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abortion. agree, disgree?


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what are all your views?

i personally believe a person should only have an abortion in the case that the mother may die due to complications.

i just dont understand how people say it's not baby. then WHAT is it?

i believe if you were old enough to have sex, then your old enought to deal with the consequences, either good or bad

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#321  
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Original Post by selise:

Original Post by hgielrehtaeh:

Original Post by selise:

Here's a hypothetical query for everyone to consider. Say 50 years from now some quick multiplying bacteria or virus starts rendering women around the planet infertile, and within a decade it is so widespread that only 5% of women around the world with a genetic resistance to this virus can conceive. Do you think people would still hold to the idea that a fetus is not a human being before 12 weeks?

Would that instance give you the right to tell a woman what to do with her body? It appears, that, in your mind it would. In my mind, it wouldn't. Women have the right to choose what medical procedures they want.

If only two people on earth were able to reproduce, would that give everyone else the right to force them to? No.

I don't believe others have the right to tell a woman she can't have an abortion any more than they can tell her she can't get a tattoo, and that is my point. The tables can turn so quickly from pro-choice to pro-life, and the idea that a progressive society could hypothetically begin forcing women to have children in a situation like this is scary.

 I explained my point and my feelings in two previous posts. I said abortion is not for me personally, but I believe in a woman's right to choose. I also wrote the above in response to your earlier comment.

Personally I think we need to define when life begins for legal purposes and allow that to guide the debate.

Right now a doctor can be sued for the accidental death of an unborn child, a murder can be convicted for the death of the mother AND that of her unborn child, yet somehow late term abortion (let alone any kind of abortion) is not illegal.

That's totally at odd's with each other. 

Whatever it is, conception, first, second, third trimester, birth, whatever... the legal point at which life begins should dictate who's rights trump.

If as a society we decide legal life begins at the third trimester, then doctors can be sued and murders convicted for killing an infant after that point, but at that point the child's right to life trumps the woman's right to choose.

I personally don't care when society considers life to begin, but we need to sort it out.

A strange thing about being pro-choice is I disagree with many of the arguments as being overly simplistic and off topic.  Not that I dont see the same for prolife either but I guess I just am put off with what I consider poor reasoning for something that I do consider a valid stand.

Life beginning at conception is not a belief.  Egg plus sperm = life.  You dont need to be prolife to concede to science.

Yes it is my body and whether I like it or not, a life growing within it complicates things.  It remains my body while I go into labor so apparantly I have the right to abort moments before giving birth - my body, my choice.  

Whether its okay or not to abort doesnt burden anyone else who thinks I shouldnt to raise said child.  Just because the state says I cant physically abuse my kids doesnt mean its their obligation to punish them.  The question of whether abortion can be justified does not obligate those who think it shouldnt.

The burden a child would cause certain individuals, the extreme sacrifices they would have to make and the low quality of is nothing compared to that of what an embryo not brought to term sacrifices. 

Boy do I sound prolife, and I most definitely am not. I dont know many prochoicers though that would agree with me on my prior points.  Its strange to agree that up to abortion should be legal while disagreeing with with the standard given reasons behind the movement. 

Prolifers arent off the hook either.  Old enough to get pregnant, old enough to deal with the consequences?  Catchy, but an illogical conclusion and they have plenty more.  Every abortion sticker Ive seen regarding abortion that said something other then prolife or prochoice to me had the flippant logic behind it worthy of sitting on car bumper.  
OR, egg + sperm = fetus. in order to be life, it's got be able to LIVE and that means, live independently. potentially, it can and may, but, is not able to at the beginning stages. Thus, the argument on when life begins can always be debated.   

this is a pretty heavy issue. I am absolutely pro-choice but see why abortion is an abhorent option. AND, I think it's naive to believe that adoption works in all or even most cases. Just pick up any newspaper. And, I, personally, consider adoption/foster care myself.

some folks draw the line in cases of rape or incest or some other thoughtless line. I think the ultimate question for prochoice and prolife is how much value is placed on the life/wellbeing of the pregnant woman. Is SHE mentally/physically able to carry birth to term? If she is mentally unfit, and MOST unexpected pregnancies are going to result in some sort of crisis/mental health issue, do you really believe that she may be able to work out plans for adoption?

Most of the pregnancies that we're talking about are younger women. Look at what our culture does to younger girls (and probably why we are all struggling here???) regarding body image/sexappeal. There are no REAL public forums out there for girls to turn to/no REAL role models out there talking honestly too girls about risks. Instead, we are still pushing puritanical abstinence and on the other end of the spectrum...SEX.

I contribute to Planned Parenthood. And always will. Many women are without the support and resources they need in order to make reasonable, rational choices. Why in this advanced technological society don't we have an option more humane than abortion? Why in this intelligent culture are we the number one country with the most teenage pregnancies? And that number is GROWING again. 

This one hits my buttons...thanks for posting!  
Why in this advanced technological society don't we have an option more humane than abortion?

I am curious about that, myself. I have often thought there should be -by now- a way to transplant an embryo from one person to another.

How much easier and simpler that would be, to have those who have one (and do not want it) to be able to give it to someone else!
OR, egg + sperm = fetus. in order to be life, it's got be able to LIVE and that means, live independently. potentially, it can and may, but, is not able to at the beginning stages. Thus, the argument on when life begins can always be debated.   

Thats just not true.
egg + sperm = life (zygote>embryo>fetus)
Life separates the animate from inanimate.
Whether its self-sustained doesnt change this.
One on life support, even brain dead, lives.
An embryo/fetus couldnt die if if wasnt a life.

Which was my point, why argue what we know to be true? Sides are divided enough - we need to deal with facts to acknowledge we're talking about the same thing.

Let me second you though on the shout out for planned parenthood. 

And yes, I think there are those unwilling to consider bringing a fetus to tyerm for adoption that would consider providing an embryo to for example a sterile couple.  Those not willing would still be entitled, within time limits, legal abortion.  Like adoptions, an option possibly prolifers and prochoicers could both get behind.
mop
Dec 29 2007 00:52
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#327  
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Sperm are alive.
Eggs are alive.
Cells are alive.

So, can we please go after all the men jerking off into tube socks, killing millions of potential babies at a shot (not to mention making a sticky mess), and leave the women alone?

I gotta say, I really like what ofthrees and Heather are saying: A) What, exactly, other than a religioius belief that we don't all share, says that it is better to live than not to live, no matter what that life is like? I don't think it is. I think assisted suicide, euthanasia, etc. should be legal.

And the corollary: B) So what if we're ending a life? Let's say, for argument's sake, that the abortion is performed within the first 12 weeks, and it is done quickly and cleanly, and it is scientifically proven that there is no consciousness that feels anything. How is that worse than the alternative of abuse, homelessness, lack of love, lack of sustenance, lack of health, lack of any and everything essential? Just exactly how?

I swear, it's discussions like these that make me want to go out and get pregnant real quick just so I can have an abortion before it's made all illegal and back-alley-y again. (Because, fyi, regardless of the legality of abortion, there will always be abortion.)

Have I mentioned that I love Blackthorne? And Ofthrees?

Just checking.


And I love Mop.
Original Post by mop:


Sperm are alive.
Eggs are alive.
Cells are alive.

So, can we please go after all the men jerking off into tube socks, killing millions of potential babies at a shot (not to mention making a sticky mess), and leave the women alone?

 

ummm... do you honestly think that a man could impregnate millions upon millions of women?

I think if you use weed killer on your lawn than you are anti-life.

OH! Did you only mean *human* life???

I suspect we're nearing the end of this discussion, but I thought I'd offer this up, which is something I wrote on September 30, 2005. It encapsulates (albeit at some length) how I feel about the topic.

Some people might not love me after this, to be sure.  :(

--

Honestly, I'm bored with the abortion debate. It's been a passion of mine for the past 16 years, and maybe it's because I'm reaching the end of my childbearing days (at least by my own personal standards). Maybe it's because it's a ceaseless, divisive debate that never goes anywhere. Maybe it's because I've come to the conclusion that if people across the US want abortion available in their states, they'll stop voting pro-lifers into office. Whatever it’s because, the fact is, I just don’t care quite as much anymore. If Roe is overturned, the legality of abortion will still be at states' discretion. And if residents of those states want legal abortion available, they'll vote accordingly.

It's an oversimplification, not even entirely accurate, certainly unfair to the impoverished, but I'm just sick of it, really.

Additionally, there ARE too many abortions in this country. What kind of agenda-driven, selfish, deluded **** would stand up there and say it's better for a woman to go through all the turmoil of having an abortion than it is to simply not get pregnant in the first place?

I've come to recognize that the only people who still fight desperately for legal abortion in 50 states are: sensitive 90s males, women who've never had abortions, women who think they might someday need one (either for the first time, or again), and political agendists. While I don't think there's anything wrong, really, with the three former groups, I certainly take offense to the latter.

Because here’s the thing. Abortion isn’t pleasant. Most women I know have had one – you may not believe that, but it is true. Pretty shocking, actually, even to me. They don’t come right out with it – “hey, I’m Sally, hi, yeah, I’ve had an abortion”. You only find out once you’re close enough, or everyone’s had just enough glasses of wine, or in a moment of extreme regret or general depression. Women who’ve had abortions don’t talk about it, they don’t boast about it, and after they tell you, they feel horrible about themselves. Of course, then you say, “I’ve had one too,” and you share a moment of silent knowingness and change the subject quickly.

And everyone says the exact same thing about it. They’re grateful they could do it, but regretful that they put themselves in the position of doing it in the first place. I don’t know anyone who has treated it casually, I don’t know anyone who shrugged afterward, I don’t know anyone who treated it like a tooth-cleaning. Which might be a point in the pro-choicers’ favor (“women have abortions they need, not abortions they want” – see below) were it not for the fact that after having an abortion, we all woke up to the painful reality that hey, the bill of goods we were sold wasn’t quite as cheap as we were told it would be.

Those of us on the other side of abortion very rarely admit any of this, because to do so feels like treason. To say out loud what we’re all thinking feels innately like we’re telling a very important secret that we promised from the womb we’d never, ever tell. We were lied to from the very beginning, but to admit we’ve woken up to the lie is to betray the very liars who lied to us in the first place.

It’s almost Hearst-esque.

But I’m going to tell you that secret.

Few things are worse for the average woman or teenage girl – who doesn’t want a child, of course - than seeing a plus sign or second line or “pregnant” on that pregnancy test.

And it doesn’t take three minutes, either. It takes SECONDS. It takes seconds for the urine to flow through that little window, and if the hormone is there, the positive sign shows up instantly. They tell you you’ll have three minutes to get yourself together and mentally prepare, but the fact is, you’ve barely pulled up your pants before you know you’re pregnant.

Your stomach turns to liquid, you feel faint, you panic. A thousand things rush through your mind. I can’t afford this, I’m not ready for this, what will my parents say, what will my boyfriend/husband/sugar daddy say, I’m going to get fat, what if I don’t lose the weight, how will I handle the pain, what if I pass along my health/mental problems onto the baby, what if what if what if. A thousand ways your life will be ruined, a thousand ways you will certainly fail this child inside you, they all pass before you in a nanosecond, and you collapse onto the floor or sink onto the toilet or fall onto the bed and you stare into space or cry into your hands and you think oh god what am I going to do?

If you’re like me, you instantly think, “abortion” and you feel a rush of dread coalescing with a rush of relief mingling with a rush of visceral guilt. If you’re like one particular friend of mine, you agonize over the decision for weeks and then finally decide “abortion”. If you’re like still another friend of mine, you ignore all the signs of your pregnancy, test only after your tits have remained so swollen and so sore for so long that you can no longer deny it, and then you wait until the very last minute to think “abortion” and schedule the appointment.

You figure out how to pay for it. You call the guy or you empty your savings account or you call your insurance company, but you get it together. And you make that appointment, and you walk in that office, and there are usually quite a number of girls sitting there in the waiting room when you arrive.

You look slowly around the room and realize you’re all there for the same reason. It’s not like going to the dentist, where you’re getting a root canal and the guy next to you might be getting dental implants and that woman over there is having a bleaching. No, when you’re in an abortion clinic, you know that virtually every female there has life inside her that she is a couple of hours away from exterminating.

It’s not a cheerful place. They spread magazines around – TIME, Seventeen, Glamour, Golf Digest – designed to distract you from what you’re about to do. Designed to relax you, to remind you that once this is over, you can shop for that pretty, form-fitting dress in the spring layout or that golf club featured in a slick advertisement or that trendy new handbag in the fashion section. It’s okay, it’s natural, it’s normal, you’re doing the right thing.

There are never, ever parenting or baby magazines in these rooms. There are never magazines with children pictured in them.

And of course, children are not allowed in the waiting room. I don’t think this is designed to keep you from bolting so much as it is designed to keep you from going insane. Opponents of abortion would likely insist it’s the former; I don’t think so. I’ll get to that, though.

So you sit there and you flip through a magazine and talk quietly to the friend you’ve brought with you and you sneak surreptitious glances at the others sharing this experience with you.

No one smiles, no one laughs. Everyone is serious and everyone has a haunted look in their eyes that they are trying desperately to conceal. The friends and boyfriends of the pregnant girls always look uncomfortable, strange in this space, uncertain of what to say or how to act. “Should I be lighthearted, so as to distract my friend/girlfriend/wife? Or would that be offensive? If not to her, than to the others? Should I be solemn?”

What is left due to this uncertainty is an obvious sense of discomfort and confusion.

They call your name and you sign in and fill out forms and tell them how you’re paying and tell them that yes, you have a ride home, and you note that the business occurring in the office in front of you is very quiet. Everyone is working and busy, but there’s little talking and no laughter, no wisecracks, no gossip about last night’s episode of The Apprentice or Survivor. You get the sense that the women working in this office feel grateful that they can help you through your crisis – everyone is really, really nice and really, really sensitive to you – and they might even feel a strange sense of pride, but they don’t necessarily enjoy their jobs. “Hi-ho, hi-ho, off to work I go.” None of that. You get the impression that they are sad for you, sad that no one told you how it would be.

You go back and sit down and fill out the forms (there’s always a clause you have to initial acknowledging that terminations sometimes aren’t complete and you might have to come back again), and then take them up, and the woman smiles at you and tells you your name will be called.

Your name is called and you go back and sit down with one of the clerks, who takes your insurance information (or your cash payment).

There’s a girl at every desk, doing this same thing. You’ve seen all the girls in the waiting room; you are sort of surprised that there are just as many back here with the clerks.

A nurse greets you after this and nicely instructs you to go undress. You are led to a room with changing rooms – multiple stalls next to one another, like a public restroom – and there’s a girl in every stall, changing.

Each stall has multiple lockers – usually 15 or 18. You are told to get completely naked (including jewelry) and to leave your personal items in one of the lockers. You are provided a dressing gown and paper booties. A key is hanging out of each locker, with an elastic band looped through it and a safety pin attached to the elastic band.

This is so you can wear your locker key around your wrist, or pin it to your dressing gown.

Every locker with a missing key represents a girl who is already in the back.

A nurse then leads you out to take your vitals – weight, blood pressure, that sort of thing – and still more girls are with still other nurses, having their vitals taken as well.

You don’t speak to these girls, you don’t catch their eyes, you don’t acknowledge them in any fashion. Nor they you. If you happen to make eye contact, you both look away quickly and you each smooth your gowns.

You can’t help but think of all the babies in this room with you.

After your vitals are taken, you are led to another waiting room, where you sit with all the girls you encountered in the changing rooms. Your legs turn blue and your hands shake and your knees involuntarily bounce, as you nervously stare, unseeing and unblinking, at the television they’ve kindly provided.

Your name is finally called and you are led to a medical room where you are instructed to lie down on the table. A very kind nurse comes in then, and turns the monitor away from your face, and soothingly chats with you as she performs an ultrasound.

They don’t let you see the image, but you know they’re seeing a baby there.

You know that they’re seeing a baby there, just as the obstetrician of the excited mother-to-be down the street is seeing a baby on another monitor. It’s no different. I think it’s right about then that you recognize the lie. You got a sense of it earlier, but it’s now taking shape in front of you, on that monitor you aren’t allowed to see.

If you’ve been pregnant before, and carried to term, you know exactly what they’re looking at. You know they’re seeing a swollen little belly there, and little leg buds, and a little head, and you know that if you were at your obstetrician’s and not in an abortion clinic, they would be putting a stethoscope on your belly and you would hear a very rapid heartbeat.

But you aren’t in a regular doctor’s office and you aren’t allowed to hear that heartbeat, and you are grateful for it and you understand why it’s set up that way. Because you’d still go through with it, more than likely. You probably wouldn’t change your mind. But you wouldn’t be able to look straight at yourself in the mirror ever again.

So you tune it all out and talk yourself out of it. “It’s a mass of cells. It means nothing.”

In these places, the onset of life in the womb is not determined by anything other than your desire for it NOT to be life. And you know it, and so does that doctor, and all the nurses and the clerks and every single woman in the building.

After your ultrasound, you are gently led back to the same waiting room, and now your heart is racing even as you try to slow it, and your hands are cold and clammy because you know what’s next.

The next time they call your name, it is to direct you to a small, bright room where a kindly nurse and a smiling anethesiaologist are waiting for you. You lie on the bed, put your feet in the stirrups. A gentle, soft-voiced doctor enters the room and asks you how you are as the anethesiaologist puts a needle in your left hand while a nurse pats your right.

The very next thing you experience is the wailing. You come to and you hear a wailing, and it disorients you for a moment and you think, “that poor girl, oh my god, what happened”, and then you realize it’s you.

You try to sit up, involuntarily holding your strangely empty-feeling stomach (it never actually felt full until it wasn't full anymore) while wailing, and two nurses rush to your side to rub your back and give you Advil. They speak in sweet, dulcet tones, it’s all right you’re okay, it’s over, and they stay there with you while you calm down and take the pills.

You look around and see a row of beds on either side of you, each one holding a girl who is holding her stomach. Some are wailing. Some are sobbing. Some are simply staring at the ceiling. But all are clutching their bellies, every last one of them.

The nurses take your vitals and speak in still more soothing tones and after 10 or 20 minutes have passed, they lead you out to a third waiting room, where they give you juice and cookies and after-care instructions.

You are then led out a back door. You never see the first waiting room again, or the second.

And that is what having an abortion is like. That’s the secret they don’t tell you.

They also don’t tell you that sometimes, after the first one, the second and third and fourth come easier. The experience is always the same, but it becomes routine. Old hat. And you hate yourself more each time. You don’t write the dates down, but you always remember them.

They don’t tell you that sometimes you never get over that first one, which, thankfully due to that fact, will be your only one.

A friend of mine cried for a solid week after hers. She didn’t come out of her apartment. Six years later, she has not forgiven herself for it. She likely never will.

I simply don’t think of mine.

The experience is more painful than any experience the average woman will endure. At this point, I do believe that avid pro-abortionists are selling a massive lie to the American public. They bandy about the right to have an abortion as though when a woman finds herself in the position of needing one, it isn’t one of the most painful experiences any woman will ever have.

One thing we all agree on is that we’re glad it’s an option. We also share another opinion, which is that although we’re glad it’s an option, it’s not something we’d recommend. If a friend came to us and said she was thinking of having one, we’d offer the same alternatives as a pro-lifer, and if she decided to have one, we would support her, but we would never just outright recommend it. Because it IS a horrible thing, a difficult thing, and I do not know a single woman who doesn’t believe that she killed someone when she terminated a pregnancy. I don’t know a single woman who shruggingly said, “it was just a mass of cells.” I’m sure those women exist – they must – but I suspect they are lying to themselves, perhaps even subconsciously, to avoid the guilt and pain.

Another thing all these women I know – including me - have in common is that none of them wanted the child. A few of them actively dislike children, period. Yet ALL of them feel guilty for killing their children. And all of them use that word, even as they tell you that they believe abortion should be legal.

When I was fifteen, I was chosen in my debate class to argue for abortion against a minister's daughter who was, naturally, anti. My closing line - the one that won me the debate - was this:

"Women have abortions they need, not abortions they want."

Wild applause. It was embarrassing. I felt like I’d just lied to my class, even though I believed staunchly in my position on the subject.

I'll be honest with you - my reason for being pro-abortion, even at 15, was because I knew one day I'd probably need one.

It boils down to that.

All the stuff about "woman's right to choose" and "no one can tell me what to do with my own body," none of that **** ever really sat with me.

Oh, I USED it. To be sure, I used it. I’ve told that lie over and over, right along with the best of them.

I also knew that if ever faced with the choice, it wouldn’t BE a choice. I already knew what I would do. There was never any question.

I believe that abortion should be legal – despite all of this, I do believe it should be available and legal - but I also believe the movement should more strongly support preventing the need for one in the first place. I think the movement should be honest about what it’s like. “This is available to you, but by all means, do whatever you have to do to avoid it, and if you find yourself in need of one, be clear on what to expect.”

It astonishes me that the above-quoted concept is completely absent from the dialogue.

To get up there and scream the word “abortion!” over and over as though it doesn’t actually mean anything is irresponsible. It is a lie. And that lie is why millions of women a year slowly walk into abortion clinics and endure an incredibly difficult experience, rather than simply take proper precautions in the first place.

It’s like, you exist in this world thinking, “Well, if I ever get pregnant, there’s always abortion,” never assigning any real significance to the word. So when the time comes and you go in there and you find that it’s not quite as simple as all of that, it’s too late.

I guess I’d just like to see us avoid the ‘too late’.

#332  
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Very well written. I agree, we need to focus on avoiding 'too late' rather than quick fixing 'too late'. It's good to have as an option as long as women aren't looking at it through rose colored glasses. Too often it's looked at like a walk in the park or something of convenience like an eraser on a pencil. It allows you the freedom of writing on a piece of paper carefree of how careful or neat the writing is because there's a quick fix on the other end and it can simply be erased, but that approach to abortion is irresponsible.
I agree, very well written, and poignant.

But I have to say that this part jumped out at me:

It?s like, you exist in this world thinking, ?Well, if I ever get pregnant, there?s always abortion,?

Do people really think that? I certainly never did. I always figured that I would try my hardest and do everything within my own power to prevent myself from ever being in the position to have to make such a tough choice. As a result, I have always used birth control, except during the years I deliberately wanted to get pregnant. The pill for decades (often WITH condoms too), and now the IUD. Yes b.c. isn't perfect and it can fail, but those methods are pretty close to failsafe, as far as choices go. I'm due to go off the IUD in two more years, and I think I will get my tubes tied next. When I was younger, if I'd accidentally gotten pregnant it is likely I'd have sucked it up and had the baby; not so true nowadays, at 42, even if I'm in a solid marriage, I think having another pregnancy would absolutely destroy my health. But I'm rambling....

I'm just really shocked, if there are people out there who think differently.

But then again, it's also always bugged me that the Catholic church not only bans abortion, but also looks down upon birth control. I always thought that was screwed up.

ofthrees, I truly and sincerely urge you to please publish what you wrote and distribute it to every sex ed class in the country.  It is extremely well written and has the potential to be an incredible teaching tool, not just to teens, but to all women. It must have been difficult to share that, and I am so thankful and grateful.

The emotional experience of my abortion wasn't like that of ofthrees' at all. I don't hate myself for it. Almost all of the women I know well who have had abortions don't hate themselves for it, either. I didn't "kill anyone", and I'm not just "telling myself that" - I've seen 6 week fetuses since then, and they are simply not the same as people. I ended a pea-sized, non-sentient, non-viable potential life, which is quite different from murdering a toddler. Of course it wasn't pleasant to have an abortion - what surgery is? - and of course I don't just shrug it off; being pregnant is a big deal, having an abortion is a big deal. But not in the way that the story described (for me, anyway).

And I worked at an abortion clinic where people did leave via the same waiting room where they arrived, where there was certainly smiling and joking among the patients and the staff, and where most of us did love our jobs. And where there seemed to be far less of this hand-wringing. The recovery room was a great place to work, it wasn't depressing like the one described above. It was a full-service office (gyn visits and prenatal care, too) and there were parenting magazines around in the waiting room along with the Vogues and Seventeens - a large proportion of our patients were already mothers, but knew they couldn't handle another baby right now. Children were allowed in the waiting room as long as they were not disruptive and were looked after by an accompanying adult (not the patient). Some women did find their presence troubling - and that gave us something to explore in the counseling office. Better to explore this fully before the abortion than to have her leave and THEN see a small child on the street. For that matter, some of our patients were children (the youngest I counseled was 11).

I recommend checking out imnotsorry.net for a broader spectrum of abortion experiences. I am glad that ofthrees wrote about hers, and I agree that it was well-written. (Mine is on the linked site, under "Catherine" - I was 14.)  I have met women who sort of felt guilty about not feeling guilty. I was one of them. Until I realized that abortion is not a "necessary evil" - it's definitely necessary (oh my is it necessary, sometimes), but not evil.
Just wanted to mention that if you are at all pro-choice, its important that you tell your daughters that even though you  might not support their choice to be sexually active as a teenager that you will support their choice if they find themselvs pregnant.  Even in saying so, Im sure there will be doubts but I believe most teens think that there parent would "kill me" if they find out they were pregnant. 

At 17 my best friend became pregnant and I wasnt able to persuade her to go to her parents who while probably having a fit very well may have been there for her as well.  The best I was able to do was to get her to wait a few days to just think about it and she did decide on the abortion.  Her excuse for a boyfriend and I accompanied her and in her clinic setting was similar to trusted's experience.  She brought me in with her during counseling (probably a blessing her bf passed on that).  I was so afraid for her, what might go wrong and how no adults knew.  I also was so desperate to bring her out of the fear she was in.  When the nurse  commented on how she wasnt to put anything in her vagina for a set time afterwards, I cracked a really bad joke about her having to find a new place to keep her keys.  She laughed and I was relieved to have reached and break the tension but it was fleeting and the horrible anticipation returned. 

I pleaded to go in there with her and was allowed to remain outside the room door.  Eventually, the door opened and I was allowed in the room - a normal looking doctors office.  She was lying there in hospital like robe,  crying.  The first thing she told me was that it hurt (which maybe it doesnt always but did for her).  We hugged each other and held on for a while, not saying anything.  I remember thinking Im not old enough to be this person.  I cant fix this.  I myself hadnt even had sex and this was so over my head.  Yet of the two of us, I was always the logical one, the grounded one, the one that the other came to for advise and I had nothing.  I remember her not wanting to leave the room and eventually helping her out because emotionally, she was havign such a hard time pulling it together.

I also remember walking with her into the reception area and her boyfriend, hands off asking if she was okay and hating him for not comforting her.  I accompanied her home, just us walking past her mom with this huge secret to her room.  Much later when they broke up, he used it to taunt her not in a guilty way but in a demeaning way. 

I know the experience isnt the same for all.  Years later sexully active I was convinced I'd have an abortion if I got pregnant.  I didnt know what it was like, but I'd witnessed much of it from the sidelines.  Ive also felt as a stand, it usually underestimated in its entirety. 

On the other hand, had I not been there with her I might not have felt driven to tell my daughter if she found her self pregnant that her choice and well beng would be priority and that I would tell her what I thought but support her every step.  This should be a part of every "sex talk" parents have with children.  A teenager should know where there parents stand before their faced with telling them or not.
I agree with you sun. I recently had one of many sex talks with my DD15. We were discussing abortion and other things, I told her my own point of view was to never go without b.c... and of course, some protection is better than others. I told her I was pro-choice and if she did get pregnant, it would be her decision and I'd support her either way. That includes supporting her if she decided to keep the baby... it would be my grandchild afterall...

Then I made her a deal. I told her at any time she could come to me, no questions asked, and I'd take her in to see the OB/GYN to go on the pill. I told her I'd rather see her on b.c. than forced to make a tough choice. And I also told her, when the time came that she'd start dating, that I would not be upset if she chose to carry condoms in her purse just in case. In fact, I even told her where we keep a stash if she wanted to raid it ... from when DH and I first started dating (I was on the IUD but we used condoms until we were both tested twice for HIV and everything else).

Ideally if she's decided to have sex with someone, it's been after some discussion and with enough forethought to go on the pill or something and time to get STD testing done if necessary.... BUT I'm practical, I know how adolescent hormones can get the best of you, so better to be prepared rather than caught off guard.

I think a lot of teens figure they'll just say no, they'll rely on their own willpower........ but those hormones can be quite powerful!!!

... and she's never even been kissed yet. But I'm sure if a boy was interested........  heck, I lost my virginity at around age 17, just slightly older than she is. My mom was very much into "stay a virgin until you're married" which led me to figure out how to get to Planned Parenthood on my own, because I sure didn't want to get pregnant. I had one friend who had an abortion and it wrecked her emotionally (in her case, because she was really in love with the guy and it destroyed their relationship), and another friend who dropped out of junior high to have her baby (who's now 26 years old and just had her *own* baby!! wow!).

Anyway, my DD is going to have sex one of these days, I think some of her friends are already having it, and it's very likely going to be before she marries. Actually I'd really like to see both my girls marry late, like 30 years old... after schooling is over and career is well under way. Gah... I'm rambling again!! (Not feeling well today so just hanging out in my pj's and spending too much time on the 'puter).
Original Post by trustwomen:

The emotional experience of my abortion wasn't like that of ofthrees' at all. I don't hate myself for it. Almost all of the women I know well who have had abortions don't hate themselves for it, either. I didn't "kill anyone", and I'm not just "telling myself that" - I've seen 6 week fetuses since then, and they are simply not the same as people. I ended a pea-sized, non-sentient, non-viable potential life, which is quite different from murdering a toddler. Of course it wasn't pleasant to have an abortion - what surgery is? - and of course I don't just shrug it off; being pregnant is a big deal, having an abortion is a big deal. But not in the way that the story described (for me, anyway).

And I worked at an abortion clinic where people did leave via the same waiting room where they arrived, where there was certainly smiling and joking among the patients and the staff, and where most of us did love our jobs. And where there seemed to be far less of this hand-wringing. The recovery room was a great place to work, it wasn't depressing like the one described above. It was a full-service office (gyn visits and prenatal care, too) and there were parenting magazines around in the waiting room along with the Vogues and Seventeens - a large proportion of our patients were already mothers, but knew they couldn't handle another baby right now. Children were allowed in the waiting room as long as they were not disruptive and were looked after by an accompanying adult (not the patient). Some women did find their presence troubling - and that gave us something to explore in the counseling office. Better to explore this fully before the abortion than to have her leave and THEN see a small child on the street. For that matter, some of our patients were children (the youngest I counseled was 11).

I recommend checking out imnotsorry.net for a broader spectrum of abortion experiences. I am glad that ofthrees wrote about hers, and I agree that it was well-written. (Mine is on the linked site, under "Catherine" - I was 14.) I have met women who sort of felt guilty about not feeling guilty. I was one of them. Until I realized that abortion is not a "necessary evil" - it's definitely necessary (oh my is it necessary, sometimes), but not evil.

Oh, I don't hate myself for it. If that's what you took from what I wrote, that's a shame. I did what I had to do, and I don't regret it, and I don't feel guilty. But the experience was what it was, and it was like that not just once, and not just for me. You wouldn't BELIEVE the volumes of emails I received not only from my friends, but also from strangers, when I wrote and published the above. None of us regretted what we did, but we all agreed on the manner in which it went down.

I've never, ever, EVER experienced, nor heard of, children being allowed in a clinic waiting room. If your clinic allowed them, then it was an exception to the rule.

i'mnotsorry.net is repulsive. I'm well aware of it. It's a disgusting, irresponsible site, designed to reassure women that abortion is no different than a teeth cleaning.  Sites like imnotsorry give fuel to the opposition.  I recognize that it's supposed to be "empowering".  What it is, however, is offensive and disgusting, not to mention damaging to the pro-choice sect as a whole.    "I had an abortion, and I think it was an awesome, positive experience, so eff you."  I mean, what the hell IS that?  I'm sorry, if you find it empowering, that's cool, but my view of it is vastly different.

For some women, it's a terrible thing - my experience is that the impact is worse on women who don't take it seriously, who've been told their whole lives that it's no big deal. To recommend abortion casually ("recommending" is different than "supporting" - understand that), and to say "it's no problem, no big deal, don't even sweat it" is irresponsible. It's a very, very personal decision that women must make on their own without agenda-driven women like those who populate imnotsorry pushing it upon them.

I think abortion should be legal up to the 30th trimester.

After all, who better to perform 'natural selection' than the parents?

I feel strongly that moms have the right to chose.  If someone stood in the way of Wifeypoop's choce, I would push them to the ground and pee on them.
I think the impact of abortion can be horrible if the person is not absolutely certain that is what they want to do.

It had been mentioned about the highway with all the signs and propaganda designed to try to avert a person from getting an abortion. If one is so easily swayed, then it is possible that this person has doubts in the first place, and might suffer.

It can also be horrible if that person has no support from anyone. It can be frightening to go through a medical procedure of any type under certain circumstances. Many times, the event is kept secret to avoid the judgment of people much like we have encountered here... and those people could even be family members.

As well, there can be quite a bit of physical discomfort. It is NOT painless, although I find childbirth much worse.

So, if anyone compares it to getting your ears pierced, taking a ride on a rollercoaster, or dancing in the moonlight, that is a very irresponsible image to project to others.

I can understand how some might find the experience empowering in some ways. As odd as that may sound, there are many who weary of others attempting to have an influence on their life choices. Some may have had controlling parents, or controlling significant others, or been born into a culture that tries to take away their self-determination.

We all want to be able to determine what course our lives will take.

I see that site as, essentially, a backlash against those who would spread misguided information, or push religious beliefs, in order to take away the self-determination of the women who contribute to that site. But if you find their postings offensive, perhaps some might not realize that to some, they might seem unreasonable and unrealistic - like the other side - when they push back so hard  that it wanders into the realm of the grotesque. Some people become what they fear, but the banner they carry is just a different color.

I think what we both detest, ofthrees, are the extremes.

Birth at all cost! Abortion at all cost!

Neither has a balanced approach.

(edited to add:)

I, personally, did not find the site offensive.
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