Friday, October 17, 2008

Air quotes McCain

Apparently, McCain can do no right.

It seems he's set off a fire-storm by putting "health of the mother" in air quotes in the recent debates. And, although I'm still not in favor of either candidate, and feel he couuld have handled his response better, I feel I should explain his response, on behalf of pro-lifers everywhere.

Partial birth abortion is the specific procedure to which he was referring. In a partial-birth abortion, labor is induced. The baby, often in the third trimester, is born feet first; in fact, they'll turn the baby breech if s/he's not already in that position. Then they deliver the baby up to the head. They inject a syringe into the base of the skull and suction out the brain stem. Then they deliver the rest of the baby. Why? Because if the baby takes a breath, they are required to let it live. If it takes a breath and they kill it then, it's murder. But as long as it doesn't take a first breath, it can be killed and called an abortion. And for the record, 80 percent of babies that this is done on are perfectly healthy. It used to be called "version & breech delivery."

Now, can anyone ANYONE out there give me a real-life example of this help the health of a mother in some way? In what situation would it be easier, physically, for a women to undergo this proceedure, rather than just deliver the baby and hand it over to the authorities? Because at this point, the abortion doctors in my state (who are currently being investigated) are using the mental health of a mother as sufficient reason, up to 36 weeks gestation. They say that it's too hard emotionally for a mother to give up a baby, but an abortion -- that doesn't hurt them emotionally. And as a birthmother who gave up a baby, I take issue with that.

I'm not even stating that abortion needs to be illegal at all stages. I do understand the medical reasons one might be necessary, at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 25 weeks gestation. But 33 weeks? 35 weeks? Come on.

So, yes, McCain should have done without the air quotes, but using the health of a mother as the justification behind partial birth abortions is just bull. Plain and simple.

Prove me wrong. I listen to research, to reason. Convince me otherwise.


Jacqueline said...

Tara said...

We had this conversation in our local group--what does "health and welfare" really mean? When would it *really* be necessary to do that? It seems like most stories you hear are like the ones linked in the other comment, where the baby has a birth defect incompatible with life or has already died. So we were trying to find real reasons with a need for late abortion of a healthy baby. And one friend wrote this:

"I'm one of those "life/health" people.

I have a blood clotting disorder. When I'm pregnant, my clotting factors go wild. Without appropriate anticoagulants, pregnancy is a very dangerous state for me. (thus my blood clot last time)

Heparin/lovenox is great but I don't tolerate it well (sores, extreme bruising, etc.). People can develop severe intolerance to heparin that is itself life-threatening. I'm lucky I'm not there yet.

If I became pregnant and was later unable to tolerate my thinners I would have to make a decision:
1. Terminate
2. Attempt to carry a baby to term that had a good chance of dying in-utero due to a placental clot AND attempt to complete a pregnancy where I have a strong chance of developing a blood clot that could lead to my death due to pulmonary embolism. (PE is the leading cause of death in pregnant women in the developed world)

So.... as the mother of one child who really needs me... that would be an awful decision but one that would really have only one answer."

Other situations we came up with include severe pre-eclampsia that develops before the baby was viable, diabetes that is not responding to meds in pregnancy, cardiac issues, cancer diagnosed during pregnancy, ectopic pregnancies, a demised or conjoined twin, uterine infection, pulmonary embolism, extreme multiples, disseminated intravascular coagulation, uterine rupture, seizures...

Definitely always a sad and horrible situation. But it seems there really are times when a mother cannot wait a few weeks to deliver a healthy baby. Especially if she is literally choosing between her baby's death and her own, and has other children at home who need her... well, I hope none of us are ever in that situation. :(