26 April 2007

Federal abortion ban


You may have heard that the Supreme Court just upheld the Federal abortion ban law passed in '03. The law prohibits abortions in the second trimester, even when necessary to protect the health of the mother.

The blogger behind Disgusted Beyond Belief has seen what the implications of this law would have been for his wife.

Nothing is stopping the bleeding. There seems to be nothing they can do. They talk about trying some drugs, but then they decide things are going too fast to give time to let them work. So that leaves only surgery as a possibility. Surgery means hosing her out. It means killing the baby. So obviously, we look into other options. Only now, my wife is so out of it, from blood loss, from the painkillers, that the doctor said she is no longer able to legally consent. Now I'm handed a clipboard. On it is consent to basically give my wife an abortion and kill our future child. And it is all on me, my decision, mine alone. Something I never thought I'd ever face, ever have to deal with. Made worse by being a decision of either kill the baby or potentially watch both my wife and the baby die. The doctors did not say at this point that it was absolutely necessary. Maybe more blood could be transfused in. Maybe she wasn't dilated—they hadn't figured it out yet. Still too much blood. So then there I was, facing the sort of choice that you usually see only in hypotheticals in ethics and philosophy classes. Only it was real. It was my wife. And I didn't have exactly a lot of time to think about it. It was just me and the clipboard. An empty line there, marked for my signature. My wife bleeding right next to me. The ultrasound of my baby, and its heartbeat, fresh in my mind from minutes before. I cannot begin to describe how I felt at that moment. One cannot know until you are in it. I won't even try. I hope I never feel that way again.

The next woman in this situation will die unless the doctors break the law, which could put them in jail. I know doctors who will take the risk, but they shouldn't have to.

DBB reports that the thought that he would have been spared the pain of this awful decision does not comfort him. Imagine that. Instead, he's angry that the US Federal government thinks it should be making these decisions for women ... and for him.

Me too.

The good people at Planned Parenthood are rallying people and information. They've put up a web wall of protest that I'm proud to be on. They also have an online petition that I've signed.

In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, I am joining with hundreds of thousands of people all across America who are standing together to declare that America won't stand for abortion bans that threaten women's health.

I believe that a woman's personal medical decisions should be made by her, in ways consistent with her own values and in consultation with her doctor and family. And I am deeply offended by politicians acting to take these intensely private decisions out of women's hands.

My message to politicians seeking to capitalize on the Supreme Court's reckless decision is clear and simple: We won't let you get away with it.

Now's a good time to throw them a little money, too.


d a r k c h i l d e said...

Thanks for posting this. I don't know how this didn't register on my "things to pay attention to" list...but it didn't. I've signed. I've initiated contact for support for our local PP if they need manhours or a little chedder for the cause.

Thanks for keeping a poor grrrl in the loop!

Kate said...

I am proud to join the wall and sign the petition, but extremely sad to have to.


qibitum said...

Unless I missed something even more dreadful here, I believe that what was upheld last week was a ban on *one particular* 2nd & 3rd trimester procedure-- Intact Dilation and Extraction (aka "partial birth abortion") not *all* 2nd trimester abortions, although this potentially bodes ill for other types of procedures as well.

As a pregnant woman currently on the cusp of my 2nd & 3rd trimesters, believe me this decision rocks me to me core. Thus far, my little sprout appears to be developing normally and vigorously. (knocks loudly on wood) But were that not the case, the medical option most likely in some circumstances to protect my uterus & hence *my future ability to have children* would no longer be available to me. Some "pro-life"/"pro-child" stance, eh?

Bitch PhD breaks it down with her usual clarity and sass.