Skip to main content

View Diary: "If you do the crime, pay the time" A Pro-life View of Abortion (293 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Set up this problem, too: (13+ / 0-)

    Mother of five, pregnant with a sixth baby.  She develops pre-eclampsia when she's six months pregnant and the doctor tells her the fetus is dead (pre-eclampsia normally kills the fetus; an older term is 'toxemia of pregnancy').  Her body does not take over and naturally abort the dead fetus, and meanwhile the decomposition of the dead fetus starts to poison the mother's body..., but still the mother's body doesn't naturally abort the dead fetus.  No, there is no error; the fetus is definitely dead (this is at the end of the second trimester or beginning of the third trimester).  If the dead fetus doesn't come out soon, it will kill the mother of five living children.

    Now what?

    If the fetus is already dead, does removing it to save the life of the mother constitute an "abortion?"  Remember, this woman already has five living children, ages 15 down to age two, and a husband, plus her husband's very elderly parents are living with them.  She is definitely needed to take care of her family.


    Let's complicate this further.  It's 1938 and under old abortion laws a doctor could go to prison for performing an abortion.

    Still, is it technically an 'abortion' if the fetus is already dead, time's passing while her body is not expelling the dead fetus, and the mother could die if it's not removed...?

    Bzzzzzzzt!  Time's up!  Here's what happened:

    Three months after the fetus died in March, mother never miscarried the dead fetus, went into labor at term on 25 May, there was dilation until late morning the 26th, manual dilation of uterus was done to remove the dead fetus when the placenta detached, followed by heavy bleeding and collapse of the uterus (the newspaper obit said emergency surgery was done; not sure what that means).  She died late in the evening of May 26.  The official cause of death:  "Toxic myocardial failure due to absorption toxemia, blood loss, parturition effort and trauma."  The latter had been of three months duration.  The doctor even did a death certificate for the fetus, a boy; cause of death was listed as 'toxemia of pregnancy of mother' and the age was noted 'born at term but of six months gestation.'

    Can you imagine the screams from the fundie crowd over "late-term abortion" if they knew about a woman who had a dead fetus of six months gestation inside her that needed to come out?

    The woman who died was my maternal grandmother.  She was 35 years old.  My mother was the eldest daughter and was 13 when her mother died.  I do genealogy research and I have a copy of both death certificates in my files.

    Think this scenario couldn't happen today?

    Let the reichwingnut fundies and ignorant Congress Critters (state and federal level) who take PAC money from the fundies have their way, they'll go back to the old abortion laws and you can bet your sweet bippy it will happen again.

    In very olden days when midwives passed on their lore orally, they knew the plants that would induce miscarriages, and the names of those plants are still known.  I suspect if my maternal grandmother had known one of those very old midwives she might have been given an abortifacient of some kind and lived to raise the five children who were left motherless.

    Male doctors did away with midwives and made it difficult for them to deliver babies.  My paternal grandmother and her paternal grandmother before her were both midwives.  I don't think they knew as much as the midwives of very olden days who had a better grasp of herbs and what they did (in some cases), but my dad's mother had the largest funeral ever held in the church I attended as a young person.  She delivered a great many of the people who attended, or had helped the mothers when they were giving birth.

    I would rather there be NO laws about abortion on the books; there were none until the late 19th century in the US.  It's a medical decision.  Let women and midwives and normal female gynecologists take care of the whole process of birth control, pregnancy, and delivery of babies, and keep male laws and male legislators out of the whole process.  Period.  That way the only person who can make medical decisions about sex, birth control, abortion (if any), pregnancy (if any), or birth (if any) is a woman... after being fully informed of her options.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:50:03 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  wow, amazing story. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YoungArizonaLiberal, NonnyO, kait

      Midwives are wonderful.

      However, I think it is important to have laws about reproductive rights on the books, both to protect women's right to control their own bodies, and to protect health care professionals who perform abortions from murder charges.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site