April 19, 2007

Without a Health Exception: No Respect For Life

This is why women need health exceptions to anti-abortion laws:

... Instead of cinnamon and spice, our child came with technical terms like hydrocephalus and spina bifida. The spine, she said, had not closed properly, and because of the location of the opening, it was as bad as it got. What they knew -- that the baby would certainly be paralyzed and incontinent, that the baby's brain was being tugged against the opening in the base of the skull and the cranium was full of fluid -- was awful. What they didn't know -- whether the baby would live at all, and if so, with what sort of mental and developmental defects -- was devastating. Countless surgeries would be required if the baby did live. None of them would repair the damage that was already done.

... So what does it all really mean? It means that all abortions after the first trimester could be outlawed. No matter if the fetus has severe birth defects, including those incompatible with life (many of which cannot be detected until well into the second trimester). No matter if the mother would be forced to have, for example, a kidney transplant or a hysterectomy if she continued with the pregnancy. (Legislators did not provide a health exception for the woman, arguing that it would provide too big a loophole.)

... The doctor who performed my termination talks about the women he has helped through the years -- the pregnant woman who was diagnosed with metastic melanoma and needed immediate chemotherapy, the woman who was carrying conjoined twins that had only one set of lungs and one heart, the woman whose baby had a three-chambered heart and would never live. Now, he is turning these women away. "Now, today, I can say no, but what is she going to do?" he says sadly. "What is she going to do?" ...

Hat tip to BooMan for his SCOTUS ruling link roundup.

Posted by natasha at April 19, 2007 11:46 AM | Women | Technorati links |