Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Other Victims of Abortions

One of the biggest problems with dealing with the subject of abortion (besides the two sides lining up and hurling talking points at 20 paces) is that very few people are completely honest about the subject, often cherry picking things that support their argument.

I started thinking this post last week after a comment on another post, which has since been deleted by the author. As I can't seem to find it (it cleared from my trash folder), I'll have to paraphrase. In essence it referred to the women who had abortions as sick and evil (which may be why the author deleted it).

Now as I happen to know that the poster is a Christian (I could even name the denomination if I was determined enough), I was struck that this was NOT the attitude Jesus would bring to the situation. He would love the person no matter what, even while deploring the actions. I don't think I need to make a list of the sinners he hung with (I'm not the biblical scholar), although I could pull out a couple of names really quick.

And there's another reason to love the women who have abortions (besides choosing to swing it JC-style): I consider them victims to a degree as well.

While out garage sale-ing last Friday, I picked up a copy of The Cider House Rules by John Irving. And wouldn't you know, I'm thinking about this post on abortion and I find a novel which very much covers the subject of abortion.

In this case though, it's the early to mid 20th century, where abortions are still done in the back alleys and under the radar (and at an orphanage, in the book). What struck me was the desperation of the characters who both went to deliver orphans and those who sought out the doctor for abortions. In these days it wasn't acceptable or legal, but it was common enough. So for any woman to take the risks then, and for them to do it even now in many parts of society, takes a great need to not have a baby after they've already blown it on the contraception front.

I had to do some looking into the legality of abortions over time. I discovered that it wasn't until the 18th century that abortion became illegal in general. Prior to that, it was mostly opposed by the stalwarts of Christianity, for the same reasons the pro-life movement does today. And now we've come mostly full circle, to where it is legal, but distasteful, a subject when discussed falls into the bog-standard camps. But when considered for practical application, it becomes a much harder thing to consider.

That brings me to this week, and the FDA policy concerning the Plan B morning-after contraceptive for 17-year-olds.

After reading both Gayle's post on the issue, and Satyavati's as well, I'm ok with the idea, to a point.

In one sense, this is a form of birth control, specifically so the girl doesn't have to face the choice of abortion (I don't lose sleep over fertilized cell clumps). Any girl that has 1. already had sex, 2. without another form of contraception, and 3. has the sense and money to correct that mistake should be allowed to do so. I do draw the line when it falls under the age of consent (as in statutory rape). As the ages of 16, 18, and 21 are very arbitrary numbers we use to define stages of adulthood (driving, legal, and drinking), I prefer to err on the side of the 17-year-old who takes responsibility for her actions.

Again, it comes back to teaching reason, learning responsibility, and instilling a sense of right and wrong. And in the modern era, with so many ways to arrest reproduction if the prior lessons fail, abortion should be down to a rare last resort. Until it is, the number of victims (both living and dead) will grow.

Okay, that's it. Now, before you all tee off and start flinging the insanity, here's a marvelously gratuitous and excessively tasteless clip (from South Park) with an abortion bent to it. When you get done laughing or vomiting, then let me have it:


James Wolfer said...

What many people miss is that the morning-after pill does not cause abortions. Also, its primary purpose is not to prevent implantation but fertilization in the first place.

Sperm can live in a woman's body for three to five days. Plan B prevents pregnancy by stopping the ovulation process or by disrupting the ability of sperm and egg to meet in the fallopian tubes.

Plan B is just basically a large dose of birth control. It thickens the walls of the uterus to block sperm. A side effect can be that a fertilized egg is unable to attach. But once attached, plan B is useless.

Birth Control taken regularly can do the same exact thing. A side effect of birth control can also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

This is my source, btw.

I'm pro-life, but I'm for the morning after-pill.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And now we've come mostly full circle, to where it is illegal, but distasteful, a subject when discussed falls into the bog-standard camps.--Patrick

Freudian slip? Just sayin'...

Other than that typo, I'm with you on this, mostly.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: Oops. That would most assuredly be a typo. It is now corrected.

Toad734 said...

I thought we weren't allowed to talk about abortion on this blog?

So ya, the morning after pill is the absolute best option out there and one that everyone except the crazies can agree on. Since it is safe, safer than having and abortion, it should be legal. Not to 12 year olds but how many of them get pregnant anyway?

Anyone who thinks the morning after pill kills life needs to come rescue the life in the kleenexes that I threw in my trash can this morning because if they don't those souls will go to hell!

James Wolfer said...

We're allowed to talk about abortion if the post is about abortion, which this is. Patrick is just tired of people turning posts not about abortion into posts about abortion. I.E. "These bailouts are bullshit" turned into "Obama and his bailouts are all about abortion" nonsense...

Toad734 said...

Oh you mean like the Teabag party that just turned into an anti gay anti immigrant, pro gun rally for white people?

Arthurstone said...

I agree with you Patrick.

Go figure.


Patrick M said...

Toad: ...Teabag party that just turned into an anti gay anti immigrant, pro gun rally for white people?WTF? Have you and Janean Garofalo been drinking the same insane Kool-Aid?

Arthur: It happens sometimes. You probably won't next time if that's any consolation.

TRUTH 101 said...

Our nation is a victim of the abortion debate. Millions of people base their votes on how a candidate stands on abortion and no other issue matters. The Iraq occupation. Free trade.
Shit. Even in local elections for city council or library board candidates have to give their views on abortion. Extremists on both sides would vote for Hitler if he said he was for or against abortion.

Patrick M said...

101: Interesting side point. On that level, my blog has occasionally been a victim of the debate too. Thus rule #4.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

The morning after pill is assuredly not abortion.

I apologise, I had to revise my post after discovering I am not actually omniscient, nor am I yet infallible.


Gayle said...

I hope you don't mind but in order to save some time because I'm truly rushed, I'll leave a comment here, Patrick, that I just left on my blog in response to a comment left by Satyavati:

"Thank you for some good information, Satyavati. My comment above yours referring to abortion was actually straying away from the topic of this post. My main concern in the normalization of casual sex. Whether it is by passing out condoms in school, letting girls have abortions without parental notification or permission, or legalizing this pill for kids to buy over the counter, I believe it all tells children that casual sex is okay. I'm not okay with that and most people who visit my blog aren't okay with that. Whether or not the after-morning pill actually aborts or not is not my main concern, although I think it would be horrendous if it did! I hope that clears things up a bit."

To be a bit more specific in regard to your very well written post, I personally believe if the 17-year-old was being truly responsible, she wouldn't be having unprotected sex in the first place.

Thanks for the link, Patrick. I appreciate it and apologize for taking so long to get over here.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Satyavati devi dasi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satyavati devi dasi said...

Additionally, Beth, I don't know how old you are, but if you are anywhere near menopausal age, if you feel this strongly about it, it would behoove you to cease taking your Provera, Prometrium, wild yam supplements or any other menopausal symptom remedy if it contains progesterone.

You might also ask your mom, if it applies to her, to also stop taking it.

If you have daughters on oral contraception, check and see if the formulation contains progesterone. If it does, take her off it.

If you feel that this drug is an abortifacient it would be consistent with that belief to remove it from your life in all forms.

Unfortunately you can't do anything about the progesterone naturally produced by your body, and since it's essential to your reproductive health, medical science won't be able to help you apart from, possibly, a salpingooopherectomy and hysterectomy. However, if you're really concerned about progesterone having the ability to cause abortions, you might want to check on it.

It'd make you an idiot and good fodder for breakroom stories, but at least you wouldn't be a hypocrite.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

"Are you kidding? What else it it?
Please don't make a fool out of yourself!!!!
Progesterone is not an abortifacient.

It neither aborts nor causes to abort.

It is a natural hormone created by the body during the course of the menstrual cycle that fluctuates in level.

It is used to treat many conditions including endometrial hyperplasia and secondary amenorrhea.

It is used to treat menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms.

The morning after pill works in the following way:

IF the female will ovulate within 72 hours it may SUPPRESS OR DELAY OVULATION. By delaying ovulation, no pregnancy can occur.

IF the female is currently ovulating, it can PREVENT FERTILIZATION. No pregnancy occurs.

IF there is, after all this, a fertilized egg, it can PREVENT THAT EGG FROM IMPLANTING IN THE UTERINE WALL. No pregnancy occurs.

Progesterone neither aborts nor causes to abort. It PREVENTS a pregnancy from occurring, IF a woman is ready to ovulate or ovulating at the time of sex. If the woman is not near ovulation at the time of sex, the morning after pill does nothing except possibly delay her period a couple of days.

I am not a fool, Beth. I am a registered nurse. I would recommend to anyone that the best thing they could do is read the pharmacological literature on the drug which explains what it is and how it works in the body.

Then you'd know what it is.

Knowlege is power. Ignorance leads to fear.

rockync said...

I have to agree with Gayle that it is far more worrisome that a 16 or17 year old is having unprotected sex and is therefore increasing her risk for exposure to all sexually transmitted diseases.
While I think we need to be practical here and allow for 16 and 17 year olds to get the morning after pill, I think it would be hugely remiss of medical personnel to not provide counselling about the inherent dangers of unprotected sex.
Parents also need to step up to the plate and have the "talk". And they probably need to do it earlier than they were planning. Kids are going to make mistakes and they are going to defy you. So, let them know how you feel, but remember to prepare them should they choose to not listen to your advice.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I agree that people should be having protected sex. I also believe that if girls are going to be having sex, they need to be on the pill. The need for condoms also continues as the pill doesn't protect you from anything but pregnancy.

Information on sexually transmitted diseases is widely available and disseminated now as a matter of course, which is as it should be.

Responsible sex virtually negates the need for a morning-after pill; however, the need does remain and it should be safe and available.

I also believe, with Patrick, that if you're young enough for it to be called 'statutory rape' your parents need to be notified before anything else happens.

Casual sex has been part of civilization from its inception. The availability of ANY form of birth control tends to 'normalize' casual sex. This does not negate the need, nor does it negate the need for continuing education regarding safe sex. You're never going to stop kids from having sex. You might stop some, but you won't stop them all. They at least deserve full education on what can happen and what they can do to prevent it.

The responsible use of ordinary forms of birth control is paramount. Barring that, in cases of rape, etc., prevention of the pregnancy by using a morning-after pill is a far better option than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Satyavati devi dasi said...
"I agree that people should be having protected sex."But, but, but...that would be ABORTION! LOL..
I have NO problems with abortion, I am not a I'm not a fanatic pro-lifer. I don't go around bombing clinics.

Arthurstone said...

Patrick typed:

'Arthur: It happens sometimes. You probably won't next time if that's any consolation.'

I hope so. This kills my street creds. 8>)

Have a good weekend.


Patrick M said...

Gayle: ...I personally believe if the 17-year-old was being truly responsible, she wouldn't be having unprotected sex in the first place.This is one of my concerns as well. Especially since I may be facing this specific issue in 14 years (or sooner). As I flesh out how I'll deal with the subject with my kids, I'll be sure to post on it.

Beth: You've really got to stop deleting your comments. Especially the ones that don't require self-censorship.

It makes the conversational flow get all messy-like.

Saty: Thanks for the pharmacological info (with corrections).

Napqueen: I have NO problems with abortion...,Why not? Even if it's kept legal, I have significant problems with it, both on the moral and psychological fronts, as should even someone who is ardently pro-choice.

It's a last resort procedure in the best of circumstances.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

Napqueen said: "I am not a I'm not a fanatic pro-lifer. I don't go around bombing clinics"

Nor is anyone else, really. Half of the country opposes abortion. And how many abortion clinic bombers have their been? A few? So we are looking at an anti-abortion movement that has a "problem" of 0.00000003% of its members being bombers.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Playlist Request!

Iron Maiden: Running Free

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Chitlins Con Carne

The Ramones: Sha La La (Howling At The Moon)

Listen To John said...

Napqueen, I think that's very reassuring. I'm glad to know that would NOT go around bombing abortion clinics..
But would you would show protest to what you saw as threatening liberty, regardless of who is in charge? Like attend a Tea Party?

Of course you would! But would you want Janet Napolitano to call you a "NUT" just because you do not support abortion or immigration does that make you a right wing fanatic?

Napolitano needs to resign

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toad734 said...

IF the morning after pill is an abortion then every woman who has their period is having an abortion.

Of course I don't put it past religious conservatives to try to keep women from having the freedom to mensturate.