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Friday, June 29, 2007

A liberal blog

Somewhere, someone's thinking I shouldn't get to take communion for this, but here goes:

I don't believe Life begins at conception. I believe the Possibility of Life begins at conception, and that conception is the key-turning-into-the-lock that activates human development, setting into motion all of the genetic material needed to form, develop and grow a Human Being. But that doesn't mean one will develop.

The rates for spontaneous abortion in the first trimester are anywhere from 15% to 25%, depending on the statistical analysis. Doctors generally don't even begin prenatal care until the 9th or 10th week because of the high rates of miscarriage. The risk of miscarriage does not go away after the first trimester, but only lessens. Beyond the 20 week mark, fetal death is called "stillbirth" and still occurs with frequency. Health, genetic and environmental factors make a difference in fetal viability, but even in "perfect" conditions, it often "just happens."

Moral of the story: I'm not getting overly attached to something that may spontaneously abort itself from my uterus. Does that sound cold? I'm just being realistic.

I am excited about being pregnant. I told everyone when I found out at 5 weeks, knowing full well the risk of miscarriage. And if I'd had a miscarriage then, or if I have one now, I'll be disappointed. I'm looking forward to being a mom, looking forward to there being a baby to snuggle in January, to first words and first steps, to Santa Claus, to the first day of school, to ball games, to school dances, to graduations, to weddings, to grandchildren.

But I won't be devastated, mourning the death of my baby, because there isn't a baby. I'm 13 weeks pregnant. We're a long way from Junior receiving the Nobel Prize or getting elected President or just reaching the milestone of viability outside the womb. While I certainly am looking forward to a healthy baby, it's just not one yet. It has a long way to go.

Being pregnant and hearing a fetal heartbeat hasn't changed my opinion on abortion rights. I don't support the legality of abortion past viability, and viability is always subject to change with new advances in medicine, but I don't think it's murder to abort in the first trimester any more than I think birth control is murder (another strike against me as a Catholic). I believe women should have access to safe and legal abortions and the choice should be theirs. But I don't really have a quarrel with people who disagree and believe that life begins at conception. If that's your belief, then that's what you believe (I just don't think people should legislate their beliefs and prevent others from doing what they believe is right). The people I do have a quarrel with are those who are against women having safe and legal first trimester abortions, yet want exceptions for women who are carrying the product of rape or incest, which is apparently the majority of those opposed to abortion. The philosophy behind it has nothing to do with whether or not "life begins at conception" but rather in punishing women for choosing to have sex. It's okay to force pregnancy on a woman who was the whore of Babylon and got knocked up (and obviously is too stupid to use birth control), but those women who "didn't do anything wrong" shouldn't be punished by being forced to give birth. If people are okay with abortions for women who are raped (because if you really believe it's murder, you wouldn't be), then why is abortion not okay for women who just don't want to be pregnant?

So, yeah, just don't feel comfortable calling a 13 week fetus a "baby." When it reaches viability, when it can survive outside the womb, then it'll get a promotion.

1 comment:

LL said...

I agree- I wrote a post about it at some point during my pregnancy. I wondered if being pregnant would change my pro-choice opinion on abortion, but it didn't at all. If anything I believe in it more now. Pregnancy takes over your body in a way that you have no control over (to say nothing of labor and then actually raising a child) and it should be a choice to remain in that state.