Abortion — sad, but sometimes necessary..

Thinking Cat (1)


First of all, I should say a few things…

  • I haven’t had an abortion, but I’ve had friends who have.
  • I’m not sure when “life” begins — it seems to be someplace between foreplay and birth, but I’m not sure where.
  • I think the definition of “life” is very subjective — at least in the first months.. it depends on your views of the world, religion, your own general upbringing etc.
  • I think that it’s impossible for me to justify restricting abortion for someone else.  That’s just not my business.

Mom tells a story about the weekend after the Roe decision.  She worked at an urban hospital at the time..

A woman came into the hospital asking for an abortion.  The Supreme Court had JUST released a decision that made abortion legal across the country.  Mom was a nurse, managing other nurses, and hadn’t even developed any policies to handle this situation.  She decided that she couldn’t ask her nurses to assist because she didn’t know their philosophical conclusions about abortion and she didn’t want them to do something they might regret later — so she did it.

The whole time the woman cried — and told mom her story.  The short version is that the woman had a job and a young son.  She’d just left an abusive relationship, got an apartment and was providing for her son.  Her ex-husband broke into her apartment, raped her, and she was pregnant with a sibling to her son.  She felt that she had no choice but to have an abortion.  If she’d kept the child, she would have had to move back into her ex husband’s house, she would have lost her job (in the 70s divorced women couldn’t be obviously pregnant in most situations), and she’d have two children to protect from an abusive man.

She cried the whole time and kept saying “I’m killing my baby” —

Think about that story, multiply it across the years since Roe and understand that abortion isn’t usually a choice made lightly.  No law restricting abortion would have prevented her from being raped.  It would have placed THREE people in an impossible situation, probably harming them for life — both psychologically and physically.

I hope that wherever that woman and her son are, that they’re doing well.  The son would be about my age, the woman probably about mom’s age — She made a difficult decision, one that is her’s to make — and one that is explicitly NOT mine to make, on an abstract basis.  period.




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Filed under Applied Ethics, Ethics, Medical Ethics

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