This article addresses other popular issues and additional aspects that are often brought up regarding abortion, such as discussions of late-term abortion (extremely rare and only done under conditions of extreme medical trauma), Parental Consent, Abortion in cases of Rape, comparing abortion to the Holocaust or slavery, the dishonesty of graphic posters and signs, issues regarding late term abortion, the myth of abortion-induced guit, and other issues in women’s reproductive self-determination.
Late Term Abortion
The reality of late-term abortion, however, is that:
a) It is extremely, extremely rare — less than 4 out of 10,000 abortions.
b) It is used almost exclusively to terminate pregnancies that were wanted, but in which something has gone wrong. Many of those who have late term abortions are traumatized twice: once in the loss of a WANTED pregnancy, and again in being demonized by cruel individuals trying to promote a religious agenda no matter how many lives they destroy or how many people they hurt. Some of the worst cruelty and bullying has occurred by those protesting and obstructing against women obtaining late-term abortions of pregnancies they wanted, already traumatized by but which went terribly wrong,
c) It is being exploited by those opposed to women’s reproductive self-determination as a means of demonizing all abortions, including first-term abortions (when almost 90% of all abortions actually occur) which have little if any resemblance to abortions in late term.
Abortion and Rape
No person who denies the right of women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy that results from rape can ever raise the issue that a woman should make her “choice” prior to consenting to pregnancy (and no, it is not “rare” — it happens tens of thousands of times ever year, and no, it is not a “gift from god” and no, there is no such thing as a “legitimate rape” and, no, the female body does NOT “shut that whole thing down” and yes, any rape can result in a pregnancy).
Of course, that whole “consent” argument is absurd to begin with, as discussed at length in my article at:
But even for those who labor under that delusion, they cannot discuss consent as an argument against abortion if they refuse to recognize the right to abort in situations where it is not relevant.
Oh, and by the way, men need to remember that even men can be raped, and not just in prisons.
Several years ago I was involved in helping provide support services in a case where a young teenage boy, who was not gay, was raped by a same-sex rapist (which is far more commonly done by those who are straight, not by gays — rape is not a crime of sex, but a crime of domination.).
I would never wish this on anyone, including those who demonstrate a lack of empathy for the victims of rape, whose numbers are overwhelmingly female.
To anyone who bears no compassion for the victims of rape, really want you to actually, seriously think about this and how YOU would feel if you were penetrated by an unwanted assailant. against your will.
A girl who is old enough to be pregnant is old enough to make certain decisions that affect the rest of HER life and which SHE more than anyone else will bear consequences for the rest of her life.
I have never seen a “parental notification” proposal that includes a requirement that the parents who make a decision opposite what the girl wants are forced to assume lifetime liability for responsibility and support of the child; and how do the anti-choice conservatives feel about a situation where the parents think an abortion would be the best way to handle a problem situation, but a girl wants to carry to term?
Some point out that a girl can get an abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy without telling her parents, but can’t get an aspirin without parental permission. We are not talking about headaches and aspirin here, but life-changing consequences, regarding an issue that is loaded with emotional and moral implications that don’t apply to aspirin.
She may not be old enough to make all adult decisions, or to consent to legal adult choices or even adult relationships, but if she is pregnant, whether she aborts, carries or gives the child up for adoption,
SHE will be the one who endures the consequences for the rest of her life. That is true whether she was forcibly raped, the victim of incest or “thought” she was in love and was trying to act like the adult that she isn’t. In any case, the examples of incest and child abuse are, alone, valid reasons why notification laws are not workable.
Almost all girls with a problem situation will turn first to their parents for help. If a girl can’t go to her parents with this kind of problem, then she should not have to, especially since the inability to do so already raises red flags about the family dynamics.
And the alternative is what? A scared teen girl being forced to go to a judge?
The whole point is to set up one more roadblock to make abortion harder. Newsflash! The whole point of having LEGAL abortion rights is so she doesn’t have to have a “do it yourself” or back-alley job. She IS going to be talking to adult professionals, even in the extremely rare instances when she can’t go to her parents. Look at the reality. This issue is not about parental control; if she can’t go to her parents with this kind of problem at this age, they have already lost control. This is about stopping girls from having abortions at all.
And this issue cuts both ways: to those who think the parents should make the decision, I would ask them to consider: will they support the right of the parents to decide a girl should get an abortion if she gets pregnant, wants to keep the baby, and the parents don’t think she is mature enough to handle that responsibility and don’t want to see her “ruin her life”?
Will they let the parents decide to require an abortion against the teenager’s wishes?
The Myth of Abortion-induced Guilt
One of the enduring myths about abortion is that women who have one will be emotionally scarred. The reality is that millions of women have had abortions, many more than one. The vast majority have no regrets and almost all report that it was the right choice for them in that situation. The reality is that a routine first trimester abortion, such as 90% of abortions, is quick, painless and medically safe — in fact, less medical risk than nine months of full term pregnancy and childbirth.
Very few women express regrets, and numerous studies spanning decades have consistently confirmed that nine out of ten feel no subsequent guilt or regret.
The few instances where regret occurs can be traced to situations in which either other people pressured a woman to make a choice that was NOT her free choice, freely made, or women who later converted to religious sects or cults that imposed external guilt that they would not have experienced absent the imposition of that outside self-fulfilling prophecy.
L.A. Times: 1-27-2011 p. A8
“Abortion does not prompt mental problems, study finds” by Shari Roan
San Diego Union-Tribune 1-27-2011 p. A15:
No higher mental health risk after abortion, study finds” by Alicia Chang, Associated Press
Base source: New England Journal of Medicine 1-27-2011
Consistent with 2008 study by Linda Beckman
Study conducted by: American Psychological Association
“Mental Health and Abortion” by Brenda Major, PhD, Chair, Mark Appelbaum, PhD, Linda Beckman, PhD, Mary Ann Dutton, PhD, Nancy Felipe Russo, PhD, Carolyn West, PhD, August 2008
Abortion and the Holocaust
Jewish people had measurable EEG brain waves and actual thoughts, feelings, emotions and sentience.
Jewish people had measurable EEG brain waves and actual thoughts, feelings, emotions and sentience.
Fetuses do not.
Jews were NOT occupying the most private part of someone else’s body.
Comparing the value of a living, breathing, sentient Jew to that of a speck of embryonic tissue is a tremendously anti-Semitic insult to a people who have been persecuted enough.
There are several big differences: In the Holocaust they killed real, live, conscious and feeling human beings, with individual experience and personal histories. A 1st trimester abortion removes cell tissue that has no sensation or awareness or thoughts or feelings or experience of any kind. Zero. Not even any measurable EEG brain waves.
By the end of the first trimester, neural pathways have barely been formed, but are not yet sending transmissions. There is zero consciousness. Early embryos (fertilized) can actually be frozen, stored for years, AND REVIVED (recently a BABY was born from an embryo frozen and stored MORE THAN 7 YEARS after fertilization).
No brain wave endowed human has even been brought NEAR the freezing point (even briefly) and then been revived. With apologies to the cryogenic societies, that can’t be done to a human life – once a full (not potential) human is frozen, it is DEAD. Whether it is the existence of a soul added later, or the development of adequate biological complexity, or whatever, there is a big difference between a fetus (potential human) and an actual human.
But even if a fetus WERE human, it would not have the right to dominate the body of someone else and demand 24-hour care for 9 months from a woman against her will; after birth the baby is pretty helpless, but constant, ongoing care from a SPECIFIC caregiver is not required.
Anyone who can equate JEWS with insentient fetal tissue with no brain waves is ANTI SEMITIC.
Abortion and Slavery
Comparing the horrible human rights abuses of fully human slaves with the “rights” of undeveloped cell tissue is a terrible cultural offense against the victims of slavery and their descendants. Maybe white males just don’t feel enough compassion for the victims of slavery, mostly from other racial backgrounds, or the victims of anti-choice policies, who are mostly women.
The fetus is not a full human being, but a POTENTIAL one any more than an acorn is the same as an oak. Thus a fetus itself, until born, does not have HUMAN rights.
And EVEN IF IT WERE HUMAN, it would not have the right to demand control of another person’s body against her will. Imagine a hypothetical court case involving two estranged brothers. One had two healthy kidneys, the other’s kidneys had failed and he needed a transplant in order to survive. They were genetically compatible, but the healthy brother refused to give up one of his kidneys. The sick brother — a fully-human being — sued in court to force the organ donation, saying he had an inalienable right to life. The court rightly agreed that, while voluntary organ donation is a beautiful choice, people cannot be FORCED to keep someone else alive by using their bodies AGAINST THEIR WILL.
The closest similarity to slavery applicable to the issue of abortion is the attempt to deny a woman’s right to prevent a fetus from controlling her body against her will and making HER a … SLAVE.
As I have said, the only relevant comparison between the issues of slavery and abortion is that of sentient being (Black slave) to sentient being (woman) who are both forced to have their bodies used for the interests of others against their will.
Please remember, that the modern women’s rights movement began at the 1848 (pre-Civil War) World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott — women — were refused participation and quickly realized that women were no better off than slaves and they better get that straightened out and it was just as much of a priority.
Graphic Posters and Signs
Who are the deceptive ones carrying gross signs with graphic pictures of aborted fetuses around schools and clinics to FORCE people to see such pictures? The pictures themselves are deceptive … either using late-term fetuses in a general campaign against all abortions (a vast majority of which occur in the 1st trimester) or against “discretionary” late-term abortion, which are virtually ALL done for serious medical reasons, at great trauma to the women who have them [since they wanted their pregnancies — otherwise would have had the abortions much earlier], whose pain — the pain of REAL, not potential human persons — is trivialized by the cold, heartless people who then have the nerve to call themselves “conceived-again” Christians.
Since they can’t convince people on the merits of serious argument, the pro-life extremists who use such tactics have just one hope: to try and gross people out with pictures with as much blood and gore as they can fit on a poster, and then parade where small children will be present. In MY community, such tactics have backfired, and even pro-life believers have expressed their outrage and revulsion. Many medical procedures are gruesome. Should we show posters of open-heart surgeries to small children? People whose faces are being reconstructed after grotesque auto accidents? The more extreme elements of the pro-life movement don’t care about women who are human persons; they only care about fetal tissue. Should I, as a vegetarian, parade in front of YOUR favorite restaurant where YOU are eating MEAT, with pictures of what goes on in the slaughterhouse where your meal came from? If you find such a thought revolting, is it because you know in your heart the vileness of your wanton, unnecessary killing of animals just to feed your lustful addiction to fat? Would there be a difference? [For the record, as I have stated many times, I do not equate animals with persons and am respectfully pro-CHOICE on the subject of vegetarianism — I do not go around carrying signs or yelling “Meat is Murder,” but I could make a lot stronger case for their position than the pro-life one, since birds and mammals clearly ARE sentient, conscious and autonomous – not requiring that you use your body to keep them alive.]
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Articles on this Site:
Moral Aspects of Reproductive Choice
When does HUMAN LIFE become a HUMAN PERSON?
Hint: HUMAN LIFE does NOT begin at “conception” (fertilization).
Life begins BEFORE fertilization; both the egg and sperm were alive and human (i.e., human life) long before that point.
The real issue is: what qualities of human personhood are necessary to have developed in order for that “life” to develop into a human “person.”
Legal and Legislative History and Issues in Reproductive Rights
Roe v. Wade was decided 7-2 — not even close — and written by Harry Blackmun, a REPUBLICAN appointee of Richard Nixon, citing personal liberty issues and the “intent of the Founders” since abortion had been legal in all 13 original states for almost 50 years, until Connecticut became the first to outlaw it in 1821.
Judeo-Christian Religious and Scriptural Aspects of Reproductive Rights
Even though we are a secular nation with separation of state and church/temple/mosque, for those who claim (without basis) that the Christian Bible opposes abortion, the irony is that THE BIBLE IS 100% PRO CHOICE (well, at least for the husbands, if not the wives):
Additional Issues in Reproductive Choice [this page]
Turning the tables on the typical conservative myths about late-Term Abortion, Parental Consent, Abortion in cases of Rape, and more.