I want to start off by saying I have read the Reproductive Health Act.
Here is a list of refutations people have said to me in the last few days/ have seen online. This is my stance, and here is what I hold true.
1. It is only allowed after 24 weeks if the woman’s life is at risk or health.
I get it. I understand that the pro-life stance seems to be tackling this intensely. But here is why.
I am going to face this question with one condition a woman may experience during pregnancy. Preeclampsia. The condition causes severe problems for the woman such as hypertension and proteinuria. Eventually it can lead to seizures and death. The Mayo Clinic states that delivery of the infant is the most effective means of preventing preeclampsia from progressing. This usually begins anytime after 20 weeks of pregnancy. My question for you is this. If a woman is experiencing this at 25 weeks, and makes a decision to abort her fetus, by this act she is allowed to do so. This act declares that her health is in fact at risk. Possibly her life. Yet, at 25 weeks gestation this infant, according to the chart below, has a 50 percent chance of survival. Even at 23 weeks, before the 24 week mark, the infant still has a 17 percent chance of survival. So what this means is this. If the child exits the womb it can survive. Yet through this bill the decision of personhood still rests on the mother?
Say the mother, a few days before getting preeclampsia or even during the episode, decided she didn’t really want the child. She thought about all the freedoms of her life that would be taken away when having to care for a child for the rest of her life. So, when the practitioner gives her the option, she decided, she wants an abortion. In this case this law will allow that. Depending on what physician the woman sees will also determine her course of action. This law gives physicians a lot of freedom to persuade a woman. Just look at what is happening with children born with Down syndrome. Before they are even born mother’s are “warned” of all the future problems this child will cause for them and their family. Doctor’s are encouraging abortion through bias. Scared parents are being pushed one way or the other by healthcare providers that make assumptions. The “health (ambiguous)” of the mother is infringing on the personhood and dignity of an infant. This is the problem.
2.Men have no say in this matter
I am a male. And constantly I am told I have no say. Let’s hypothetically say I was dating a woman who was pregnant with my child. It was 12 weeks along. Half of my DNA is living inside of that woman.
Let’s try to break this down using an allegory.
Say a woman consented to holding onto a cooler (sex) with me. Knowing that my kidney may or not appear in the cooler (fertilization). After we hold onto the cooler together, one of my kidneys magically appears inside the cooler. However, now she has to carry it for nine months in order for me to get it back (birth of my child). However, after a while she decides to get rid of it and let the doctors rip it apart or inject it to kill it (abortion). She says that she didn’t want the burden or responsibility of holding onto it anymore. Did I not just just lose a part of myself? Should I not be upset? Should I not feel the impact of this action? Just because a man is not “storing” or “birthing”; he will surely be impacted. Men are allowed to want to have their kidney back (DNA of the child). It would be viewed as insanity if he did not.
3. This Abortion act is nothing new
The newness of this act rests in the “progress.” The majority of criticism of this act holds it’s base in the celebration of abortion. The pro-life community I believe at the core is filled with zeal, not because of the law, but more because of the flippancy of the moral issue of “what is considered life.” Being pro-life for me this act angers me just as much as abortion itself. For a pro-lifer to draw a distinction of 24 weeks and 25 weeks is not a pro-lifer.
If you are not pro-life just bear with me for a second. Imagine, just for a second that you do believe life begins at the moment of conception. Picture your brother, sister, mother, aunt, uncle, etc. becoming a person at the moment that sperm hits the egg. Force yourself to believe this truth for just a second. Now imagine there is an act that will cause them to be terminated? This would make you upset would it not? If you believed in life at conception and didn’t fight it, you would just be a coward. This abortion law outrages those on the pro-life stance because they are against abortion itself. This act stirred the waters and allowed all the zeal to rise. I do have one thing to say about this new found zeal. It is honestly quite sad that it took such a move as this to cause those who say they are “pro-life” to become outraged. I know for me, who has always been pro-life, I am saddened with myself that it took this act to get me to write my first blog about being pro-life.
We as the pro-life community have work to do.
-Venerable Fulton Sheen