Thursday, November 17, 2005

My piece yesterday about abortion sparked a flurry of comments, almost all of them thoughtful, intelligent, and well-considered. One in particular moved me so deeply that I am going to post it here, so others who may not have read the comments can see it.

This discussion is very painful for me. My husband and I chose to terminate a much-wanted pregnancy after my child was diagnosed [with] physical deformities which were not compatible with life. Our child would have died at delivery. Deciding to terminate the pregnancy and end my child's life was the hardest thing I ever did. I chose to deliver our child, rather than the D&E procedure, so we were able to hold our child and say goodbye. All of the prenatal diagnoses were found to be accurate, plus more deformities that the doctors could not see in utero. I was lucky to get good prenatal care and discover the baby's problems early on. The laws limiting late term abortion never have any exceptions for the life of the child -- only if it is affecting the health of the mother. My nightmare is what would have happened if we had not found out when we did....would I have had to carry a child to term, knowing that the child would die? As it was, I had to go to another state to find a doctor who was willing to induce the delivery, a prospect that frightened me as to the reality of access to abortion today, a topic people rarely discuss. Why should the government have the right to tell me that I must be required to continue [to] carry a child who will not live outside the womb? [Emphasis added.]

This woman makes an excellent point, given that, as of 1996, only 14 percent of U.S. counties had a known abortion provider -- down from 23 percent in 1978. Right now, there is only one abortion clinic left in Mississippi -- and "pro-life" activists are fighting hard to close that one down, too. Keeping abortion legal is not going to do much for women if there is nowhere they can go to get an abortion.

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