By Mel Holloway, Corvallis
Considering abortion is a contentious topic, and that ‘late term abortion’ is a politically generated term with no medical validity, it seems appropriate to learn about the process, the reasons, and the people involved (doctors and patients).
A recent LTE regarding this issue didn’t indicate any understanding of what parents might be enduring, or empathy for their feelings. Instead we were treated to irrelevant diatribes about primitive sacrifices, or supposed premeditated cruelty. And a quote from the Bible, “Do Not Murder. I think the various editions of the Bible have some approximation of this. But extended reading of the Bible will reveal that particular commandment was paid little heed over the course of its narrative. One has to wonder who it was intended for.
And of course, the author recommends adoption as the cure-all solution for presumably unwanted pregnancies. What if there would be nothing to adopt?
When fetuses fail to develop normally, missing organs, brain parts, or where the mother’s life is irrevocably placed at risk, shouldn’t there be an avenue for dealing with such contingencies?
It isn’t difficult to find accounts by women (and fathers) who have had to make difficult decisions about terminating a pregnancy whether because of danger to the mother, or because fetal development has gone awry. While most of us are fortunate and never have to make a decision of this consequence, others are not so lucky.
A blanket prohibition of abortions is a cruel act. There are many reasons why a pregnancy should be terminated.
In Ireland not so long ago, a woman died a very painful death because she was refused an abortion. The fetus was dead, but the hospital would not act for fear of prosecution. Where is the merit in that?
In Argentina, an eleven-year-old girl, pregnant from a rape by her grandfather, was forced to carry the fetus until, at 23 weeks, physicians determined that it was physically impossible for her to deliver it. A Cesarean section was performed, but the baby was not expected to survive. What good was served by that?
The phrase ‘late term abortion’ is not medical terminology and is not used by medical professionals. It seems to be generated by a propagandist to arouse those supporting blanket prohibition of abortion. Also, with regard to human fetal development there is no standard for ‘late.’ There are references to fetus viability, but even that varies from case to case. Post viability terminations of pregnancies are about 1 per cent of procedures.
In past political campaigns, ‘socialized’ medicine has been objected to on the grounds that faceless bureaucrats will come between you and your providers. Examine a cross section of legislative bodies at the state and federal level and decide whether they should be limiting access to medical care. What good derives from forcing women carry to full term fetuses that are unviable?