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The New York Times wrote a great article today about Oklahoma's decision to make women who are considering having an abortion have an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus in an attempt to dissuade them--even in the instance of rape or incest. Another part of this new law says that women who have given birth to children with serious birth defects cannot sue the doctors for withholding this information because they did not want the woman to choose to have an abortion. Another part of these laws wasn't to make it mandatory for women seeking abortions to fill out a lengthy questionnaire about why they are choosing to have an abortion and then post their information on the internet. Also, they are looking into how the state can restrict certain insurance policies so to make it unable for women to use them when seeking an abortion.
I really could go on and on about this but I think you get my point. If it isn't already hard enough for women to make these decisions lets just step it up 10 fold and force them to put their life choices on the internet. I am so, so sad about this and I can only hope that feminist can rally behind this and make sure that this ridiculous nonsense does not come to fruition.

Comments

  1. I definitely share your sorrow in this. I'm still not sure why the concept of separation of church and state ever became an idea when it seems that even now, it is only a concept to hide behind, instead of practiced. The law that Oklahoma is passing is basically a guilt trap so that the pro-life movement, even if it doesn't succeed in outlawing abortion, can make even more people feel bad about it. Like you said, it's a hard decision for a woman to make in the first place, but even so, in many situations it's a necessity for the woman's health (This includes the women who are carrying children that are the products of rape or incest, the emotional responsibility a woman would have to take on to raise her child properly may be quite difficult to handle.). I understand that there are other options other than abortion, like adoption, but there are so many kids in the system already, some with good lives, others subject to discrimination, that putting a child up for adoption could end with results far worse than simply terminating the pregnancy in the earlier stages. If this law has to be in existence, I think that it should be modified so that terminology does not affect the mother's decision extensively. The biggest thing when it comes to semantics is the difference between baby and fetus. When you hear the word baby, you think of a cute, little infant that you couldn't even possibly considering taking out of your life; the word fetus, however, usually only brings up images of ultrasounds and less images that are reinforced with joy. The doctors should have to use the words zygote, blastocyst, and fetus. And let the doctors explain the organ system, but also make sure they explain what's not developed fully, like the lungs for example. Right now, almost every state (I know Colorado is no longer one of them, I'm not sure if there are others) defines life at first breath. The fetus does not breath in the womb, on top of that, many organs are still far underdeveloped at the times that abortions are still legal for a woman, which means the fetus isn't even close to being that infant running around outside. I'm not sure if anyone is pro-life for anything outside of religious/moral reasoning (if so, I would be really interested in hearing the reasons for being pro-life), which is why especially in this case, church is obviously not separated from state. The church believes (in most cases, as far as I'm aware) that the soul enters a child at conception, and that's why it's called murder for pro-life individuals, but at conception, the only in the woman's body is a zygote, one that's not even in the uterus. After a month of pregnancy, the zygote becomes known as a blastocyst and finally travels to the uterus from the fallopian tubes. It's not until nearly 3 months into the pregnancy that the blastocyst becomes known as a fetus, and at that point, the fetus is only 2 inches tall. All of this information - as well as information past the first trimester should be quickly addressed and understood before a woman makes her decision. Information about abortion should be more widespread as well, because I think usually when people hear the word abortion, they still picture a dead, bloody baby, and that't not even close to what it is. Within the first trimester, there are two pharmocological methods to abortion, and only one surgical method. In the second trimester, there are two commonly used surgical procedures. The pictures that are usually shown by the pro-life movement are from the third trimester, in which the mother cannot even legally have an abortion unless the pregnancy will cause serious health problems to the mother. Most refer to any third trimester abortions as partial birth abortions. If states want to make it mandatory to make a woman sit there and listen to what's in her stomach, then the states need to make it mandatory for the doctors to explain it medically, not morally.

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This page contains a single entry by Tara published on April 28, 2010 2:03 AM.

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