As I listen to and read the ongoing status of the Forced Birth movement versus the I Own My Own Body movement, multiple things occur to me. I have mentioned some of them in previous posts. (See below) The one that stands out, however, is that men—and not a few women—have an image in their minds of why abortions happen. It looks like this:
Every fetus is perfect and every pregnancy goes according to plan. With no interference, in nine months, a beautiful Gerber Baby will be born. It will be wonderful and perfectly normal. Except that one morning the woman wakes up and says, “You know, I’m tired of all this fuss and bother: Morning sickness, swollen feet, hemorrhoids, stretch marks. I’m done. I think I’ll just go on down to the clinic and demand an abortion.”
A Life-Changing Event
That is not, of course, what happens. For most women, it’s not even close. (Yes, some women use abortion for birth control. That’s regrettable and can be addressed with better sex education and contraception.)
- Not all fetuses are perfect
- Not all fetuses implant properly
- Not all pregnancies go according to plan
- Sometimes a pregnancy threatens a girl or woman’s life.
When any of these things happy, the proper medical treatment is to terminate the pregnancy. This helps the mother to recover both mentally and physically. Often, it allows the mother to attempt another wanted pregnancy later on, a pregnancy that will develop naturally.
The Real Choice for Life
Unfortunately, the Gilead States have already passed and signed many laws that prevent abortion even to save the mother’s life. That means far too many people are willing to trade the life of a fully-grown, post-born and viable female for that of a fetus the size of a peanut.
But here’s something that all those men in state houses, law offices, and police stations don’t seem to understand.
The choice may not be between the life of the fetus and the life of the mother. If the fetus has not yet reached viability, when the mother dies, so does the fetus.
That makes the real choice one between saving the life of the mother or losing both mother and fetus. That seems pretty straightforward to me. Who wouldn’t want to protect one life?
Well, now we know that many, many people would prefer both mother and fetus die. A lot of those people are men who serve in state legislatures, as well as the U.S. Congress, and they have been pretty vocal about their beliefs. Some of those beliefs have no basis in medial science, for the simple reason that law schools don’t teach biology.
There are multiple reasons why a girl or woman may need an abortion to survive. The treatment for conditions such as ectopic pregnancy and incomplete miscarriage is abortion. A fertilized egg that implants outside the uterus will not develop but will kill the mother. Children forced to carry a child before they are physically ready will suffer and may die from the trauma. The baby also will likely not survive.
Other life-threatening conditions for the pregnant person include:
- Severe preeclampsia
- Newly diagnosed cancer that requires immediate treatment
- An intrauterine infection known as chorioamnionitis following a premature rupture of the amniotic sac
- A placental abruption, in which the placenta separates from the uterine lining followed by extensive bleeding.
Decisions and Consequences
Doctors know this. Politicians often do not—especially male politicians. These men often don’t understand how female bodies function. Also, their comments exude more than a whiff of judgmentalism, criticism, and misogyny. In their minds, these women got themselves into trouble and must bear the consequences.
The consequences may be a baby that the woman doesn’t want, can’t support, and can’t care for. Aside from the fact that women don’t get pregnant all by themselves, a baby should never be a punishment, much less one imposed by the government.
Facing the Situation
Pretty soon, hundreds of husbands, fathers, and brothers will also face this situation. It will probably take place in a hospital during a conversation with a doctor. They will never have anticipated this discussion when they voted for Forced-Birth, Gilead candidates.
Here’s the choice: Do they save the fetus but lose their wife, their girlfriend, their daughter or their sister so they can raise an infant on their own?
These men will then discover that they have no choice in the matter. The state has decided for them and all they can do is accept the consequences. They will learn that a woman’s body ceases to be her own the moment she becomes pregnant. Instead, it becomes the property of the government, which make all decisions until the fetus is delivered.
The Increasing Drumbeat
These situations are happening already and the cases are appearing in the news. The drumbeat of cases in which the pregnant woman does not receive the treatment she needs grows louder by the day. So far, no one has died. Yet. But have no doubt, this will happen—and sooner rather than later.
For centuries, women have had decisions about their lives made for them by men who may or may not have had their best interests at heart. For men, this will come as a unique and shocking experience. They will not like it but they will survive. The women will die.