic by those who support abortions that 95% of women (up to 3 years after because that is as long as the study has gone so far, they forget to add that little part) do not regret their abortions. The study then goes on to conclude that the women who did have stronger feelings of guilt and so forth about their abortions was due to the fact that they lived in areas where the social stigma against abortion was greater. The study then concluded that to not help these women feel bad about their abortions society should work on getting rid of the stigma against abortion.

Now when I read studies, especially when they claim to be “unbaised” and don’t admit failings in their study, I have found that it is in my best interest to read the opposing sides review of the study because then I can begin to see the limits of the study. (I would much prefer the limits and the bias in the study were already stated but that is rare as it is hard to see outside your own bias box) Anyway to see a review of the limits of the study, and how that study sits in relation to other studies performed please visit this link here. Of course be aware that this is a prolife page so they will have their own bias. (Like I said its the “other” side).

Ok, sorry about that aside about bias and studies, I’m simply tired of the weaponization of statistics in our society and I know how easily data can be twisted to make it say what you want it to. Ahem. Moving on.

I first came across this 95% statistic in an article posted by Planned Parenthood on their Facebook page. This article was written by a mother who was going through her 3rd miscarriage. She was comparing her miscarriage to the abortion she had had several years before and saying that they were basically the same. Looking through the comments people were saying things like “Yeah its the same! Miscarriage is mother natures form of abortion” and so on and so forth. Funny that they couldn’t acknowledge the choice involved in an abortion as opposed to a miscarriage since they claim to be pro-choice.

Unfortunately this statistic nor this mother’s story holds the weight that some people seem to think it does, at least not among those who are prolife, here is why: Let’s say that we are in 1948. Three years after WWII ended and the atrocities of the holocaust are coming to light. Lets say, in an attempt to understand how everyday people could participate in such atrocities, there was a survey done of all the Nazi’s who worked in concentration camps. (There wasn’t to my knowledge so don’t try to go find this study, I’m totally making it up). Let’s say this is what it said:

It was found, that 95% of those surveyed did not regret their time working in the concentration camps. In an open ended section one person wrote: “People die all the time, of disease, starvation, old age; death is inevitable, mother nature is the number one killer. Gassing people in gas chambers is no different.” 

Another person wrote “At first I felt some regret but I had a lot of social support for being a Nazi and working in the camps, my parents supported me, my friends were all Nazi’s and worked in the camps, even my government supported me, and now I have moved on and made great successes in my life and career, why should I regret it?”

Still another person said, “Look, what I did was lawful at the time. I was convinced of its necessity.”

It was noted that the people who had the most difficult time with their actions were those who came home to strong social pressure opposing what they did in the camps. Some expressed regret and even experienced depression over what they did. However if steps are taken to remove the strong negative social stigmas against the events performed at the concentration camps, these people would fair much better both socially and mentally.

Does it follow that  those who have chosen to take a life and not regret it, mean that the taking of that life was right? Does it mean that rights were not violated? Does regret or lack of regret make right and wrong? Clearly that is not the case with the Holocaust (and although there are no statistics, there is plenty of evidence that many did not regret within the first three years: although they did later as society recognized the horrors that were committed.) Is dying of natural causes the same as someone choosing to end a life? Should we try to avoid feelings of regret and depression from taking life? Or admit that certain negative stigmas are there to help keep us on moral ground and in the case of the Holocaust, to avoid it from happening again.

Today abortion has had a hold in America for so long that the governmental allowance and social acceptance of it is enough to know that many women are victims of abortion. Can they be blamed if their moral compass has been skewed by what society is telling them?

If a woman feels regret and depression over her abortion she should receive the help she needs to heal and come to an emotionally stable place. It is not the outside pressures that need to be adjusted, but the inside guilt and remorse that needs to be acknowledged and addressed. And like we would never want the Holocaust to happen again, a woman who regrets will hopefully choose other alternatives in the future and refuse to get an abortion again.

So, either way within the prolife community, whether the 95% statistic is legit or not, it is not what sets the prolife moral compass. Both the statistic (if it is legit, and/or the best way to measure the effects of abortion on women: which is arguable in and of itself) and the fact that some see miscarriage and elective abortion as the same thing, is merely a symptom of how far society has twisted their beliefs about what constitutes life and human rights.  But, like the Holocaust, which now is universally acknowledged as a horrible, horrible catastrophe never to be repeated, our beliefs concerning life and human rights can also become untwisted. So here’s to the day when elective abortion is looked back on with the same horror that the Holocaust or slavery is now looked back on. Let us say about abortion, as we say now about those events: never again.

And for the  “5% ” out there who are experiencing pain because of your abortion, here are some resources for you to find support and healing:

CareNet of Puget Sound provides abortion recovery: Call 253-272-1818 or email healingtide@carenetps.org

Rachel’s Vineyard

Predicting Death: How Doctors Misdiagnosed a Woman’s Unborn Baby

I was sitting in my child’s story time group at the local public library watching my daughter crawl around and play with the toys that were laid out. There were other moms there of course with their children, some toddling around, some crawling, and some running. One was a perfectly healthy adorable little girl, her hair in pigtails, running around and playing with other children. The mother of this little girl was there, pregnant with her second child and looked as if she were about to give birth any day.

While our children were playing, this mother told how when she was pregnant with her first child (the little girl in pigtails running around and playing), the doctors had told her that her baby had been diagnosed in the womb with some fetal abnormality, I don’t remember exactly what it was but they told this mother that her baby was going to die. The mother never mentioned whether any of the doctors or nurses brought up abortion but she said that every time that she went in, the nurses and doctors told her multiple times that her baby was going to die. Even after it was obvious she had chosen to keep her baby despite this diagnosis, they still told her that her baby would not survive.

This mother expressed what a toll that took on her as she couldn’t relax and the constant state of panic and worry she was in over her child. Anyone who has ever carried a child, (especially your first but really any child) knows the anxiety you experience over the health of the child you are carrying: a little being you can’t see or hear but know is alive inside you. To have the medical opinion that your child is going to die thrust into your face over and over again when it is obvious you plan to carry your child as long as you can is tantamount to medical malpractice because of the emotional and mental anguish you are causing the mother, which is also not healthy for the baby the mother has chosen to carry.

Not to mention the fact that while abortion was not brought up in this conversation, the only real reason I can see why these medical professionals would say such things even after the mother chose to keep her baby, would be to try to persuade her to get an abortion because her baby was supposedly going to die anyway right? So why waist the time and energy and money in an attempt to bring that baby to term right?

Here’s the thing. We like to pretend the doctors and nurses are somehow impartial judges in this whole abortion issue, that because they have a medical degree that they are not going to pressure anyone into getting an abortion. But medical professionals are people too and how they handle medical situations like offering abortions or recommending or even pressuring people into getting abortions is going to be based on their own beliefs about abortion. If they believe that abortion is the best case for the mother, even if the mother doesn’t want one, then they are going to do their best to convince the mother otherwise (maybe by continually telling the mother that their child is going to die).

Now they may really believe the child is going to die. That is not the problem here. The question is what should the medical community do once they have had the discussion and the mother has chosen to keep the baby anyway? And should a mother have to say “I want to keep my baby” in order for the pressure to stop or should the medical community have the right to continue to pressure until the mother actually announces her intentions or gives in and gets an abortion?

I know a lot of women who are shy, not outspoken women. I also know that the medical community can sometimes seem so professional it seems wrong to go against any of their advice. So if your doctor really thinks you should have an abortion, and you are a scared, vulnerable woman learning such devastating news like there might be something wrong with your child and your doctors or nurses present this news as fact instead of a chance that your child could have a serious medical problem, you may feel there is no other alternative, especially if the doctors and nurses do not offer any other options.

As I sat watching this perfectly healthy little girl run and play and light up the room with her laughter, I thought about how grateful this mother must feel that she chose to carry her child to term despite the constant dire predictions of the medical professionals who were caring for her, and the implied pressure that went with it. Not all women would have been so strong or have enough experience to know that you don’t have to take your doctor’s medical predictions as fact.

 

If you would like to learn more, please check out this article on nbcnews.com: Prenatal Tests have High Failure Rate Triggering Abortions

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The Ultrasound Technician who Dehumanized my Baby

When I went in to my midwife for my 16 week check-up she pressed the monitor to my belly to hear my baby’s heartbeat. After several attempts and moving the wand all around she could not pick up the steady rhythm of my baby’s little heart beating. She told me that the baby might just be turned away so she couldn’t pick it up but she got me scheduled anyway for an ultrasound the next day.

Being told that your baby may not have a heartbeat in any pregnancy is scary news but this was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know a lot of what was going on. How serious was this?  I tried not to think too much about it knowing I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it until I found out the next day. But still, I lived in a surreal world, waiting on the potentially crushing news, I ended up getting next to no sleep that night, the worry constantly in the back of my mind even though I was trying hard not to let it get to me.

The next day I went in to get my ultrasound still trying not to think too hard so as not to be overwhelmed by the possibility of losing my child. This would be my second ultrasound. I had gotten my first one at about 12 weeks as most women do. The ultasound technician who had performed my first ultrasound was very personable, willing to point out different parts of my developing child’s body and answer my questions. While she made it clear that nothing that she said was an official diagnosis (only doctors can do that), it was comforting to have her calming personal attitude that made me and my baby feel like we were actual human beings with feelings.

However the day I went in for my second ultrasound, the ultrasound technician, while displaying a professional attitude, definitely left something to be desirable when it came to personableness. Yet this is not the point of the story. Honestly, I am not the most personable person in the world and that definitely wasn’t the main thing on my mind at the time. I explained why I had come in for an ultrasound that day and we started the ultrasound. I held my breath and my chest aching until the steady rhythm of the heartbeat showed up on the screen. I felt my chest finally unclench and I breathed a sigh of relief. My mom who was there with me for support sobbed in relief.

As we finished up the ultrasound and right before the technician left, needing one more word of reassurance, I asked the technician, “So my baby is ok?”

The technician said, “You’re pregnancy is viable” and then left the room. I was left feeling uncertain. Viable….that was a good thing right? If I wasn’t still coming off my worry high, I might have been less confused by her wording but what I had been looking for was a “Yes, your baby is alive.” And getting something so impersonal as a “viable pregnancy” was hard to digest.

As I did start to digest it, I began to become upset. My “pregnancy” was “viable”? What kind of answer was that? For those who don’t know, those who are in the prochoice abortion industry often use such words as: “pregnancy” in the place of baby or they use “viable” instead of using the word alive. What this technician was doing in the moment was injecting her dehumanizing viewpoint into the conversation in the middle of my crisis. I needed to know that my baby was alive, that she had a beating heart, that everything was ok and all I got was something about my pregnancy being viable.

To be honest, I didn’t care about my “pregnancy” in that moment. This is not a game in political correctness. To me it was life and death, it was my child. What I cared about was the little fruitsized person growing inside me and it was highly offensive to me to have my child dehumanized to my face like that, especially in that moment when I needed the most reassurance.

So no, it was not ok to tell me that my “pregnancy was viable”. One, that is not what I asked, and two it was insensitive for multiple reasons to answer in such a way; especially when I had used the word baby in the asking. Women do not want to know about their “pregnancy”, they want to know about the little life growing inside, they want to know that their unique individualistic little human child is alive and well. It is not ok to dehumanize a child no matter what stage of development they are in just so you can state a political viewpoint. Especially when that child’s mother was obviously so concerned about her darling little baby girl.

What John Oliver Taught Me About Racism

Some of you may be familiar with John Oliver’s show: Last Week Tonight. While personally I am not a fan of his potty mouth and vulgar humor, he has some episodes that really make some good points. I especially appreciate some of his investigative work and actions he takes on many issues that most people do not know about.

One of those episodes is on school segregation. In it he talks about how after school bussing laws were struck down, an increasing number of schools, especially schools in the north (some that may have never desegregated) have become segregated. He discusses the disparity between low-income/over 90% minority schools and middle-class schools with mostly white students. Now for those of you who don’t know, I am a teacher and have spent 5 years in public education doing everything from being a para-educator to Teacher to Director of Assessments. One school that I worked at was a Title I school that had a 95% Latino population. This is a real thing, I have seen it personally.

He talks about how parents who are against bussing may not be intentionally racist, they might legitimately just be against bussing. Then he makes this point: “You don’t have to be intentionally racist, to do things that have racist effects.”

This point made me pause. I mean, he was right. I have heard many people argue about why they are against bussing or other school desegregation programs and they largely stem from an argument of convenience. However, I know that personally these people who are making these statements also aren’t going around talking about how much they hate black people or minorities. In fact these people saying these things would probably stick up for a minority person they met on the streets if they personally saw an injustice going on. This is because they are not intentionally racist. And yet despite this fact, being against a program that encourages desegregation for convenience reasons has racist effects whether we want it to or not.

Abortion has Racist Effects

The CDC put out a report on the percentage of African American abortions. Out of all abortions, African Americans make up 35% of all abortions while African American Women make up only about 12% of the female population of the US. In NYC, more black babies are being aborted than being born. (Thanks Politifact for fact checking that statement).

The prolife movement have used these statistics to call the prochoice side out on being racist. They argue that because of the prochoice eugenicist past, that they are still carrying out that goal today; that they secretly want to continue to use abortion as a form of black population control. And with Planned Parenthood making statements like the one below, it may seem as if this position is correct.

Planned Parenthood Halloween 2017 Blacks

However, when the prolife movement claims that the prochoice movement is being intentionally racist, the general population has a hard time taking them seriously. Are we supposed to believe that the abortion industry, the supposed champion of women is racist? That workers are headed to work with the intention of killing as many black babies as possible? I don’t believe this and I don’t think that the general population believe that. The abortion industry is simply doing what brings them money, performing abortions.

And yet even though the abortion industry is not being intentionally racist, what they are doing has racist even eugenics-like effects. Unintentional limiting of the African American population has the same effect as intentionally limiting the African American population. If we are looking at this on a grand scale, this is really bad for African Americans as a whole because the faster your population grows, the greater number of representation you have, the more power you have as a group in voting and in the government and every aspect of society.  Population growth for minorities is a good thing. And population control of a minority group through any program is the definition of racist.

Abortion is devastating our African American communities and while both sides tries to point the finger of blame, the fact is that more and more African American mothers feel like they have no other choice than to choose abortion and that more and more unborn babies are being killed. On a more personal level I hope we can all mourn the loss of life and the pain that accompanies it in our black communities.

The Argument of Convenience

Purposefully marketing abortion to African American women in light of these statistics is unethical not only because it ignores the social good that bringing more minority babies into the world causes but because it completely ignores the racist effects of their actions, intentional or not. And if your company is a non-profit organization that is supposed to help women, then you have a moral obligation to worry about the social impact of your policies over your pocketbook.

The reason that people generally oppose any measure of bussing or desegregation usually has to do with convenience. Even though it is inconvenient to enact desegregation policies, it is still the ethical thing to do because of the racist effects that segregation causes.  In the case of abortion, let’s not ignore social responsibility for the convenience of bringing in money by selling out the African American population. Every one of those unborn children is a beautiful baby that has just as much right to life as any other race of population and we, including the abortion industry, should be concerned with the gross racial imbalance that is taking place concerning abortion. And the abortion industry definitely shouldn’t be marketing to African American women to make this imbalance even worse!

White Privilege

Instead of absolving themselves because they did not intend for abortion to become a form a population control targeting the African American population, the abortion industry and prochoice movement need to address the racial and eugenic like effects the industry has created.

I am white and being white, I have been given certain privileges that are not afforded to other minority groups. Looking at history and racial policies meant to benefit whites, this is merely a fact. No matter how hard I have worked for all I have earned, the fact is that I had a leg up in society in getting there.

Now white privilege is not something I should feel guilty about. Indeed, I did nothing to get it and I definitely was not the one who created all the racist policies that benefited the white race at the exclusion of minorities. However, I do recognize that I have benefited from something in my life that others do not have to their exclusion, and even though I am not responsible for how it happened, I am responsible for what I do about it now. For example I can support policies and ideas that help minority groups to have a more equal stance in society. (Like supporting desegregation policies for schools)

The same goes with the racial and eugenics-like results of abortion on minority groups. Even though the abortion industry has a sketchy past mixed in the eugenics movement and racial policies, I do not believe that today’s prochoice and abortionists are going out and intentionally targeting racial minorities for racial or eugenic reasons. But that does not change results or mean that there should not be a very serious discussion among the American people about what should be done about the racial imbalance in these statistics. And the abortionists and prochoice movement needs to address these statistics, not ignore them. An argument over intentionality is not enough, we need to discuss about what should be done about the effects of abortion on minority groups and how we can change them and both sides, prolife and prochoice need to listen to each other and stop sacrificing the African American community to their respective causes.

Click on the Link for Sources:

John Oliver-Last Week Tonight: School Segregation

CDC-2013 Report on Abortion

Politifact Fact Check NYC statistic

PP Statement

A Black Woman’s Voice: Abortion Hurts Our Community

I also wanted to post a link to an article that was a fantastic interview with a prolife black woman but I can’t find it now….when I do, it will go right here.