This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

forcing pregnancy internationally

Legally Certifiable linked to this article yesterday. To think how many wing-nuts in our own country would hope for similar legislation and let women die for someone else's religious convictions. (Fortunately the South Dakota test case proved that the majority of people don't expect women to die for their religious convictions. A ban on abortion without an exception for the woman's health will probably never survive a vote by the people in this country, even in the most wing-nuttiest of precincts.)

Not that I wasn't already pro-choice, but our pregnancy complications have made me even more appreciative of the ability to make my own decisions about my body and my health. When I had surgery to install shunts in the chest of our fetus at the gestational age of 23 weeks, the specialists gave us an 80% chance of the procedure being successful and the hydrops resolving. They had performed two days worth of diagnostics in order to make that assessment. We chose to go ahead with the surgery because of the good chances of the procedure working. Even still, there was a 20% chance that the surgery would be unsuccessful, the hydrops would not resolve, and fetal death would eventually occur. One of the little-known factoids about fetal hydrops is that maternal mirror-syndrome can develop (basically like severe preeclampsia). I could have ended up in a coma, or worse. Not to mention the fact that between the diagnostic testing, the surgery, and the post-op hospital stay, we racked up nearly $10K in hospital bills. (And that's not including what we will owe our University Hospital for all the ultrasounds, NST's and pee-in-a-cups.)

We really want this baby. Our chances were good, and we felt the risks to my health were remote enough to justify continuing the pregnancy and having the surgery. So I made the choice for surgical intervention to attempt to save the fetus, and hope to prolong the pregnancy to full term, or at least to viability. However, if the specialists had felt our chances were slim, if they felt my life was in serious danger in continuing the pregnancy, that would not have been my choice. We would have been sad, but I would have been alive. Dead fetus is bad enough. Dead me? That would be much worse.

Abortions are legal in our state up to 24 weeks, but there are no doctors willing to perform a second trimester abortion unless it is for serious medical reasons. Sure, there are plenty of women so devout in their anti-abortion beliefs that they would be willing to die rather than abort a pregnancy that's going to terminate along with her life anyway, and hey, that's their choice. But that wouldn't be mine. I definitely don't want to die for someone else's beliefs. That law student shouldn't have had to die, but she did anyway. I'm grateful that I have the ability to choose what is best for my body, for my health, and not have those choices made for me by the government and those who lobby it on behalf of the Vatican.


sarah said...

thanks for giving your perspective on this. i've always been pro-choice, and my own pregnancy has not tested that belief at all. however, i had never really thought of a concrete example of an abortion to save the life of the mother before. pregnancy complications can be scary, and it is awful to think that anyone could ask you to sacrifice yourself for a fetus that is yet viable.

jlavine8 said...


I hope all works out with you and your baby. I went to a 3rd rate law school, graduated and now have a nice job in the govt that lets me work at home. I a grade 14 so its a nice salary and benefits. Not great, but nice.

I did not have kids in law school. I have 2 now. I am pro choice and honor your decisions. Good luck to you


TriLawyer said...

Great perspective. My wife and I are both pro-choice and I have never wavered from my belief that a man has no right to tell a woman what to do in that situation. But it is rarely that easy or simple.

I truly admire your effort and energy. It will work out. Things seem to do that...it's just hard to see it with exams coming up!

PS: thanks for the comment!


Patrick Lafferty said...

until you have done absolutely everything you can for the life of a child, even when all your efforts are absolutely unable to remedy her situation, and until that child has breathed her last breath in your arms, that child will always remain to you an abstraction you call a choice.

kimberly said...

I had some problem with my first pregnancy, i wanted to be pregnant and have my first baby, buy my husband had erectil dysfunction problem, so we decided to buy viagra and after that he turned very strong and could get powerful erection after this medical treatment. Thank to this i have two litle and beautiful girls.