Sunday, April 22, 2007

In the USA Women's Lives Don't Matter

"My position on reproductive rights is based on the idea that a government that bans abortion is the same government that can make it compulsory due to the governmental assumption that women have no sovereignty over her body, life, or ability to make medical decisions with her doctor." - Maven

In a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court allowed a ban of a method of late term termination of pregnancy, or what pro-life people call "partial birth abortion." This law has no exception for the life and health of the woman. Here is where the absence of a second woman on the court, even though she was conservative made the difference.

Of course, pro-life advocates try to convince people that women who use this method are just thoughtlessly using this as a form of birth control or in the same situation as the vast majority who terminate pregnancy in the first trimester. They want you to believe that there is no good reason to do this procedure and focus on the horrific aspects of the procedure.

The banned procedure collapses the fetal skull to allow for a vaginal delivery that decreases the chance of damaging the uterus or incurring the risks of surgery.

My pregnancy came with it difficulties in conception, pregnancy, and birth and through that process I was on many support groups for women who had complications in their quest of wanting to give birth to a baby. Some women had to do this procedure due to massive deformities, or to save another of their fetuses, or something the doctor found on the ultrasound that necessitated this procedure. If a woman carries a pregnancy to the second and third trimester, that woman wants that child and she is not terminating the pregnancy to avoid parenting. When these women and their partners are given the horrible news it is devastating -- all their plans, hopes, and dreams are replaced with horror, grief, and unimaginable pain. When you are pregnant people gush over you not knowing that the fetus inside will never have life, or very short painful life that will never leave the hospital.

The banned procedure is the safest procedure for these cases. The Supreme Court opined that since there are other admittedly more risky procedures (taking the fetus out piece by piece or c-section) that is enough to protect the rights of women in this circumstance to take away the safest procedure. Even c-sections are risky, my uterus burst and I got a major infection that needed three-super antibiotics for 48 hours.

According to the CDC, everyday 2-3 women die of pregnancy complications in the United State (as of 2003), a rate that hasn't declined in over 20 years (although I have seen graphs that show an increase after 2000. Deaths are due to hemorrhage, blood clot, infection, high blood pressure, amniotic fluid in the blood stream, stroke, and heart muscle disease. Women 35-39 have three times more risk of death than women from 20-24. Women over 40 have five times more risk of death. How many more will die when they don't have this option?

People would say that the numbers of maternal deaths are relatively small compared to the amount of births or pregnancies, but the numbers of women having the banned procedure is very small as well in comparison to the total number of abortions which occur in the first trimester of pregnancy.

It is amazing to me that anyone would ban a procedure that can be an option to save the mother's life or other fetal life (in cases of twins, triplets, and so on).

Pro-lifers decided to pick on the bad fortune of couples who so desperately wanted a child and had to make the choice to save the life of the mother instead. Too devastated to come forward to fight this ban, they only can speak in private support groups that are sometimes invaded by pro-lifers who add only to their misery.

This decision clearly says that the lives of women don't matter. Husbands are supposed to watch their wife die in order to deliver the baby the way pro-lifers want. Women are so easily sacrificed.

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