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Pro Choice? -- A Woman's Reflection

The Choice is Made Before Pregnancy:

My Friend Debbie     Wikipedia describes Pro Choice as "the political and ethical view that a woman should have complete control over her fertility and the choice to continue or terminate a pregnancy." I would like to first center in on the word "fertility." A definition of fertility is "the state or quality of being fertile," in other words the ability or lack of ability to get pregnant. I'm not so sure that this is a "choice." A woman is either able to get pregnant, or she isn't. If she isn't but wants to, she can seek help from a medical specialist, and it might be successful.

     However, what a woman does have control over is whether or not she is going to do what is necessary to get pregnant... accept, of course in the case of rape. So, in most cases, where the "choice" actually does exist is before the pregnancy occurs. A woman has the "choice" to have sex or not to have sex. If she chooses to have sex, she then has another choice as to whether or not to use contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. This is where I believe the rights for the woman should exist, not in the choice to terminate a life because of consequences that resulted from a decision she willfully made.

Statistics Show Most Abortions Aren't Because of Rape:

My Friend Debbie     According to several abortion statistics sites, only approximately 1% of abortions are sought out because of rape, 1% because of fetal abnormalities and 3 to 6% because of health issues. This means that at least 95% of abortions were performed because the baby was unwanted. According to the Guttmacher Institute statistics, there were 1.21 million abortions reported in the United States in the year 2005. If these statistics are correct, this means that at least 1.15 million children were killed before their birth that year because they were not wanted by their mothers. In my opinion, "Abortion rights" is simply another way of saying "murder made legal."

A Fetus is a Young Offspring Yet to be Born:

     One rebuttal I often here is that it's not a baby yet, that it's a fetus. Society likes to use that term because it takes the focus off of the fact that it is a baby, but what are definitions of a fetus? One dictionary defines it as "the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind." It also lists its origin meaning as "bringing forth of young, hence that which is born, offspring, young still in the womb." So, a fetus is a baby, a very young human in the womb of its mother.

When Does Life Begin?

My Friend Debbie     Another argument I often hear is that life does not begin until birth, when the baby takes its first breath of air. For years, I pondered the question, "When does life begin?" Then, one day I realized that the best way to answer that question was to ask, "When does life end?" Does life end when a person stops breathing? Not necessarily, because we now have life support machines that can breathe for a person who is incapable of breathing on his or her own. What has to occur before a person is declared dead? A person is dead when their heart stops beating. Even without breathing machines to help keep a person alive, incapability to breathe is not where death lies, death is in the silence and stillness of the heart.

     My father had his first major heart attack when I was five years old. His heart stopped beating for several minutes, and he was declared dead by the doctors who had been trying to revive him. During those minutes of "death" my father saw his own body on the table below him. He later described an "after life" experience to others. It was not his time to go, but clearly, his soul left his body when his heart stopped beating. God sent him back into his body, and the doctors were shocked when his heart started to beat again. So, if life ends when the heart stops, it is only logical that it also begins when the heart starts to beat. The heart beat of a fetus begins at five weeks. Up until that point, the baby has been forming, but at only five weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant... life begins.

Where is the Choice?

My Friend Debbie     So, just what IS this "choice" we are talking about here? We are talking about a choice to terminate life... a choice to kill an unwanted baby before it is born. This life is not a part of the woman's body, it simply resides there temporarily. The mother is the "life support." The baby is a result of a choice already made before its life began. The fact that it is legal for a woman to say, "Oops," and murder her unborn child is appalling. Where are the laws protecting the rights of the child? It is ludicrous that there are laws that prevent me from popping my child's behind in public, but that there are no laws protecting unborn babies from a painful and frightening death! It is the taking of a life. It is murder, and there are no words or arguments that can ever change that fact. It is what it is.

Women Suffer:

     Let's look now at the affects abortion has on My Friend Debbiethe women who have them. Many women suffer emotional and/or psychological damages. Many young women have no idea that the "fetus" they are about to terminate is an actual baby. They are also told that it is a "safe" procedure, but the fact is that it isn't. Many things can go wrong and there can be lasting complications for the woman as well.

A Woman Remembers Her Choice:

     A very sweet and dear friend of mine had an abortion at the age of 17. Her mother had just given birth to her brother who had Down Syndrome. She didn't feel she could face her parents. She felt ashamed and scared and didn't see any way out of the situation she was in, but she had not been given any information about what the procedures were for an abortion. I asked her to describe the experience for me. This is what she said:

     "One of my friends mother was a nurse and I asked her to take me. We had to go out of town because at the time this procedure was not being performed in our town. It was about a 45min drive and she brought another nurse with us. I was emotionally a nervous wreck. When I got there I was scared and the youngest there. I think there may have been about 10 to 15 other women. One of the ladies told me that she had already had four abortions and it really wasn't a big deal. I think at that point I was in shock. I went into a room and was given a gown to put on. Then I was taken into a very cold room with nurses and a doctor. There was a big machine that was like a vacuum that the doctor was using. I started to cry and scream, and I was told to shut up and be quiet because I would scare the other patients. The doctor and nurse's were very cold and unemotional. I don't remember the pain much, just the sadness. Recovery was in a room with all the other women and they sat us in recliners. On the way home I was so hysterical that they gave me a shot so I would sleep."

My Friend Debbie     I asked my friend what she feels when she thinks back on that day. She told me that she asked God to forgive her, and that she knows she is forgiven, but that she has not been able to forgive herself. She said:

     "I have done a lot of things in my life that I have been forgiven for, and that I can forgive myself for and move on. But this is one thing that I have struggled with for years. I really don't dwell on it, but it's there."

Though many women who have had abortions go on with their lives and even later have families, the memory can never be erased. It isn't dwelled on, but it's there.

Modern Technology Shows Images:

     If anyone questions whether or not abortion is legalized murder of a baby, I encourage you to do some Google Image searches of "fetus, 3D" and "fetus." The 3D images of babies in the womb will amaze you, and the graphic images of aborted babies will make you feel sick to your stomach. This is the reality of Pro-Choice. This is what abortion is. Women are being exploited and damaged.

Where is the Responsibility?

     There is a responsibility that comes with consequences of choices made. If a woman has accidentally gotten pregnant, the pregnancy is a consequence of a choice she made to have sex. It is her responsibility to face that consequence. Murder is not a legal option for any other unwanted complication in life. I cannot legally go out and murder someone who took part in the death of my husband, yet an innocent child who has done nothing more than exist can be violently murdered before it's had the chance to even see the world. It's something to think about.

If you Have Had an Abortion:

If you have had an abortion and struggle with the emotional and psychological affects from it, there are organizations and support systems out there for you. Here are some that I have found:

ARIN (Abortion Recovery International)
Healing After Abortion
A Hope Center
Survivors of Abortion
Redeemed Recovery

If You Are a Teen:

If you are a teen, and are afraid and ashamed or feel there is no way out, there is hope. Visit these sites:

Teen Mother Choices
Harbor House
Telling your parents:

First Things First

Ask Dr. P

Additional Reading:

Abortion Risks

If You Are Considering Abortion:

     If you are a woman considering abortion, I ask that you read about the abortion methods and the developmental stages of pregnancy below so that you can understand what "choice" you are considering.

     Remember that Pro-Choice took the place of the name Pro-Abortion, and that abortion means to "terminate" a baby. Instead of helping women face a responsibility, abortion activists would rather terminate their babies. This is not a "quick fix." A woman who chooses abortion lives with it for the rest of her life.

Methods of Abortion:

     The most common method of abortions performed up to 16 weeks is Electric Vacuum Aspiration. A vacuum machine is used. It has a suction curette (hollow tube with a knife-edged tip), in which is inserted into the womb. The vacuum suction of the machine is said to be 29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner, tears the fetus and placenta into small pieces which are sucked through the tube into a bottle and discarded.

     Another method performed up to 16 weeks is Manual Aspiration Vacuum (MVA). This method uses a hand held syringe to suction the baby out of the uterus. Other Methods: D & C Abortion (Dilation and Cutterage) ' Similar to suction method, but includes a hook-like knife that cuts the baby into pieces. The pieces are scraped out and discarded.

D & E (Dilation & Evacuation) ' Similar to DNC, but instead of a hook-shaped knife, forceps are used to grasp part of the fetus. The teeth of the forceps twist and tears the bones of the unborn child. This is done repeatedly until the fetus is dismembered and removed. I've also read that usually the spine must be snapped and the skull crushed in order to remove them.

Salt Poisoning (Saline Injection) ' This is used after 16 weeks (enough fluid has developed by then.) A long needle is injected through the mother's abdomen into the baby's amniotic sac. The baby swallows the injection and is poisoned by it. This method also corrodes and burns the outer layer of the baby's skin. It normally takes over an hour for the baby to die.

Prostaglandin Chemical Abortion ' Used at 6 months, this procedure causes the uterus to contract intensely, so that the baby is pushed out. The contractions are violent enough to kill the baby.

Caesarean Section Abortion ' Similar to a Caesarean birth, except the umbilical cord is cut, usually while the baby is still in the womb. This cuts off the oxygen supply and causes the baby to suffocate.

Partial Birth Abortions ' Performed at 30 weeks. This procedure is guided by ultrasound. The abortionist grabs the baby's legs with forceps, and the legs are pulled out through the birth canal. The entire body, except for the head, is delivered. Scissors are jammed into the baby's skull, and then opened to enlarge the skull. The scissors are then removed, and a suction catheter is inserted, sucking out the baby's brains. The skull collapses and the dead baby is removed.

The Development of a Baby in the Womb

Five Weeks ' Heart beat begins

Nine Weeks ' Movement begins.

10 Weeks ' Neurons multiply; the baby's brain will produce almost 250,000 new neurons every minute. Tooth buds are forming. If the baby is a boy, his testes will start producing the male hormone testosterone.

11 Weeks ' Sex of baby is now apparent

12 Weeks ' Fingernails and toenails appear, spontaneous breathing movements, all body systems working, arteries are present, including the coronary vessels of the heart. Blood is circulating through these vessels to all body parts.

15 Weeks ' the fetus has taste buds and may be able to savor the mother's meals.

16 Weeks ' The baby can now grasp with hands, do somersaults, kick and turn; eyebrows, eyelashes and fine hair appear

18 Weeks ' Vocal cords work, baby can cry. The child blinks, grasps, and can move mouth. Hair grows on the head and body.

20 Weeks ' The child can hear and recognize mother's voice.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Sharla Chachere Costelow

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