Contributor Post Created with Sketch. No Woman Would Choose to Have a Third Trimester Abortion Needlessly

 

I generally try to stay away from Facebook during debates on abortion. I’ve come to this decision from a great deal of experience doing the opposite, and I’ve come to the conclusion that for my own mental health and soul, I don’t need to know how many in my social circle are perfectly comfortable with barbarism. In the course of scrolling the other day, I saw a debate over the new law passed in New York allowing abortion, for basically any reason whatsoever, up until the moment of birth. It is evil personified, and unfortunately, a number of friends were cheering this advancement for “women’s health.”

One of my friends posted a comment that elicited a number of “likes” from the like-minded, proclaiming how sexist it is to accuse women of walking into a third-trimester abortion needlessly, because no woman would or could ever do that to their body and their child without “good” reason.

I’d like to break that claim down for a minute. First: what are their justifications? Both are related to health, one of the mother, and the other, of the child. I have never heard of a health situation where a mother has to deliver a baby in the third trimester for her own health, but the baby has to be born dead instead of alive.

The other reason is due to the health of the baby; a defect has been discovered late in a pregnancy that make the baby non-viable or will be debilitatingly disabled. I am sympathetic to this argument to a point. We don’t wish for our children to suffer, and we don’t want to walk around big and pregnant, having to make small-talk with everyone we encounter about a baby that won’t be born alive.

One of the unfortunate parts of parenthood is the fact that you sign up to parent a child sight-unseen. We can’t guarantee the health of our children, not at birth, not in their toddler years, not ever. We would never tell a parent of a toddler stricken with cancer their child is better off chopped into pieces instead of being put into hospice. I don’t see the difference between a toddler with cancer and a seven-month gestation fetus with a birth defect incompatible with life.

What I found most troubling about my friend’s statement, though, was how painfully naive it was. Only someone raised in the comfort of a loving home and community could be under the illusion that a woman would never hurt their child needlessly. All one has to do is turn on the local news, or talk to an experienced foster parent, to discover the evils parents, both mothers and fathers, are capable of. I find it sexist to believe women are one-dimensional: only capable of loving care of their children, and not of evil. There isn’t much reliable research into why women have late-term abortions, and many of the stories we hear are upper-middle-class women with access to the op-ed pages of the Washington Post or the New York Times. But let’s look for a moment at the women who came to have abortions (many of which would now be legal in New York) at Kermit Gosnell’s clinic. What were their reasons? By and large, they were the same reasons most women give for having abortions, they just didn’t get around to having them for many more months than most. They weren’t ready for a baby, their partner left them mid-pregnancy, they just didn’t want to have a child. All of these were justifications given for delivering a viable baby and killing it upon birth. Gosnell was convicted because he killed the babies on the wrong end of the birth canal, but what he did is now basically legal in New York State.

Every week, we are faced with new evidence we live in fallen times. Some weeks, the evidence is more clear than others.

There are 23 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. PHenry Member

    Justification. “Of course no woman would have a late term abortion frivolously!”

    But if her reason is “I decided I don’t want to ruin my party lifestyle” then that is her right! 

    Any justification will do. The baby might have downs syndrome. Or cleft palate. Or be the wrong gender. Or bad timing. Or the wrong father. All are proof of ‘need’, so it can’t be called “needless”. 

    In the end, there is only one standard for abortion on the left. Any time, for any reason, and preferably most of the time. Because that is how women attain equality!

    The cheering at the result of the vote in NY for this abomination is the proof that it has passed the point of no return. Babies’ lives no longer count as much as the lives of trees or chickens. 

    • #1
    • January 28, 2019, at 7:40 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Bob Wainwright Member

    The evil of the new law is really just the evil of the federal court decisions since Roe. The new law doesn’t change anything about abortion availability in NY, as I understand it. It just symbolically brings NY’s pre-Roe abortion laws into line with federal law. 

    • #2
    • January 28, 2019, at 7:42 AM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Columbo Member

    You could also ask whether they saw the Gosnell movie.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qENMr_9xzWc

    • #3
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    On the topic of a woman who might have a horrible prenatal diagnosis, there are at least two groups (mostly consisting of people who have gone through this situation themselves) called Embracing Grace and Be Not Afraid. They are there to help people through an adverse prenatal diagnosis to carry their baby to term and possibly have a few precious moments with their child. I am beginning to cry now just thinking of their own stories and the healing they felt by being able to love their child for however short a time. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to carry a child who will die or be dead at birth (having to talk to others about this situation is one of things they help you with) but if anyone is in the situation please, please at least talk to these women. America is the greatest country on earth because people (can still) come together to start organizations like this. God bless any mother and father in this situation.

    • #4
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:39 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bethany Mandel:

    I have never heard of a health situation where a mother has to deliver a baby in the third trimester for her own health, but the baby has to be born dead instead of alive.

    That argument always confused me. If it is necessary to induce labor late in the pregnancy due to the mother’s health, how exactly does killing the baby before you remove it help the woman’s health?

    • #5
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:08 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  6. Chuck Thatcher

    Bethany Mandel: “…seven-month gestation fetus with a birth defect incompatible with life.”

    Three families I know that this brings to mind.

    The first I knew in Houston, the mother was told the child she was carrying would (or might, I don’t recall for sure) be born with Down’s syndrome. When telling me about it, she said – and it’s burned into my memory – “…so of course I had an abortion.

    The second is a family I know with two 11 y.o. twin boys: One is fine, the other is mentally and physically seriously handicapped and every year he lives is all of grace, every year the doctors give him “another year if he’s lucky”. That boy loves his mommy and daddy and they know it and love him as well, I cannot tell you the many ways it shows without getting all lumpy.

    Finally, a friend in Florida died about three years ago at 59 – his parents were told he wouldn’t survive to his first birthday. An older brother, the same prognosis, although with significant physical handicaps, now lives in Boston and has two healthy children. He had a younger sister that didn’t live past four. This isn’t intended to begin a discussion about his parents but to point out that “incompatible with life” is just not certain: And some, with problems “incompatible with life”, have grown up to be a rich blessing to many.

     

    • #6
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:15 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  7. GrannyDude Member

    Bethany, you might like this sermon, preached yesterday and specifically aimed at a roomful of pro-choice progressives?

    • #7
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:46 AM PST
    • Like
  8. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    The argument that really gets me is “well if they didn’t legalize abortion, people would just do it anyway but in unsafe ways.”

    This is the same type of behavior that led to “safe” heroin needles administered by trained nurses.

    • #8
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:22 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Member

    It interests me how many pro-lifers have settled on the women as victims narrative and shied away from advocating criminal liability for those who seek abortion. This position is probably tactically sound, and I think genuine on the part of those who hold it. But won’t we eventually have to deal with the frank Medeaism of abortion culture in some way?

    • #9
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. PHenry Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    The argument that really gets me is “well if they didn’t legalize abortion, people would just do it anyway but in unsafe ways.”

    One of the ironies of the NY amendment is that it allows people who are not doctors to perform abortions, with no MD present. So we are now legalizing back alley abortions, it seems. 

    • #10
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:26 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  11. Stina Member

    They all need a lesson in Medea.

    They are uselessly sheltered.

    • #11
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. PHenry Member

    Gaius (View Comment):
    It interests me how many pro-lifers have settled on the women as victims narrative and shied away from advocating criminal liability for those who seek abortion.

    I think it was recognized that if you start treating the women who get abortions like a criminal, you create a huge resistance by all the women, and friends and family of women, who have had abortions. It is one thing to get a woman to recognize that her abortion was a mistake, and was wrong. (in my experience, most eventually come to that conclusion on their own, once they have children that ‘survive’) It is another all together to make her agree she is a killer and should be prosecuted. 

    It’s just a no win to press for prosecution of women who seek/ get abortions. It hurts the cause of ending the practice. 

    • #12
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:32 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Member

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Gaius (View Comment):
    It interests me how many pro-lifers have settled on the women as victims narrative and shied away from advocating criminal liability for those who seek abortion.

    I think it was recognized that if you start treating the women who get abortions like a criminal, you create a huge resistance by all the women, and friends and family of women, who have had abortions. It is one thing to get a woman to recognize that her abortion was a mistake, and was wrong. (in my experience, most eventually come to that conclusion on their own, once they have children that ‘survive’) It is another all together to make her agree she is a killer and should be prosecuted.

    It’s just a no win to press for prosecution of women who seek/ get abortions. It hurts the cause of ending the practice.

    I agree about the emotional resistance to the idea. It’s important to stress that no one would call for a retroactive criminal law, so those who’ve had abortions under the present regime would be safe no matter what. 

    My preferred solution has always been to pass an amendment extending the equal protection clause to unborn children. Nothing in there about prosecuting women but it would undoubtably require it. 

    • #13
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:39 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Skyler Coolidge

    Coming to New York soon: Post natal abortion, for the women who just didn’t get around to the prenatal abortion. It’s not their fault, they were busy.

    • #14
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:09 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  15. Henry Racette Contributor

    Good post on an awful subject. Thank you.

    It is tragic — literally tragic — that we are unable to have a civil discussion about appropriate limits to abortion. Most Americans, I believe, would support legal abortion, albeit with far greater restrictions than are imposed today. I would count myself in that majority. Unfortunately, the elevation of abortion to the level of a sacrament makes rational discourse almost impossible.

    I feel sorry for those who believe that the iconic achievement of women is the abnegation of their unique and defining quality, and who devote so much passion to the destruction of their greatest virtue.

     

    • #15
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Full Size Tabby Member

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Justification. “Of course no woman would have a late term abortion frivolously!”

    . . .

    The cheering at the result of the vote in NY for this abomination is the proof that it has passed the point of no return. Babies’ lives no longer count as much as the lives of trees or chickens.

    The cheering (and the pink spire on the Freedom Tower) probably annoyed me more than the law itself. That this law is seen as something to cheer, rather than as something necessary only because of horrible circumstances is a sign that the promoters of the law have left human decency behind.

    • #16
    • January 28, 2019, at 12:43 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  17. Acook Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Bethany Mandel:

    I have never heard of a health situation where a mother has to deliver a baby in the third trimester for her own health, but the baby has to be born dead instead of alive.

    That argument always confused me. If it is necessary to induce labor late in the pregnancy due to the mother’s health, how exactly does killing the baby before you remove it help the woman’s health?

    I saw a tweet a day or two ago from an OB/GYN that said, (paraphrasing), there is not a single maternal diagnosis, none, that requires a late term abortion to fix. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no. 

    • #17
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:17 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  18. Chuck Thatcher

    Gaius (View Comment):
    no one would call for a retroactive criminal law, so those who’ve had abortions under the present regime would be safe no matter what. 

    I was going to observe that the US Constitution (Article 1, sections 9 & 10) preclude bills of attainder and ex postfacto laws, but that only works if the left is kept out of control.

    • #18
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:59 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Chuck Thatcher

    A final question from the natives: Is this an NYC thing or is upstate on board with it as well?

    • #19
    • January 28, 2019, at 4:44 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Stina Member

    Chuckles (View Comment):

    A final question from the natives: Is this an NYC thing or is upstate on board with it as well?

    Upstate has been pretty gutted. There’s not much out there anymore. My experience out there is that it’s the city… like all urban hell scapes, the cities dominate state politics and NYC is the worst.

    (My family is a bunch of ex-NYers. Husband from Broome County, my relatives from Staten Island)

    • #20
    • January 28, 2019, at 4:58 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Chuckles (View Comment):

    A final question from the natives: Is this an NYC thing or is upstate on board with it as well?

    I’m from central New York. Plenty of rational conservatives up here. Actually, we’re probably the majority in many areas. We have no voice whatsoever when it comes to statewide politics.

    • #21
    • January 28, 2019, at 5:37 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Stad Coolidge

    I’ve always asked if a pregnancy can be terminated and allow the baby to live, why does the left insist the baby must be killed as part of the process?

    To me, this is proof of the evil in their hearts . . .

    • #22
    • January 29, 2019, at 6:02 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. GrannyDude Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Good post on an awful subject. Thank you.

    It is tragic — literally tragic — that we are unable to have a civil discussion about appropriate limits to abortion. Most Americans, I believe, would support legal abortion, albeit with far greater restrictions than are imposed today. I would count myself in that majority. Unfortunately, the elevation of abortion to the level of a sacrament makes rational discourse almost impossible.

    I feel sorry for those who believe that the iconic achievement of women is the abnegation of their unique and defining quality, and who devote so much passion to the destruction of their greatest virtue.

     

    There is so much that is wrong with understanding abortion as a constitutionally-protected right. Among other things, this means that one person has the right to something that, by definition, a third party must provide. One could, I suppose, make the case that a woman has the right to perform an abortion on herself, but why does she have the right to insist that someone else do it? Especially given that abortion represents an extraordinary moral challenge (at best) for a physician or other healthcare provider. It is the doctors and nurses who have to kill the baby, take it to pieces (not necessarily in that order) and then afterward reassemble it to ensure that the whole has been removed. No “blob of cells” illusions for them: they’ll see the little hands and feet, the tiny faces. They’re the ones who will go through life with not one or two but hundreds, even thousands of tiny souls chained to their consciences.

    The same women who insist that pregnant patients be “protected” from the sight of the ultrasound are not going to sign off on a process in which the mother needs to reassemble her own child, so she doesn’t have to see the little hands, feet, face…

    The sight of a small, vulnerable human person —by design—excites protective and nurturant impulses. This is why leftists describe “children ripped from their mother’s arms” rather than young males thwarted from their search for work when protesting immigration enforcement. “But this hurts children!” is guaranteed to provoke at least a little unease among even the most stoic proponents of a policy. This is a good thing. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

    But then how can a woman—any woman, for any reason—have the right to the labor of medical personnel trained and willing (or forced) to suspend that natural protectiveness so as to deliberately kill a child “on demand?” What a doctor might be willing to do given very rare and tragic circumstances is not the same as what a doctor must do in any and all circumstances. 

    If abortion providers experience nightmares, difficulty sleeping, higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse and emotional (and moral, IMHO) deadening…does a woman have the right to insist that they accept this psychological damage so that she can (by proxy) “control her own body?” 

    • #23
    • January 29, 2019, at 2:48 PM PST
    • 2 likes

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.