Thursday, July 26, 2018

More utter nonsense...

Yesterday, I posted about my first cousin once removed sharing a debunked meme about late term abortions, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton.  I wasn't surprised this morning when I saw that my cousin and his father, "Timmy" (not his real name), posted a response.  Below are the comments on that particular thread.  Most everyone else had the same reaction I did.

My comment was the one below the link about Hillary's fetus murdering ways...  I did click on the link and it appeared to be right wing drivel.  Looking more closely, I see that the link is from a news aggregator and that particular article is from the National Review, which is a notoriously conservative publication.

I gave some thought to posting more, but decided I don't want to spend the day arguing with my cousins or people from their mother's side of the family (Timmy's dad is my late father's brother).  It's hot and sticky here in Germany and I could be doing more productive things with my time, like washing my hair.

If I were going to respond, I would appeal to Timmy's sense of logic.  First of all, late term abortions are often very expensive, as is all medical care in the United States.  The procedure itself will cost in the thousands and may or may not be covered by health insurance.  The exact cost depends on where the pregnant woman is living, since hospitals in the United States vary in how much they charge and not all states allow access to late term abortions, which would mean the woman would have to travel.  

Second trimester abortions usually require a procedure called dilation and evacuation, or D&E.  This procedure is usually done in a hospital and takes about thirty minutes, but generally doesn't require an overnight stay.  D&Es are one method of second trimester abortions, but they are sometimes also done after miscarriages.  

A woman who lives in, say, California, might have an easier time of accessing a late term abortion than someone from Alabama or Mississippi.  California, Oregon, and New York require nearly all insurance plans to cover abortion.  Of course, not everyone has health insurance and, even if everyone did, twenty-six states do not allow health insurance providers to cover abortion.  Two states-- Louisiana and Tennessee-- do not allow abortion coverage even if the woman's life is in danger.  And nine states don't allow abortion coverage in cases of rape.  For more information on this, click the link

So, let's say our hypothetical pregnant woman's fetus is in its 21st week of gestation.  She decides, for whatever reason, to have a D&E.  Let's say she lives in Tennessee, where last year, Governor Bill Haslam signed a strict late term abortion ban.  In order to get the abortion procedure done, she has to go to another state.  That involves travel costs, time off of work, and hotel costs, as well as the cost of the procedure, since her Tennessee health insurance won't cover the procedure and it likely wouldn't be considered "in network" if she traveled elsewhere, even if it did cover abortion.

Now... consider that our hypothetical woman has already been pregnant for 21 weeks.  She's mostly done with morning sickness and isn't feeling that horrible.  We can assume that she knows she's pregnant and isn't someone who is in denial, which does sometimes happen.  Why would this woman suddenly decide at 21 weeks that, nah, she doesn't want to have a baby after all?  Are we really going to believe that most women are arbitrarily deciding in their second trimesters that pregnancy is too inconvenient for them and they'd rather just get rid of the fetus?  Why would they suddenly do that at 21 weeks of pregnancy or beyond?

You see, I can't imagine that the vast majority of women think that way.  I don't believe most women would prefer to wait until they are that far along to have an abortion, unless they have a very good reason.  Not only is the D&E procedure a lot more complicated and expensive than a D&C is, it's also much less convenient.  Consider the reasons why a woman would choose to have an abortion.  I would think the ones who are doing it for financial reasons would rather do it when the costs are less and the procedure is less invasive.  

Now... my cousin's link was slanted and obviously opinion based.  Yesterday, I quoted that the percentage of abortions done after the 21st week was, in 2013, about 1.3%.  My cousin's link from the National Review points out: 

The Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that in 2011, 1.06 million abortions were performed in the U.S. Using the 1.5 percent estimate would mean that there were 15,900 abortions after the 20th week.  AGI also reported (as noted here) that there were 2,200 partial-birth abortions in 2000, when it was generally legal.  Are these numbers small?  Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee once pointed out that if a new virus was killing 2,200 premature infants in neonatal wards each year, it would be on the evening news every week.  Note also that this estimate of the number of abortions after the 20th week exceeds the number of gun deaths in the U.S. last year.  Does it seem to you that the press typically treats this as a small number?

Let's say that back in 2011, those 1.06 million abortions never happened.  Let's say that over the next seven years, abortions weren't happening and most of those pregnancies resulted in live births.  Does it seem to you that that's a whole lot of new people with needs that might not be fulfilled?  2011 was seven years ago, so that means over 7 million babies needing to be fed, clothed, educated, housed, and given healthcare.  Do we have enough to provide for the people who have already been born?  Actually, we probably do...  if you consider all of the resources that are out there.  I don't know how long we would be able to sustain a million or more babies being born every year and, at this time of the morning, I'm not going to try to figure it out.  

It seems to me that many Republicans, who are generally the ones so outspoken against abortion, don't want to make those vital resources available to everyone.  So that means a lot of those cute hypothetical babies who are born rather than aborted would probably not be getting what they need to thrive.  Moreover, it also seems to me that many Republicans are hypocrites.  They speak of family values, but they aren't in favor of laws that are family friendly and they don't have a broad view of what a family is.  And in Donald Trump, the Republican Party presented the United States and the rest of the world a president who brags about sexually assaulting women.  

As we know, unprotected sexual contact is what causes pregnancy in the first place.  Indeed, Timmy's teenaged son found that out firsthand when he presumably had unprotected sex with his teenaged girlfriend and they had their baby before they had even finished high school.  It seems like Timmy's grandson's situation is turning out okay.  The boy's very young parents are fortunate enough to have supportive family members who are helping them.  But I can tell you, having worked as a social worker, not every woman who finds herself pregnant has that support.  

Sometimes, older women opt for abortions because they've already had a bunch of kids and can't take care of another.  I just watched an episode of Call the Midwife that was about a woman who'd had eight children and found herself pregnant with her ninth at age 41.  She was portrayed as a caring mother who was up to her eyeballs taking care of her children.  She loved her children, but was stretched too thin.  Sure, she could have her baby and give it up for adoption.  But this is a mother who loves her children.  Does it ever occur to people how difficult it is for a mother to give up her baby?  Adoption is often touted as the moral solution, but adoption has its own issues.  Case in point, the videos below, which I stumbled upon last week...

To be clear, Laura Berg is not sad she was born.  She was adopted by loving parents.  However, she was also left feeling "giveawayable"...

More information in this video... I commend Laura Berg for being as open-minded and understanding as she is.  Her ability to be objective regarding her birth family is remarkable.

To be clear, adoption is absolutely a great option for those who want to do it.  Adoption does present issues that can complicate a person's life.  I think nowadays, adoptions are not usually "closed" as they were when Laura was adopted.  I also think adoptable babies are in much shorter supply than they used to be, since women do currently have the choice to terminate if they wish.  Some women are fine with knowing their baby is being raised by someone else, but my guess is that it also causes them a lot of grief.  And when an adopted child grows up and decides to search for his or her birth family, which so many of them do, there can be more pain as a result.  

I know several people who were adopted, and almost all of them have searched for their birth families.  Often the reunions are joyful or at least interesting, but sometimes they result in what Laura experienced.  This doesn't mean I think adoption is a bad idea, per se.  It's just that I think too many people suggest it without fully considering what it might mean for the people involved.  

Which brings me to the last point... abstinence.  Many pro lifers point out that people who don't want to have babies should not be having sex.  The more progressive pro lifers point out that people who don't want to have babies can have protected sex, thereby preventing pregnancy.  Well... I happen to agree with that view.  I refrained from having sex myself until I was married for two weeks.  And my husband was sterilized when he was with his ex wife, so that meant in the early years of my marriage, I wasn't going to be having any "oopses".  However, I know that most people aren't like me.  People often decide to have sex impulsively.  They may not be using protection, and that's when pregnancy can occur.  Personally, I don't understand that kind of a sex drive... I haven't experienced it myself.  Obviously, it happens, though.  When it happens, I think it should be up to the people who are personally involved to decide what to do.  

Anyway... I don't think most women would opt to make abortion their number one method of birth control, and certainly not late term abortion.  I do think getting birth control or even getting sterilized can be more difficult and expensive than it should be.  I could ramble on more about that, but the sun is shining in my face and Zane and Arran need to be walked.  So I'll stop here and hope that some of the people who take the time to read this will have some food for thought.  

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