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Shiela and I watched the 3rd presidential debate on Wednesday night. I went into it with my decision already made.. made long ago.. but I was still open and was hoping for some surprise that would make me think twice about the election. When the subject of abortion came up, Shiela and I got into an off-shoot conversation and I didn't fully absorb what McCain was saying. Yesterday, I was being a political geek and reading lots of blogs on the debates and I stumbled onto one post that just made my head spin.

I'm pretty good at expressing myself in writing.. but this is one topic that I just can't seem to find the right words. In short, I'm mortified by the flippant disregard that McCain expressed (and how he expressed it) regarding a woman's health. My views on abortion are very intense. I spent most of my life thinking that I wouldn't be able to conceive or carry a child and then I spent 4 years battling with infertility. The thought of having to end a pregnancy makes my heart hurt. At the same time.. I have a brain. I am pro-choice for many reasons, but the main one is the fact that I believe that the.. *gasp*.. "health of the mother".. is something that is a private matter between a family and their doctors. The government can try to fix the economy and leave my body alone.. thank you very much.

I was damned lucky. When my health tanked at the end of my pregnancy.. Benjamin was fully developed and could be delivered safely. The concerns that were front and center when we made the decision to go ahead with an emergency c-section were based entirely on my own health.. since we were confident that Ben would be ok (at least the doctors were confident). I can not comprehend what it must be like to be in the situation where the pregnancy has not made it to the point of viability and the mother has the same health crisis. My son was delivered because my own life was in jeopardy. The doctors estimated that I had less than a day.. at some point my organs would have started shutting down. If I was only 20 weeks pregnant.. our story would be much different. The pregnancy would still have to end.. or my life would.

One of my best friends experienced this. My heart still cracks a bit when I think about it.. I can not imagine going through what she and her wonderful husband have been through.

The two links below are well written and insightful. I wanted to share these women's thoughts with you all. My goal isn't to try to talk anyone into being for or against government regulation of abortion.. my goal is to open just one persons eyes to the catastrophic impact that poorly executed government regulation could have on the health of so many women.

Why no one with a uterus should vote for John McCain - a post by a little pregnant.

More Wounded that Eloquent, I’m Afraid. - a post by Flotsam.

3 Comments:

  1. Giovanna Diaries said...
    I should soooo keep my mouth shut on this topic....but I can't...

    I know women who have had abortions.....NONE of which were for reasons of health of the mother....though if you ask them today.......Truth is, it was just b/c of inconvenience, still in HS, fear of child's health & development, etc. I think that's why McCain uses the "quotes" like that. I think too often women like to use that reason to justify their decision.

    Do I think government should regulate it?...I don't know. Do I think government should ban it? No. I think people often confuse the two terms regulate and ban.

    Do I think women should be able to go into a clinic/hospital at 6 months and be able to terminate for whatever reason they deem worthy? NO WAY! My kids were born at 6 months. If they are going in for the sake of the life of the mother, deliver the baby then. Mine survived. They were born at 26weeks. They are 5 y/o today. They are perfectly healthy boys. When we were first diagnosed with our complications that was deadly for them AND very dangerous for me....they gave me the option of termination first. I'm sure as heck glad I didn't listen. A & C wouldn't be here today. And the thought of that brings tears to my eyes. If they don't want the child, there is someone in this world who does.

    Do I think a woman should be able to terminate if their life depended on it? Yes, I think that is a decision that should not be taken from them. But at what point do we say to them to deliver? 24 weeks? 25 weeks? 26 weeks? 27 weeks? What is the cutoff?

    I understand why some people are pro-choice....I understand people being pro-life. I don't think being one extreme or the other is the answer. I think somewhere in the middle is common ground that I wish more people would be able to recognize that...

    But voting or not voting for a candidate based on a single issue I think is.....not well-thought-out.

    There...enough said.
    Do you still love me?
    Jen said...
    of course i still love you! :)

    first.. i think we agree.. you're just better at putting it into words.

    second.. you were both political AND sentimental with your comment.. two things you swear you avoid.. :)

    as an aside.. and only people cool enough to read my comments will see this. i would actually consider myself to be a republican if we were to line up all of the overall issues and each party's platform. i obviously disagree with some of the stances (like on gay marriage, for example).. but this election has thrown me for a loop. i'm a bit worried about how smooth Obama is but my LORD.. i just can't stand McCain. :)

    you'll always be my girl, gio! so when are we going to the movies?
    Jane @ Amazing Trips said...
    I'd like to think I'm cool enough to read your comments. So, that's why I have to add my two cents...

    This whole issue hurts my head and heart. Personally, I'm opposed to abortion. I think it is morally wrong. I wish that people would consider alternatives when they find themselves with an "unwanted" pregnancy.

    That being said, I can't imagine forcing a person to carry a pregnancy that resulted from rape and/or incest (Pretty much the same thing in my book). Although, I also can't help but think >> how is it the baby's fault? WHAT IF the child resulting from an ugly conception went on to accomplish great things for humanity?

    When the mother's life is at stake, to me - it's no longer an issue of abortion. How could the fetus survive if the mother died? It's a moot point. Thankfully, our babies were at a gestational age where they COULD survive when my body went to crap. But what a brutal situation for a mother to be in, knowing that she has no choice but to deliver her child that has no shot at viability. Few things would be more horrifying, in my opinion.

    I've known so many people that have had abortions, and almost all of them, have had serious regrets. And not once would "I" ever have made the same choice. I remember one woman in particular that was a customer in my father's store who had had four abortions. FOUR. She used them as a form of birth control, when her other "forms" didn't work. One of my friend's had a late stage abortion (@ 22 weeks) when she found out her baby would have been born with Trisomy 21, and I know that her decision haunts her, everyday. Although - she probably still would have made the same choice.

    I also know a woman who years ago, before RvsW, performed an abortion on herself. She was so desperate to terminate the pregnancy (she was a teen and her parents would have disowned her) that she uncoiled a wire coathanger and did what she felt had to be done. She also wound up with a severe infection and was placed in the hospital where her "secret" came out.

    I don't know the answer. Maybe we need to have more counseling? More resources available for women? More movies or television shows or something piped in to homes across the land that positively illustrates various OPTIONS to consider??

    One thing is for sure, I can't wait to have a new President. I truly feel like our country is going to hell in a hand basket.

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