I’m glad I got across your blog. I appreciate it, to say the least.
Long story: yesterday I was trying to google pictures of what an 18 week old fetus looks like, that’s how I bumped into this website.
I’m 28, raised as Christian but inclined to science more. For the most part of my life, I didn’t care about abortion and when the question came around I was more of a pro-choice “whatever” kind of a person. I am a doctor of medicine now and some time before my graduation I was asked whether I would perform an abortion, and I said “sure”.
I live in a country where abortion is legal up until 12 weeks of pregnancy. Luckily, I work in another medical field where I don’t get to face this tremendous task. Nowadays, I would definitely answer the question differently. I have my classmate from the med school working in an OB/GYN department and he refuses to perform abortions. It is legal for a medical professional to reject performing tasks that are against their morals. I do really approve of his decision and admire it, as well. Luckily, I believe many colleagues from my generation maintain similar stance nowadays.
In my embryology class the professor claimed that an embryo indeed is just a clump of cells. It offended several of my classmates, back then, I didn’t care. Today, I believe the professor should have at least elaborated more on it. Even the embryology books glorified the beauty and potential of that “clump of cells”.
Anyway, here comes my small personal account. Ever since I started living sexually, the possibility of getting pregnant was the scariest thing I could imagine. Luckily single mothers are no longer stigmatized by the society I live in. Nevertheless, I counted on the possibility of abortion in case all of the contraception measures should fail. Luckily, it never came to this.
Then I got pregnant with a man I was about to marry, so essentially still out of wedlock, which was in my perception still scandalous, but we couldn’t be happier. We both loved the baby from the day we knew she was there. However, 11 weeks into my pregnancy, just a few days before our wedding, I learned the baby had died. It was a missed miscarriage. I was condemned to being the saddest bride in the world, in fact I’m crying now, writing about it.
It shattered me, more so because I am a med professional after all and I couldn’t find a reason for this injustice. It put a great toll of my depression and anger on our relationship. I found a good way to describe this somewhere online – the silent departure of life from your womb. It’s horrible. Seeing the pictures of the victims of abortion on your website reminds me of seeing the lifeless perfectly formed body of my dead baby on the last ultrasound. I didn’t see it, but I can imagine what happened to the baby after the necessary D&C procedure that followed. My poor baby.
Despite everything, I managed to get pregnant relatively soon afterwards and after a somewhat problematic pregnancy and delivery we now have a beautiful healthy baby daughter.
Right now I’m lying in a hospital bed receiving IV drips to keep my second 18 week old baby well and alive and inside his safe place before his time comes, to prevent him from being born prematurely. It’s hardly more intense on other occasions than it is now to understand how precious and fragile this life I carry inside me is. How much it depends on me and how much power, desire and responsibility I have to protect it and keep it.
I’m saying all of this because this revelation did not seem to be encoded in me from the beginning. Or perhaps experiencing pregnancy changed everything, I wouldn’t know now. But I know for sure that what I carry is a baby and I and my husband and all of our relatives love him already now.
It’s horrible to imagine that so many people struggle to give life to their children, extremely premature babies are given a chance at life, their parents do everything to keep them and then there are those late term abortions that chase away perfect babies from the womb, even babies that stand a chance to live already even though separated from their mothers, they are indeed killed and tossed away.
Personal account aside, I like reasonable people and reasonable arguments, hence I really do enjoy your blog. I think it is the first really objective, scientific, truthful pro-life thing I came across (I wasn’t looking really hard though). I like your reasoning, I like how you do not slip to offending others despite them oftentimes being really aggressive. I like the way you want to put forward your cause.
Your arguments do work for me. Mostly, the one that essentially says this: Just because it’s legal, just because the victim can not defend itself or scream or fight, just because it doesn’t look (in matter of size) like us, neither of these means it is not essentially defined as killing (or culling? murdering? – take any of these). What’s worse, doing this indeed does define us – our humanity (and it never occured to me how true that is, nobody has ever come up with this argument to me before).
Here I may digress from your beliefs a little, though. The strong killing the weaker indeed does define humanity and its true essence and I, for now, do not believe we will ever change. We are as we are, extremely imperfect, weak and selfish. Nevertheless, in my mind and my heart I do support your cause.
In the modern days of destigmatizing single mothers, accessible contraception and presence of infinite human knowledge literally in our pockets, unwanted pregnancies should not happen.
Yes, there remains the favourite pro-choice argument concerning rape victims and malformed children, (miscarriage due to mothers’ medical condition and need to save the mother’s’ life should not be a question anymore either, given the progress of medicine, indeed, as you wonderfully explained in one of your posts, that is not an abortion). However, I believe that rape victims and malformed children represent only a very small portion of abortions. Society’s inability to assist in those cases otherwise than by offering an abortion again only shows our selfishness and weakness.
Perhaps, something will change one day.
The fact that I don’t really believe in humankind is off putting, but despite of this, I approve of your work. Your arguments are wise and useful in many life instances. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your insights and encouragement. And more importantly, thank you for sharing your personal story of transformation, loss, triumph, and struggle. You have learned from your journey and evolved to recognize human life as something to be cherished and protected.
As you stated, we disagree on the ability of humankind to grow and change, to evaluate the cost-to-benefit ratio of our inherent selfishness and overcome our weaknesses. I believe my work, and the work of other abortion abolitionists and pro-life advocates, is not wasted primarily because of people like you. After all, you are a human and you grew to reject the idea that abortion should be used to kill unwanted human beings, at least most unwanted human beings.
Since you possess the ability to process new information and adjust your values in alignment with the evidence placed before you, I ask that you reconsider your support, or at least ambivalence, towards killing prenatal children conceived through rape.
Carefully review the images of these two children…
As you gaze upon their tiny bodies, I challenge you to identify which one of these babies were conceived through love and which was conceived through rape. I further challenge you to explain why one of these people deserves human rights while the other deserves to be killed. As you consider these questions, also ask yourself if any child should ever be held responsible for the crimes of their father.
I strive to live my life free of hypocrisy and I implore you to do the same. By avoiding hypocrisy, you also avoid the uncomfortable sensation of cognitive dissonance. You will also stand on firm ground when fighting for what you believe in.