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All that can be done at this point is to hope for the best for the kid...  Who is going to care for the kid while 'daddy' is at work?  When the kid gets sick?  When 'Daddy' wants to go out for an evening?  These are realities.  

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To be fair, those all apply to single mothers as well. Replace daddy with mommy and it still makes perfect sense. I think a father that wants to keep his child would do his best to care for it, but the issue is that the father doesn’t have the hard job of risking their own lives to bring another into the world. I don’t think a man’s desire to have the kid should trump the woman’s desire to not have her life ruined because she doesn’t want to carry or give birth to the child. The guy can always make more kids with a woman that also wants kids; it’s super easy for them because all they need to do is supply the baby juice. 

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Quite right in that respect...  

 

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On 5/4/2018 at 2:50 PM, Cecona said:

To be fair, those all apply to single mothers as well. Replace daddy with mommy and it still makes perfect sense. I think a father that wants to keep his child would do his best to care for it, but the issue is that the father doesn’t have the hard job of risking their own lives to bring another into the world. I don’t think a man’s desire to have the kid should trump the woman’s desire to not have her life ruined because she doesn’t want to carry or give birth to the child. The guy can always make more kids with a woman that also wants kids; it’s super easy for them because all they need to do is supply the baby juice. 

 

Yes, yes, and yes. And honestly it's often not even about simply not wanting to be pregnant for 9 months and have your life interrupted and such, carrying to term is a medically *risky* thing for many women, and it is possible to die from it. Not just from the birth itself, but from possible infections or something going wrong during the pregnancy. Medical practices have come a long way but it is *not* 100% safe for a woman to carry to term. That's my biggest issue with pretty much any anti-abortion stance, the woman should not have to risk her *life* because someone else might want the baby.

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Far too many people don’t see it as dangerous as it really is. Some women have bodies that make birth almost impossible. My mother has a narrow pelvic bone that makes it impossible for her to give birth naturally, and was incapable of going into labor without assistance. If modern medicine wasn’t as advance as it is my sister and I wouldn’t be here, and neither would my mom. There are so many people that don’t know such issues are even a thing. Carrying and births are seen as something any woman can do and survive. 

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On 5/6/2018 at 5:44 PM, Cecona said:

Far too many people don’t see it as dangerous as it really is. Some women have bodies that make birth almost impossible. My mother has a narrow pelvic bone that makes it impossible for her to give birth naturally, and was incapable of going into labor without assistance. If modern medicine wasn’t as advance as it is my sister and I wouldn’t be here, and neither would my mom. There are so many people that don’t know such issues are even a thing. Carrying and births are seen as something any woman can do and survive. 

When a friend off the family decided to have the baby at home with a 'midwife', my daughter asked if she could 'sit-in' at the birth.  She was 15 and 'Daddy' thought, "Hey, if she see's how painful it is, she might be inclined to forgo sex until much later in her life.   Yeah, right!  Best laid plans of mice and men, etc...sigh.  Laura had an almost painless birth, no stress at all (found this all out later).  Found much later that she (my daughter) lost her virginity at 16.  She now has eight children: five girls and three boys.

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Damn, sorry about that. Some women are lucky and don’t have any issues while others have everything that could go wrong happen. It really depends on the woman, like my second cousin has a terminal illness and a few years ago she decided to have a baby since she was the healthiest she would ever be in her life. She almost died and the baby was premature, but thankfully they both survived. Another cousin, my mom’s sister’s daughter, had her child without complications. You never really know which way it will go and not all women are willing to put their lives on the line to bring another person into the world.

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My mom had five miscarriages before me, and the doctor was very insistent that she could not get pregnant again because her body simply couldn't handle any more. Of course I'm here so she didn't exactly listen to the doctor.... Some anti-abortion people try to use the whole 'what if your mom had aborted you?!' argument, and that's when I speak up about my mom's experience. She took the risk because she so badly wanted to be a mother. But if she had gotten pregnant accidentally after those 5 miscarriages I honestly wouldn't have faulted her at all if she aborted in order to save her own life. I'm not so selfish that I would rather be alive if it means my mom dying during childbirth. (And I'm not saying anyone who thinks differently is selfish, that's just how I personally see my own situation.)

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I’m glad that both you and your mother survived, it’s such a scary thought when you know you could die from pregnancy. My mom had a miscarriage before my sister and I. Her uterus has this little flap of extra flesh at the top which makes it look heart shaped, and any egg that attached to it would detach after growing too heavy. Thankfully it only happened once.

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@Cecona:

 

I'm surprised that this 'flap' wasn't removed surgically, unless expense was a problem...

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4 hours ago, Husky51 said:

@Cecona:

 

I'm surprised that this 'flap' wasn't removed surgically, unless expense was a problem...

 

I'm not a surgeon, nor do I play one on TV, but I would guess that expense wouldn't have been the only issue.

 

Any uterine surgery that requires an incision to the uterus can potentially result in the old incision rupturing during a subsequent labor and delivery. It's why back in the day, it was standard practice for a woman who'd had one C-section, to be scheduled for another if she had another baby. The older, vertical incision was more likely to rupture than the current bikini-line incision most commonly used today. And while some uterine procedures can be done vaginally (a D&C like I needed a few years back) I don't know if an actual surgical removal of a portion of uterine tissue could be done that way even with the most modern medical technology, never mind with the technology available when Cecona's mom would have wanted/needed it done.

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2 hours ago, catstaff said:

 

I'm not a surgeon, nor do I play one on TV, but I would guess that expense wouldn't have been the only issue.

 

Any uterine surgery that requires an incision to the uterus can potentially result in the old incision rupturing during a subsequent labor and delivery. It's why back in the day, it was standard practice for a woman who'd had one C-section, to be scheduled for another if she had another baby. The older, vertical incision was more likely to rupture than the current bikini-line incision most commonly used today. And while some uterine procedures can be done vaginally (a D&C like I needed a few years back) I don't know if an actual surgical removal of a portion of uterine tissue could be done that way even with the most modern medical technology, never mind with the technology available when Cecona's mom would have wanted/needed it done.

 

I'm not a surgeon either but I have had a hysterectomy (a necessary one)  and I can verify that no reputable surgeon wants to cut anything s/he doesn't absolutely have to. I asked mine to take out my appendix in passing (so that I could never get appendicitis - I like to plan ahead.) NO WAY would he do that; not necessary; not messing with it.

 

(and as an aside, I HATE the bikini incision; you end up with a flap of belly skin hanging over it... TMI ? See if I care :lol:)

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The thought of removing the flap was never brought up, especially since she ended up having two kids. The doctor actually thought it was cute for being heart shaped. But yea like the others said, I’m sure it was safer to leave it in than take it out- especially in the 80s. It was only one part at the top of the uterus and there are plenty other places a fertilized egg can attach to. 

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Since the vast majority of us participating in this thread seem to be in agreement that access to abortion is a good thing, I'd like to bring up a somewhat more nuanced aspect of the subject to hopefully make the discussion more engaging: when should abortion be allowed? (I.e. up to what point in the pregnancy?)

 

I've seen various views on this, and I'd like to know the opinions of everyone here.

 

I think my personal take on it is 'somewhere after the first trimester (98% of abortions etc), but before birth'.

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That can be a tricky question, because while abortions *should* be done relatively early, that's not always possible. Especially with so many new laws being pushed about requirements and hoops to jump through, plus simply *finding* a doctor who will do it is next to impossible in some places. In general I think it's best for everyone involved if it's done within the first trimester, but I'm very very wary of *any* of the legal cut-offs, because there will *always* be situations where the woman simply isn't able to get it done in time for that cut-off. Sometimes women don't even know they are actually pregnant until well past the lower cut-offs. 

 

In my mind, the need for later abortions would drop drastically with a better system in place... More access in general to women's healthcare, shorter wait times to see a doctor, better access to accurate pregnancy tests, less stigma surrounding pregnancy (especially unwed/single/young pregnancies), etc etc. From what I've learned over the years it does seem like the majority of later abortions are 'late' because of those kinds of issues.

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I'm with Heather. You can't have a hard and fast rule; there are serious conditions that cannot be detected till quite late in a pregnancy, conditions that mean no-one in their right mind would deny an abortion. And then of course there are ghastly cases like this:

 

http://www.thejournal.ie/eighth-amendment-4-3977441-Apr2018/

 

I really think it can't be set in stone. I WOULD say that perhaps for social reasons (women who found themselves pregnant by accident (I used bc, correctly, myself !) and simply cannot cope) - MAYBE 16 weeks. But then you get doctors who deliberately delay everything to try and prevent them.

 

I do know two women who literally did not know they were pregnant till they went into labour. Luckily they were both OK with it - but I don't know at what point I would have said they couldn't abort if they had realised and wanted to. I think PROBABLY I would say not once the foetus can survive independently. But even then - if you've not had scans - and quite a few people don't - if you discover at 8 months that the foetus is anencephalic or something - what do you do ? And what about the Irish woman I linked to -the foetus had a heartbeat.... I suppose even at - say - 20 weeks, even 24 - in that case I would have allowed it.

 

To be blunt, I think the fewer hard and fast rules here, the better.

Edited by Fuzzbucket

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5 hours ago, Fuzzbucket said:

not once the foetus can survive independently.

 

This is what I originally suggested when my mother brought up the topic in a discussion; her reply was "with how much help?" She explained that it's currently possible for a foetus to survive from a younger age than the current legal abortion limit here in the UK.

 

One problem with pushing for no hard and fast rules is that the many anti- abortion people will use it as an excuse to say you're trying to kill babies just before they're born. (Not that they won't complain with an earlier cutoff...) The more excuses you give those people, the harder it becomes to get laws passed.

 

The real solution is, of course, better health education. But America in particular seems unwilling to be quick on the uptake with that one.

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Yes. There is quite a lot I would love to say about the UK and neo-natal units.... but that will start a firestorm. I would say - if the woman wants an abortion - on its own. To be blunt. But I wouldn't be really happy about that. However - I used to work in the NHS - if a baby is actually BORN naturally with horrific issues, I would be inclined not to help it survive. The Charlie Gard case - and Alfie Evans - not only a seriously bad thing for the child, but not at all good for the parents.

 

Anti-abortion people can never be argued with.They don't argue rationally as a rule, but from emotion and faith.

 

By the way - what does your mother mean by "survive" ? I had a niece who had brain surgery at the age of two. She never came out of a persistent vegetative state. There was no evidence of any consciousness (except occasionally she would whine as if in discomfort.) Her only reflexes were swallowing and breathing. Before she was discharged home (!) she developed pneumonia. The staff - VERY humanely - weren't going OTT treating that. Until her parents - aided and abetted by a nun - demanded that she be put in isolation and aggressively treated. She "lived" on into her late twenties, totally helpless and completely taking over her parents' lives - and I don't think it was very good for her sisters either. There are times when it is best to let people - even already living people - go. The more so for damaged unborn ones. And also for unwanted unborn ones - though probably not by the time they can survive independently. There are quite enough people in this world already.

Edited by Fuzzbucket

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I'm very much of the opinion that a foetus (or baby) is damaged beyond the point where they can live a normal life, they should be terminated. It is the choice of the family, of course, like the case you mention - they chose to keep that 'person' around, and they shouldn't be forced to let go, only advised that perhaps it's a good idea... And of course in the case of the foetus, the final choice should be of the mother carrying it.

 

But that statement - damaged beyond living a normal life - brings the downs argument with it. (It's not the only disorder of its nature, I believe, but it's the biggest.) Do downs children count as living a 'normal' life? I guess it's a personal choice for the parents. After all, we currently test foetuses for the disorder, and aborting based on the test results is fairly normal. My parents say that had I or my brothers been downs, we would have been aborted, and I agree with their choice - even if I ever get to a point where I feel responsible enough to raise a child, I don't think I will ever be prepared to go through raising a downs child. Some people are, and that's their choice.

 

I think I got off topic but basically my point is where is the cutoff for 'normal'. Especially as tests can become more and more specific.

 

And back to the point I originally brought up: you say give the removed foetus no help; no baby would be able to survive on its own. Most adults would probably crumble when removed from society. Even just keeping them warm and blanket-wrapped is a kind of help, so I guess 'no help at all' isn't really a useful metric. I think I agree with what you meant, though - no incubators or breathing machines or such. (for an unwanted baby - a wanted one should definitely get all the help we can provide!)

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I did NOT say a "normal" life (did I ?) I MEANT a life that doesn't require constant care, like oxygen, tube feeding (as in permanently) and the like.

 

Downs children (and adults) are usually perfectly happy and many live completely independently. If I were to get pregnant again (not possible !) and had the tests they require these days, I think - assuming I had wanted a child - I would not wish to terminate one just because of Downs. IF it were unlucky enough to have a lot of the serious physical issues that can come with that - maybe.. But "just" Downs - no. (do you watch EastEnders ? Janet is fine !)

 

I take your point about wrapping a baby in a blanket  :lol:- but what I meant -as you realised ! - is if the child will have to be heavily looked after for its whole life; no living alone, getting a job, getting an education. Being spoonfed as an adult, even.

 

There is stuff I am aching to say about this; you will have a message shortly !

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I think this sort of thing is where the already-murky abortion issue gets even murkier. I personally know two people with downs who work where I work (although they work in the 'supported employment' building) and I don't think anyone who has spent time with them would ever argue that their life is so hampered by it that they shouldn't live. They are happy, they are productive, they are a joy to be around and seem to really enjoy the work they do. (Also, in general I think that whole 'what constitutes a normal/worthwhile existence' is a very dangerous slope, considering I *know* there are people out there who would argue that my mental issues interfere with my quality of life to a large extent.)

 

In a very general way, I think women should be able to abort if they need/want, and keep it if they want, regardless of if the baby might possibly be born with abnormalities. However, I also think it's rather cruel to keep someone alive for what normally amounts to selfish reasons... Like the cases Fuzz mentioned. When the child has absolutely no 'quality of life' and is literally living their life unconscious in a hospital bed, they need to be let go. They need to be *allowed* to die. Just as I don't think it's right for women to be forced to birth a child they don't want, I also don't think it's right for *anyone* to decide to keep someone else alive when quality of life is just non-existent. 

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3 hours ago, HeatherMarie said:

I think this sort of thing is where the already-murky abortion issue gets even murkier. I personally know two people with downs who work where I work (although they work in the 'supported employment' building) and I don't think anyone who has spent time with them would ever argue that their life is so hampered by it that they shouldn't live. They are happy, they are productive, they are a joy to be around and seem to really enjoy the work they do. (Also, in general I think that whole 'what constitutes a normal/worthwhile existence' is a very dangerous slope, considering I *know* there are people out there who would argue that my mental issues interfere with my quality of life to a large extent.)

 

In a very general way, I think women should be able to abort if they need/want, and keep it if they want, regardless of if the baby might possibly be born with abnormalities. However, I also think it's rather cruel to keep someone alive for what normally amounts to selfish reasons... Like the cases Fuzz mentioned. When the child has absolutely no 'quality of life' and is literally living their life unconscious in a hospital bed, they need to be let go. They need to be *allowed* to die. Just as I don't think it's right for women to be forced to birth a child they don't want, I also don't think it's right for *anyone* to decide to keep someone else alive when quality of life is just non-existent. 

I agree with just about all of this. 

 

I personally think there really shouldn't be a hard-fast cut off, for many of the aforementioned reasons. If it reaches a point that the fetus can survive outside of the womb, then deliver it and hope for the best, I suppose; if it doesn't make it, it doesn't make it. If it does, mother can decide at that point whether to continue on as a parent or to terminate rights. Or if the quality of life is so stunted from being "born" so early, the mother should decide that too-- just as we decide for our elderly at one point to withdraw life support. There are plenty of people who keep their elders on life support well beyond the point they should be under the impression that life should be prolonged at whatever the cost. I don't see it as any different, really. At least in this case, a fetus has no previous frame of reference for suffering or a life they can't return to.

Giving people the option is the best I could ever really hope for. 

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On 6/4/2018 at 4:46 AM, catstaff said:

 

I'm not a surgeon, nor do I play one on TV, but I would guess that expense wouldn't have been the only issue.

 

Any uterine surgery that requires an incision to the uterus can potentially result in the old incision rupturing during a subsequent labor and delivery. It's why back in the day, it was standard practice for a woman who'd had one C-section, to be scheduled for another if she had another baby. The older, vertical incision was more likely to rupture than the current bikini-line incision most commonly used today. And while some uterine procedures can be done vaginally (a D&C like I needed a few years back) I don't know if an actual surgical removal of a portion of uterine tissue could be done that way even with the most modern medical technology, never mind with the technology available when Cecona's mom would have wanted/needed it done.

That does make sense.  I was thinking of modern surgical abilities and not thinking about what would have been available back then.  I imagine that a vaginal procedure would be possible today, but like you I am not a doctor nor part of any surgical team. TV or otherwise lol.

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One thing I know about anti-abortion people is one of their arguments is that some women use it as a form of birth control. And easier access would mean even more women having abortions instead of taking birth control. I honestly can’t understand the logic behind this considering the costs and struggles women have to take just to get one abortion. I try to explain to my mom how it doesn’t make sense, but I guess she saw it on tv so it must be true. Maybe she sees every abortion where there is nothing wrong with the fetus as a woman using it as birth control? 

 

I dont agree with people aborting over things like Down syndrome, but I can understand the struggles might be too much for the parents to handle. I’ve known several people with Down syndrome and usually they just seem like they have a speech impediment and unusual facial structure. They deserve to live as much as someone with autism, or ADD/ADHD. 

 

As for a cut off time, I would have to go with what you guys already said. If the fetus is viable and can survive outside the mother it’s too late. Though I also think a cut off should be when the fetus is capable of feeling and recognizing pain. When is that, by the way?

Edited by Cecona

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Cecona:  I agree with your feelings about children with Downs Syndrome.  One of our neighbors had a daughter with Downs and her and my daughter would often play together.  I used to get a kick out of it when, if I ran into her and her mother at the store, she would run up to me, yell my name and give me a big hug.  She started doing this at about 10 or so and continued into her teen years.  We moved away and I saw her once or twice about town but have lost touch over the last 20 years.  A Downs child has their problems, but In her case, she grew up and seemed to handle herself well...

 

Not exactly the same as this threads topic, but one of my daughters-in-law was pregnant and at about the 5th or 6th month, maybe later (you can understand why I don't ask her to clarify this point) her fetus was declared dead.  And yet, she had to carry it for another three days before it was removed.  After reading Fuzzbucket's link (thank you for that, btw) to the Savita incident (?) in Ireland, it made me think about my daughter-in-law's mental and physical state while carrying the deteriorating fetus during this time.  I have never understood why it wasn't removed immediately.  Yes, I know, not exactly an abortion, but why the delay?  This happened a few years ago and they have had a beautiful little girl (now 2) since then.

Edited by Husky51

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