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 proceedure 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 hemmorage, 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.


Anonymous said...

From April 2007 LA Times:

"It is patronizing. And for them to tell us how to practice medicine is dangerous," said Dr. Nancy Stanwood, an obstetrics professor at the University of Rochester, who delivers babies and does abortions. "If I have a patient with a placental abruption, there can be life-threatening bleeding. The fastest way to deal with that is to empty the uterus. But I will have to stop and think: Could I go to jail for trying to stop this bleeding?"

Anonymous said...

Also from the April 2007 LA Times: "In Nebraska, Judge Richard Kopf held a two-week trial and heard testimony from nationally known experts on obstetrics and gynecology. He wrote a more than 400-page opinion and concluded the disputed abortion procedure is "sometimes necessary to preserve the health of a woman seeking an abortion."

Kennedy's opinion gave this evidence only a passing note and said there is "medical uncertainty" over the need for the disputed procedure.

Doctors who perform these midterm abortions say the new law may have little significance. That's because physicians can give the tiny fetus an injection prior to the surgery that stops its heart. Medical experts have opposed the regular use of such injections because of the danger they could pose to the woman if the needle misses the target.

"This has put doctors in a defensive position, and most are planning on going to fetal injections," said Dr. Eve Espey, a professor at the University of New Mexico and a Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health board member.

"This will not stop any abortions from taking place," said Stanwood. "We physicians will make some slight changes in our practice. An injection for the fetus adds another risk to woman's health, and it means added time and money. But if that's what's necessary, that's what we will do."

Anonymous said...

Article from Ellen Goodman:

Anonymous said...

Another thing to think about is that the Supreme Court gives women who have a medical necessity for the procedure only one way to be able to get the safer method of trying to save her life -- go to court. If a woman is hemmoraging, how can she be expected to petition a court in time to save her life? What if a judge decides against her because like the five justices don't care about a woman's life?
Does any of this make sense?