Guest MINDSETTER™ Jane Zhang: The Three Parts to Pro-Choice
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Let's talk autonomy. Autonomy is about rights. It’s about the female’s right to choose to abort or to choose to preserve the fetus. It’s about the female’s understanding and accepting the risks, challenges, and emotional/social effects of what she ultimately decides upon. If she aborts the child, she risks hemorrhaging to death or even perforating her womb such that she might experience difficulty conceiving in the future. Moreover, her community might shun her. Where will she go? Who will she turn to? How will she ever live with potential regret?
Sure, it’s easy to say: “Give the kid up for adoption”. But would you take that child in? If you’re someone so against giving women the right to choose and forcing them to birth unwanted children that they are not at all prepared to raise, would you welcome that child into your home, and raise him/her as your own? The great majority would not.
Let’s talk safety. Can abortions be safe? Yes. Can abortions be dangerous? Of course. But so can live births, whether that is vaginal or caesarean section.
According to the 2006 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which examined data from 1991 through 1999, legal pregnancy terminations resulted in a 0.567 maternal mortalities per 100,000 terminations whereas live births resulted in a 7.06 maternal mortalities per 100,000 live births.
The stories of botched abortions that we hear in which both mother and fetus pass away often involve third trimester pregnancies. That’s past 26 weeks. The comfort level at which the vast majority of physicians are willing to provide safe abortions generally does not surpass 20 weeks.
Let's talk parenthood. There exist four types of parents: 1.) those that want kids and rear them well, 2.) those that don’t want kids but unknowingly raise them well, 3.) those that want kids but have no idea how to raise them well, and 4.) those that want absolutely nothing to do with them but somehow end up with them.
Though we all like to assume and perhaps even prefer the former two situations, sometimes we run into the latter two.
Rhode Island Hospital has a Child Protection Consult Service consisting of trained medical professionals. Why? Because sometimes physicians pick up on signs of child abuse such as bruises in unusual areas or a child’s odd nutritional status. The physician isn’t always right. But there are unfit parents rearing children. If all parents wanted their children and didn’t feel obligated to give birth to unwanted children, perhaps all children would be raised well, and we wouldn’t have a need for a Child Protection Consultation Service.
Wouldn’t you agree that innocent children should be raised in a loving environment in which they receive all the care and education they deserve? Wouldn’t you agree given those circumstances, that parents who are unfit and not able to find a better home for their child be given the opportunity to negate that?
People paint abortion to be this monster of an act. Yes, it is terrible to end a fetus or embryo’s well-being. But is it really terrible to help a set of parents who are simply not ready to raise a child?
A woman should have the right to choose whether she is ready to be a parent or whether she’s not. A woman should be allowed to understand the safety involved in potential abortions or pregnancies. A woman should be allowed to understand the demands of parenthood.
Outlawing or protesting against safe abortions isn’t the answer. Women unable to care for another child will find a way to abort that child. If safe abortions don’t exist as options, women will find a way to miscarry. That was the case prior to Roe vs. Wade. Is that what we want? Do we want women to miscarry illegally such that both she and the fetus are at risk of dying? Do we want a society in which women utterly unfit to be mothers, or who don’t want to be mothers, unsafely abort a birth?
Sure, abortions aren’t the prettiest procedures (a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery carries more suavity), but compared to other obstetric operations, safely performed abortions result in less blood loss than hysterectomies. The Susan G. Komen foundation last year pulled funding from Planned Parenthood. There was so much backlash that the foundation reinstated their support of Planned Parenthood.
If safe abortions and birth control education weren’t provided in this nation and state, we might as well be shouting “Coerced Parenthood” instead of “Planned Parenthood”.
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