I'm an atheist. I believe in reproductive rights for women. I believe a woman should be able to abort a pregnancy no questions asked. Why should I have to also believe the nonsense that "life begins at birth"? It seems to me that a human being is created as soon as a sperm fertilizes an egg. The DNA of a human being exists from that point onward. Are we so under the thumbs of the religious right that we can't say, "Yeah, life begins at conception. So what? The woman still has control."?
Because the union of a sperm and an egg automatically means alive? I seem to recall it is something like %60 of all fertilized eggs result in miscarriage. It isn't really the DNA, as that is already present in the man and the woman. Throughout the whole situation it is still a matter of potential. Life is a process, and you really can not separate out a definite beginning for the life of an individual organism. Is it really just having DNA that remotely resembles human what we value in the law? No, the law may one day have to deal with broader definitions than that. It is the mind that we value, and this takes a long while to develop. If we want to determine what separates murder from contraception it is better to look at the lesser of evils.
When the mind is not yet functional, then there is no problem to terminate a pregnancy. If, on the other hand the mother has waited until the last moth or two and decides to have an abortion, then it is really the lesser evil to just have her carry it to term. Besides, at that point it becomes a serious health risk to have an abortion and many doctors will not carry out an abortion in the third trimester.
I'm not sure in what sense a fetus can "feel." I don't even remember being circumcised, which I'm sure, done as an adult, would hurt like hell. In fact, I have no memories much before my second year, and those are very hazy, like being in an inflatable baby pool in my parents' backyard. I'm pretty sure the fetus isn't thinking "OMG, I'm being killed!"
The ability of an organism to sense a stimuli is an issue from my point of view. If you grab a fetus with forceps and it reacts to the pincers penetrating it's body then there is pain taking place. If the abortion is necessary, for whatever reason, then it would be inhumane to not medicate the fetus first. I would think consideration for the unborn on a par at least equal to what dogs and cats receive at the veterinary clinic would be justified. There's a little more going on here than just grabbing a shop vac and cleaning your car's carpet.
Have you heard a single one of them demand that American soldiers cease and desist from murdering Iraqi children because they, too, have a "right to life"? Of course not! No, it's not reverence for life that motivates them, it's Old Testament male domination.
It's a bit of a stretch to compare the right to life of a fetus and an indoctrinated 7 year old Iraqi child who is strapped with an IED and instructed to engage an American soldier(s).
No one has mentioned the responsibility issue of women who have repeated abortions. Should abortion be considered an expensive form of birth control? Is it ultimately the women's responsibility to ensure she does or does not get pregnant? Should sterilization be considered at some point?
I had the traumatic experience of assisting my first girlfriend as she went through an early stage abortion. It affects both of us to this day. There are mental aspects of this procedure that cannot be fathomed until you have experienced it first hand. I'll never forget the day I sat in the clinic's waiting room and witnessed another woman about to have the procedure. She was so flippant and upbeat about it all. It was as if she was about to have a manicure done or something.
I have had the experience first hand. It was the best decision of my life. I was very young, couldn't provide for a child, and would have no help in doing so. Prior to my getting pregnant, I asked my mom to take me to get birth control and she refused. She told me that it would be "giving me permission" to have sex. Shortly after, I became pregnant. She did the right thing by taking me to the abortion clinic and I have never looked back. That has been about 11 or 12 yrs ago now. I still don't have any children and I plan on keeping it that way.
The place was packed when I was in there. I could only imagine if all of these women had decided to have children. We think we are looking at an over-population problem now? Ha! Thank you to all of the abortion clinics out there helping us keep it under control :)
It's my belief that counseling should be provided before and after an abortion. Especially for teenagers who have them. I've heard of the trauma that they cause for many people, and I can't believe we are allowing them to be done without any mental health or emotional therapy for those who need it.
For most women, it is no different than having some cramps and a little extra bleeding. While it is difficult for me to fathom that a significant percentage of women would find the experience any different than other routine, outpatient procedures, if someone were to request counseling then it should be provided. But to offer it before and after to women who not only don't need or want it, but may find the very offer of it more traumatizing than the actual procedure, seems self defeating. It reminds me of conservative efforts to emotionally blackmail women by making them pretend to be a mommy with a baby doll or name their fetus prior to following through with the abortion.
I truly can't understand how offering counseling to a woman would be somehow traumatizing or self defeating. You accept or decline the offer. End of story. I wish it had been offered to my girlfriend in the seventies. Offers to counsel are an important step in the right direction. As unsettling as it was for me I know the male gender really can't make a comment on the ramifications a woman might possibly experience. Just as they'll never understand the actual process of childbirth.
Then there is no sense in me trying to explain, if you truly can not understand it.
And because a male may never experience certain things intimately, it does not mean they are clueless to the point of being dumbstruck. I've spoken to women who have had abortions and read many first hand accounts of experiences from the female perspective. I can comment on it and I'm confident that many (not all) women would agree with much of what I say on the subject.
But, let's try and see if you can truly understand or not. Regarding counseling, in some cases, are simply an excuse to guilt and shame women. Whether it is forcing women to listen to fetal heartbeats, or making them choose a name for their fetus they had planned to abort, or carry a baby doll around for a couple of days so they can experience what they are passing up, not all "counseling" is created equal. And these are techniques that have actually been used or proposed. So, I should have been more clear. If women are being offered general medical counsel, then I have no issues. If women are being offered grief counseling, then I take a huge umbrage with that.
Actually... no ed. In my state... it's not optional. You MUST go to a pro-life counseling session and wait at least 24 hours before getting an abortion.
So the state doesn't have enough power already. Now we are going to have to get state approval for medical procedures?!!!
I would be more in favor of people (especially teens) getting counseling before they get tattoos or radical piercings. The counseling will remind them that they will probably be 45 year old soccer parents or insurance sales people someday.
It was mandatory at the clinic I went to. I did not want or need it, but they made everyone do it. But I don't know how they do it now, this was about 12 yrs ago.