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My perspective on...Abortion Pt. 2

As far as what the current thoughts about abortion from the right and the left, both are wrong in my opinion. In the generic far right wing opinion, all abortion should be outlawed again, and the generic far left wing opinion says the opposite, abortion with either no, or minimal restrictions. Actually, I am closer the right wing stance. In the 40-42 weeks that it takes for a baby to be born, I think that if it is going to be aborted, then it SHOULD be before it reaches about 12 weeks. Because after that, you have rapid development of its brain, and it begins to show all the signs of being alive, movement, reaction to stimuli etc, etc. Plus, the fetus actually begins to look much less like as sack of cells, and much more like an actual baby. This is all opinion of course, there is no way to tell if the fetus has any consciousness going on up there, and it probably doesn’t, but the small things, like being able to move, clench its fist, having a heart beat, force me to support limiting abortions to the earlier stages of pregnancy.

As with everything there are of course exceptions, most notably, the medical issues that arise during pregnancy. Obviously, if the health and life of the mother is severally threatened, then even an extremely late term abortion would be permissible. But whats the line? What if the mother only will have minor heath issues if the baby is born? Or more mild, medium, problematic health issues, but will still be able to live a fine normal life, for the most part? When do you decide what amount of risk to the mother, is worth killing the unborn child? In the end, there is no perfect solution, but we have to do the best we can. The details of these questions would be better suited to be answered by an actual doctor of some kind, but in short; Unless the mother will have long term health issues that will decrease her quality of life, then abortion should NOT be allowed. But that is just one reason a woman has late term abortions. That is related to the mother’s health, but what about the baby’s?

If a baby is going to be born mentally challenged, is that a good reason to abort it? Down Syndrome, or Autism? I personally know a child with autism, and the thought of aborting him, simply for having autism, is enough to, shall we say, make me very, very, very sad. He lives a happy life, he enjoys life, probably more so than most “normal” people do. He laughs, he cries, he enjoys cartoons, good food, I mean, how could you justify denying him existence? This part is not being written as a matter of logic and reason, because it is, when you come down to it, an emotional issue, for someone like me, who actually knows someone like this. So no, you should not be allowed to deny your child existence, simply because he’s not going to “fit in” with everyone else. When a mentally challenged people are asked if they are happy or not, their answers, for the most part, are the same as “normal” people’s answers, there is no vast difference to indicate that they feel some sort of misery from being WHO they are. Of course a mentally challenged child usually needs more care, and more assistance (sucks up more money as well), and actually, people do actually adopt mentally challenged children, but even if you can’t find the baby another home, there is still financial assistance you can get to help you take care of your handicapped child, and as time goes on, we should make sure that these programs are expanded when needed, and kept as assessable as possible for those who need them.

But what about more major health issues?

What about different physical limitations? Maybe fused legs, or missing an arm, or anything that is physically restrictive, but the babies brain will still work just fine? What about more extreme examples? Dealing with all those issues can add a great deal of stress to the already stressful job of raising a child. Since our ability to detect these problems will most likely increase as time goes on, it would be best to simply conclude that, in broad terms, what the limitations on abortion should be.

First, a normal abortion, done simply to get rid of an unwanted baby, should be restricted to...12 weeks, generally. That is 3 months, more than enough time to make the decision. If you are having sex, its your responsibility to make sure you are not pregnant, to take a pregnancy test when needed, and to keep an eye out for any physical changes that might suggest pregnancy. Second, as for mental disabilities, unless its something very rare and serious (in which case an exception MIGHT be made), an abortion after 12 weeks should be outlawed. I don’t care if the mother and possible father don’t want anything but a “perfect” healthy child, you get what you get, deal with it, because that baby, even if it is mentally challenged, can have a great life, as far as its concerned. Third, as for major physical limitations, look at Stephen Hawking. Sure he was not born like that, but it shows that no matter how limited the body is, the mind can still kick ass. Fourth, as far as the health of the mother goes, like I said earlier, if she has a moderate to high risk of death, then by all means, abort the baby, even if its very late into its pregnancy. If the mother is definitely going to have major damage that will severally reduce her quality of life, then aborting the baby, even later in the pregnancy, should still be allowed. If she is going to suffer moderate damage, that will only somewhat affect her day to day life, then...yes, you have a right to abort the baby. Anything below that, you keep the damn kid. If the baby has a high risk of death, and you know this before it gets born, then you have a right to abort it, and save the mother all the pain of giving birth to it. That covers a lot, probably most of what you will find as far as the reasons for abortions go, but there are always weird, unknowable circumstances, as well as already documented ones I did not cover. But based on this template, I think you could figure out where to go from here. Like I said, one of the messiest, gray areas issues we face today.

1 Vorvick, Linda, and Susan Storck. United States. National Library of Medicine. Fetal Development. Washington D.C.: National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm>.

2 Edemariam, Alda. "Against all odds." Guardian. 20 2 2007: n. page. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/feb/21/health.lifeandhealth>.
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