Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Gosnell Case - A Combination of Poverty and Restriction of Abortion

I've always wished we could have an honest and sane discussion on abortion.  

It is my belief that a compassionate and just society makes it possible for women to both bear and raise the children they conceive.  

This idea that women are just casually getting abortions is simply not true.  

Many many years ago I read "In a Different Voice" by Carol Gilligan that is about how the way women make moral decisions is different than men.  The book was not about abortion, though she used women making decisions about abortion as an example of how women make decisions.  

But what struck me was how many women ended up getting abortions to keep men in their lives, who were needed to support the children they already had.  

People think feminism is responsible for abortion but it seems to me if women were more independent, they'd be able to have and raise their children.

So you can't get rigid "pro-life" (really who is anti-life?) people to discuss abortion in a sane way and you can't really get feminists to discuss it either because they are so desperately trying to keep it safe, legal and  available.  Which I understand.  

 I wish pro-life people would understand that trying to forbid abortion does not solve anything, it only makes things worse.  And I wish pro-choice people could talk about the fact that we are discussing life and there is a violence and a loss for women who must make this choice.  

It's like there are only two ways of looking at abortion, abortion is the equivalent of Hitler killing Jews, or it's just removal of unwanted tissue.  Both these view points is harmful to women and harmful to society.

I won't post any links to the Gosnell case.  If you haven't heard about it you can Google it.  He was a butcher who took advantage of poor women.  Period.  And now he's the poster boy for the argument that there is a pro-abortion, left wing media conspiracy because the press didn't pay much attention.  The truth is nobody ever pays attention to poor women. 

People don't like the idea of late term abortions, but these are the result of lack of money and access to health care to detect pregnancy and to earlier abortions.  

Then women get desperate and they go to butchers like Gosnell.  

This is what happened before abortion was legal and it's going to happen more as more states make end runs around the constitution to block access to safe legal abortions.  And unfortunately the way the "left wing" media has played into anti-abortion's narrative of this case, this is just going to make it worse.


  1. thank you for this. just saw something on another person's facebook page about this. they were all over the 'left-wing pro-abortion' conspiracy. I said I don't think this is about that.

    I think what you say is right.

  2. and p.s. this is just the sort of thing that Christian Century Blogs should pick up.

  3. I am a political moderate. Most conservatives would consider me a liberal. I support marriage equality, affirmative action, government sponsored health care for all, equal pay for equal work, and I oppose the death penalty.

    I hold these positions because I believe in the value of every human being. I believe that every human being deserves equality. I believe that every human being has the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    So the question is: when does a human being become a human being?

    I have been a supporter of abortion rights because I believe that a woman should not be told by government or anyone else what she can or cannot do with her own body. But what about the fetus? Is it a human being? If it is a human being, why does it not have the same rights that we liberals/moderates demand for all other human beings? We would not tolerate anyone euthanizing (killing) a disabled child, or a mentally ill adult, or a senior who had become a burden to society and their family, so why don't we apply the same standards to human fetuses? Is a fetus a human being one day prior to its due date? I think most people would say yes. So how far back do we go in fetal development before we decide that the fetus is no longer a human being, but just a blog of tissue with no human rights? When it can perceive pain? When it has a heart beat? Most people believe that a fetus that is aborted is just a blob of tissue. I am a physician. I can tell you for a fact that it is not just a blob of tissue. Go on line and look up "photos of aborted fetuses" to see for yourself.

    Abortion is not consistent with liberal values. We are killing a human being. When is it ok to kill an innocent human being? There is no easy answer when it comes to abortion. We have to respect the woman's rights, but there is another human being involved in the issue. What do we do with it's rights?

    I would be interested in your answer to when does a human being becomes a human being, with all the rights of a human being that we liberals/moderates insist upon? I personally do not believe that religious beliefs should be brought into legal matters. But abortion is not a religious issue, it is a human rights issue.

  4. If you aren't interested in religious belief, then I don't really have anything to say. Outside of religion, it is better for society if abortion is safe, legal and available. It is also better for society to do what we can to ensure that women can bear and raise the children they conceive. Beyond that the decision to end a pregnancy is a matter of faith and trust, both in God's providence, and God's grace and forgiveness. It is also a matter of faith that the community be a means for God's providence and grace, whatever a woman decides.

  5. You perspective sounds wonderful, but you did not address my question: when does a fetus/baby become a human being with all the righs and privileges of any other human being?

    Conservatives want to drag the Bible into the argument and say that the life of a human being begins at conception. You seem to be doing the opposite. You are using the Bible to justify a woman's right to choose.

    I believe that religion should be completely taken out of the picture. We must all, conservatives, moderates and liberals, decide this one central question: is a fetus a human being? If it is a human being, at what point in fetal development does it have the same rights that you and I have? Birth? Third trimester? Twenty weeks? When it has a beating heart?

    As a liberal who once supported full abortion rights, I have now come to the conclusion that it is the issue of protecting human rights for every human being that must be addressed when it comes to aborting a fetus. If it is just a blob of tissue, like a tumor, by all means, take it out if you don't want it. But if it is a human being, is there ever a justifiable excuse to kill an innocent human being???

    This is the question that I believe most pro-choice people do not want to answer of even contemplate.

    I am against the killing of innocent human beings, in all situations. Most liberals/moderates would agree with this...except in the case of aborting a human fetus.

    Liberals protest the fur industry because of the suffering of the animals in the traps. We boycott stores that sell furs and criticize and attempt to shame women/men who wear fur. Why aren't liberals concerned about the pain a fetus feels when it is aborted?

    If liberals do not want to outlaw abortion due to the rights of the woman, they should at least take the same position on aborting fetuses that they do on the fur trade. Inflicting cruel, prolonged pain on any creature is in-humane.

    Liberals must ask themselves the question: if a fetus is a human being, why am I denying it's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Why are the mother's rights as a human being more important than that of the fetus?

    Does the fetus experience pain when it is aborted? If there is any possibility that it does, we as liberals/moderates are being hypocritical with our stance to protect animals but then allow the painful killing of human fetuses.

    Abortion is inconsistent with liberal values.

  6. I'm sorry that my answer does not fall within the parameters with which you wish to frame the discussion, but that kind of pitting of rights in the abstract of one group against another is precisely the kind of fruitless debate in which I am not interested in participating.