Sunday, February 06, 2005

Woman Centered Abortion

A friend sent me a link to this article about a new sneaky technique from the pro-life dominion: as part of "abortion counseling," women are given an ultrasound to see if their fetus is even viable. When women see the pulsing heart on the screen their decision to abort is swayed.

While some would argue this simply confronts women the reality and the gravity of what they are doing when they elect to terminate a pregnancy, I think it is taking an unfair emotional advantage of women.

Indeed, the reason many women end up with an unwanted pregnancy is that they let the emotional strength of intimacy and passion temporarily move them into a carpe dium mindset. (I am here putting a decidedly positive spin on the situation; this is assuming the women had sex willingly.)

Some time later, far removed from the moment of emotional unaccountability, they find out they're pregnant. After a more rational, long-sighted assessment of the situation, they decide to abort the pregnancy.

To then lure these women back into an emotional trap under false pretenses is truly a betrayal.

Conversely, it is a similar disservice to women to provide outpatient abortion services without also addressing each patient's complex social, emotional, psychological and physical issues before and after the procedure. I am not familiar with the full protocol at someplace like a Michigan Planned Parenthood clinic, but their website mentions only "pregnancy options" counseling, not anything about conseling postpartum.

It would be so nice if we could remove the abortion issue from the moral sphere and put it solely in the reproductive one. Each woman and each unwanted pregnancy could be approached on an individual basis. Women would be given unbiased and accurate information, devoid of moral context. They would be counseled through whatever decision they made and given post-decision counseling, because whether they are aborting a fetus or foregoing their non-pregnant life, they will experience loss. For some women the loss will be mild and fleeting, for others profound and prolonged. Frances Kissling, leader of Catholics for a Free Choice, got grief for exporing these and other gray areas of abortion in her Winter 2004-2005 Conscience editorial.

Addressing the "informed decision making" and "holistic" approaches to pregnancy would serve women much better than giving them Christian-sponsored ultrasounds or escorts to abortion clinics.


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