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Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing, and she works full time in digital media with a large cable network. When she isn't at work, blogging, or washing someone's socks, Katie enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large and totally impractical, 113-year-old Victorian house.

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THIS is the Reality of Late Term Abortion

By Katie Allison Granju |

late term abortionPerhaps no other group of American voters is more categorically vilified by (most of) today’s GOP candidates than those millions of women who have had abortions. And among that group of already stigmatized women, those who have committed the unforgiveable sin of having a “late term abortion” are made out to be the worst of the worst.

But that’s wrong. And unkind. And unfair.

Over at my friend Kristen Howerton’s most awesome blog, Rage Against the Minivan, she’s been running a fantastic series of guest posts from readers called “What I Want You To Know.” In the most recent one, an anonymous reader writes movingly of the unbearable, unthinkable choice with which she was faced in the 23rd week of her third pregnancy:

…the pregnancy was causing my body to shut down.  If I didn’t deliver my baby immediately, I would die.  As a mother of two small children, hearing this sent me into a horrible panic.  They wouldn’t remember me.  They wouldn’t remember me.  At 23 weeks there was no hospital that would revive the baby and my third son wasn’t going to survive.   This time, I wouldn’t be so lucky.  This time, instead of waiting for my son to come home, he wouldn’t.

 

This mother of two little ones at home had to decide whether her children would lose their mother – whether they would grow up motherless…

And she made the choice that they would not.  She made the choice that meant that her toddlers’ mother would come home to them, even if the baby in her belly, whom she loved with all her heart, would not.

THIS is the reality of “late term abortion” for the vast majority of women who are forced by tragic, horrible circumstances to have them.  In reality, “late term abortions” are almost always a family and personal tragedy of monumental proportions, compounded by the fact that after having to go through it, the mothers who have endured them know that they can never speak safely or openly of their loss without risking personal condemnation and cruelty.

This is the “procedure” that candidates like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul want to “ban.”

And this anonymous blog reader’s story is the reason that we mamas who love our children, and who know the ambiguity and pain and complexity of a maternal love so inextricably tangled up in our own physicality must become more willing to speak out against overly simplistic anti-choice bigotry.

It’s never, ever simple. It’s never, ever easy. And it should not, CANNOT ever be Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich’s decision to make.

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My own abortion story.

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What are your personal views on abortion and the law, and how did you come to the point of view you now hold? Please share your views on this topic in the comments below.

NOTE: this is obviously a sensitive and deeply felt issue of discussion. I welcome and encourage your comments, personal experiences, and points of view. However, let me be clear that while strong opinions are completely welcome, I will delete any comments that specifically attack, shame or insult any other commenters, or that are abusive, nasty, or rude. Let’s have a smart, compassionate discussion about an important issue, shall we? Thanks, y’all – Katie

And in  addition to sharing your comments, please consider clicking the Facebook “Like” button at the top of this blog post to share with others. Or if Facebook’s not your thing, you could show my post a little love by  giving a quick tap on either the Twitter or “Pin It” Pinterest buttons that  are each also located right up top of the post. Much obliged! – kag



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About Katie Allison Granju

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Katie Allison Granju

Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing. Katie also enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large Victorian house. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie Allison's latest posts →

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106 thoughts on “THIS is the Reality of Late Term Abortion

  1. Katie Granju says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Susan.

  2. sara says:

    You are wonderful. Thank you for posting this, thank you for focusing your talent on such an important issue.

  3. natalie says:

    What percentage of abortions are due to this extremely rare condition again?

  4. Amelia says:

    I was induced at 23 weeks due to medical problems December 6, 2011. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
    I’ve since read stories with circumstances similar to mine, but where the women have had to fight every step of the way to get the support of their medical community. If I had not had caring, supportive doctors and nurses, I don’t know what I would have done. I don’t know how I would have mentally survived it.
    The idea that these choices could be taken out of my hands, and put into theirs? Outragous. Absolutely.

  5. Katie Allison Granju says:

    Natalie – are you asking what percentage of second and third trimester pregnancy terminations are due to HELLP Syndrome? Or due to any diagnosed life threatening condition faced by the mother?

  6. Helga says:

    The Virginia Senate voted yesterday to make it mandatory to have an ultrsound before abortion. What are these men thinking?

  7. geri a says:

    I am standing up and applauding at my computer screen right now. THANK YOU for writing this. I never had an abortion, early, mid or late term, primarily because of plain dumb luck. But good gosh gertie i am sick to death of the rick santorums and newt gingrichs and ron pauls, and a gaggle of popes and bishops and priests, other religious people, etc. telling women they are sinners and bad and wrong and evil and baby killers and whatever garbage, yes garbage, comes flying out of their mouth as a woman makes a decision that these men have no, none, nil, nada, right to make or be any part of whatsoever. (And I just love that so many of these politicians also want to cut programs to help the women that they feel they can force to have a child to help said child.) I usually write a response and then go over it, choose my words carefully, etc. but on this topic I am letting my heart lead. Never, ever simple or easy. indeed. and never, ever should it be anyone else’s business. Again, thanks for writing this Katie!

  8. Sunday Stilwell says:

    I have watched a very close friend of mine go through this same situation. In her case she had a bleeding issue after a routine amniocentisis and spent a month in the hospital praying and hoping she would be able to carry her son to term (or close enough). Sadly when she was 22 weeks pregnant her body began to shut down from the blood loss and the infections that were trying to take her life. She gave birth to a perfect, tiny little boy and it has haunted her ever since.

  9. Kristin says:

    Thank you for posting this, Katie. In the unbelievable climate right now, The Daily Show, Slate.com, and posts like this are helping to keep me sane.

  10. Michelle says:

    Rather than vilifying Gingrich, Santorum, etal. (and I have huge problems with Gingrich and Santorum, BTW), not to mention the “gaggle of popes and bishops and priests” — thank you for the Pavlovian anti-Catholic bigotry, Geri — have you considered looking at the situation from their point of view and trying to understand where THEY are coming from? Especially Santorum, whose own wife faced the choice of late-term abortion twice.

    Rather than vilifying them as misogynistic tyrants, perhaps you might ponder the horror they are seeing. The horror of children dying terribly (and please keep in mind that I am straining to avoid putting that more bluntly) because these children’s own mothers were, for whatever reason, unwilling to do what mothers have been willing to do since the beginning of time — sacrifice their own lives for their children, if necessary.

  11. Laura says:

    I think it is interesting to note that Karen and Rick Santorum personally faced the choice of life of the mother or life of the fetus. It’s a long story, but it is worth searching for the link — Karen delivered a baby boy at 20 weeks after contracting a severe infection. The doctors had to administer antibiotics to save her life, however the Santorums were aware that the life saving drugs would bring on labor and the baby was too premature to survive outside the womb. It adds another layer to the debate I think.

  12. geri a says:

    I am a Catholic, Michelle. But that doesn’t mean any of those men of the cloth have any right to decide this for any woman.

  13. Dayna says:

    I know that Ron Paul is personally Pro-Life however I have also read that he isn’t interested in a Federal law prohibiting abortion. I can’t get the link to open, so I can’t read what you are referencing here regarding Paul.

  14. Leslie says:

    Rick Santorum is on record as supporting the right to an abortion to save the mother’s life. His own wife lost a baby almost at viability, and she has stated that if she had not gone into unstoppable labor and she was faced with the choice between her life and the baby’s, she would probably have chosen induction. (I blogged about this here: http://lesliesholly.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/because-truth-matters/)

    Almost all proposed laws limiting abortion include saving the mother’s life exceptions. Your link for Mr. Santorum above refers to an Iowa bill containing such an exception. Your link for Mr. Gingrich does not provide any evidence that he is against induction abortion to save the life of a mother. He did sign the Personhood Pledge, which provides such an exception. I could not get your link for Ron Paul to work, but a few minutes’ of research indicates that he, too, supports that exception.

    Why use these hard cases that no one is trying to make illegal to promote the need for legal abortion? If you want a debate on the legality of abortion, why not share some stories of women who had abortions when their lives were NOT in danger, since those are the abortions that are in danger of being banned?

  15. Krystal says:

    I had HELLP Syndrome too, thankfully I didn’t get it until 32 weeks. However through support groups and other bloggers I know others who weren’t so lucky and also lost their babies because this horrible disease hit them when their babies were too small to survive. HELLP Syndrome is a very fast progressing disease and there is no treatment or cure besides delivery. Simply put if the mother didn’t deliver both she and the baby would die.
    With all that said, I am also 100% pro-choice, and it disgusts me to continue to hear about these politicians telling women how horrible they are for choices that they have made about their bodies, or want to make.

  16. Claire R says:

    My own personal feelings about abortion have nothing to do with what I think other women should do. Because it is a CHOICE. A legal choice. The mother who chooses her own life to care for her small toddlers who need her so badly makes a horrible, hideous choice.

    Politicians have no right to make these decisions. These Republicans can blather on all they want about wanting smaller government, yet they want government to be allowed into our wombs. They neither want to support birth control, nor abortion, nor poverty-stricken women with the children that are the products of other choices. Who, exactly, are they in support of? They are not pro-life, they are pro-birth. Once the child is on the planet, you’re on your own, Mama.

    This sickens me. When they open non-profit adoption agencies themselves, when they open foster homes thaty they fund and work in, then perhaps they could offer alternatives to abortion. Until then, they need to shut the hell up, IMHO. I hope people realize that this is all only a question because it involves women. If this were a men’s health issue, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  17. Shari says:

    In my teens and early twenties I was very ‘religious’ against abortion UNTIL…I found myself pregnant knowing I couldn’t care for the child and was messed up as a person at the time. I had an abortion and have felt terrible for years about it (I now have three kids). I do not feel badly anymore after much counseling. I am now pro choice. Of course, I’d rather see a baby born but if the mother can’t take care of it then there are options.

    Now, I am sure people will bash me here but a woman’s body is hers and she deserves the right to choose what’s right for her.

  18. Michelle says:

    Geri, thanks for the clarification. I do appreciate it. Susan B. Anthony was once told by a male abolitionist friend that she had no right to be speaking about marriage because she had never married. In response, she told him that, if that were true, then he had no right to speak about slavery because he had never been a slave. The point she was making is the same as the one I am trying to make here — in moral issues, people have a right to speak out whether or not they have personal experience.

  19. Katie Granju says:

    @Leslie – My point in this post is not specific to one type of situation in which women make the choice to terminate a pregnancy. It’s about the fact that thes situations women face when terminating later in pregnancy are tragic and awful and deeply personal. And the idea that women are making these decisions lightly or thoughtlessly or selfishly is deeply offensive to me.

    I have never written or spoken publicly about the day I had to make the decision to take my beloved teenager off of life support so that he could be free. Some day, maybe, I will. But I am terrified to do it because I know that as horrifying and haunting and heartbreaking as that decision and that day were, there are many people who would say that I had no right to do it, that I was selfish to do it, and that I was a bad mother for having done it.

    That’s the same reason why women who have been through the HELL of a late term abortion are afraid to speak of it.

    Respectfully,

    Katie

    PS: For anyone who wants to read a thoughtful, sincere, smart blog by a pro-life progressive, you should check out Leslie’s wonderful writing. She and I don’t always agree, but I hold her dear, and deeply respect her reverence for life – http://lesliesholly.wordpress.com/

  20. AmyB says:

    Susan, that is the most beautiful, nuanced, complex thing I have ever read on this subject. Thank you so much for putting that out there in your delicate, honest, powerful voice.

    Katie, thank you so much for these links, and this discussion.

  21. Sam says:

    Leslie, I think if anyone is paying attention to what Rick Santorum is saying during his campaign, we know where he stands. Newt Gingrinch may have signed the Personhood pledge, which SAYS they make exceptions for the life of the mother BUT…if you dig deeper, you find that Personhood only believes in intervening when the fetus is dead. Sometimes that is too late to also save the life of the mother. Much like what would happen at a Catholic hospital if you had an ectopic pregnancy (which absolutely cannot sustain a live birth), the woman would end up with either a ruptured ovary or perhaps death. For a baby that CANNOT live.

    The point is, we don’t need legislators and pandering politicians getting in the middle of these very personal, very serious medical decisions. We faced this in Mississippi in November. We fought Personhood and won and we’re prepared to do it again. I need to be able to trust my doctor to make the right call in these situations – to save my life. I think most women see the very serious implications – like the mother in this piece – of what can happen. None of us want our children to be raised motherless.

  22. Opus says:

    The whole thing about being pro-choice is the CHOICE. Nobody’s telling you what to do or making it impossible for you to do what you want to do. You have a CHOICE and it is between you, your partner, your doctor and your god and nobody else.

    The pro-life people want to make the rules that everyone has to live by. If you should happen to get pregnant (and you’re not allowed to use birth control) then you shall deliver the child. What happens after that is our of their hands.
    The only choice is to keep the child or give it up for adoption.

    If I’d had to make the decision, I would have chosen abortion. My then-partner and I would not have been able to keep the child and I wouldn’t have wished those genes on any adoptive parent – and especially now seeing what a friend is going through with their adopted child who has similar issues. Plus, though I don’t have a maternal bone in my body, I would have had a tough time giving up a baby after I gave birth to it. If I’d managed to keep it alive that long I’d have considered it a miracle!

  23. geri a says:

    @Michelle. You’re welcome. And Susan B. Anthony’s point is taken about speaking out on things we don’t have experience with. I will concede that to be true. I still believe in a woman’s right to choose. I have since I was very young, and always will. Do I like the thought of abortion? Of course not. Would I personally have one? I don’t know, as I said earlier, I was just lucky enough that I was never in a position where I had to choose. But oh my, if i were, I sure would want to be able to make that choice, and not have government or strangers or anyone else make it for me.

  24. Monika says:

    @Helga– The original legislation specified transvaginal ultrasounds, which serve no medical purpose at this point in the pregnancy. Essentially, they were intended to humiliate, threaten, shame, and dissuade. Nothing short of state-sanctioned rape. So that is what they were thinking… They have backed off the transvaginal part, but have kept the ultrasound requirement, which still poses an emotional burden in a difficult situation.

    I truly hope these men do not get their way.

  25. Dawnm says:

    I honestly believe if men could get pregnant, then abortion would be a non issue. It would be legal and that would be that. I get a charge out of men telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. I have never had an abortion but could care less if someone else did. What business is it of mine? There are way too many foster kids out there waiting to be adopted/cared for. Too bad more resources and money couldn’t be spent on that issue.

  26. Lissa says:

    I believe that life is sacred, at all stages of development. Once the egg and sperm come together, it is life – human life with a full set of human DNA, and is just as precious and worthy of protection as any other human life. Neither age, nor location should determine whether or not that life can be sacrificed.

    If the mother’s life is threatened by the continuation of the pregnancy, the line grows blurry. If the baby is found to have a problem that is incompatible with life, that too makes the absolutes not so absolute. It is still a loss of life and heart breaking in every way.

    I am personally conservative and hold fundamental Christian values. I believe abortion for convenience is a horrific practice. However, I am politically libertarian, and cannot imagine legislation that would protect the life of the unborn while not intruding into medical privacy. I will celebrate the day when someone is able to make it so, however.

    For those of you who claim to be pro-choice, please watch the video here:
    http://www.180movie.com/
    (if you are pro-life, watch it too! It’s amazing …)

    No gross pictures of aborted babies, I promise. Just some good food for thought. Just 33 minutes and it just might change your perspective on a lot of things. Open your heart, open your mind and answer the questions to yourself honestly. Are you brave enough to have your views challenged?

  27. Bobbie says:

    This is so so difficult. I consider my self pro-life, yet I understand there is no black and white scenerio. I may be ignorant on the issue but in my opinion inducing at 23 weeks for the sake of the mother’s life is not the same as late term abortion. Perhaps I’ve been indoctrinated by the right and how they view late term abortion where the gruesomness of it sounds like something from a horror movie.

    Thanks for giving us something to think about.

  28. Katie Granju says:

    So far, so good everyone. Let’s keep this important conversation moving with the same balance of strong views and general respect that we’ve had thus far.

    Thanks – Katie

  29. Annie says:

    I have always been staunchly pro-choice. I am fortunate to have never found myself in a situation where I had to make that sort of choice–but I don’t think it’s anyone’s right to tell me what to do with my own body. The broader implications of doing away with these practices in limited scenarios is appalling; these politicians are small-minded and are unfortunately letting their simplistic religious views get in the way of what is best for society as a whole
    http://www.tunheimfamily.blogspot.com

  30. Stephanie says:

    I never had an abortion, but I was a little late once in college – just long enough to start contemplating what life would be like pregnant. And let me tell you, I would have done ANYTHING to terminate that pregnancy. Not three days into it, and I had already started to hurt myself in hopes of a miscarriage.At one point, I considered throwing myself off a steep hill or a flight of stairs. Turns out I didn’t have to…but I really would have. Making abortions illegal won’t stop them. It will only make them much, much more dangerous. I kind of wish more people would recognize that fact in these debates as well.

  31. Dana says:

    I’m afraid that if I get too detailed about how I got to where I am today vis-à-vis my views on abortion, I’d be constantly interrupted and would forget something important, so I’ll just say this: I believe abortion should be absolutely and unequivocally legal up until it becomes more dangerous to get an abortion than it would be to give birth, and then it should be REGULATED more heavily, not banned–in the same way that we wouldn’t let someone just go into the hospital and have an arm surgically removed for no reason. But up til then? Pregnancy is only a consent situation, it’s not a contract. Anti-abortion people say we should treat a fetus like a born person. Fair enough. No born person is allowed to walk up to me on the street and hook themselves up to me by IV, and no born person is allowed to move into my uterus and start living off my bloodstream–WITHOUT my permission. And unborn persons (if you want to call them that) are only allowed to do those things so long as I am OK with it. Fair is fair. But I don’t think these people really want born and unborn people treated the same. I think they’re connected with the adoption industry somehow–either in it, or as a politician getting kickbacks from it, or a potential adoptive parent bitter because all those kids languishing in foster care aren’t good enough for them, they want a newborn they can brainwash.

    Yes, I went there. You’re welcome.

    As for looking at Santorum’s, et al side of the story? No. I don’t care how horrific they think anything is. This is my body, not their body. I control my body. They do not get to control my body. There are people in this world who think not circumsizing your baby boys is horrible. There are people who think tattoos are an abomination. There are people who think accepting a blood transfusion is a sin. If you wouldn’t let any of THEM write legislation backing up their religious beliefs, I don’t have to respect Santorum et al either. I can resent them all I like, because THEY. ARE. WRONG.

    And by the way, this is coming from someone who has had two children and has never had an abortion. So there you go.

  32. Ashley says:

    I definitely fall in the pro-life camp, but I often cringe when I hear pro-life politicians spewing venom for those who have had an abortion. I personally know that the issue not often an easy black and white or callous choice made by women.
    My own recent history includes a having a baby stillborn at 20 weeks. I can’t imagine if I had been faced with “deciding” what to do if I had to choose between my life and his. As someone else said, I think the rhetoric from those who are the same side of the issue as am I would be easier to swallow if the rest of their agenda was holistically pro-life, and not just in the sense of being anti-abortion.

  33. Lia says:

    Dana, if it were so horrible for an unborn person to “hook itself up” to you that you would be moved to kill it, wouldn’t it be wise to avoid the situation in which that could happen?

  34. Lissa says:

    Can anyone point to a single piece of legislation that Santorum has sponsored, co-sponsored, or even proposed that is based on his Christian beliefs?

    And the reason no one is interested in creating legislation to regulate or ban such things as tattoos, circumcision, blood donation, etc for religious reasons is that none of those things involves the death of an innocent person.

  35. Michelle says:

    Dana, let’s think about a born person coming up to you and sticking an I’VE without your permission. What would you have the right to do in response? You could pull out the IV, you could call the police. But you could not kill that person. Especially if the person was hooked up to you without that person’s consent and was actually another innocent party who had no choice in being linked to you. You could rage against God or the state, but you could not, either legally or morally, kill the innocent person who did nothing but find himself linked to you. You’d both have to find a way to live with the situation until the link could be legally and morally removed.

  36. cora says:

    I had my abortion when I was 19, a college student from a middle-class family. If I didn’t have the abortion, it would not have been a tragedy. My family would have supported me and I would have finished college, even if I had stayed pregnant. I had an abortion because I didn’t want to have a baby at that time, with that young man. It was not a “wrenching decision”. I have never experienced a moment of regret about it. I thank the universe that abortion was legal and cheap for me.

    There could be no tragic sonogram-images of my fetus for Virginian doctors to point at because I had my abortion (as did all of my friends who experienced abortions) as soon as I realized that I was pregnant, thus I aborted a three-week fetus. It probably wouldn’t have even appeared as a black dot on a sonogram. But that isn’t why I feel fine about it. The thing is, I feel that the needs and wants of a grown woman are more important than that of a first-trimester fetus. I eventually became a mother when I wanted to.

    I fully realize that this is a different scenario than a late-term abortion; I’m just relating my experience. My views on abortion are that I’m 100% pro-choice.

  37. Juanita says:

    As someone who was told she may die during childbirth, I can completely sympathize with any mother in this heart-wrenching situation. However, I have to say that as a mom of 4, I would willingly lay down my life for any of my children. Isn’t that the ultimate love a mother can give? Even now, if one of my kids was in danger, I would risk my life to save theirs. Yes, my children would be left motherless, but that is what love is …sacrifice. And that is why I have a husband and a family and a community of friends and loved ones to rally around my kids. Life isn’t pretty. There are hard, horrible things that happen each day. I know of a baby recently born at 21 weeks who has surpassed all medical expectations and is doing well. I know of other babies born at 23 and 24 weeks who are completely healthy and thriving. I simply cannot fathom making that sort of judgment call. None of us know when it is our time to go, but sacrificing the life of an innocent baby to save my own life? Never. And please, understand, I have the greatest compassion and sympathy for any mom who has ever had to face this horrible situation. She deserves our prayers and love and support, not judgement.

  38. Lida says:

    I’ve had an abortion in the later part of the first trimester, and I do not regret it. I feel sad and sometimes count how old that child could have been, but it was a right and responsible (yes, responsible!) choice for me to make at the time. No money, no finished college education, abusive relationship, no legal status in this country. What kind of mother would I have made? A horrible one, probably.

    I have two kids now – with the most wonderful man ever, I have a degree, a stable job and a decent income and raising kids is still hard. I can’t even fathom how difficult it would have been for me 10+ years ago with all those things missing.

    I cannot fathom what would have happened to me if legislators would have prohibited me from having an abortion. My children would never be born, I would have never met my husband. I agree with Cora that the needs and wants of a grown woman outweigh those of a first-trimester fetus. I just wish the politicians would see it that way.

    And please, let’s leave religion out of politics – whatever happened with separation of church and state?

    In addition – I can’t imagine that the decision to terminate the pregnancy in the third trimester is EVER made lightly. I’m sure there are always medical indications for it, so I don’t understand why Santorum and Gingrich make it a political issue. Maybe because it’s a very emotional issue for a lot of people (even judging by this comment thread)?

    http://zaikiandco.blogspot.com/

  39. victoria says:

    Andrew Sullivan posted a number of narratives from people who’d had late-term abortions (almost all for medical reasons) on his blog: http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2009/06/its-so-personal-a-round-up/200913/

    That’s a choice I’m very thankful I never had to be confronted with, and I have nothing but compassion for anyone who does.

  40. Shelley says:

    Realistically, abortion is a genie that is never going back in the bottle. Anyone who has enough money would still be able to get one by going somewhere where they are legal. And some would get a back-alley abortion, which would mean that in many cases it would happen later, and certainly be more unsafe. And in the case of third-trimester abortions, in most cases the woman would die if she does not deliver. It’s not that the woman could lay down her life for her child, even if that were her choice; neither the woman nor her child would survive.

    Further, I do not understand the actions and rhetoric of some pro-life people is when it comes to their attitude on contraception. Planned Parenthood prevents more unwanted pregnancies than any other agency, in fact they are the only option for inexpensive contraception for many. I find it extremely hypocritical that some campaign against Planned Parenthood without having a viable option for how to prevent pregnancy.

    I can’t believe the topic of abortion is such a driving force of political debate today, but now CONTRACEPTION has joined it — and I find that truly incomprehensible.

  41. Anon this time says:

    For commenter Bobbie, above:
    The trouble with the abortion “debate” is that folks have a hard time coming up with reasonable middle ground. “Surely 20 weeks is too late.” “Surely if the mother is in danger, there would be no problem.” Not true. I learned the hard way, through my best friend’s experience. She was “too late” in making her decision and ergo was a “late term abortion,” and her life was not in danger…but read on…this is what changed my mind politically, if not in my heart. Clearly everyone who gets an abortion doesn’t have these dire circumstances and anguishing decisions to make. But there are enough of them out there that I changed my tune entirely. And Bobbie, bless your kind heart. I truly trust you’ll pray for my friend and her baby, and share my story not to be strident or in-your-face but because like you, I once believed that in a case like this, SURELY there could be an exception made. But it wasn’t. To her doctors’ dismay, there was nothing they could do locally and had to send her out of town before she clicked to the next milestone week and had to go further away to receive the treatment she chose. This is what happens when these kinds of all-or-nothing laws are in place.

    Google “body stalk anomaly.” (Do not click “images.” Text is horrifying enough.) If you can’t Google: it’s a malformation of a developing fetus. The internal organs develop outside the body and cannot go in to the abdominal cavity. There is no way to save a baby with this condition. They die soon after birth, in a painful fashion, and their birth often compromises the future fertility of the mother.

    My best friend, who never used any illicit substances, with the exception of some drinking years earlier in college, went for her 20 week ultrasound, to learn the gender of her long awaited and joyfully anticipated first baby so they could paint the nursery and announce the name. Instead she learned her baby had a body stalk anomaly, and would die a certain and painful death if the pregnancy were to continue. My friend would have 20 more weeks of baby kicks and rolls with a child who would be dead within hours of being delivered, and whose delivery could compromise her future fertility.

    She also lived in a southern state that has banned late term abortions and so had to go cross state lines and stay in a hotel to terminate her pregnancy.
    There was nothing cavalier or unthinking about her decision. If other mothers want to hope for miracles, or carry to term, my friend has nothing against that. There are some beautiful blog posts from moms who made a different decision and carried to term, or at least the natural end of the pregnancy. She would not force them to terminate. All she asks is that her decision also be respected. It was her first baby and she wanted a chance to have another.
    (She is now the mother of a wonderful child. Interestingly, due to other, unrelated health problems, she is unable to have any more, so if she had not terminated the first, she would not have had any.)

    She and I both still have copies of the footprints of her firstborn. We mark the baby’s birthday every year. We still grieve together. And I cannot remain politically pro-life when I realize that pro-choice is exactly that: something that gave my friend an option to do what she felt was the right thing for her baby, herself, and any future children she might have. To add the stress and cost of out-of-state travel for a medical procedure no one wants just added to the heartbreak. But every time I hear right-wing politicians and pundits speak, we realize she was lucky it was just out of state.

    Katie, thank you for speaking out on this.

  42. geri a says:

    Katie,

    I read your blog not only for what you write, but also for what fellow posters write. I think you have a wonderful, smart, thoughtful group of people who follow your blogs. Particularly when you choose a topic that has some “meat” to it, I am always amazed at what I read and come away with much to think about and consider.

    This thread has been no different. I have been touched by so many of the shares (and to lissa, yes, I did watch what you posted, I had actually seen it before, and thank you. I’m going to offer you a chance to challenge yourself too. Listen to Richard Rohr and James Findley’s CD’s “Jesus and Buddha, Paths to Awakening, Finding the Four Noble Truths in the Heart of the Gospel”. They are excellent.)

    Anyway, I’m writing again because I wanted to let you know that out of all the great stuff and thought and ideas and opinions that have been presented here, the one that moved and struck me the most was yours–in response to Leslie. Sharing how you aren’t sure you could write about the decision to take Henry off life support because of fear that someone will say nasty things about that decision (and yes, someone probably would), I cannot imagine how painful and difficult that was for you (and I’m guessing Chris was a part of the decision too). And as I was reading it, with tears running down my cheeks, the thought kept going through my head, this was their, and only their decision to make. A heartbreaking, painful, hellish decision we all hope we never have to make, but sometimes people do have to make these kinds of decisions. How presumptuous, even ridiculous it would be to say anyone else other than you and Chris had a right to make that decision. And I guess when all is said and done, that is how I feel about abortion too. It is a tough, difficult decision that only the people involved in have the right to make.

    Take good care.

  43. Mandy says:

    I do not call this an abortion. To me an abortion is the termination of a healthy child for no reason other than the mother doesn’t want it. Terminating a baby for the health of the mother or the baby is a different story. God bless her in her decision. That can’t have been an easy choice to make. After losing two children to miscarriage and stillbirth, I have become a harder person, but when it comes to losing a baby for the mother’s health, I can support her through it. That’s just as bad as losing the baby like I did. The only thing I myself can’t support a mom through is aborting a healthy baby for no other reason than she doesn’t want it. “Life is beautiful”

  44. Amanda says:

    I am pro-choice because the personal beliefs of the elected politicians should never be forced on an individual woman. For those who suggest that their morality trumps that of women who actually face these decisions, your position is arrogant. Some women don’t believe that life starts at conception, some don’t believe that a fetus is a person, and some don’t think that they are “taking an innocent life.” Just because YOU do does not mean that you have any right to dictate what occurs in someone else’s body. So, if you really feel that way – don’t have an abortion. By the way – allowing the government to control your reproductive choices by forcing you to have a child you don’t want is doctrinally consistent with a government dictating how many children you can have and forcing you to abort or be sterilized (which has occurred in a number of states anyway), but I digress….

    Let’s be real – abortion will never be stopped entirely. Yes, it could become illegal again, but the fact is that the technology exists and making it illegal will only prevent government regulation of the conditions necessary to make abortion safe. I encourage those that would deem abortion illegal or inaccessible to read the following:
    http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/anatomy-of-an-unsafe-abortion/
    Because making abortion illegal is not going to stop women from aborting. They will likely die trying.

  45. kb says:

    Doctors are wrong ALL OF THE TIME. Just saying. You can’t always blame the politicians and spout the most heart wrenching example you can get your hands on. I would die for any one of my babies, even if that meant carrying them around an extra couple of weeks. My two surviving children would always remember their mama as a hero for bringing their brother or sister into the world.

  46. Angela says:

    I’ve always been very strongly against abortion at any stage when the abortion is simply for the convenience of the mother. It’s simple. If you don’t want a baby, don’t have sex. There’s a huge exception here though for those with risks to their health and risks to their family. That is an EXTREMELY difficult decision for a family to make, and of course, should be a family matter, not a governmental one.

  47. Wilmajean says:

    I would have gladly died knowing that jesus died for all of us so we could live and have choices. Your children would have understood. I lost a son at 6 months and a daughter at 8 months preg . I would have died for them in a heart beat.

  48. kb says:

    And Babble, stop publishing stories that are political propoganda! Focus on the women– NOT on mentioning politicians and the GOP. Too much more of this (this is the 3rd article this week!) and you can count me a discontinued reader. I don’t like political comments mixed in with my morning reading.

  49. ELA says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I was faced with a horrible choice at 23 weeks due to medical complications with my precious baby girl, it was the most horrifying decision I have ever had to make, it was my worse nightmare. It was hard for me to talk about with friends with out feeling like I may be judged. Women need to have a choice, they need to have birth control as well. Do they not understand that providing birth control options for women will help prevent the need for some abortions and lead to less families needing government assistance for unplanned children, as well as a lower amount of child neglect/abuse.

  50. Sabrina says:

    What you are forgetting is that they are mainly against abortion by choice, not by necessity. Sometimes, yes it is necessary and no one wants to make a woman die because the pregnancy is killing her, but there are so many women out there who are using abortion as a form a birth control. That’s what I have an issue with. If you are not married and you don’t want a child, keep your legs shut!! There’s no reason that innocent children should die out of irresponsibility.

  51. Monica says:

    It is cases like this which I do believe women should have the choice to abort, but I also think abortion is way over used and there should be much more counseling before, during, and after. Here’s the thing, I lost a baby at 20 weeks pregnant. It was a baby that until I didn’t have anymore I wasn’t sure I was prepared to have. She would have been my 4th child and it was only going to be 17 short months after the birth of my son. And we had been through a lot of ups and downs with him. I never had any intentions of aborting, but I was very unsure if I could handle a 4th child at that time. And when the decision was made for me it broke my heart and I forever grieve that baby who was with us for just a short time. Women are aborting as birth control, women are aborting because they are told their baby won’t be perfect. There are no guarantees in life and doing it because you don’t think you can provide for a child to me is selfish. I strongly believe in adoption being a great alternative. I do not necessarily think if a woman’s life is on the line that it should be ended for this baby to have life and that’s the kind of thing that should be the choice of a woman. But her choosing to end life simply because that life will have Down Syndrome I completely disagree with. That should not be her choice to make. People don’t bat an eyelash when a woman aborts a fetus, but if she miscarries we feel bad for her because life has begun and now it has ended. If a woman goes through pregnancy has the baby and then finds out it has Down Syndrome and she kills the baby we are appalled, but if she aborts the baby it’s well he wouldn’t have led a good life anyways. It’s easy for us to say it’s no big deal when there’s no face to that baby, but once you put a face on it then it becomes a horrific act. That is what I would like to see end about abortion. Regulations and guidelines need to be set for doing it. Not just it’s a woman’s choice because sometimes women make bad choices and sometimes these choices effect men.

  52. cheylene says:

    Do they want to ban medically necessary abortions like these or are they speaking out against abortion as a choice if you decide you don’t want the baby? I think there is a major difference and they should talk more in depth. Is it legal to force a mother to risk death as in this case? I don’t believe in abortion, I’m very pro life but I do also understand the decision that this mother had to make. My prayers go out to her.

  53. Pamela says:

    This is a touching & sad story. I feel that stories like this are the minority & most women are simply careless at the time & then decide they don’t want it. I know someone that had 2 in one year simply to punish a boyfriend that cheated. Stories like those make me sick when so many can’t have children at all. I am blessed to have a healthy beautiful baby girl & baby #2 on the way, but some aren’t so lucky.

  54. andrea says:

    To me personaly if u dont want kids dont lay down and open ur legs ok and like a lady said earlyer she would put her life for her kids that is a mother rite there if u get pregnat keep the baby dont kill it I hope that that becomes a law no abortions in the state of califorina….

  55. Amanda says:

    @ Juanita , that was beautifully said. I would lay down my life for my child, that is TRUE love. If my child/children do go motherless at least that child/children would always know the love I had for them. I would NEVER consider an abortion not even due to medical circustmances. I can’t imagine having the right to take a life. Yea it’s you’re body….we all heard and know that. If you don’t want a baby now or ever, take a damn pill, get a damn shot, get the patch, but DON’T get pregnant on accident and KILL a baby. I am a Christian, I am proud, I am 100% PRO LIFE, and I am telling people who had an abortion YOU are selfish, and irresponsible, and rude. No matter how many pro choice people defend for “THEIR” body I will NEVER back down my beliefs. Is body was GIVEN to you by GOD. That Baby was GIVEN to you by GOD! He won’t ever put you in a situation you can’t handle! Consider adoption, there are millions of people who can’t have that baby you are going to kill. Think of them! GOD says thou shalt not kill, well abortion is killing, because it is a life at the moment of conception. You have created a living being. Wether inside or outside of you’re body, it still lives! Idc whoever bashes me for being religious on here. Without GOD , you wouldn’t be here. Remember that.

  56. Tpole says:

    Your children are lucky to have you. Thank you for courageously sharing your story.

    My feeling has always been, if you’re against abortion, don’t have one, but don’t make that decision for anyone else.

  57. Sara says:

    Let’s not confuse the true issue here. This isn’t a black & white debate & it shouldn’t be one. Abortion is wrong in most cases. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t special circumstances such as the one described here that deem an abortion as medically necessary. Why do we try to categorize every abortion into a right or wrong category. Why can’t we ban abortion EXCEPT for when it is medically necessary? I don’t like this article because it makes it appear that you are pro-abortion in every form. Let’s try to be a little more understand & open-minded. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other.

    And I agree with the last comment, this isn’t the place for this debate. Honestly, I’m about ready to give up on Babble. I like to come here for product reviews, baby stories, etc., if I want political propoganda I have plenty of places to find it.

  58. Charli says:

    I don’t agree with late term abortion w/out medical cause, and I don’t know where you draw the line w/ what constitutes a ” medical reason” but I’d say death or paralysis. I think you should legally have to document it, just because I don’t trust theres women out there who get them cause they waited too long for a 1st term abortion. Those women should have their children taken away at birth.

  59. Brandy says:

    PRO-CHOICE. THE.END.

  60. Jessika says:

    I have very mixed feelings about abortions in general. I think each situation is different, so I don’t believe in making abortion illegal. I don’t believe that women who live a “loose life” and get pregnant faster than u can even say the word should be allowed to have abortions left and right. If you don’t want to have a baby, then make responsible choices and do your best to prevent a pregnancy. I think it’s beyond selfish and cruel to continue allowing yourself to get pregnant and killing children.

    However, I do believe that there are a number of situations in which an abortion may be best. The example you gave above is a good one. Any time there is a medical need (where the baby won’t survive regardless, etc.), I definitely think that an abortion in that case should not be judged. Also, if a woman gets raped and a pregnancy results, I believe that she should be allowed to choose whether or not she wants an abortion.

    If it’s a situation where a woman finds out she’s pregnant and just decides that she can’t take care of a baby right now, etc….I don’t really feel that abortion is right in that case. I feel adoption should always be considered, because there are so many women out there who physically can’t have children and want them so badly. If you don’t want your baby, why not give your baby to someone who’s been hoping and praying for one?

    Overall, I don’t think abortions should be outlawed or judged without knowing the circumstances. But I do believe that there should be some kind of limitations (such as, how many abortions each woman should be allowed to have, etc.). If the baby is suffering inside the womb and likely won’t survive, I believe that abortion should always be an option in cases like that, no matter what.

  61. Kristina says:

    I never had to make the late term abortion choice. I found out when I was 7 weeks pregnant with my last one that the baby was attached to my f.t, the choice to abort that baby was heartbreaking. Though medically necessary, and the baby never would have grown it still broke my heart. That baby would have been born August that just passed. When I was 32 weeks pregnant with my twin girls who are now 6 i was given the choice me or them. I told the doctors it didnt matter if I died, the only thing that mattered to me was that they lived. I had to be induced. I went into labor thinking if i die it’s worth it. Thankfully we all lived, a few days later I was told I was lucky. If they induced me a few hours later all of us would have been dead. So no any situation that is life threatening to the mother or the child(ren) she is carrying is ever easy to get through. No one should judge a women on a choice she has made, be it by her own choice or one that is medically necessary. You haven’t walked in her shoes, u have no right to judge.

  62. Pamela says:

    This story is very touching & sad. I think the minority do it for medical reasons though. The majority are just careless at the time & then decide they don’t want it. I personally know one woman that had 2 in one year simply to punish a cheating boyfriend. She didn’t break up with him just let him know she killed the babies he wanted. It’s childish stories like that that’s so sickening. There are so many in this world that can’t have children & those that take it for granted. After aborting those 2 babies she found out she could no longer have any children & I couldn’t find it in myself to have any compassion for her. Before you say I must be infertile to feel that way I have a 6 month old & I’m 15 weeks pregnant with #2.

  63. JasmineLeilani says:

    The point is that no man, no matter what age or level of power (or Religion) has ANY right at all to decide ANYTHING that has to do with a woman’s body. Period. Weather is she carrying a child or not. A man can NEVER conceive, carry or give birth to a child, so what right do any of them have to make decisions on something they can never truly understand? Yes, men can be OBGYN’s, but they will always still be one level back on understanding, simply because they cannot ever go through it. Many women don’t have children at all, never get pregnant or even want to, but they have the CAPABILITY and the POSSIBILITY of it happening to them. Thus, they are the ONLY ones who get to decide. I think the true problem is that scares men. That scares them because they don’t have that power. They are taken out of the loop of creation, and it makes them made at that loss of power. But that’s just how it must be. Does a father have the right to made a decision on their own child, yes, I believe so. Is Abortion, in my opinion, a good choice. Not at all, but that is just that, MY OPINION. And I should NEVER be able to force my OPINIONS on anything on anyone. This vote should be left to the Female Population of this country ONLY. Women are not allowed to create a panel that has the power to decide when men get Vasectomy’s (or Castrations), a man can go and do that whenever they feel like it and women have no say. If my Husband goes and decides he is going to get a Vasectomy to prevent us from getting pregnant, then he can do it without my consent. I can be mad, I can Divorce him, but I can’t legally make any decision against it. SO why would he get to decide for me if I get to have Birth control, or get an abortion. Because it’s already life? Well it’s not viable for that life inside of me to life OUT of me, or WITHOUT me. So it’s A PART of me until it’s born. That means, essentially it IS me. So only I have the right to decide for myself what needs to happen to it. Don’t like that? Too bad, go and be reincarnated as a woman and then go make the decision on how you see fit. Until then, stay out of my Uterus. The part that makes me the most angry is that they are all implying that a woman cannot make this decision for herself. That we are so feeble and weak, that a Man (or a Panel of men who do not represent my interests at all) can go and make it for me, because I can’t handle it. I say we in turn demand to have something in return. As far as I know many Insurances cover Vasectomies. I want to be paid back for all the men who got them under government covered insurance which I paid for. When that happens, then maybe we can see about these Bigot, Sexist out of touch caucasian men have to say about MY & all women’s rights.

  64. Kristina says:

    @Pamela…I know a girl who had 7 or 8 within a year and has 6 living kids. She didn’t see a problem with it. It’s the people like that that make it so horrifying to the public. There was no medical reason behind it. My Uncles ex girlfriend had an abortion when she was 7 months pregnant with his kid for no reason at all. People like that shouldn’t be aloud to get pregnant in the first place.

  65. Angie says:

    I am very pro life. That being said I think that you can’t compare elective late term abortion wiith abortion to save the life of the mother. The two should not even be compared because in the later you are acting to save the life of the mother opposed to losing both the mom and baby.

  66. Jennifer says:

    I read (and hear) a lot about people not wanting government involved. Problem is, they got too involved already. And that’s how we can sit here and cautiously hold this conversation on such a sensitive subject. I am pro life and have had to hold my stillborn baby when my body rejected her on it’s own. :( I also keep reading that the prolifers opinion comes without consideration of this being difficult on the mother. Why would that be assumed? Just because the public figures stand against abortion doesn’t mean the pain of the mother isn’t considered. Honestly, in my personal opinion, I think this all ties in to us taking life into our own hands. We can control our pregnancies by inducing when we’ve had enough, go through labor pain-free, and abort the baby if it doesn’t fit our ideal. I AM NOT suggesting that every situation is the same. I am generally speaking. But when do we stop living for ourselves as a mother and live for the helpless live we hold and protect? I have four children, so I understand that even with our conveniences, motherhood is difficult. But when do we draw the line and not try to control it all? With the story that was originally shared, will the woman’s sons grown up with their mother but then resent her for choosing herself over their brother (afterall, it could of been them that she aborted)? And who says that her sons would of grown up without a mother? It might not of been her (I know, nobody wants to think that way) but it doesnt mean they would of been motherless. Sincerely, I am not condemning her, I was not in her shoes! I’m sure she considered all these things, as well. My final thought: What if the doctors are wrong? I haven’t known any baby that came out the same weight that the doctor said they were. I’ve known women who had emergency surgery because the baby was too big but the baby was born at perfect weight. I’ve heard stories of babies that were diagnosed with deformities, disease, or death and born perfectly fine. My second daughter was one. We had been given horror story after horror story while pregnant and had been prepared to have her airlifted to ICU when she was born. She came out with eyes wide open. She got a 10 on the apgar score (which is apparently extremely rare). She was in perfect health and was considered “a miracle”. Those still happen. And they’re out of our hands. So how many babies are dying (for the sake of their mother) in perfect health?

  67. Pamela says:

    Personally I think it’s arrogant of us woman to not even consider a mans feelings because he can’t conceive. I believe if it takes 2 to make a baby then it should take 2 to make the decision. We are not asexual creatures. There is a reason we need a man to get pregnant. It is not just us it is half us and half someone else. Maybe it’s your decision to kill your part, but what about the other half?

  68. Roslynn says:

    I think a distinction needs to be made here. When MOST people think of “abortion”, they think of a careless, meaningless act that just “gets rid” of a baby. An act that people view no different than flushing a goldfish down the toilet. In this particular case of “late term abortion”, I would hesitate to call it “abortion”. This was not a mother who forgot to use birth control, thought she couldn’t pay for a baby, or was pressured by her parents or the father of the baby to have an abortion. This was a mother who loved her child, wanted this child and had to make a life altering decision. It’s no different than a mother who medically can’t stop preterm labor or a mother who has to take her ill child off life support. In my eyes, people (including politicians) who are pro-life are trying to stop the mindless abortions that are used as birth control or used as “perfection control” (aborting downs syndrome or other imperfect babies). They are not trying to stop medical professionals from doing that which is MEDICALLY necessary.

  69. renee says:

    It’s about woman’s body, but what about the baby’s life. Beside the medical issue that threat women’s life, there is no reason to do abortion. Maybe it’s not right time to be a mom or not enough money to raise a kid. People should be responsible. I’m from China. A lot of women do abortion there, also a lot of women can’t have babies anymore because they did so many times abortion. Some women died because of abortion. It’s so easy and cheap to do abortion there and one child policy.so people pay less attention to the responsibility to have sex before marriage, they don’t worry that they get pregnant, because they can just go to do abortion. Abortion hurt women too. There is nothing right about killing baby in the womb. A lot of women have depression after did abortion. Why no one talks about that. That’s relate to women’s mental health. For these who lost their baby, I’m sorry for them. But for these who do abortion because it’s inconvenient for them, that’s just plain wrong. How many percent of abortion was operated because of women’s health issue,really. How many percent of abortion was operated because of the inconvenient. The government should make it illegal to do abortion. so the US won’t become another China. Because some people just can’t do it right themselves. I agree with Angie. People should see the picture of abortion operation, I bet they will not support it anymore after.

  70. Amanda T says:

    I am a Canadian and I really don’t understand a lot of what’s happening in the States regarding your politicians and healthcare (in Canada we have free health care, medication costs are regulated by the government so they are not atronomical, birth control is paid for by all major healthcare plans, the cost of that birth control is less than $20 per pack for those who don’t have coverage, and abortion is legal). Anyway – I’m concerned about the term “abortion”. I am pro-choice myself I had to use the morning after pill once and was on birth control for 13 years before I had my beatuiful daughter. In Canada if a pregnancy is unwanted a woman has an abortion, however if the pregancy is wanted but cannot continue due to medical issues we call it a terminated pregnancy. It’s still an increadibly difficult thing to go through, but calling it an abortion must make it even worse for all those poor Moms that don’t have another choice (and yes, they ARE mothers – any woman who has conceived a child, whether she miscarried, aborted, terminated, adopted or kept the baby and then it died – she is a mother and ALWAYS will be). Every woman has her reasons for making the choices she does in regards to her own body and those choices should be respected by EVERYONE.

  71. Angie says:

    Do you know the statistics of medically necessary abortion compared to elective?

  72. Pamela says:

    I agree, Drs are wrong sometimes. My daughter was born @ 32 weeks. They told me to expect her to be around 3lbs & very tiny. All through labor they kept telling me “you’re having a little one” well she born at 4lbs 11oz & 18.9in! Just a few ounces from what’s considered normal for full term babies. She also had no breathing issues & was able to go home as soon as she learned to eat. Sometimes Drs are wrong. If it were me I’d probably elect to be induced & leave it in Gods hands & know I did the best I could & left it to Gods will.

  73. Angie says:

    I think the last time I checked it was 98 % elective and 2 % medically necessary.

  74. Renee Stough says:

    You women on here are unreal, your playing god with what god gave you, any idea how lucky you are? And here you are TRYING to find excuses to abort your children so you can justify your lack of guilt. PFFFT, be a real woman a FACE whatever happens, killing a baby, well the baby didnt ask to be here, so why arent the boys allowed to play god, if you are? Everyone of you women who have had a late term abortion should be forced to watch the abortion, and see there “prescious child” being ripped to pieces (literally) and sucked through a hose into a canister then into the garbage, yep you should get a mother of the year award, cuz YOU ARE THE BEST!!! Ungrateful is what you are, and definitely selfish. So go ahead, go watch YOUR abortion like its Monday Night at the movies, see how you feel afterwards, hopefully you feel a million times worse that the baby that you tore to pieces,,,Because that all you should be aloowed to feel,, COWARDS!

  75. JaCCI says:

    I dont think it should be considered abortion if it means life or death. We have an extended vocabulary, couldnt they think of something else to call it? Abortion should be the term only used when you are committing murder of an unborn or just born baby for selfish reasons. But I do know they use it in the correct terminology for an early miscarriage, so maybe they should think of something else to call it. Idk, but I dont think this story is the same as the story of irresponsible girl/lady/woman who is just trying to terminate the pregnancy.

  76. Pamela says:

    @ Jennifer, that made me sick! But that is where we are headed :(

  77. Jamie says:

    I think what needs to change is the weeks that hospitals will revive the babies. Considering there are babies born at 21-22 weeks and do survive to grow up and live healthy lives.

  78. Amanda says:

    *sigh* There is so much stigma attached to the term “abortion”. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost a little one later in your pregnancy. Some circumstances of abortion cannot be helped, but the “abortion” that I have a problem with is when a women is irresponsible with birth control and decide that abortion should be her method of it. If youre carrying a normal healthy baby and you are the same abortion is wrong. Its like telling the child, ok I made you, but I’m gonna murder you too. There is no black and white answer with this issue but one thing is for damn sure, old male politicians have NO place in women’s health.

  79. Nadine says:

    As a mother my self I can’t imagine a doctor ever telling me I need to abort a pregnancy or I’d die. It’s something a mother to be would never want to hear!. I personally don’t believe in using abortion as a birth control. If you’re old enough to sleep with someone your old enough to take your responsibilities in had but if the choice was to abort and live for a child you already have or die and leave that child motherless/orphan it would be the hardest thing a woman would ever have to decide but for my self I would choose my daughter that’s already here!. Some times a woman needs to make the right choices in life even thought it may not seem like it is to others. I believe that abortions should only be available to those who NEED it as a part of having to save the life of the expecting mother but have it 110% unavailable to those who want to use it as a birth control method. There are plenty of methods available out there so you don’t get pregnant if you don’t want to, they even have the after day pill and even then if you end up pregnant there are plenty of adoption agencies out there for people that are infertile or want to expand their family and are unable to that would love nothing more then to have a child and call she/he their own. A child is a blessing and should be treated that way, we are not on earth to play God but to be here for one an other even if that would mean to raise someone else’s child as your own not to destroy life because that’s how some people think that this is the only way they see it fit for their own life plan!. Think about it, what about their life? Think about about it this way., what if your mother had an abortion? You would be here reading this today!!!……

  80. Rebekah says:

    If she couldve waited another 3 weeks she & the baby might have survived! @ 26 weeks babies have a 70 % chance of survival. What a shame!

  81. Jennifer says:

    The problem with abortion in politics is that it is seen as black and white. This is no way to view any issue. There is more than just one way or the other. There are exceptions to every rule. Also, I don’t believe inevitable delivery at 23 weeks gestation constitutes “abortion”. I work in a NICU where we revive 22 and 23 wk babies. While very few of these babies live, especially without long term sequalae, I have seen some go home perfectly healthy. Personally I don’t believe a Mother should have the option to terminate a pregnancy based on the possibility that the baby will be “imperfect”. This should be left to God, as it was his decision to form this life in the first place. Many babies with anomalies or congenital infection will be miscarried or stillborn anyways. In this case the mother isn’t left wondering what could have or would have been. I have seen so many times a baby born perfectly healthy after the mother is told her baby will have problems, especially Down’s Syndrome. I don’t see a problem with terminating a pregnancy that is not viable or barely viable when the mother’s life is in jeopardy, such as with HELLP syndrome. Again, this is not typical “abortion”. I have seen via internet how people are able to have partial birth abortions just because they don’t want to take on the responsibility of having a child. This should not be an option at any gestation. I have a friend who at a young age had an early abortion. Now, she wants to have children but is unable to (not due to having an abortion), She regrets that decision to this day, as many women who have had abortions do, Had abortion not been an option, she most likely would have a healthy child today,

  82. Jessica Sides says:

    I love these entitled religious people who vote for ‘small government’ telling me -how I need to live my life- and shaming me for -not being willing to die- for something. When in the hell did you get to decide when I -die-!? Talk about your death panels ‘Oh that’s a mother’s role don’t you know’? since when!? By the way I’d like to make this incredibly clear to you people up there talking so high and mighty about my duty to my children and the sanctity of life….Your beliefs? are not the only ones out there. I know it’s a shock, but not only are they -not the only beliefs out there- they are not the only -valid- beliefs out there. I am not going to allow you or anyone else to -martyr- me without my permission. That’s ridiculous and absolutely disgusting. Be ashamed of yourself, condemning me and other women to die because you have some idealistic version of motherhood in which your alive children regard you as a hero because you -died- to bring in another child that there is no mother to care for. That is your version of reality sister it sure as heck ain’t mine. But here’s the most -SHOCKING- bit of information that the whole lot of you seem to be incapable of understanding. YOUR. BELIEF. SYSTEM. IS. NOT. LAW.

    Not only is it not the ‘law’ nor should it -EVER- be the law, because religious tolerance doesn’t mean that we tolerate having those beliefs shoved down our throats. You want to be indoctrinated and believe in your Imaginary best friend in the sky? No problem have at it, do as you like. I don’t give a flying flip. When I care is when -you try to legislate those beliefs to make me follow them-. I am an atheist. I don’t believe god gave me a gift..I think I managed to do what millions and billions of other species have managed to do over the years which is find a sperm to hit my ova and make another life form. Unfortunately I don’t have the mechanism to self abort like some other mammals, but that’s ok because -my- personal choices don’t affect your life so I should be able to do with my body and my life as I see fit!

    The fact that -you- don’t want an abortion and find it distasteful is -your personal opinion- and I don’t agree. That’s awesome you know why? I don’t require you to have an abortion. It’s amazing! I disagree with you about religion and yet I don’t require you to stop believing in a mythology that has no basis in reality and continually abuses it’s followers. Remarkable! How is it then, that you all can’t manage to maintain the same ideals? Don’t want an abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t want your kids to have abortions? give them good sex education and express your ideals. Wow. Look how little legislation was involved!

    Also for the truly ‘inspiring’ things about a Blessing from God, and not being here if my mother had an abortion, I hope all of you pro-lifers commenting on this are 1. Actively fighting against the terroristic attacks against abortion providers because of the loss of life 2. Completely for free health care and expanded social problems to take care of impoverished children because the sanctity of the life doesn’t end at the passing through the vaginas and 3. against the death penalty.

    Pro life means -pro life all the time-. You don’t get to pick and choose and if you do? you’re a hypocrite and should be so ashamed of yourself that you stop talking and examine your beliefs so you can figure out where it is that you think that killing someone is ok..because if it’s not ok when they are in the womb it shouldn’t be ok at any other point in their life. Not to mention why it is you think that those children born and not aborted don’t deserve your help and support if life is so sacred and all beings need a chance.

    “Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to the needy and the poor in your land” Deuteronomy 15:11

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians for they are so unlike your Christ” Gandhi.

  83. Pamela says:

    @ Jessica Sides, I find your post rude & think there are more appropriate & non bashing ways to express your opinion & I hope it’s removed. Up until now no one was attacking anyone else.

  84. Cory says:

    I love you all for sharing your pain, that is very brave. I thank God I never had to be faced with such a decision. May you all find the peace you need and the strength to find the happiness you deserve.

  85. Jessica Sides says:

    Pamela I find it incredibly offensive to be told I should die for your beliefs and that my body and choices are up for debate by people who never not once not a single time take my view point and my autonomy and ability to think and be different into perspective. If you don’t think that being told ‘what about sacrificing your life for your children’ and some of the other things up there isn’t attacking or rude?

    Then you and I heartedly disagree on rudeness. Then again, I value my autonomy, freedom, personal choice, life and the ability to manage my life higher than hurting the feelings of those that seek to kill me, force me to believe their religious intolerance and enslave me to their morality choices….over hurt feelings. If it’s removed then I want the posts removed about how the mother who dies for her child is a hero, or the other entitled and offensive posts to be removed.

  86. Pamela says:

    99% agreed that medically necessary is one thing, but simply for convenience is another. I did read some saying they would die for their children, or what they would do. I didn’t see anyone bash the woman for her decision. I just said I thought there was a more appropriate way to say it. Speaking of entitlement, I think it’s this sense of entitlement that allows us to follow what we want without any regard for others. We want what we want when we want it & we only care about #1. I don’t mean that at you just simply how I see society.

  87. Nadine says:

    To Jessica, Obviously your’e only reading what you want to try and make other people look bad!. Because if you would of read my entire post I do say I’m against abortions for a method of birth control!!!!…. I believe that abortions should only be available to those who NEED it to save the life of the expecting mother but have it 110% unavailable to those who want to use it as a birth control method. Big difference on what you thought I wrote so please don’t go bashing other people if you can’t read things out properly!…..

  88. An Honest Mom says:

    i’ve been a volunteer counselor for the post abortion talkline, Exhale, for nearly 4 years now. i listen to women and men talking about their abortion experiences on a weekly basis and i hear everything. “i thought i would feel regret but i feel relief–am i a monster?” “I thought i would feel relief but i feel regret. will i ever feel better” every experience with abortion is so unique and we need to make more room for hearing the humanity of those stories. thank you for this post and for telling your abortion story. its so refreshing to read something, anything about abortion that is not fully steeped in political angling and judgement. i also believe that abortion is crazily murky moral territory. and lots of women and men face that territory every day. you and your readers might want to check out Exhale, because they have such a revelatory way of thinking abortion called Pro Voice. It is rooted in the belief that all women and men deserve support and respect. Period. That is where we start with our work on the talkline. http://www.exhaleprovoice.org

  89. Melissa says:

    I am a labor and delivery nurse and watch the struggle of these women. I thank God every day for my happy healthy boys! It is my honor to be part of these courageous women’s lives! I see the pain and the guilt they feel in thier eyes and I wish I could form words that will help them, I silently cry and hold thier pain in my arms and hope one day they find peace and understanding in thier decision. No man or religion or politician can ever pass judgement on these women that they already have on themselves, shame on anyone who tries! These women are faced with the unimaginable! The loss of a child no matter what the reason. Thank you to all the women who have allowed me the right to be a part of your very personal moment in your lives!

  90. having a baby at 40 says:

    Thank you for courageously sharing your story.
    My feeling has always been, if you’re against abortion, don’t have one, but don’t make that decision for anyone else.

    having a baby at 40

  91. cora says:

    My earlier comment here (somewhere above) reflects my experience and viewpoint on abortion (unequivocally pro-choice). I’m writing again because several of the commenters have evoked GOD in their responses, i.e. “what god gave me”, “playing god”, “only god can decide”, etc.

    I don’t believe in god, therefore “god” doesn’t enter into my perspective on abortion. In other words, mentioning “god” and his place in abortion in America is meaningless to me. According to the Aris American Religious Identification Survey, as of 2008 about 15% of Americans describe themselves as being non-religious. Since this discussion stems from the current political dialog about contraception and abortion, is there any way to discuss it without assuming we all believe in a “god”?

  92. Pauli says:

    I have never been in a place where I needed to make the choice to have a termination. I had children young and both they and myself were healthy. But I could never say what is right for someone else. I’m not them. It is not ok for me to decide what they should do with their life, or the lives of their potential offspring. It shouldn’t fall into the hands of doctors either. Only the pregnant woman should make that choice.

    An issue that doesn’t get talked about is social services and all the children who end up being taken by state governments for good reason. We have thousands of children each year born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, born addicted to drugs of all kinds, and to abusive parents. It is very easy to tell these women to just not have sex. That doesn’t work when they need their next fix of whatever they are using and that is their only thought (not should I use birth control). If having sex gets them what they think they need, they will do it. This results in little kids with so many medical problems and they are often in the foster care system. Our tax dollars are paying a ton for these children. I have a child placed with me right now who is one of the few that is relatively healthy. We have added up what our state has spend on him in the past 7 months that he has been in care and it is easily exceeded $50,000. This is for a healthy child. Most (about 95%) of the kids that are in foster care need lots of medical treatment due to the conditions they were born into. I’m talking 100′s of thousands of dollars per child and that is paid for by tax dollars.

    I wish each and every person that says abortion should NOT be the right of the one who is pregnant to decide, would be willing to foster and adopt those same children. The ones with FAS, drug withdrawals, and plenty of long term medical issues due to the alcohol, drugs and abuse those mothers either took part in or were forced to take part in (yes, that does happen).

    If you’re dedicated to standing up for these unborn children, please, please, please be willing to parent them as well. Don’t go adopting privately from another country – there are plenty in your own county and state looking for homes. Yes, they have issues, but they were not aborted.

  93. Anon this time says:

    I wrote earlier about my friend whose daughter had the invariably fatal stalk anomaly.
    I was “pro-life” when this happened to her but realized quickly–there is no way to write a law that will do what folks are saying because this is not a shaded issue. “To protect the life of the mother” is ok for some; “to protect the fertility of the mother” is ok for others; but once you have those provisions, the pressure on providers to create reasons of maternal threat will be enormous.
    And for all those who wrote saying, “I’d be a hero for bringing their sibling to the world” or “I would die for my unborn child”–that is your *choice*. My friend’s choice was to LIVE for her unborn children beyond this one, loved, cherished, wanted, and now still mourned. And to me, that is what pro-choice means. You have the choice to continue the pregnancy. (You wouldn’t have that choice in some countries.) She should have had the choice to terminate without the nightmare of emergency travel and expenses on top.
    And again, that’s why I say I’m politically pro-choice. In my heart, I do believe that abortion is wrong. But this taught me a very hard lesson–there are almost no absolutes in life. But the cold, hard fact is: my friend had an abortion. I loathe saying that, because the term implies something cold and throw-away. In reality, she made what she felt (and I agree, fwiw) was the most loving decision she could make.

  94. Danielle says:

    I get the anti-choice argument. I’ve never been pregnant and thought that I was carrying any less than a baby. But that’s me and my beliefs, and they only should affect me.

    Abortions, like most things that have been found morally objectionable at on point or another, have been around forever. When it comes to things like this, you simply can’t legislate behavior .They are not going away. It is not the governments role to to define morals and when it starts to do so is when you are treading on a very slippery slope. It’s is fine if you believe that life begins at conception, but some others don’t and that’s really all there is to it. Also if life does begin at conception ,when are you going to start protesting IVF clinics?

  95. Christine says:

    Interestingly, one thing I found missing from the anonymous writer’s “moving account” was faith. Belief in something bigger than herself. God never promised us we wouldn’t encounter trouble in our lives. But He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. And He has promised to protect and guide us, and furthermore, that all things (God said ALL THINGS) will work together for good when we put our trust in Him and follow His ways. Sadly, too many people have dismissed God from their lives (and no, I’m not talking about religion–I’m talking about a personal relationship with the creator of this world).

    With regards to the issue of abortion, as well as life choices in general, so many people want the freedom of “choice.” And they don’t want to hear otherwise. Well, you do have a choice: follow God’s ways and you can count on Him to uphold you in His loving arms through your most difficult dark times and make a way when there seems to be no way. If you honor Him, He will honor you. Second choice: make your own decisions and go through life and all it’s ups and downs on your own and in your own strength. It’s your choice. He won’t force His ways on you. But if you choose to go it without faith, then just stop blaming God when things don’t turn out the way you wanted.

  96. [...] you have your mind made up about the political hot potato of late term abortions?  Katie Granju encourages you to think again at Babble [...]

  97. Helen says:

    Lissa,
    I agree completely. I’m pro-life, the only exception I would make for myself is if it was going to kill me before it was viable. I have two small children to consider. If I didn’t have any children, I don’t know what I would do.
    Dana,
    that sounded cold in a terrifying way. If someone came up to you in the street and hooked themselves up to you, they are making a choice, they are invading you, which on many levels inappropriate and unacceptable, but you still aren’t allowed to kill them. However, an unborn child (inside you) is a combination of you and the person you chose to have sex with. They aren’t a stranger on the street, making the choice to invade you. They didn’t choose you, or they’d know that they weren’t wanted and wouldn’t choose you. I hope that makes sense. Wouldn’t you stop the person before they jabbed you in the arm with a needle? I know I wouldn’t stand there and let them do it. That makes it sound like babies surreptitiously find their way into uterus’s and women have no choice. I like to think that women aren’t half-wits and understand the consequences of their actions.
    There are lots of ways to make sure you don’t get pregnant and combinations to make sure it can never happen. Pick any you like, but putting an end to someone’s life, because your measures didn’t work well enough just seems a bit much to me.
    I watched the http://180movie.com/ and it made my previously conservative views on abortion more solidified, though I would have thought before that it wasn’t possible. There aren’t any aborted babies to see on it. It just makes you think.
    If you feel your position as a solid pro-choicer is fixed, then you have nothing to fear, or be offended by : ) There are lots of pro-choice people featured on it.
    I would like to see the day when this becomes a non-issue, because it’s only used in extreme cases like the one above (my heart truly goes out to you, I’m 22 weeks and I think I would be suicidal if I had to make your choice) and everyone else is able to control conception in the first place. It’s cheaper, safer, nobody judges you for it (or shouldn’t) you won’t have an increased risk of suicide etc… Shouldn’t that be what women are searching for? Personal safety. I think women are selling themselves and their bodies short by supporting abortion. I truly believe the better way would be prevention rather than “cure”.
    Don’t get me wrong, I can fully understand a woman not wanting to have a baby, they have my every sympathy in that truly awful first trimester, when you feel like death. This must be even worse when you’re alone and scared, I just have more sympathy for the baby.
    I just don’t understand how millions of women can choose to get rid of them, rather than prevent it becoming a problem.
    In this day and age, with all the mountains of sex education we have shoved down our throats, there shouldn’t be any unwanted pregnancies at all. I never had sex education at school, as we changed schools midway. The first school covered it in the second year and the school I went to next, had covered it in the first year. My Mum taught me about it at home. I still knew more than my friends and I come from a very conservative home, where we weren’t exposed to it all on TV. It’s EVERYWHERE now, so girls saying “I didn’t know” isn’t really a valid excuse anymore either.
    I don’t think women will ever become really empowered until abortion (as a solution for the masses) is done away with. There are so many awful things that can happen in connection with abortion, encouraging another woman to go through with one, is not a kindness to her.
    If you really want to have full control over your body, don’t get pregnant. That would be the ultimate control of reproduction!

  98. Gmommy says:

    There are hard questions regarding human life and our power over it, especially at in this time in history. Making a decision to withdraw life support from an elderly parent who is dying or a young person who is too injured to live where the technology can provide mechanisms for delaying death is heartbreaking. Having been through the elderly parent decision in the past year, I can say that our family knew when it was time, in our case through prayer and love for my dad. My mom, siblings, and I were in complete agreement, and still it was a very hard decision.

    Being pregnant is different. The mom IS the life support system. In a case where the unborn is too malformed or damaged to live, I believe we are talking about a different situation from withdrawing the support from a viable unborn human. It would be unbelievably difficult to choose between the mother’s life and the little one’s in a late term situation, and I believe that is best left up to the parent(s), medical team, and the creator of us all and not the legal system on either side of the issue.

    Regarding bringing politics into this discussion, if I understand it properly, our current president spoke out against allowing medical personnel to attend to the needs of late term aborted babies who survived the process. I don’t see why not.

    Regarding it only being the woman’s decision, becoming pregnant, at least thus far, requires sperm. A male of the human species is involved whether directly or not. Of course there are broken relationships and cruel people, which does not make things easy, but it is troubling that the default should be to leave men out of such decisions.

    That said, men do have grave responsibility as stated in this quote from John Rankin:

    “The equal protection for women and their unborn children will not occur until men start being responsible in their sexuality, and regard women as their moral equals and full partners where sexual expression is reserved for marriage – one man, one woman, one lifetime – and where the responsibility of fatherhood is fully embraced.”

  99. Eun says:

    Krista Tippet’s program, OnBeing, veieritnwed Frances Kissling about her involvement with the pro-choice movement. More than talking about abortion, however, she spoke about the dire need we all have to learn how to have a discussion about all issues not just abortion. I agree with you we need to stop seeing each other as the enemy. We need to stop assuming things about one another and just be open to the conversation BOTH sides of this issue. And it would be helpful if we each assumed that while each of us might *appear* to be staunchly one-sided about it, in truth, very few of us are. When asked questions about specific scenarios, for example, it seems that people tend to get real rational and pragmatic about things. What if we extended that pragmatism to our discussions?

  100. Gwyn says:

    I loved the comments here. I believe to my core that if a baby is conceived that is a life, and willfully terminating that life is murder. So in being “pro-life” it’s not about women’s rights or not, it’s about standing up for a human life that has no voice of its own. Like Lissa, I’m also Libertarian in politics and very pragmatic and realize that outlawing abortion is a ridiculous concept. Like others, I wish contraception and adoption were much more focused on than abortion. I hate the abortion stories that can be summed up in “it wasn’t the right time for me to be a mother” (and any of these stories that do rarely mention adoption say they just couldn’t imagine choosing life for the baby and then choosing another family for the baby. But they can choose death for the baby.)
    I do want to weigh in that in most religious practices, and I’m of what would be considered a conservative faith myself, the life of the mother is considered paramount to the life of the unborn baby, and the agonizing choices made of most “late term abortions” are not what pro-life activists are against.

  101. Mkat says:

    To everyone who says don’t have sex if you don’t want to get pregnant, please tell me that you are AWARE that rape exists. It not only exists but 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted or raped in their lifetime. Rape is when a woman DOES NOT want to have sex and yet it’s forced upon her. Don’t ignore women’s actual experiences in the world, and choose only to include your own.

  102. wendi says:

    WELL SAID lissa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : )

  103. wendi says:

    well said Andrea!!! i dont consider late term abortion really an abortion. Well not the one when women want their babies. that is when you are faced with a difficult decision like i dont want to kill my baby but i dont wany him or her to suffer with this illness.. its not a difficult decision when you are thinking about terminating your baby just becasue you had a one night stand or you broke up with your bf and then found out you were pregnant. like the other people said KEEP YOUR LEGS SHUT.A baby shouldnt have to die because of your irresponsibility.

  104. Kelsey says:

    I had an abortion at 19 years old. I had no idea I was pregnant, 18 weeks pregnant at that. I had an IUD (I know, I was young, I didn’t want the hormones though and my doctor agreed). My significant other and I still used condoms to be extra safe (and abstained from sex 2 weeks before and after the IUD was in place). I thought I was being smart and doing everything possible to avoid pregnancy. It happened even though I was extremely safe.
    I was in no position to raise a child and neither was my significant other. I had just decided my career path and was in my second year of college. I wasn’t emotionally or financially ready to care for a child and I was not going to be the mother this child deserved and the one I want to be.
    I scheduled an appointment with an obstetrician and started reading every parenting article I could find and everything about pregnancy. I literally had no clue what to do because I had no plan for a baby. The obstetrician took a sonogram and ultrasound and said the baby was normal, healthy and everything was going to be okay.
    I sat with it for a day, did as much research as I possibly could on it and decided the best thing for my life was to terminate the pregnancy. I had a great network of support from my mom, sister and significant other. I made this decision out of love and respect, with my significant other. It was so important to the both of us that we were equally involved with the decision. It wasn’t easy, it had to decided a lot faster than I really wanted to and felt a lot of pressure from my significant other’s family to get the abortion. The cons of having the baby outweighed the pros and out of my own personal belief and desire to support myself and be as independent, I chose the right choice for me.
    Every situation is unique. I had an especially difficult time making this decision based on time constraints and my beliefs. It’s not easy. I still feel greif for my choice and wish I was financially stable enough to have brought the baby into this world. However, I’m blessed. I’ve been able to get my degrees and am applying to grad school with the ability to make a better foundation to help my family thrive better. That’s the big picture. I have the choice and power to honor myself, just like everyone else and I am so lucky to have this choice, right now and when I really needed it.
    Thank you for reading my story. I wish every woman out there the best of luck and woman-to-woman, we should never judge each other for doing what’s best for ourselves, our bodies, and our minds.

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