Supporting abortion to term.

(677 Posts)
VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:01:04

Asking this question in feminism because, 1. I don't want a pro/against bunfight and 2 because I have only ever seen this comment made by feminists. *

I have seen the comment made that someone would support an abortion up until term for any reason (so in theory just because they changed their mind would be acceptable I guess).

If you take this stance is it because you feel to decide a cut off date for abortions would be to choose an arbitrary date in a pregnancy and that we need legally to have free access to abortions... but actually if your mate said, "just found out I am 37 weeks pregnant really don't want it, going for an abortion" you would be horrified and because you know it isn't likely to ever happen

or

if in the above scenario would you happily (assuming it were legal) take your friend down to the clinic to get an abortion because you belive the mother's choice trumps the fetus/babies right to life?

I'm prochoice but I have a real difficulty with people saying that it's acceptable for any reason up till term. And in the above scenario (if it were legal) I'd support my friend's right to demand to be induced early for her mental health and to give the baby up for adoption but not for an abortion.

* disclaimer: I am a feminist but don't support this view

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Fri 27-Jul-12 20:04:17

I believe the argument is that a woman's body is her body, and that her body belongs to her and not to the state.

I don't know any feminists who would support abortion up to term.

Possibly a theoretical feminist perspective (if such a thing were possible) but not one mired in human, female reality.

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:05:26

I thought the fetus became a legal subject at 24 weeks?

Rubirosa Fri 27-Jul-12 20:07:47

I am a feminist and support a woman's total autonomy over her body. Of course, I would be horrified if someone I knew had an abortion at 37 weeks (or at 20 weeks to be honest) but I would recognise that it is their right to choose.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:08:31

I've only ever seen it on the internet I'll admit fairy, no one in rl has ever said anything like that to me. So could be theoretical something or another (my friends aren't clever enough for that sort of thing grin).

GemmaPomPom Fri 27-Jul-12 20:09:36

I believe the argument is that a woman's body is her body, and that her body belongs to her and not to the state.

But it's not the woman's body we're talking about, is it? It's the baby's body and you would have to kill it. So why not let the poor thing be born and adopted?

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:09:42

Does it avenue? I diidn't think the fetus/baby ever had any legal rights before birth.
easily could be wrong though

Mintyy Fri 27-Jul-12 20:09:43

I don't support it.

Rubirosa Fri 27-Jul-12 20:09:45

I believe abortion to term is currently legal anyway in cases of disability.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:11:05

I think it is rubirosa

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 27-Jul-12 20:11:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AfterGoldsandCoffeeSilvers Fri 27-Jul-12 20:12:06

Not a feminist arguement for me, its a disablist one. You know abortion is legal to term for a disabled baby?

I couldn't support 'choice' to abort a 37 week old baby Rubirosa - just can't imagine it.

The right to autonomy over our bodies would have to stop somewhere I think.

Quite simply the child can survive outside the womb at 37 weeks (and indeed at 23) so therefore i would think of it as infanticide at 37 weeks.

ChickensArentEligableForGold Fri 27-Jul-12 20:13:21

Also agree with LineRunner. I might not personally agree with another woman's choice, but I want total control over my body and what happens to it. I don't think you can separate those two things.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:13:21

I assumed it was severe disability (like could be life limiting or cause life long pain) is it not Aftergold?

AfterGoldsandCoffeeSilvers Fri 27-Jul-12 20:13:22

x-post. But why is that not so shocking?

Agree this is an anti- disability argument.

For me unless the quality of life was so poor/death was very likely I couldn't support that for a disabled child or an NT one.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:15:04

I would too Laurie, which is why I would accept her right to induce early, but I would feel insisting on abortion at that point would be purely unnecessary as the baby is going to have to come out either way anyway.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Fri 27-Jul-12 20:15:13

I'm saying what I believe the argument might be, as I have read and understood it.

The law in the UK on the legal right of a foetus to non-destruction is a complex, other discussion.

My own views are entirely separate again.

AfterGoldsandCoffeeSilvers Fri 27-Jul-12 20:15:32

Yeah, it is. But its still to term. Its still a baby that could be born the following day.

Rubirosa Fri 27-Jul-12 20:15:54

Why does it matter what the disability is Vegans? Surely the life of a disabled foetus is just as important as that of a non-disabled foetus? It's ridiculous that you can choose to kill one and not the other.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:16:02

I wouldn't have a child who was going to be in pain. I don't think it makes me a horrible person though. I just couldn't.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:17:46

to explain, I would choose to give birth to a child who was going to be severely disabled but could live and not be in pain or die shortly after.

X-post.

I think we do have to separate them. That's what life is legally, a whole load of grey area and case law.

Actually, that's what life is generally isn't it? We can't be black and White about this - a foetus that can survive outside the womb becomes an independent life doesnt it?

So that's then 2 people to consider and not just one. I'd be quite happy for a 37 week old to be removed at the woman's insistence (but not killed).

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:18:29

I can understand that might be an abhorrent idea to some.

LeB0F Fri 27-Jul-12 20:20:24

It is not really an argument grounded in practical reality, but I absolutely support the right of a woman to end a pregnancy at any point. If the fetus is viable and can be supported to stay alive, then medically and ethically that is what should happen. But outside the woman's body.

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:22:31

It was when a friend had a still born baby it was discussed and I am sure she said she couldn't register the birth because he had died before 24 weeks? sorry if I am wrong. When I was pregnant and I sure I asked about this too as I def. recall celebrating the 24 week mark.

Mintyy Fri 27-Jul-12 20:22:56

Are you saying women should be able to demand a c section or induction prior to term then boffy?

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:23:43

oh I see what you mean now avenue, sorry I took it wrong

Women have been given late abortions for 'disabilities' as mild as cleft palate. I support abortion to term for any reason because any other stance is disabilist IMO.

LeB0F Fri 27-Jul-12 20:28:48

Yes, if they don't want the baby or to be pregnant anymore, Mintyy. But I don't think it would realistically happen very often. I imagine that for the tiny number of women who might request it (and let's remember that safe uncomplicated access to abortions as soon as needed is the best way to avoid this situation), there could often be valid mental health objections, or physical ones re. the risk to the woman undergoing the procedure vs 'hanging on'. But I still think it is in principle a valid argument.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:28:53

It seems to be a very complex area and not one I have thought through in any great detail. I don't feel comfortable with abortion after 12 weeks personally, however it varies for women. I also don't feel comfortable with a woman's right being superior to the child's after 24 weeks, as they can live separately to the mother generally at this age. In the case of severe disability... It really depends in the individual situation. It's all very complicated...

I recently discovered on here that women can refuse internal examinations etc even if this could result in their child dying. Still can't get my head around this... Not sure there is any easy answer. There is obviously also the point that legal abortion up to full term irrespective of disability could cause children to be aborted due to their gender, which again I don't agree with. I wouldn't think it was any different than infanticide which occurs in china for example.

I hope I haven't offended anyone, just trying to think through it.

Mintyy Fri 27-Jul-12 20:31:29

Well I suppose I agree with it in principle, but not on any sort of moral level. Its not the baby's fault that its mother is a woman.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:33:33

Meant to say, I would prefer women and babies after 24 weeks to have equal rights, not babies to have more rights than women.

Margerykemp Fri 27-Jul-12 20:34:45

I remember an episode of ER which touched on this issue.

The woman was I think 30+ weeks, maybe 35/36.

She came in with an abdominal stab wound. The docs thought it was self-inflected but she denied this.

They said the knife had punctured the uterus and unless she was c-sectioned the fetus would die. She refused the treatment. The OB refused to perform it against her will as she was 'of sound mind'.

She naturally delivered a stillbirth a few hours later.

Then a court order comes through allowing the op.

In the UK would you support doing forced c-sections on women, if it was medically for the fetus's benefit but against the mum's wishes?

I know I would not.

I would not support abortion to term for 'any reason', for me it would have to be because the woman had made that decision. They are different - look at China.

Cassettetapeandpencil Fri 27-Jul-12 20:38:25

I don't agree with that at all.

The very idea of abortion of a baby that is so close to birth and life is abhorrent. Why would it need to be left so late?

Lucyellensmum99 Fri 27-Jul-12 20:42:13

no one has the right to take the life of another human being, unless it is to prevent suffering, its not a feminist issue. If it is, i could never be a feminist

Shallishanti Fri 27-Jul-12 20:42:21

isn't ER set in the US?
I think they have a very different legal situation there, I think women have been prosecuted for using alcohol in pg, as damaging the fetus.

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:42:34

In the UK would you support doing forced c-sections on women, if it was medically for the fetus's benefit but against the mum's wishes?

what a good question.....

I guess not, I would not support a forced section. I have never thought of that before, as ever being an issue but it must come up sometimes.

LeB0F Fri 27-Jul-12 20:42:44

Good point, LRD, I hadn't looked at it from that perspective.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:43:48

I'm not comfortable with forcing c section or babies dying but c section is. It life or death? Surely that argument is a minority anyway? You can't cover all eventualities. I would think its rare for a woman to refuse intervention that could help their child live, unless they are defined as mentally unstable.

Lucyellensmum99 Fri 27-Jul-12 20:44:26

Margery - i absolutely would support it if it was simply against the mothers wishes, at that stage - tough, if birth of the child was detrimental to the mothers health then i woudnt. Its a no brainer

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:44:56

Isn't life or death... That should say. The detriment to the mother would be less than to the baby?

It's just a thing that terrifies me, LeBof. I was also thinking of a very sad story I heard a while back about a woman whose abusive husband put huge pressure on her to terminate until very late on.

The right to choose sometimes means the right to be allowed or supported to continue with a pregnancy and for me, being a feminist is as much about that right as the right to abort, it has to be, and I think focussing just on women who decide to abort is part of the reason the debate gets so bogged down in guilt-tripping women or presenting 'right to choose' as heartless.

But I digress.

Shallishanti Fri 27-Jul-12 20:45:18

here (the UK) a woman cannot be forced to have a c section or any other procedure even when her own or babies life is in danger- only if court rules she is not of sound mind

Mintyy Fri 27-Jul-12 20:45:30

I could be wrong but I think op means "for any reason chosen/given by the mother" not "for any reason" full stop.

And if so LRD's comment is beside the point.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:46:22

Why is the law in uk and us so different? Or should I do some research?

mintyy - ok, just thought it was important to say.

eclectic - I think because the US is, by and large, more religious?

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:48:10

I have to add I can't think of any reason why if going to full term you would not want to protect your child's life having what I consider to be quite a routine operation (I had an emerg section it was absol. fine but I know there can be complications).

Shallishanti Fri 27-Jul-12 20:48:21

well, I couldn't say why exactly, but the fetus is held to have rights in the US, (a very slippery slope) but here not until it's born and breathing does a baby have rights

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:48:56

you're right minty but I assumed lrd knew that and was making a statement, so I didn't see the point in correcting her (apologies if I am wrong)

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:49:39

Why does the mother get to decide if her child lives or does past 24 weeks? At that point the child can survive without her... How is that different from deciding a week after birth? Or is it because as long as the baby is part of the woman's body... She owns her body?

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:50:17

x- post.

vegans, you're correct.

eclectic - but why 24 weeks? When most of us were born, that might not have been true. And even now not all 24 weekers survive. sad

It could be technology in the future will push back limits even further (though I believe there's a big question mark over this).

I don't see how it relates to the mother's decisions over her body?

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:51:53

The right to choose sometimes means the right to be allowed or supported to continue with a pregnancy and for me, being a feminist is as much about that right as the right to abort agree

Margerykemp Fri 27-Jul-12 20:52:04

Religion.

Eclectic- read some of the childbirth esp the home birth threads on here- women in the UK are routinely coerced into interventions which are detrimetal to their health but for 'the benefit of the fetus'.

C-sections are 'safe' but statistically not as safe as VB. If a woman died after a forced c-section then how would you feel?

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:52:31

I do think that hurting a pregnant women (and causing her to lose or damage her unborn a child) should be seen as a more serious crime, or as a hate crime

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:53:01

What is the argument for aborting up to full term? As the OP said, could the child not be adopted? Trying to figure out why it would be neccesary to change the law to allow abortion to full term.

KRITIQ Fri 27-Jul-12 20:53:21

Let's get this into perspective folks.

In the latest figures I could find, 79% of terminations take place within 10 weeks gestation. Only 120 abortions happened after 24 weeks in England and Wales in 2010 with only 29 at 32 weeks plus. We are talking about extremely rare events and very unusual circumstances.

From my understanding, very late abortions tend to involve a combination of foetuses that would not survive the birth process or long after birth and women whose health could be severely damaged or there is a considerable risk they could die if the pregnancy continued further and/or they had to give birth.

So, it is inaccurate and insensitive to suggest that any woman at 37 weeks who suddenly fancies not being pregnant anymore can have an abortion on a whim. Very late abortions happen because of compelling medical advice and the situation is extremely distressing for the families concerned.

I support the option of termination up to term for those extremely rare circumstances, usually where the alternative would mean the death or serious harm to the woman and severe suffering for the foetus if born naturally.

Mintyy Fri 27-Jul-12 20:53:50

Going to leave you to it and watch the Olympics opening cermony. I find it impossible to see such gigantic issues in black and white terms ... probably the reason I am such a failure as a Mumsnet feminist! Enjoy your debate everyone.

I believe a woman has the right to have the foetus removed from her body ay any point until birth. But I don't believe she has any right to request it be killed. So if the foetus is past 24 weeks, she should have labour induced or a c-section, and the baby become the ward of the state, to be given up for adoption. I really don't see why termination of a pregnancy necessarily means the death of the foetus.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:11

I believe the argument is that a woman's body is her body, and that her body belongs to her and not to the state.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:35

Not necessarily calling the fetus a person, but saying that harming the pregnant women at that time is particularly heinous

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:46

I don't think there can be a general rule. C section implications, vb implications and the life of the baby, differ enormously depending on context.

Reading how traumatised and physically injured women sometimes are after interventions during labour that they didn't agree to is really terrifying - I can't begin to imagine how horrific it would be if at the end of all that, you didn't have a wanted baby.

What on earth would you do, practically, anyway, if you were forcing an operation on a woman and she refused? It doesn't bear thinking about.

I simply do not believe that a woman would change her mind in late pregnancy without there being serious reasons or problems behind it. I know that saying that I'm running the risk of implying that it's somehow mentally ill for a to decide she doesn't want a child and that is not what I mean. But I think if a woman decides she needs an abortion at 39 weeks, something serious has happened to make her decide so late.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:57:37

I agree with kritiq, however, where does aborting due to gender come into this? If we had a society that favoured a particular gender?

kri, thanks for that reminder.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:59:10

See your point LRD... Still finding the concept difficult.

I think if society favours a particular gender, you tackle that, you don't take away women's rights. I'd say that's scapegoating women for a problem that's part of wider society (and the examples in the real world being what they are, it's scapegoating women for society discriminating against women, which is doubly horrible).

Btw, I find the concept horribly difficult. I would think most of us do. But then I also find the concept of (eg) cadaver dissection or brain surgery difficult, when I think about them. There's things it's right react viscerally towards, but still not right to criminalize. IMO.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 21:03:00

That makes sense LRD and I have re read Kritiq's post and see she only supports abortion to full term when it's death or serious harm to mother or child.

Sorry, I'm posting in too much of a flurry.

SardineQueen Fri 27-Jul-12 21:05:38

I agree that it is an issue related to rights of people with disabilities.

At the moment abortion is allowed to 24 weeks (I think?) if signed off by 2 doctors due to mental/physical issues (remember we do not have abortion on demand in the UK legally), but to term for "disability" again with doctors saying whether it is "allowable" or "advised" or not.

Also don't forget that abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland which is a part of the UK and that is disgraceful frankly.

Anyway the stats on abortion are wiki:

"In 2004, there were 185,415 abortions in England and Wales. 87% of abortions were performed at 12 weeks or less and 1.6% (or 2,914 abortions) occurred after 20 weeks. Abortion is free to residents,[32] 82% of abortions were carried out by the National Health Service.[34]"

As abhorrent as the idea of abortion to term actually is, the fact is that women are (on the whole) not emotionless evil weird types who would suddenly start going around asking for late abortions on viable pregnancies. The stats show that the vast vast majority of abortions in the UK are carried out before 12 weeks with only 1.6% after 20 weeks (which is still within the timeframe) and it's safe to assume that the vast majority of those abortions were carried out for a good reason.

So it's a kind of logical thing. It is illogical that the time is different for two different types. If it were only conditions incompatible with life in a fairly immediate way that might be different, but its not. And women are not on the whole bananas. The idea of carrying a pregnancy until the very end then deciding to abort for no reason - the fact that people even think it will happen on a relatively frequent basis is (and it's not a word I use lightly) mysoginistic.

logically from a feminist perspective and in view of our current laws surrounding abortion the only thing to do is support abortion til term.

Yes of course it is a horrible awful thought.

That's my view anyway.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 21:08:52

Thank you sardine

KRITIQ Fri 27-Jul-12 21:14:15

Eclectic, termination due to gender is unlawful in the UK, so I can't see the benefit of adding that into the discussion.

If, however, in some dystopian future Britain, where abortion was used coercively where women were carrying viable, healthy foetuses of the "wrong" sex, it would be different because in that case, abortion would not be taking account of the woman's wishes or the clinical indications.

I'm just not that keen on "what if" sorts of arguments about things that both don't reflect the reality we are in now or are likely to happen any time soon.

Also, many of those who would seek to outlaw all abortion, and restrict birth control to only the most privileged use the tactic of initially only opposing the "extreme cases" (e.g. late abortions, 3rd or 4th abortions to the same woman, etc.) knowing they'll get some general sympathy for their view. If they pick up a head of steam though, they will continue to plough through with their views to the end goal if they can. Over the past 25 years, we have definitely seen that happen in the US.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 21:23:03

Makes sense Kritiq.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 22:13:45

Ok, another angle has dawned on me. What about fathers rights to protect their unborn? When does that kick in? We can't exclude them?

Well, women's wombs aren't permeable, are they? confused They are excluded.

GemmaPomPom Sat 28-Jul-12 02:43:01

Eclectic, termination due to gender is unlawful in the UK, so I can't see the benefit of adding that into the discussion.

It doesn't stop it happening though. I know a woman who had a late abortion after the baby turned out to be the 'wrong' gender. And she is not Muslim, or Asian, but a non-religious white British woman who discovered she was carrying a boy, when what she really wanted was a girl.

Are women in the UK ever refused abortions, does anybody know?

sashh Sat 28-Jul-12 07:13:38

I don't know any feminists who would support abortion up to term.

You do, me.

And in some circumstances it is a legal option.

I hate the 'give birth and have it adopted' argument, if the child has severe disabilities the chances of adption are about nil.

A woman's right to her body HAS to outweigh that of the child.

I was watching the programme that was on a while ago where they use modern techniques to investigate odd burials.

As part of it they showed a hook like device. If the baby's head was too big to deliver then the hook woulf be used to smash the skull so that the mother could live. It was a Saxon implement.

I knoe that now we have safe cesearians that is not necessary, but I still think the mother's rights are more important.

GemmaPomPom Sat 28-Jul-12 07:16:40

I don't know any feminists who would support abortion up to term.

You do, me.

What, even for gender selection?

Lougle Sat 28-Jul-12 08:07:00

This is what puts me right off feminism. The idea that because you're female you should have rights but no responsibilities.

If a man decided he didn't want to acknowledge his child, he is branded feckless. Yet a woman can decide to have a developing child killed, and that is her 'right' even if that child would live outside the womb.

Cassettetapeandpencil Sat 28-Jul-12 08:29:37

Lougle good post. I agree totally.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 28-Jul-12 08:31:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crescentmoon Sat 28-Jul-12 09:29:42

what about men who pressure women to have abortions? who do not want the responsibility of a child so pressure their wives or girlfriends to abort a child? isn't that against female rights?

how many women who do abort, would not have aborted had they had a responsible supportive partner? much is said about men who do not want their baby aborted, but i think attention should be on those men who pressure their partners to go through an abortion. whether it is because he wishes to be unfettered, or not pay child support, girl baby or boy baby, healthy baby or disabled baby

crescentmoon Sat 28-Jul-12 09:40:57

from australia:

"Seven out of 10 men involved in unwanted pregnancies try to influence women to have abortions, according to a prominent Brisbane pregnancy clinic."

www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifestyle/hidden-abortion-pressure-revealed-20090901-f6tk.html#ixzz21u9ccELI

Lougle Sat 28-Jul-12 09:48:16

StewieGriffinsMom, I don't think it's a straw man argument. I also don't think that someone should be able to control their own body if that means that a child who could live outside of the womb gets killed as a result.

Scarredbutnotbroken Sat 28-Jul-12 10:02:08

I think from
The original
Op that this was a debate about abortion to term irrespective of the reasons why. I don't think this is a disablist debate but a theoretical one.
I actually think the disablist argument is a bit of a high jack.
However, I wonder how many abortions past 24 weeks for disabilities actually happen in the uk and as for 30 plus weeks if be surprised if it was many.
I find women being judged for having an abortion abhorrent. Out bodies, our choice. I also believe there are no superior reasons for abortion, I think babies have the right to be wanted by both their parents.
Furthermore, ld be interested to know what the model/level of support is for mums considering having their baby adopted from early pregnancy and how easily this can be accessed.

BedHog Sat 28-Jul-12 10:18:06

I once made the mistake of reading about the process of near-term abortions, as told by a nurse assisting in these operations. Her words haunted me for a time, and I can't see how anybody could go through that process, or even witness it, without suffering an enormous amount of mental trauma. On a purely physical level, the operation seemed to have a lot more potential for damage to the mother than both c-section and vaginal births.

'I believe a woman has the right to have the foetus removed from her body ay any point until birth. But I don't believe she has any right to request it be killed. So if the foetus is past 24 weeks, she should have labour induced or a c-section, and the baby become the ward of the state, to be given up for adoption. I really don't see why termination of a pregnancy necessarily means the death of the foetus.' - I tend to agree with this sentiment by AnnieLobeseder, but I can see it's much more complicated when you consider the realities - it would be prohibitively expensive to care for hundreds of babies removed from the womb prematurely, many pre 30 weeks, many having additional health concerns.

I think we have to remember though that every woman in the position to want a near term abortion is going to have a certain amount of trauma ahead of her whatever happens. You can't just magic a baby away, that baby has to come out somehow. Would it be more traumatic, physically, emotionally and mentally for that woman to be induced early, or have a c-section and the live baby be transferred to the care of the state, rather than the baby being euthanised in utero or during the birth process and all that entails?

But lougle, are you also saying men who wank should be prosecuted for killing unborn children? confused Or is it ok they do it? Where should we stop tracing back 'responsibilities'?

I sound like a moralising minnie, btw, but it is not as if late abortion comes with no 'responsibilities'. How could it?

HmmThinkingAboutIt Sat 28-Jul-12 10:38:06

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 22:13:45
Ok, another angle has dawned on me. What about fathers rights to protect their unborn? When does that kick in? We can't exclude them?

Its one of those things where I have to say, that mens right have to become a distant second. The problem being that there becomes a conflict, especially in cultures where men are favoured over women. You would get the situation where women, who you have to remember are pregnant and therefore more perhaps more vulnerable financially, physically and emotionally than they otherwise would be, to becoming second to the unborn child as a default, and a situation arising where a mother becomes expendable or more likely to be 'sacrificed' (for want of a better expression) in favour of a son.

I just don't think there is a workable way in which equal rights can be applied here, without it being massively open to abuse - abuse that would be too easy to exploit under the circumstances.

As I've said on the other thread, in terms of human rights, the rights of women who are pregnant are crucial as I'd go as far as saying that they are perhaps the most vulnerable group out there, even more than children as there are issues of conflict of interest the second you start considering giving rights to an unborn child. The rights of pregnant women should therefore be protected more than any other group.

The thing is, that a woman who is pregnant has to go through an emotional and physical journey to have an abortion - its something that I don't believe any woman really takes lightly. I personally credit the vast majority of women with enough intelligence to make a decision like that with best intent in mind, even if they decide to go through with an abortion. Best intent for the child as well as themselves.

Cassettetapeandpencil Sat 28-Jul-12 11:02:40

Ive just looked into late abortions as I didn't know how they would be carried out and my stomach is churning.

There was a picture that showed a 24 week old baby live and in SCBU and a dead aborted 24 week old baby. It said "these are both human beings, being wanted or unwanted doesn't change that fact".

I know it's controversial but I agree. I don't think that late abortions are acceptable and unfortunately some women are not responsible (as mentioned up thread about women giving abortion a lot of careful consideration). I'm sure the vast majority do but there is still a small percentage that consider abortion as almost a birth control method. I know of one woman who last I heard had had 5 abortions. I don't know if that number has increased. They were all because she had gotten pregnant by accident but did not want a baby.

duchesse Sat 28-Jul-12 11:24:47

I think the cut off date must be the limit of viability. Before that the foetus utterly depends on its mother for survival and her health is in my opinion paramount. Abortion after the age of viability is only legal if the foetus is dead at birth. So medical personnel have to to ensure that the foetus is dead before it emerges, which means that they actively have to kill it before the birth. Otherwise, you have a child born alive with its own identity and rights and the requirement for medics to treat it. Which is to say that if a woman chooses to end a pregnancy beyond the age of viability, she has to consent to the foetus being killed. Which is a very different kettle of fish from removing a foetus without the potential of survival outside the womb.

Margerykemp Sat 28-Jul-12 11:38:11

Abortion as birth control is a lot more common in some other countries. I read that in Russia the average woman has 10 abortions in her lifetime. If you are pro choice/ pro abortion does it matter if it is the 1st or 10th?

I can imagine 2 other scenarios which might result in a late (24+ weeks) abortion:

1) an asylum seeker enters the uk, heavily pregnant, from a country where abortion is illegal. She was raped, and wants it removed asap. However due to malnourishment/poor health the foetus is small for dates and doctors think it won't survive. Should she be forced to continue with the pregnancy until it is viable? What if she goes into labour spontaneously and dies/is injured due to problems caused by fgm?

2) at 25 weeks pg a woman discovers she has cancer. Life saving radiotherapy will kill or disable the foetus. If she waits until it is viable she might die. Should she be denied treatment? Should she be forced to raise a disabled child whilst she is fighting her own cancer?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 11:46:17

I am interested in the debate from the perspective of who owns a woman's body. Is it the woman, or is it the state? (Or a state-sponsored religious body such as the church.)

As I see it, all the arguments for limiting abortion are arguments for an acceptance that the state owns a woman's body.

I believe that a woman should own her own body, not the state or the church. If both state and church paradixically didn't make early abortions so damn difficult, there would be fewer of the late ones that trouble so many people.

mellen Sat 28-Jul-12 11:48:12

Margerykemp abortion is legal at any point if:

- the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or
- that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated
- that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

Scarredbutnotbroken Sat 28-Jul-12 11:52:24

I agree with recent posts - surely a really great adoption support package is better for mum than a late term abortion? This is what I want to see really - since abortions are not especially socially acceptable, adoption should be - as in for the mother that gives up the baby so to speak

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 11:58:50

"I know a woman who had a late abortion after the baby turned out to be the 'wrong' gender. And she is not Muslim, or Asian, but a non-religious white British woman who discovered she was carrying a boy, when what she really wanted was a girl."

And how and where did she procure this highly illegal procedure? I can't imagine many doctors in the UK would be prepared to carry out a post 24 week abortion due to the baby being the "wrong" sex. Would be interested to hear how and where and also given how you feel about this why haven't you shopped the clinic / hospital to the papers?

duchesse Sat 28-Jul-12 12:05:24

Margery, in your ill mother scenario the baby can born very early and still survive at that gestation- say another couple of weeks then out by CS and it has an extremely good chance of survival. The point is that if that were the case the baby would not be killed before being delivered, which is what late abortion involves.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 12:07:25

People who argue for forcing women to give birth seem to forget what giving birth involves.

It is not a "null" scenario - giving birth is the most dangerous thing the average UK woman will do in her lifetime. It carries risks of death / serious injury. then there are a the "minor" things that are very common eg incontinence, loss of sexual response , pain during sex, just loads of things.

Saying women should "just" have the baby and give it up overlooks both the physical risks the woman has to take to achieve that and the emotional and psychological risks of having to carry a baby to term, give birth and then give the baby away.

Again, to me, these type of posts seem very clearly to put the life of a foetus above the life of the pregnant woman.

duchesse Sat 28-Jul-12 12:09:07

Sardine, once you have reached 24 weeks gestation, you HAVE to give birth. The foetus is not going to just magically disappear from the woman's body. I don't understand your argument.

Helxi Sat 28-Jul-12 12:10:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

duch - you can make the labour much more painfree (and possibly safer, I don't know?), though. You are right, I know, I just wanted to say that.

helxi - don't see the irony, personally. You think mothers and women who have abortions are two mutually exclusive categories? Wrong.

On this, Caitlin Moran is actually rather good.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 12:16:35

Oh and the people talking about women having multiple abortions / using abortion as a contraceptive.

Women who are doing this... well firstly I would wonder why it is the case - is there something going on in their life that means they are not using contraception? Abusive partner, drug or alcohol misuse, learning disabilities? - and address that. I am sure that there are some women who see putting themselves through multiple medical procedures as contraception but for many there will be other reasons. To believe that women are emotionless, horrid things who will have no compunction about having multiple abortions is again a pretty vile thing to imagine about women...

Anyway - women who are doing this are going to have very early abortions. They know they don't want a baby - they are using abortion as contraception - they will be quick to present for abortion. They aren't going to wait until 30 weeks or something and put their body through all that stress for no apparent reason are they.

Many of these comments betray a terribly negative attitude towards women, overlook the risks to women of pregnancy and birth, including the risk of death, and give an underlying impression that actually the "baby" is way more important than the woman.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 12:19:14

duchesse I thought they broke the foetus up into pieces or something?

But fair enough if you have to give birth. Still giving birth to a 24 week size is going to be very different to giving birth to a full term size.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 12:22:03

And TBH if that is the case, it's even more misogynistic to imagine that there will be significant numbers of women who will choose to have the foetus killed and then give birth to it without a pretty bloody good reason.

Honestly the views on this thread you would think the average UK woman had the emotional makeup of Jeffery Dahmer confused

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 28-Jul-12 12:43:06

Linerunner Your point re individual vs state is interesting, but isn't there an argument that abortion requires action on behalf of the state - i.e. the state is sanctioning the termination because most healthcare is funded/ carried out by the state so they have to be involved, either in saying "Yes, ok" or "No, we can't have any part in this"? Even if we take the state out of it, late terminations require action by a third party so can never be solely a decision by the woman herself.

Re late terminations on grounds of disability, I think unfortunately, these will always depend on judgment re quality and duration of life, where cleft lip is at one end of the spectrum (and to be honest I find that impossible to justify) and a foetus who is expected to live for hours/days in tremendous pain (i.e. has disabilities which doctors know are not comptable with life) at the other. I do think it's possible to say that in those 2 situations, a late termination can be viewed differently without being disablist.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Sat 28-Jul-12 12:44:13

Anyone who starts saying things like 'baby killers' immediately makes me ignore anything they say.

If you want a debate, then avoid the emotive words, as you are abusive and rude. You can make a compelling argument without words that may actually cause women a great deal of distress.

Unless of course thats what you want to do, which speaks volumes for the contempt with which your opinion should be treated.

lastnerve Sat 28-Jul-12 12:45:05

I could understand a woman perhaps wanting the baby removed but not killed at 37 weeks , that's horrifying It quite concerning the mindset of someone who would even consider that tbh.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 28-Jul-12 12:55:14

lastnerve Well potentially that's another issue. Unless in a situation whereby the woman knew the baby would die anyway, I think it would be the duty of the medical establishment to at least consider whether someone making that decision (i.e. to kill an at-term foetus in the womb and then give birth to it) would be considered of sound mind.

As sardine rightly points out, most women are not psychopaths/ deliberately cruel. You'd have to be in a pretty dark place to consider that as your best course of action I think.

Trills Sat 28-Jul-12 13:06:39

Feminist baby-killers vs mothers, is it?

When it comes to abortion I think that in many cases having had a baby yourself helps you to understand what a big undertaking it is, and to realise that there is no way that it is anything someone should undergo unless they are completely prepared and willing.

Trills Sat 28-Jul-12 13:09:37

I support abortion on demand, because I think it is better that 100 abortions happen for wrong or frivolous reasons than that any one woman is prevented from having one by an arbitrary rule.

Margerykemp Sat 28-Jul-12 13:38:55

There is a scene in the French film Polisse which shows what appears to be a late abortion. The girl was a child incest victim. It is very traumatic but I really recommend watching it.

I think some posters seem to be confusing the viability point (24 weeks) with the blurry line of when a foetus/baby would be born healthy. 24 weeks is the 'viability point' because (only with extremely intensive medical and possibly surgical intervention) at that point 50% of babies would survive. Even of the 50% who survive 90% of them will have significant disabilities eg blind, deaf, moderate to severe learning disabilities, poor immune system etc. it is not a happy fairy tale ending and the law allows the mother the choice whether to risk subjecting a potential child to this (and often protecting her existing children from the burden of being lifelong carers).

RiaSponsorsTheOlympics Sat 28-Jul-12 13:39:58

SardineQueen I don't see how being induced at 30 weeks is 'forced to give birth'.

If the options are continue with an unwanted pregnancy, have a late abortion or be induced early then none of them are great, but if you wanted to end your pregnancy I don't see why induction/c-section would automatically be worse than abortion. Having the option to give birth early seems to me much better than being forced to stay pregnant.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 13:57:02

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 28-Jul-12 12:43:06
Linerunner Your point re individual vs state is interesting, but isn't there an argument that abortion requires action on behalf of the state

In asking 'Who owns a woman's body?', and hoping that the answer is 'The woman herself,' I would suppose that all actions carried out by the state confirm that ownership.

Scarredbutnotbroken Sat 28-Jul-12 14:11:22

Totally agree with trills. These debates always go the same way. Abortion is frowned upon because a foetus is more important than a woman. Sigh. Then you get the well abortion might be ok for some disabilities argument to which the response is always - gasp that's disablist then it seems like that's supposedly worse than an abortion for other reasons fgs.

I has an abortion at 10 weeks in the past. I have a dd and I'm pregnant with dd2. I support abortion on demand.

I agree totally that the women has dominion over her own body. But the foetus also has dominion over its body and the right to life. As long as the life of the foetus depends on the body of the woman, her rights trump its rights, even to life.

But once that foetus is capable of survival in its own right, I don't believe the women has any further right to dictate whether it lives or dies, only whether it remains in her body or not. She can have it removed, but why should she have the right demand its unnecessary death, any more than any other parent can decide to kill their children? The foetus needs to come out, alive or dead. Surely alive is preferable?

Many late-term abortion foetuses would not survive, fair enough. But some would, and they deserve this chance. And late-term abortions are rare enough that I don't believe this would result in a huge burden on the state in terms of medical costs. As for killing the foetus just to it will be 'easier' for the woman to deliver, that's an abhorrent idea.

Once the foetus is out, I don't see why the women should have any more say than the state as to whether it lives or dies.

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 14:33:25

Wtf has having an abortion at 10 weeks got to do with anything?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 14:46:07

annie that sounds logical until you remember the situation in the US where a woman is in prison for causing the death of her foetus by trying to commit suicide.

I don't think there can be any point where the foetus is still inside the woman where its "right to life" becomes as important as the woman's right to bodily autonomy. As otherwise women who behave in any way that might harm the foetus after this arbitrary line will be subject to prosecution for child abuse / neglect etc.

A foetus residing inside the body of a woman should not have equal rights to the woman herself. It's a slippery slippery slope.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 14:47:19

I agree with trills as well

Especially this

"When it comes to abortion I think that in many cases having had a baby yourself helps you to understand what a big undertaking it is, and to realise that there is no way that it is anything someone should undergo unless they are completely prepared and willing."

SardineQueen - that's why the foetus should have no rights until it is outside the woman. But equally, the foetus is not a part of the woman, even if it is resident inside her. Which is why I don't think the woman has a right to kill it unless the simple act of removing it from her body causes its death.

As for the crazy laws in the States, well, that's another thread altogether!

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 15:24:33

The simple act of removing it from her body at a sooner point will have more risk of death / disability to the baby than the simple act of removing it later though.

And of course the simple act of removing it at term will have the best outcome for the baby.

So how do you balance that?

Empusa Sat 28-Jul-12 15:42:11

"When it comes to abortion I think that in many cases having had a baby yourself helps you to understand what a big undertaking it is, and to realise that there is no way that it is anything someone should undergo unless they are completely prepared and willing."

Utterly agree. Since having DS I am far more pro-choice than I was before. Going through pregnancy and childbirth shows you what an absolutely major life changing experience it is, something which really shouldn't be taken lightly, and definitely not something which should be inflicted on someone who doesn't want it.

Helxi Sat 28-Jul-12 16:09:59

If, by the ultimate conclusion of feminist logic, a women is allowed to have a fully-viable 9 month old fetus terminated for a non-medical reason then feminism ultimately sanctions murder, and by logical extension, infanticide (see Dr Francesca Minerva's work). Don't try and justify your positions by conflating this issue with aborting earlier fetuses with the potential for autonomous life. That is an unpleasant but entirely different issue.

And I don't care how many people my reasoning upsets and subsequently complain to MN HQ. People don't want to discuss the morality of killing fully-developed babies and by extension newborns, as that is what we're fundamentally talking about, because it might upset them? God forbid I transgress your Human Rights not to be emotionally challenged by pointing out the flaws in your belief system.

If you want me to stop saying it explain to me why I'm wrong. Although I'm guessing the reason some are upset in the first place is because they can't morally justify their cheerleading this particular piece murderous ideology.

purplesprouting Sat 28-Jul-12 16:10:09

I would say I am a feminist who supports abortion to term. I supported a friend who terminated at 32 weeks for anomalies which though suspected earlier weren't thought to be as serious as they turned out to be.

I presumed this thread was inspired by the news story about the UK woman who bought drugs online and terminated practically at term? I don't know anything other than the outline of the case but it is the woman I really pity . I wouldn't want to judge her actions and don't think the court system an appropriate response.

Women who can access quick and safe abortion overwhelmingly choose to do so. There wouldn't be many women who choose late terminations.

Does the decision involve the father to be? Not at all and the societies where state/men/church control abortion the most tightly are the places of real abomination.

Delivery of a live preterm baby is a medical and legal nightmare. Whatever the mother would be trying to achieve it couldn't be a good option for her and most probably not for the baby either.

adoption ditto, it is so simplisticaly presented but not a simple solution. I placed a baby for adoption and I wouldn't be in a hurry to recommend it as a choice.

Personally I would only abort for medical conditions incompatible with life but I do trust other women to choose what is right for them.

It's a horrid ethical question that I would prefer to see negotiated between health care providers and the individual rather than absolutely legislated against.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 16:14:36

Helxi

I'm happy to debate with you who owns a woman's body.

(I didn't get to read your earlier post prior to its deletion.)

GemmaPomPom Sat 28-Jul-12 16:17:34

I presumed this thread was inspired by the news story about the UK woman who bought drugs online and terminated practically at term?

Actually, I am not sure this is what happened. I read that the drugs were used to bring on labour, so presumably the baby was alive when it was born and then she murdered it?

Or is murdering a child shortly after birth the same as aborting it shortly before birth?

SardineQueen - of course the outcome for the baby is better the longer it is inside the woman. But her body is her own, and I absolutely support her right to demand the foetus be removed from her at any point she chooses. It would then up to medical professionals and the state to decide what, and how much, should be done for the newborn baby.

Purplesprouting - delivery and subsequent adoption of a preterm newborn may be tricky, but surely killing that foetus just because it is a medical, logistical and emotional problem is a crude and very ethically questionable solution. If the mother doesn't want the child, it becomes the same as any other unwanted baby. I don't see why it should be afforded less rights as any other human being which is able to survive as an independent unit.

Margerykemp Sat 28-Jul-12 16:40:51

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/scrap-outdated-infanticide-law-say-judges-495016.html

As above infanticide is distinguished in English law from murder so calling abortion murder is an American anti-abortion import.

I know of a 24 week abortion of twins. One had a severe abnormality and would be in pain and die within a few weeks of birth. The doctors didn't know if the other twin had the same condition or not. A partial abortion was deemed too risky so they recommended a complete termination. The couple reluctantly agreed and went ahead.

A year later they had a healthy pregnancy and child.

Margerykemp Sat 28-Jul-12 16:41:22
mellen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:08:55

I have just looked at the news reports for the woman who had taken the misoprostol after buying it on-line, and it doesn't seem to be certain that the baby is dead. No-one knows what happened to it, and the police were DNA testing other abandoned babies to see if it was hers, so there cant be any conclusive evidence of death.

crescentmoon Sat 28-Jul-12 17:21:56

how about the rise of baby boxes in Europe, where newborn babies can be left without any questions. that would be better than abortion right? and no judgement? why don't we have that in the UK?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18585020

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:24:04

The baby boxes are highly controversial in the countries that have them.

And when you say "better than abortion" in what way? What type of abortions? Who is it better for?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:25:28

Some of teh arguments against them are in the article:

"The psychologist, Kevin Browne of Nottingham University told the BBC: "Studies in Hungary show that it's not necessarily mothers who place babies in these boxes - that it's relatives, pimps, step-fathers, fathers.

"Therefore, the big question is: are these baby boxes upholding women's rights, and has the mother of that child consented to the baby being placed in the baby box?"

Professor Browne continued: "The baby hatch is so anonymous, and so removed from the availability of counselling, that it creates a damage and a danger to the mother and child."

On this argument, by making it so easy to get rid of a baby, mothers are less likely to get the real help they need in their situation of great emotional trauma and even physical risk."

crescentmoon Sat 28-Jul-12 17:26:25

i mean it would be better for abortion in late term. i can completely sympathise with the woman who is pregnant with a initially supportive partner who then, when she is in the later stages of pregnancy, decides to leave her be a single parent. then what? the time for a legal abortion has passed? i think the baby box idea is very useful in those situations.

crescentmoon Sat 28-Jul-12 17:30:30

are those arguments any different from normal abortion however? how many women who have abortions do it because of pressure from partners or work and not because they themselves don't wish for the baby? iv seen threads like that on mumsnet sometimes. what real choice does a woman have in those situations? would baby boxes cause more harm or prevent more harm?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:37:15

crescentmoon the idea that women will choose to have late term abortions in any kind of significant numbers shows a low opinion of women I think.

if women really wanted these late term abortions, they would be procuring them through illegal means and it would be on the news the whole time and seen as a big problem and what are we going to do about it.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:44:27

And TBH everyone knows that in the UK if you want to get rid of a baby you leave it at a hospital. It happens all the time. And there are always appeals for the mother to come forward because of concern about her situation / mental health / physical health. Concern about the mother. The baby boxes take a different stance.

Also how on earth are people actually using them? If you have a baby and then suddenly you don't have a baby, people will notice. The situations of people using this service must be pretty dire if no-one around them will care or notice if a baby goes missing. That is what needs looking at, surely.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:47:03

"i mean it would be better for abortion in late term. i can completely sympathise with the woman who is pregnant with a initially supportive partner who then, when she is in the later stages of pregnancy, decides to leave her be a single parent. then what? the time for a legal abortion has passed? i think the baby box idea is very useful in those situations."

Give it up for adoption through the usual channels at hospital? You know, just as a thought. Rather than taking it home and then taking it to a baby box.

The idea that a woman would decide to abort late in pregnancy as her partner left again shows this fundamental idea about women being cold, selfish, lacking in emotion and empathy etc. How many women do you think would actually do that. Seriously. Not many, is the answer.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 17:47:55

Maybe, and I know this is shocking, the woman will be happy to be a single parent.

I know it's bizarre, that a woman would do that, but there you go.

crescentmoon Sat 28-Jul-12 18:31:57

I didn't get your last comments sardinequeen. Do you mean that women who have abortions because they don't want to be single mothers are cold/selfish/lacking in emotion and empathy?

Margerykemp Sat 28-Jul-12 18:33:49

I know someone whose partner kicked her out of his house at 39 weeks. She never even considered late abortion. I agree with sardine that you must think lowly of women if you think they would make a decision like that.

To answer another q- women who left a baby at a uk hospital would be caught on CCTV- it would not be anonymous.

There probably are hidden unwanted pregnancies we never hear about. Eg trafficked girls who probably have the babies removed killed and buried in a remote place.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 18:36:03

No of course not. I mean what I said.

That the idea that significant numbers of women would present for abortions late in pregnancy because their partners left them is a highly unpleasant and unrealistic view of women.

And that your suggestion that a woman who is left when she is pregnant is automatically not going to want to continue with the pregnancy / not going to want to keep the baby is also peculiar. Many women are left when they are pregnant and they have no desire to terminate the pregnancy / give the baby up when it is born.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 18:38:25

margery yes and I think it is better to find who these people are in society and help them, rather than simply giving them (or others) the opportunity to get rid of babies no questions asked and the woman/girl remains in whatever kind of godawful situation she's in.

duchesse Sat 28-Jul-12 19:19:44

I completely agree with Annie.

Of course a woman cannot and should not be forced to be pregnant against her will. I am not arguing that at all. But late abortion (ie beyond 24 weeks ) is not the same kettle of fish as abortion of a foetus of non-viable gestation. Once a foetus reaches the outside world and breathes it is a legal human being with all the rights attached to being one. Which is why late-term abortion involves ensuring that that foetus does not reach the world alive. 2 crucial inches of flesh separate that foetus from life at 24, 28, 32, 36 etc weeks. I don't think it is sensationalist to point out that what medical staff are asked to do during late term abortions is knowingly kill a viable human being with 2 inches of flesh between it and life. I can't imagine (and would hope) that such late abortions are not carried out without a huge amount of counselling and information, but equally can imagine that decisions have to be made quite quickly.

I can see the argument for minimising risks to the mother by delivering a child with an abnormality incompatible with life earlier rather than later, but always worry that no testing is 100% accurate. Also birth is never 100% safe at whatever stage of gestation- obviously delivering a 1 lb baby is going to put less strain on the mother than a full term baby, but the risk of PPH etc is still there.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 19:22:42

duchesse what would you like the law on abortion to be in the UK?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 19:23:14

Your last para puts the baby before the mother BTW.

jrost Sat 28-Jul-12 19:25:44

Aborting a foetus which is biologically viable does not sit right with me at all. The State already claims ownership over our bodies, for example it decrees that we are not allowed to expose our bodies to certain substances and punishes us if we use them ie. the criminalisation of certain drugs.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 19:44:03

I don't think the idea "sits right" with anyone to be quite honest with you. It's a horrible thought.

Margerykemp Sat 28-Jul-12 20:09:37

But babies at 24 weeks aren't 'viable' in the normal sense of the word. Even with intensive and expensive intervention they have a 50% chance of surviving and then a 90% chance of significant disability. That isn't what I'd call 'viable'.

mellen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:17:05

Margery, your figures seem low, for both survival and for survival without disability at 24 weeks - where are they from?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:18:35

I would wish for the state to grant me full autonomy over my body and myself, including in my death.

EclecticShock Sat 28-Jul-12 20:18:38

24 weeks is viable, those figured are low.

duchesse Sat 28-Jul-12 20:22:00

I would have no problem with a mother changing her mind about being pregnant for WHATEVER reason (and I agree that it is not a decision that anyone would take lightly) and having an early/ very early induction. My mind is not made up about whether that would be a good thing between weeks 24 to 28 where it seems that to do so would mean the child would have a lot of sometimes painful treatment and possibly end up disabled from prematurity. I find the notion of killing (yes, killing) a viable foetus just to avoid everyone the inconvenience of having to deal with a live human being completely abhorrent.

I COMPLETELY support abortion up to the limits of viability and would make it even easier to get an abortion up to about 14 weeks (as in, on demand up to 14 weeks) so that people don't end up in the situation of having to arrange a late term one. Beyond that abortion becomes medically more complicated and is a major medical intervention so in my opinion from the woman's point of view and her health it should be easier to do earlier on.

I find abortion of a viable foetus distasteful. Legally the foetus has no rights so it is not murder but the process is still the same- you are killing something that is viable but inconvenient. The medical personnel who do it find it abhorrent- that should say something about what they have to do.

To sum it up, I would absolutely not support abortion on demand up to birth, no, because in my opinion beyond viability it's no longer only about the mother. Of course the mother's rights must trump the foetus' or we'd end up living in certain States in the US with the mother reduced to incubator status. But to claim that granting abortion up to birth is a feminist issue is very reductive when you're effectively dealing with two people beyond a certain point- one with rights, one without.

Allowing early birth by induction would at least give those humans a chance of life even if they are not viable. In the case of a foetus with a condition incompatible with life, why perform an abortion? Why not just induce and decide not to treat the baby? The answer seems to be that you can get away with killing a human before birth but not after and they don't want to run the risk of the child surviving but needing a lot of treatment. Is it a financial decision on the part of the medical establishment? Because that's what it seems like to me.

duchesse Sat 28-Jul-12 20:23:13

jrost, the State also legislates against exposing our bodies full-stop!

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:24:53

Those are the figures I found when I googled earlier. I think i saw them on babycenter but they seemed to be the ones "out there".

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:28:11

I thought this might be a political and philosophical discussion about ownership of bodies.

Would anyone like to discuss that?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:28:53

""In 2004, there were 185,415 abortions in England and Wales. 87% of abortions were performed at 12 weeks or less and 1.6% (or 2,914 abortions) occurred after 20 weeks. Abortion is free to residents,[32] 82% of abortions were carried out by the National Health Service.[34]""

I don't understand why people think that women would opt to abort later if it were available. Do people really think women are so fickle, and emotionless? They it would be a decision that women would go for - in more than a handful of cases - and without a bloody good reason?

It is just such a low opinion of women, it astounds me each and every time people say it.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:29:28

Ha ha linerunner

You'd have thought so wouldn't you grin

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:31:09

I am poised, SardineQueen.

EclecticShock Sat 28-Jul-12 20:31:46

This is a discussion about ownership of bodies... At what point does a mother stop owning a baby's body? I still think 24 weeks.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:33:32

Incidentally I have had an induction and I find comments like "Why not just induce and decide not to treat the baby?" flippant.

I also think they fail to take into account the emotional damage to a woman, between having an abortion and having to give birth to a live severely damaged baby and then have all the conversations about what this treatment means and that one and make a decision at that stage ie once she has seen and held it to have treatment withheld.

Now I understand that for some women the latter is the option they prefer and that is fine obviously but for women who are going to find that option utterly traumatising the removal of her choice and forcing her to birth and then order the death of the baby once it is outside of her body.... It smacks of punishing the woman somehow. It seems cruel.

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 20:34:02

"And that your suggestion that a woman who is left when she is pregnant is automatically not going to want to continue with the pregnancy / not going to want to keep the baby is also peculiar."

But that is not what she was saying at all confused. She was scrambling around trying to think of any possible reason why someone would want to end the life of the baby they were carrying at such a very late stage in pregnancy.

If you are going to argue for acceptance of abortion right up to term SQ and others then you are going to have to be prepared for great deal of opposition and disgust. To find abortion at term a horrifying notion is simply to be human and to have the normal revulsion towards coldly and purposefully ending a life that is not your own.

The fact that it is extremely rare is immaterial. The thread is about acceptance of abortion to term no matter how rare it is ... or so I thought?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:34:17

In all cases eclectic?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:35:13

I believe I own my own body. Irrespective of pregnancy. Irrespective of illness. Irrespective of someone else's desires for my body, or for their wishes as what my body should do for them or their beliefs.

I would like to posit that as a starting point.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:36:32

"She was scrambling around trying to think of any possible reason why someone would want to end the life of the baby they were carrying at such a very late stage in pregnancy."

Yes because women aren't evil and callous and it is nigh on impossible to imagine a situation in which a mentally healthy woman would want an abortion at 7 months of pregnancy without a bloody good reason.

the fact that people have to "scramble around" to think of when this might happen betrays the truth.

But still teh insistence is there that women will do this and in significant numbers and what does that say about women? That they are, as a rule, unhinged psychopaths, that's what.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Sat 28-Jul-12 20:36:46

ES how do you ensure that a mother's rights are never compromised or less than other peoples if she is pregnant?

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 20:37:06

I believe I own my own body until I have another one growing inside me.....

HmmThinkingAboutIt Sat 28-Jul-12 20:37:45

And agree completely with SQ.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:38:10

Yes i agree linerunner that it is up to me and me alone to decide what happens to my body.

mintyy you want the law changed in the UK then. What would you like the law changed to.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:38:59

Is that a private belief, K999, or one which you would wish the state to adopt?

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 20:42:15

It's my own view. The thought of anyone aborting at full term makes me so sad.

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 20:42:37

No, I'm afraid I don't believe in the ownership of one's own body as sacrosanct. The body includes the brain. The brain sometimes very badly lets us down and in those desperate cases the law steps in and overrides the impulses of the individual.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:44:53

But we need a starting point of autonomy.

Otherwise the Victoriana of equating mental illness with pregnancy begins to happen.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Sat 28-Jul-12 20:45:36

I don't think its as simple as that though K999. And as someone said upthread - you do need to look at the actual figures here to decide whether the law as it stands is good enough.

If you change the law, what do you change it to, which is going to cause less damage and risks to women and babies?? Its very different to even come up with serious alternatives that are enforcable without causing problems or greater issues.

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 20:47:48

What do you think now op after reading the responses?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 20:53:16

The examples where people have spoken of the state intervening - it is to protect the person (drugs (well theoretically) and mental health conditions).

Intervening to force a woman to stay pregnant when she does not wish to do so increases her risks of mental health problems, physical health problems and death.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 20:55:58

I would like not to be kept alive against my wishes, as another example of bodily autonomy.

If I want to be alive, I would wish that no-one is empowered by the state to kill me.

EclecticShock Sat 28-Jul-12 21:08:08

Hmm, why couldn't the baby and mothers might be equal? In what scenarios are you thinking?

SQ - I don't suggest that a woman who wishes to end a pregnancy at late term should have to deal with the newborn baby at all. If she wants the baby out, as in the pregnancy terminated as far as she is concerned, the baby should be removed immediately to another room within seconds of the birth, and that will be the last she knows of it. The pregnancy is over as far as she is concerned.

Then the medical professionals will take over responsibility of the child.

Either the woman wants the baby in her life (and thus her womb) or she doesn't. If she doesn't, then it should be removed from her life and she gives up all responsibility. But just because she may suffer some mental anguish wondering what happened to the child is tough luck, IMO. She chose to remove it from her life. As I and other have said, causing the death of a viable human life to avoid inconvenience to others is unacceptable. While inside the mother, her rights trump the infant's. Once it's out, they both have rights. And I don't think a woman has the right to demand the death of another person, even if it is resident inside her. I say she only has the right to demand it is removed from her body.

I am speaking of termination of a healthy foetus, by the way. In the case of a foetus thought to be severely damaged and with a low expectation of survival, then termination by death to the foetus would be a painful, but acceptable choice to me. But I would add the proviso that this would only be in the case of damage probably incompatible with life, not a disability compatible with life. Because in that case we might as well start killing all disabled babies when they're born.

In a nutshell, I think the rights of the woman should be given higher weighting, but the foetus should not be totally without rights of its own. Once a foetus reaches viability, it should be given the same rights as a newborn infant, including the right to fight for its own life.

EclecticShock Sat 28-Jul-12 21:11:30

I really agree with Annie on this. The law should stay as is.

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:14:56

Good post Annie.

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 21:16:03

I think if you want an abortion at term then your thinking is outside the realms of what is acceptable within civilised society and you should be sectioned.

topknob Sat 28-Jul-12 21:17:17

My son was born at 32 weeks, he is now 10 ! He was a real live little baby, why would anyone agree with abortion at term?

EclecticShock Sat 28-Jul-12 21:18:41

I also know children including my brother who was born at 24 weeks with no ill effect.

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:20:41

I think though that I always worry about the words "thought to be" when talking about whether a baby may or may not be born with disabilities.

I have two friends who were both told that their babies were likely to be born with abnormalities, only to discover that both babies were born with no abnormalities. And one of those friends agonised over whether to abort. She now agonises about the thought "what if I had aborted"!

And I agree with a previous poster that this issue is never that simple...

I support abortion up to the moment of birth and I am proud to hold that as a principle. Because women matter more than foetuses.

lovesmellingthecoffee Sat 28-Jul-12 21:25:22

I support the right for an abortion at any point, as I believe that no one makes the choice lightly. and that the abortion at that time would be for an extremely good reason.
I had a very much wanted pregnancy terminated at 20 weeks as the foetus was dying and it was safer for me to end the pregnancy. I could have waited to see how long i could have gone for but i could'nt bear to be carrying a pregnancy i was going to lose anyway plus the implications for future children.

I'm pro choice... But I agree with the current law that as babies can survive after 24 weeks it is at that point they have more rights than younger embyos. When did my right to live start? When i was born or in my mother?

Very difficult.

Personally my baby was my daughter as soon as we found out she was in my womb.

Wow. Hard stuff

lovesmelling theciffee - I expect we would ahev done the same as by ending the preganancy you were doing what a miother would do - end its suffereing.

Very sorry for that loss

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:30:10

I had the argument on here recently where someone said I was a 'women hater' for believing that if abortion was allowed to term, women really would decide right at the very end to essentially kill a perfectly variable baby. People said I was mad, that no one would have abortions just before birth....

then I read this

Abortions up until term will always mean that perfectly healthy babies will be murdered in the womb. How can anyone support a 39 week baby being aborted?!

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:30:29

Viable baby

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:32:44

SGB, I respect your view but in my view a baby at full term is just that - a baby (ie not a foetus). But I know that others disagree with that view.

topknob Sat 28-Jul-12 21:35:36

SGB I just lost a whole lot of respect for you, how utterly selfish.

Viviennemary Sat 28-Jul-12 21:35:58

I find the concept of aborting a baby at term to be totally horrific. For what reason. Some delusional idea of a woman's right over her own body. It's madness and something one would hope no civilised society would allow.

If you don't approve of abortion, don't have one. But other women's bodies don't belong to you, and all your waa-ing and theorizing is your problem, not theirs. The possibility that a tiny, tiny number of women would say 'Oh I've changed my mind, I want an abortion' in the labour ward is just no big deal when set against the far greater number of women who need fast, safe access to abortion because they don't want to continue a pregnancy.

I think it's much more selfish to insist that your whiny sentimentality or superstition matters more than a woman's right to determine what happens to her own body.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:37:34

I think it might matter to the baby being injected with poison half way down the birth canal....

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:40:11

Sometimes as a healthy society we have to say 'sorry, but it's just wrong' we have said it to female genital mutilation etc. Sometimes the right to do something is just so abhorrent to the majority that we need to legislate against it.

Where would it end? Would you support a baby that made it through the canal being quickly smothered after birth if the mother didn't want it?

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:43:33

SGB when you have to use terms like "whiny" and "superstition" then you lose credibility in your argument IMO.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:43:46

Comparing a woman having an abortion to FGM is really crass.

One is a woman deciding what to do with her body.
The other is the polar opposite.

That's easy: the moment a baby is born it becomes a person. That's the logical dividing line. And before there's any more waa, waa, what if - how often do you really, really think it's likely to happen that a woman in labour would say, between pushes, I've just decided I want this pregnancy terminated? And if you are shitting your pants over this theoretical possibility, I do hope you are also devoting your spare time and spare change to funding maternity care in the developing world so that wanted babies don't die for lack of midwives/medical facilities.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:45:27

Why is it crass? Why is one definitely 'wrong' and yet the other that actually ends in a death is not? Abortion at term is hugely different from abortion at 6 weeks.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:46:04

Seems some people do not have full understanding of the current law in the UK.

In some circumstances abortion up until term is permitted. And not just where the baby definitely has a condition incompatible with life in the very short term.

Also might bear the stats being repeated:
"In 2004, there were 185,415 abortions in England and Wales. 87% of abortions were performed at 12 weeks or less and 1.6% (or 2,914 abortions) occurred after 20 weeks. Abortion is free to residents,[32] 82% of abortions were carried out by the National Health Service.[34]"

Anti-choice rhetoric and activism is always whining superstition. It's not a logical viewpoint at all, unless you hate women.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:47:23

Actually SGB I have spent my time in Africa actually helping women giving birth to get better treatment.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:48:51

Why so negative? Why must it be 'hate' for women? Why not love for babies?

I feel you may be a glass half empty type of person.

I believe a baby that can survive alone must have a right to life.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:49:12

It is crass because in the case of a woman having an abortion she has decided to have that as she does not want to carry and birth a baby (with risk to her mental and physical health and of course the risk of death).

Which FGM a young girl is mutilated, with the aim of causing her permanent damage, possibly causing death. This is not her choice.

It is a stupid comparison. seriously.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:50:45

Even if the baby's "right" to life comes at huge and possibly fatal cost to the woman or girl?

Yes that is about, maybe not woman hating, but certainly not having any feeling for them as actual people to care about.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:50:46

In your opinion.

Does the baby have a choice?

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 21:50:52

Disagree SQ. How would you feel if a baby was delivered at 35 weeks and had immediate fgm performed on her in accordance with her mother's wishes?

Either the individual has rights over her/his own body, or she/he does not.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:51:50

I am not going to engage with anyone who equates a woman having an abortion with inflicting FGM.

Simple as that smile

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:53:00

A abortion up until birth. Not any abortion. I have made that clear I believe.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:53:24

mintyy a baby that has been born is a person with rights. In the UK those rights include not being mutilated through FGM.

Anyone who thinks that a woman or girl having an abortion is akin to performing FGM, who even links the two, is too much of an extremist to engage with IMO.

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:54:45

Yes, of course I hate women....that is such a rationale view to come to hmm

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:54:55

Hahha wow. Only here could someone who think aborting a term baby is wrong could be 'an extreemist'! Good God.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 21:55:38

Just saw your post SGB about the woman deciding between pushes to abort.

yes because women really are that horrible. Unpredictable loons, the lot of them, and cruel to boot grin

Superscrimper: very, very few people who campaign against abortion have any interest in the wellbeing of babies - or mothers. Some anti-choicers actively campaign against things that would help mothers and small babies, such as state-funded childcare, more funding for maternity care, access to contraception and an end to poverty. Anti-choice activism is all about removing women's autonomy, about painting women as uncontrollable, feckless, selfish, wicked animals who won't accept their status as incubators.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 21:57:35

Not all women. Some women. Some women will murder their newborn children. Women can be evil and cruel. As can men. Not all women are saints, not all men are saints.

I don't hate all women. I don't think all women are the same. I believe some women are capable of terrible things. Some women. Not all.

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 22:00:48

Really? When I spent 4 months in east Africa helping at a maternity clinic for women with HIV/AIDS all the women I had come to work with we're anti Abortion yet many of them spent years of their lives helping women get access to better maternity care and saving the lives of many newborns.

Voluntarily btw. Using out own money to get out there and support ourselves the entire time.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 28-Jul-12 22:02:09

Well SGB can I just say I gained huge respect for you in this thread! grin Not that I didn't respect you before of course blush

I agree with all of SardineQueen and SGB's posts. You are two of my online, anonymous, feminist heroines! (been reading too much fem lit this week sick in bed)

I support abortion up to term. I'm also proud of this. Because as stated logically and shown in the statistics posted, I really don't see these cold blooded women pushing through labour and demanding abortions.

I have however, seen many tragic and very valid reasons (some posted here) for late term abortion. It's not a black and white issue, and it is not a subject I find pleasant. But I still support the woman's right.

Someone has too, must be horrifically hard to make those kind of choices that far into pregnancy only to be called a baby killer and judged by society as selfish for choosing your own life/doing what was best for you/etc etc.

Some men murder their children - and their wives. It would be far more logical to campaign for heavy restrictions on men's liberty, given how dangerous men are to women and children, but that doesn't seem to happen, somehow.

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:04:50

SGB - which anti choice campaigners do you mean? Surely If they wanted babies to survive/have a chance they'd be campaigning for all the kind of things you mention confused

Superscrimper: What did they do when faced with a patient whose baby was massively hydrocephalic, to the point that giving birth to it would kill her? What was their take on the 12-year-old girls who were pregnant?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:06:38

As I have pointed out
The UK statistics show that even with time to find out you are pregnant, and time to see GP and wait for procedure, the vast majority of abortions are carried out before 12 weeks.
Ones after 20 weeks (still 4 weeks before legal cut-off remember) are rarer and will include the people who abort later for reasons related to disability.
Women who are cruel and evil have the option of a. procuring or inducing abortions later or b. murdering the baby shortly after birth. Reading the papers tells me that these events are extremely rare.
The picture of women as stupid, feckless, selfish creatures who will carry a pregnancy to term, with all of the physical discomfort and often pain and worse that that involves, and will then decide at term to abort, even though that will be abhorrent to all around her - workmates family friends and so on - and who sticks with that idea though the counselling and so on that would undoubtedly happen - and presuming this woman is sane and not being coerced or is terrified.....
Yet still people choose to believe that women are the sort of people who will beat a newborn to death with a cricket bat just on a whim.

Well hmm to that.

K999: Oh, the sort of people who will shoot doctors and bomb women's health centres, maybe?

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 22:09:04

I don't know what you think the rates of hydrocephalus is but, no I didn't come across a case of it in 4 months in a small African town hmm

We had many many underage pregnancies. Not 12 but 14 and 15. With all of them it was about making sure they gave birth in a clean, safe environment. That they had help and support after the birth. You know, the sort of things I want to be available to all Mothers and babies.

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:09:16

If men were the ones having babies, would you support their decisions to abort at full term? (genuine interested question??) i am guessing that the answer is yes if the argument is based on 'choice'

SuperScrimper Sat 28-Jul-12 22:11:17

'shoot doctors' 'bomb women's health centres'.... That is the small, small minority.

The VAST majority of pro life supporters want to protect unborn children, not murder adults! All life is precious.

LadySybil Sat 28-Jul-12 22:12:13

just adding my tuppence

I think abortions to term for any reason are unacceptable in a civiised society. the 23 week cutoff is pretty good imo. It could be raised to 29 weeks, but, 23 works for me.
abortions to term shouldnt be illegal however, as there can be good medical reasons for them, however rare they might be.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:12:32

If men were the ones having babies there wouldn't be the question.

No man would be forced to do something that was as detrimental as pregnancy and childbirth if they did not want to.

Christ men had the power of life or death over their children until relatively recently in historical terms. And still do from what I can see in much of the world.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 28-Jul-12 22:14:33

Ahh of course, when all else fails, ask if you'd feel the same if it was a man, because as proven we're all man hating evil harpies. THAT'S the real reason why we support full term abortion. Mwahahhahahhaha hmm

I'll play along, Yes, I would. His body, his choice. (Feel ridiculous saying that)

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:16:33

Ok, but doesn't answer my question confused

Would you agree that they would have the right to choose to abort at full term? And am not trying to inflame the situation - am genuinely interested. I'd hate to think that DP could make that choice on his own!!

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:18:09

Lurking - am not using the "if all else fails" argument. I'm trying to understand this issue a bit better.

K999: Yes, of course I would support men's right to abortion if men were the ones who got pregnant.

Superscrimper: it's good that you and your colleagues worked to provide a safe environment for childbirth. Were there really never any cases where a termination would have been a better option for the mother? And if there were, what was the policy: protect the foetus or care for the woman?

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:20:18

Oh and thank you lurking smile

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 28-Jul-12 22:20:46

How does feminist opinion on an impossible hypothetical help you understand 'the issue' better? confused Or does it help you understand the people who support the issue better?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 22:22:51

I think is allows me to ask the question, Is this my body or does it belong to the state/the church/a male head of the household.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:23:10

Of course I would support their choice.
It's their body.
Pregnancy is tough and risky. Ditto childbirth.
I would not make someone do it if they did not want to.

i think it should be the other way. Make it legal to term for choice. Keep an eye on it for a couple of years. If it turns out that women are choosing to undergo longer pregnancies before aborting, then think how to tackle that.

But fact is, they wont. Because women are not intrinsically cruel and unfeeling. The people who have late abortions will - as at the moment - have a very good reason.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:24:36

This does all stem from an idea that women are basically horrible, doesn't it?

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:24:41

Other than a serious medcial condition that was not found out in time why would anyone wait till full term to suddenly want an abortion??
No one would surely??
Does'nt that make this question pointless ??

K999 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:26:23

You know what Lurking, I have no idea. And I am bowing out of this thread now as I find the feminism area of MN too aggressive.

Tis a pity as I do sometimes find this topic quite interesting. Oh well back off to "chat" and "baby names " I go.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:27:57

Whereas in fact the people who have throughout history looked after children, is women.
Men have done a lot of damage and continue to do so.
Because they need to have control, because they need to marry a virgin, because they are so much more important than anyone else. All that stuff.
Around the world, it is women who care for children, and men who don't.
Generalisations, obviously.
But still, in this one issue, we have to turn away from the accepted right-wing concept and fact in all countries frankly as "mother as carer" and on this one thing, this single thing, accept mother as cold "child" killer.

It doesn't make any sense. It really doesn't.

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 22:28:58

I'm conflicted on this as it's so hard to think about but fundamentally, as someone who is pro choice I have to come down in favour of supporting to full term. My reason for this is touched on in the op. Basically it's because choosing a point to stop allowing or being in favour if abortion is completely arbitrary. Those saying you support to 12 weeks, 14 weeks, 24 weeks or any other point what of someone was 12 weeks and one day? One hour? There is no definitive point a pregnancy becomes 'viable'. There may be a point when it's possible or even probable that a baby could survive but this point is fluid. It's impossible to give a definitive gestation at which this point is defined.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:34:15

sunshine

well, quite.

it is a philosophical / logical point.
about female bodily autonomy
which always gets overtaken by people who honestly think women are so dead set on having late term abortions that they must be prevented from doing so by law

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 22:34:42

I think the whole issue is riven with hypocrisy. I would like those who espouse 'right to life' to explain why, if appripriate, they fail to eschew capital punishment.

I would like those who revere motherhood to allow mothers to have the means to bring up children.

I would like to have autononomy over my body, in this country.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:35:00

SardineQueen >> You sound very bitter about men!! Women are just as bad you know .
In this world you get some lovely men and women however you also get the evil horrible men AND women works both ways its sad to say sad

GIven the numbers of women and children who die during the birth process due to inadequate, underfunded maternity care, and the numbers of children who die in infancy due to poverty and preventable diseases, it disgusts me that there are so many whinyarses trying to restrict access to abortion by peddling hypothetical horror stories and going boohoo, poor ickle babies. Being anti-abortion is never about 'loving babies' it's always about hating women and wanting them to be controlled by the state.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:38:03

sunshine well yes in the UK
go to afghanistan, pakistan, parts of africa, and it is a very different picture
That's not about being bitter, it's just a fact
even in the west women are generally the primary carers
there are plenty of women on MN with men who have left and have little or no interest in the children and it seems to happen quite a lot

Not bitter though. i am very lucky in that I have nothing to be bitter about smile

Greythorne Sat 28-Jul-12 22:38:14

solidgoldbrass
bang on the miney, as ever

Reminds me of something my mum (strict catholic yet a feminist) akways says: the roman catholic church are all about the rights of the unborn child, but ince they are born, they don't give a stuff about child abuse, sex abuse of child by priests etc."

Makes you wonder why the sanctification if the unborn has taken such strong hold. It's actually a birlliant diversion from the true agenda; controlling women.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:38:25

Everyone has the right over their own bodies and I totally understand somtimes due to rape etc things in your bodies occur that you did not want but again surely as a caring human being it will take you alot less time than 7-8 months to stop anything happening.

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 22:38:45

Also (sorry if this has been covered I read to page 8 but it moved on whilst I wrote my post) the link uptgread to the current story about this is a ridiculous argument against full term abortion saying that it would become commonplace as the reason this story has caused such coverage etc is because it is so so rare. To imply that this gives credence to the idea that women would be queuing for late abortions if it were legal makes Jo logical sense at all

Greythorne Sat 28-Jul-12 22:38:56

Bang on the money
Not miney

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:42:08

cogito
yes
very rare
illogical
exactly
couldn't agree more

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:42:39

I do see your point of few of course but again there are many mothers who have left their own children never to be seen again and the fathers have raised the children alone .
I am all for women rights but I am not sexist. Men and women are equal. I know others do not see it like that but lets pray we will get there in the end.

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 22:43:07

No logical sense. Sorry typing in bed!

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:44:55

When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, men and women are not equal.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 22:46:25

If I am equal to a man then I have bodily autonomy the same as a man.

No-one can require my body to submit to, or be subject to, another's will.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:49:19

I don't understand what you mean ?

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:50:25

"No-one can require my body to submit to, or be subject to, another's will."

??

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:52:14

If men are not as equal to their child as a mother then why do we fight daily for them to have the same responsibility to provide care for them ??

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 22:54:24

When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, men and women are not equal.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:55:37

Like I said somtimes things do happen against our will but can be resolved early.
If this has not been the case and a man and a women have planned thier baby then there is no issue. Both parents are just as equal with their baby.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 22:56:18

Of course they are

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 22:56:51

After birth. But this thread is about what happens before birth and a mother and father cannot be equal because the mother series the child not the father so the pregnancy cannot affect the father's body. There is not (that I'm aware of) any situation where the continuation of s pregnancy could cause the death of a father (or any other impact on his body) in the way it could the mother

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 22:58:35

Sorry that was in response to question about why we would expect a man to have the same responsibility for a child

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 22:58:52

What part of my desire to have bodily autonomy is so hard to understand?

I want to own my body.

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 22:59:38

Carries the child not series the child.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 23:00:20

yes I understand that and did state that other than a medical condition .... but thats nothing to do with other people forcing my body to do something against my will. I just did not see where that would be relevent that was all smile

SGB - but I don't think anyone on this thread is anti-abortion. Most of us are very pro-choice. And most of us have fully agreed to a woman's right to have a removed from her body at any point. But why does the foetus have to die?

VegansTasteBetter Sat 28-Jul-12 23:01:41

Trying to catch up minty but my opinion after reading responses is exactly what Annies has written I think.

I also find the argument that if you think a woman might have a late term abortion "just because she changed her mind or realized last minute and didn't want to be pregnant " some how means you can't think much of women is a bit strange.
Because every law we have on the books is designed for the minority. In general most parents won't abuse their children.. I don't have a dim view view of parents but I know some do abuse their children

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 23:03:29

Of course you own your body !!
I do not get what your going on about.
When your pg you have to share your body smile but whats wrong with that your looking after the most precious thing in the world thats not bad right?

cogitosum Sat 28-Jul-12 23:04:28

So those saying they are pro choice but only up til a certain point, what is this point? And what of someone is a day or even an hour out?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Sat 28-Jul-12 23:05:16

Sunshine, It's a philosophical starting point. If you agree that you own your own body, then all else follows from that. That's what I've been positing.

I think you are working backwards like many others from a position of what you find acceptable with regards to abortion, and thus to determining based on that a woman's bodily (corporeal and social) contraints.

SardineQueen Sat 28-Jul-12 23:06:19

Of course men and women are unequal when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.

Do you think that a man should have an equal view in how a woman gives birth, as a woman?

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 23:16:21

I totally disagree with your statment then "either one or the other" .
with regards to abortion I do not judge anyone however I would never have an abortion . My choice right ?
There are somtimes cases where I think well in them shoes ... Such as rape and then there are others when a lady has gone about with every lad around not protecting herself and keeps getting pg and aborting. ( Makes me abit sad for all the couples trying for years for a baby with no such luck)

Yes shame on both sides the men and women however I do not feel stating being pro choice for a certain amount of time is not even an issue.
There are times when you are carrying a baby when it becomes alive has a heartbeat can feel and sence things and that is why rules were put in place.

Other than a medical condition that has just been found out in the last moments there would be no reason for any decent women to desire an abortion so late on it is just cruel and no need. To try and make it legal for the sake of Im a women I have rights is just not fair FFS.

VegansTasteBetter Sat 28-Jul-12 23:20:14

Also I do think when a baby gets to the point that it could live without medical intervention outside the womb that aborting should not be an option.

People keep saying forcing a woman to give birth a baby or be pregnant are missing the point or not understanding basic anatomy of a baby. A 36 week old fetus is coming out. You have to give to birth to it. And those of us who seem to be on this side seem to also mostly think that a woman should be allowed to be induced. Not saying it is an easy procedure but again medical intervention for removal of a still born won't be easy either. This isn't about be superstitious either hmm it's hardly calling an ebryo a person... It's an 8 pound live (granted womb inhabiting) human being.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 23:20:37

And my OH was involved with all my labours every inch of the way. His thoughts were on the plan and seen through when the action started smile
We discussed things together and there were things I wanted that DH did not we discussed it did research and in the end I did not certain things but had others but we worked as a team and he was amazing the whole way through . Both equal .

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 23:24:27

I got the backache he got the sore hands from all the massaging he had to do wink and so on blah blah .
I really do not think you can be for women rights but not equal rights for men to its just werid .

Mintyy Sat 28-Jul-12 23:24:58

It would be interesting if this could not become a general thread about abortion.

Abortion at 39 weeks is rather different to abortion at 8 weeks.

Or can we even not agree on that?

VegansTasteBetter Sat 28-Jul-12 23:28:53

I think some people miny on either side can't separate the two.. Which is why I didnt ask the question in general chat as they were loads of people who were 100% anti. I am sure.

sunshine401 Sat 28-Jul-12 23:29:19

Abortion at 39 weeks is rather different to abortion at 8 weeks.

AGREE smile

CelticOlympian Sat 28-Jul-12 23:34:41

In my ideal world there is no abortion. But there is also contraception that is 100% effective, women have full control in their sexual life and there is support and respect for mothers and young children.

As it is I accept that abortion is necessary, and I think it should be on demand up to a cut off well below viability, maybe 12 weeks. As others havesaid, I don't think there would be women queuing up for late abortions.

I think that the right to life is the most basic and trumps other rights. So my only exception would be risk to the life of the mother. I don't see a difference between smothering a newborn and aborting close to term, so I don't see why they should be different in law.

I have read lots of threads on abortion before, and they have made me think a lot about this subject.

FWIW I disagree with capital punishment and strongly support better care/support for mothers and babies. I think the best way to reduce abortion for those who are anti is to work towards women having total control over whether they become pregnant in the first place.

To support women's right to termination right up until the moment of birth doesn't mean you think it's a great idea to terminate late in pregnancy. it just means accepting that the final verdict on what happens to a woman's body belongs to that woman. And if you accept that women own their bodies and are not subject to other people's wishes, sentimentality or superstition, you don't set arbitrary limits on how late a termination can be performed, because it's not up to you and it's none of your business what goes on in another woman's body.

KRITIQ Sun 29-Jul-12 01:05:38

At the risk of repeating myself . . .

- There were 189,574 abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2010.
- 79% of them happened within 10 weeks of gestation.
- Only 120 happened after 24 weeks gestation (That's 0.063% of all terminations)
- Only 29 happened at 32 weeks or more (That's 0.015% of all terminations.)

We are talking very small numbers here and situations where the foetus was not viable or would at best survive a short time with intensive, invasive, painful and distressing medical intervention and/or would be unlikely to survive the birth process and/or the woman would be unlikely to survive a natural or surgical birth process or this would cause serious and permanent damage to her health (e.g. severe eclampsia with eminent risk of stroke.)

In these cases, it will be senior clinicians that will be recommending the termination and it will be happening not to feckless women who have decided to terminate at the 11th hour on a whim. It will be happening to women carrying a much wanted pregnancy who've found late in the pregnancy that the foetus is non-viable, or that they could die or become seriously ill if they don't terminate the pregnancy.

Folks seem to forget that THIS is actually what we are talking about and these are the women that some here seem so quick to despise and condemn.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 29-Jul-12 01:48:06

Kritiq That is what happens within the frame of the current law (i.e. abortion is illegal after 24 weeks unless for the reasons of foetal abnormality or medical reasons). We don't really know what would happen under an "abortion to term on demand" scenario. I'd imagine that it wouldn't change much- i.e. we wouldn't see a surge in late term abortions, but then, what's the point of changing the law? Enshrining the principle of a woman's control over her body is all very well, but what will happen in practice is that a lot of moderate pro-lifers will swing to "outlaw abortion completely" rather than condone abortion on demand at term, even if it never actually happens in reality, because in saying "it's ok in principle" you are saying it's ok- it's acceptable, and the majority of people are going to struggle with that.

Whilst the 24 weeks cut off is somewhat arbitrary (and possibly a little early), especially as the foetus cannot survive outside the woman's body without several weeks of serious levels of medical intervention at that stage, I think once we start talking about 35 weeks plus, then you're into a completely different scenario- where I live you can give birth in a hospital with no NICU at 36 wks - i.e. the foetus can survive perfectly well.

Given that abortion post 24 weeks involves delivery, there is a difference between euthanising a foetus that would not survive unassisted outside the woman's body and one that would.

duchesse Sun 29-Jul-12 09:38:10

I suspect that the woman in the article up thread gave her baby away or sold it to someone and that is why she is keeping so quiet about what happened. The drug she bought only kick-starts labour.

duchesse Sun 29-Jul-12 09:40:19

KRITIQ, I don't buy the notion that a woman's illness at 32 weeks of pregnancy requires termination rather than induction/ CS. A termination at that stage (vs induction or early CS) must purely be to terminate the foetus- ensure it is not born alive.

mellen Sun 29-Jul-12 09:44:02

If a mother had an illness that meant that the pregnancy couldn't be continued with at 32 weeks the baby would just be delivered - it wouldn't need to be terminated.

GemmaPomPom Sun 29-Jul-12 09:55:48

You are right, mellen. I don't see the need to kill the baby. Why would you want to do this? It's like it's a case of, "well, I don't want it, but I'm not happy for it to go and live its life with another couple, I want it to die".

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-12 10:03:54

Theoretically I support abortion to term because it disgusts me that it is OK to kill a disabled baby but not a 'normal' one. As I accept a need for legal termination, supporting term choice is the only realistic option. HOWEVER if a baby is born alive I do think it should be given a life chance, and induction / adoption be the stance and not euthanasia; so I guess what i actually support is a woman's right to end a pregnancy at any stage as opposed to a right to kill a viable baby if that makes sense?

I'd never have chosen a termination but 3 of our 4 sons have a disability and we have been called in to see the paed urgently post genetic tests; if it turns out we DO have a genetic disorder I suspect I would have to terminate if I became pregnant due to my own coping limits, however I would actually just make sure that one of us were sterilised. It wouldn't be the disablity though- my boys are fab- just my own coping limits.

GemmaPomPom Sun 29-Jul-12 11:28:32

I might be persuaded by Induction + Adoption after 24 weeks. Certainly not Termination.

mellen Sun 29-Jul-12 11:31:25

The argument for early delivery does hinge a bit on having a publically funded health care system.

Margerykemp Sun 29-Jul-12 11:57:30

www.mdguidelines.com/premature-labor here it says that there is a 40% survival rate at 24 weeks

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11356/ here are details of disabilities affecting preterm infants

The reason for an abortion rather than induction at 24+ weeks will be to avoid death/disability

I wonder if the people who say no to this reason have ever cared for a severely disabled child?

Margerykemp Sun 29-Jul-12 11:58:39

m.jme.bmj.com/content/27/suppl_2/ii10.full

Good discussion of issues in this journal article

GemmaPomPom Sun 29-Jul-12 12:01:50

Margerykemp, did you mean abortion after discovering that the child was severely disabled? In that case, I agree with you.

By the way, I am not in favour of Induction + Adoption, I just think it is the lesser of the evils. I recently went into labour at 27 weeks and was told that there was a very good chance (>90%) that my child would be born healthy.

Margerykemp Sun 29-Jul-12 12:07:44

I don't wish to distress you but 'healthy at birth' is very different from the types of disabilities preterm babies are likely to encounter later in life.

The doctors and parents can't predict which premature babies will develop disabilities later on, so some are recommended to/choose to terminate rather than take the risk. It is similar to the early blood tests for downs. Some will terminate because they are high risk but don't want to wait until 18 weeks for an amnio to be sure. Risk is something different people react to differently.

GemmaPomPom Sun 29-Jul-12 12:10:48

Thanks Margerykemp, actually the labour stopped and I am still pregnant, thankfully.

As for Downs risk, the CVS is just as accurate as an amnio (and safer) and can be carried out from 11 weeks. You get the results 2 days later. So, no need to wait until 20+ weeks.

Margerykemp Sun 29-Jul-12 13:17:23

Afaik cvs isn't available everywhere for everyone. I meant the blood tests that come back 1 in 20 risk, 1 in 100 risk and suchlike.

Also doesn't cvs have a 2% miscarriage rate. Do anti abortionists consider this 'wrong'?

GemmaPomPom Sun 29-Jul-12 17:39:25

Also doesn't cvs have a 2% miscarriage rate.

it depends who is doing the test. It is definitely less than 2% overall, though. The doctor who I went to for the CVS has been doing it since the test was introduced and has never lost a baby.

ArthurandGeorge Sun 29-Jul-12 18:44:06

I've read this thread with interest.

Initially in principle I agreed with termination on demand to term, on the basis of the rights of a woman to have autonomy over her own body. I also feel that current rules are disabilist. In practice however I find the idea abhorrent and wonder who would be prepared to carry out these procedures? I also wonder what reasons women would have for terminating at eg 37 weeks.

Personally I struggle with the idea that termination at any gestation for any reason is ok. I would massively prefer women not to terminate after 28 weeks (a higher threshold than many posters have proposed due to the overall likelihood of survival at that gestation being well over 90%). I would prefer to generally understand the reasons women may be terminating after that gestation and then work to prevent those reasons (as a society rather than targeting individual women) but does this mean that again I am trying to enforce my view of what is acceptable for women?

Pumpster Sun 29-Jul-12 18:50:58

A colleague's friend went to the us to have her unborn twins terminated at 27 weeks. It still haunts me now.

summerflower Sun 29-Jul-12 21:44:26

As a feminist, the subject of abortion really conflicts me.

I actually am struggling with the woman's body, woman's choice mantra. Is it really woman's choice? Or does it serve men - i.e. penetrative sex when they want it, and women still deal with the consequences? Or does it serve society - i.e. the state doesn't have to carry the cost of illegitimate, or unwanted children?

I think, unless you have a society which supports motherhood financially, emotionally and practically, regardless of the socio-economic status of the mother; which sees parenting as an equal responsibility and most couples deal with it as such; which does not penalise women in the workplace for having children; which does not promote penetrative sex as the only kind of sex which everybody should be having; where women are not pressured into having an abortion as the responsible thing to do etc etc etc, then you cannot say woman's 'choice'. It's an option, if all else is not equal, it's not really a choice.

To the OP, no, I don't support abortion to term. In cases of disability, I would repeat my argument in terms of support, financial and emotional, and pressures. I honestly wonder how many people would make the same decisions with different social attitudes and levels of support.

sashh Mon 30-Jul-12 03:20:05

If you want me to stop saying it explain to me why I'm wrong.

Because we cannot legislate for every circumstance. Do you remember Elisabeth Fritzl? If she had been discovered after the birth of two of her children, at 36 weeks of pregnancy would you deny her an abortion because there is no medical reason?

Would you be saying "Yes we know your father has repeatedly raped you and that it is his child you are carrying but you have to give birth"?

Hypothetically what about a child who does not know she is pregnant? I know of a 10 year old who gave birth (early 80s), she didn't know she was pregnant. Her baby died shortly after birth.

If you have a blanket ban on termination after a certain gestation then two things happen. One is that there will always be some people who fall through the net, because they do not know they are pregnant / not able to get to a Dr/clinic in time / been kidnapped and the kidnapper does not allow medical treatment (Elisabeth Fritzl / Jacey Lee duggard)/ reasons I cannot even think of.

The second thing that happens is that a woman (or child), who has a late miscarriage, has to be treated as a suspect, and that means her body becomes a crime scene.

In the case above of the ten year old, if she had begun to miscarry at 36 weeks would you consider her a murdurer? Would you be happy for her vagina and uterus to be examined by a police officer and evidence collected?

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 03:43:10

A 10 year old's body is going to be unlikely to support a health pregnancy though. It would also be potentially very risky for the mothers health and for that reason it doesn't really fit with my question in the op. i'd be suprised if anyone in this thread would expect a child to stay pregnant.

nailak Mon 30-Jul-12 04:54:10

I would say the health of the mother is the priority.

But I dont support abortions to term because a child has a disability, has a syndrome incompatible with life, or because of circumstances in a womans life, or choice.

I would support her choice to remove the baby from her body, but probably not as early as 24 weeks.

I also find it weird how the father has no say in all this yet he is expected to support the child, it seems unfair to me.

i dont get the late miscarriage crime seen thing, as it is already illegal in most cases to abort up to term, and I havent heard of this occuring.

nailak Mon 30-Jul-12 04:56:28

as for the CVS, what is the point of it? is it to detect downs syndrome etc? personally I dont care if my baby has downs syndrome, according to my beliefs it wouldnt be right to abort. Isnt the presence of these tests disabalist?

sashh Mon 30-Jul-12 07:26:19

i dont get the late miscarriage crime seen thing, as it is already illegal in most cases to abort up to term, and I havent heard of this occuring.

Have a look at Chile and Mexico. It doesn't happen here because it is legal to terminate late in to a pregnancy in certain circumstances. But it does happen in other parts of the world. Before you start imposing limmits have a look what happens in the countries where the limmits are really strict, or where abortion is illegal.

In fact have a look at the USA

www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/magazine/the-criminalization-of-bad-mothers.html?pagewanted=all

Sorry this is the daily fail but it does sum up a couple of cases www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2008052/Outrage-pregnant-women-lose-babies-facing-murder-charges.html

It would also be potentially very risky for the mothers health and for that reason it doesn't really fit with my question in the op. i'd be suprised if anyone in this thread would expect a child to stay pregnant.

But that is the whole point. An abortion law affects anyone capable of pregnancy. That could be a child, someone with severe learning disabilities who does not recognise their pregnancy, someonein a coma who has been abused by a carer.

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 07:28:54

But someone 36 weeks pregnant would have to give birth whether the foetus is alive or not. I don't see the benefit in killing it first?

CelticOlympian Mon 30-Jul-12 07:48:06

I would be interested to know how those who support abortion on demand to term would write the law. I know that in reality such situations are unlikely but the law has to try to cover every scenario.

So could you terminate up to 37 weeks? 40 weeks? Until a baby is born? What about when only the head is out? What about if the cord is still attached?

Abortion law is a line drawing exercise whenever you think it should be allowed. I think that abortion should be on demand but the limit should be well below viability.

mellen Mon 30-Jul-12 08:04:01

Some commentators have suggested allowing euthanasia in the neo-natel period also.

GemmaPomPom Mon 30-Jul-12 08:18:23

Some commentators have suggested allowing euthanasia in the neo-natel period also.

How absolutely barbaric and awful. Why on earth would you want to do this???

mellen Mon 30-Jul-12 08:51:37

I dont have time right now to post links, but as far as I remember it is to do with the feeling that the difference between being inside the uterus and being born shouldnt be all defining, as has already been said on this thread.
There is also the idea that waiting until a child had been born could make the parents better placed to make decisions.

It is obviously an extreme view-point, and to a certain extent I think that people who make it are testing an argument rather than endorsing it.

CelticOlympian Mon 30-Jul-12 09:24:55

Mellon yy I don't see a difference between in/out of uterus, it's a line drawing exercise whatever your views.

Thinking from a human rights perspective people largely accept that a baby has human rights but when does it get them? 24 weeks? 37 weeks? 24 weeks unless disabled? When the head is out? I don't think it is as simple as mother has rights, foetus/baby has none.

Oh FFS all this whining and speculating about women who suddenly change their minds between pushes and 'want the half-born baby killed' is bullshit. What percentage of women do you really think are this psychopathic?
If you are thick, you are probably thinking of 'partial birth abortion'. This is an emergency medical procedure carried out in a very few cases because if it's not done, mother and baby will both die. It's not done because the pregnant woman decides she wants to go to a party that night rather than look after a newborn.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Mon 30-Jul-12 12:35:51

SGB, face it, it's because deep down even some pro choice women believe that to have an abortion at all, there is something inheritably wrong with the woman. Unless of course, there is a reason they find justifiable.

worrywortisntworryinganymore Mon 30-Jul-12 12:44:34

I have only read the first page but.... Terminations are allowed until term.

I found out i was PG with DS at 21 weeks. Maybe 22 weeks. First thing the Dr. said to me is that I could have a termination if I didn't want 'it' (I had just had a scan and knew that 'it' was a 'he'). There was no worry about being close to the '24 week' limit.

my DH had a DS who died and we were offered genetic testing at 36 weeks. If it was a 'bad' result we could terminate. At 36 weeks shock 36 WEEKS I decided to refuse the lot and went private for the birth. I'd missed all the early tests anyway. But a termination would have been offered at that point.

As it turns out, DS has HFA. I wouldn't be without him for all the world.

nailak Mon 30-Jul-12 13:02:21

Yes aren't those tests disability?

And wouldn't it be easy to legislate the difference between someone intentionally harming their baby with intent to kill AMD someone who has an addiction?

nailak Mon 30-Jul-12 13:03:25

Disabalist not disability.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 13:37:53

I love that sgb can't believe any one has an opinion that differs from her with out being ' thick' or woman hating. No one thinks all women are psychos out to kill their babies. But clearly you're saying that it would be insane to kill a baby at the point. And yes law needs to account for it. The law does not currently allow anyone (of any gender) to ask for any un necessary operation thay they want. if I said I wanted my legs removed I wouldn't be allowed the operation ffs.

TeiTetua Mon 30-Jul-12 14:02:34

I would rather see the whole business left up to a woman's conscience and what she can talk medical staff into doing (if doctors have conscientious objections, I think they have to be respected) rather than try to regulate behaviour by law.

If aborting a near-term foetus is repugnant, then presumably the woman who is carrying one will think so too. But I don't think anyone should substitute their judgement for hers. I see it as all about trusting women.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 14:22:39

Teitua the law doesn't work that way though does it? I trust most men won't rape their daughters but some do. So we legislate it. killing a 36 week old fetus is an unnecessary procedure that only affects the baby and has no benefit for the mother (who could have the baby removed alive), so it should be legislated, don't you think?

There are women on this thread who if they were the doctor in the scenario would provide an abortion at that point so leaving it to someone's conscience wouldn't work either.

ANameForAllSeasons Mon 30-Jul-12 14:34:50

"if in the above scenario would you happily (assuming it were legal) take your friend down to the clinic to get an abortion because you belive the mother's choice trumps the fetus/babies right to life?"

this ^

kinda

though my reason for supporting abortion to term is because I thought long and hard about the realities of what I was doing when I had my abortion at something like 8 weeks and decided that because I was ok with that ending of a potential life it made perfect sense to me to be OK with the ending of a potential life at 9 months. I FULLY understand that I aborted a potential baby and I have no issues with what I have done. I truely believe that the mother's needs/rights should trump the life of a potential baby.

I also have this view in the full knowledge that actually the number of full-term abortions performed in this country is tiny.

ArthurandGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 14:48:34

I would argue that the woman's rights trump the life of a potential baby but the nearer to term that it gets the less clear cut that becomes as the "potential" for life in the fetus grows and the diffrene in terms of the physial events to the mother diminish between termination and indution.

The reason I support abortion to term is because (not being a woman-hating, gullible, sentimental idiot) I am aware that the number of abortions performed so late is incredibly tiny and would always be incredibly tiny. And that number is tiny enough to be much, much more acceptable than the larger numbers of women who would suffer and die if denied the right to choose abortion; because continuing a pregnancy would pose such a huge risk to their physical health or because they would want to terminate so much that they would risk a dangerous illegal procedure to end the unwanted pregnancy. So one in a billion foetuses might be aborted at 38 weeks or whatever? So. Fucking. What.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 15:21:39

Didn't you accuse someone of using emotive language to win the argument sgb?

None of the women on here are women haters or idiots as far I can tell, are you in turn a baby killer?

ArthurandGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 16:37:47

Sorry, sgb but I don't follow your argument there.

I don't like the idea of near term abortion but fully support abortion on demand up to a gestation of 28 weeks, when viability if delivered is extremely good. I struggle to think of a situation where it is preferable to kill a healthy fetus then deliver it rather than induce birth and then have the infant made a ward of court.

I am not sure that this stance would mean that large numbers of women would suffer and potentially die for lack of abortion.

Setting the limit anywhere short of birth is saying that women are not the owners of their bodies and must submit to the control of men society because foetuses are more important than women.

Mind you, the first priority of pro-choice feminism should be allowing women who want to terminate to do so quickly and safely ie get rid of the 'two doctors' permission required' rule. If a pregnancy is to be terminated, the earlier this is done, the better.

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 19:17:49

Setting the limit anywhere short of birth is saying that women are not the owners of their bodies and must submit to the control of men society because foetuses are more important than women.

An almost term baby is not a foetus, it is a baby !!!!!! How on earth you tie all this in with women being equal to men I have no idea. IMO my babys life is as important as mine even if it isn't quite born.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 19:21:46

If late abortion is so wrong, why is so damned difficult to obtain a quick and free early abortion?

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 19:46:56

And I repeat, why would the baby/foetus need to die before being born when it will have to come out anyway at that stage?
Maybe you'd advocate just aborting the male ones sgb?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 19:54:39

I believe sgb is positing a position that I also hold. A woman owns her body, not the state. All other positions flow from that.

To argue backwards that one's personal view of abortion(s) should determine the political and philosophical status of female bodies is (for me) much more problematical.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 19:57:31

Actually it's more than problematical, it's untenable. That I can't own my body in the same way that a man owns his body because of someone else's subjective morality is scary.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 20:05:11

Well, if a man caused the death of a baby in utero, it would or should be a crime. You could view it that way.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 20:06:52

I'm viewing through the prism of ownership of my (the woman's) body. That's my argument.

Trills Mon 30-Jul-12 20:10:13

An almost term baby is not a foetus, it is a baby topknob you are wrong. You may think that it is the same as a baby or should be treated the same as a baby but you are wrong to say that is is a baby - that is precisely not what the word means.

msrisotto Mon 30-Jul-12 20:10:23

What Linerunner said.

The woman absolutely must have 100% control over her own body. Of course she should. Some positions here are focusing on situations which rarely happen and when they do are exceptional circumstances in which it would be inhumane to deny autonomy. Any action of injury that is against a womans will is illegal.

ArthurandGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 20:24:54

But if termination at term is a perfectly valid choice then why should an eariler abortion be "better"?

I am not entirely sure what my view is here tbh. I want to agree that a woman must have 100% control over her body but I struggle massively with the idea that a consequence of that view is to accept abortions at term/near term and that that is preferable to pre-term induction of labour/c section under GA with the infant cared for by the state then adopted.

msrisotto Mon 30-Jul-12 20:29:08

Earlier abortion is less risky and invasive i believe.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 20:30:27

I've not been on this thread arguing that earlier abortion is 'better'.

I did ask why, if later abortion is argued to be 'worse' (as it has been on this thread) that early abortions are so difficult to obtain quickly and freely.

Er, because the earlier abortion is performed, the less damage it causes the woman's body? Remember we're prioritizing women here.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 20:35:10

Linerunner, I see what you mean about bodily integrity and ownership, but I think the concept of ownership comes with responsiblity not to harm others - and that would include one's unborn baby (and I can't distinguish between a baby and a foetus at 37 weeks, sorry). No-one has yet answered the question why a 37 week baby can't be delivered alive, rather than 'aborted'.

It seems that the argument is men retain control over their bodies, therefore women should. But we would all agree that men should not use their bodies to harm others. So why is this different?

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 20:37:22

Plus, and I haven't read the details, but I presume that medical abortion at this late stage is a highly medicalised procedure, so really, I would question whether an invasive, obviously traumatic medicalised procedure really does serve women's rights.

TeiTetua Mon 30-Jul-12 20:41:05

The word "should" is being flung around rather freely here, but it can be applied to someone's behaviour through force of law, or through that individual's conscience, and of the two I think the better one is the conscience. Especially when it's a question of something that half the population (men, you know, that crowd) never have to contend with at all. So if there are laws involved, men will at least partly be making them for women. And the precedent is, "partly" means a lot more than 50%. Whereas if a woman makes up her own mind about her pregnancy, that's a decision by women for women.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 20:54:07

I think that's a bit naive, with respect, TeiTetua, because women don't make decisions in isolation, they make decisions under societal, familial and medical pressures.

You just need to look at the extent to which screening for anomalies has become the norm and the courage it takes to resist pressure to have further evasive procedures and then terminate if the results are not clear.

ArthurandGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 20:58:44

Fair enough with regard to the health implications to the women making earlier abortion better. I totally agree with that.

I have heard some argue both for abortion on demand to term and it being in some way morally "better" for abortions to be carried out earlier rather than later, a position which I find confusing.

GoranisGod Mon 30-Jul-12 21:04:56

No I dont support a womans right to abort a pregnancy up to term.

I have lost 3 babies in late pregnancy-I held them,they were fully formed babies. They were a human being. I have photos of them. They were not a bunch of cells.

I appreciate that in some cases where there is a very severe life limiting disability that it may be seen as kinder to abort but if we continue going down that road where does it end? Should every downs syndrome child be aborted as they are a drain on the state? what about kids with cf or sen? what about a child who is deaf/blind or missing a limb? where do we draw the line?

Btw in the interest of the debate I have had an abortion...

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 21:07:07

trills so all my prem babies weren't babies but foetus ... utter bollocks ! My smallest was 32 weeks...he WAS a baby and is now a young boy.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 21:14:06

No, topknob, the argument would be that it is a foetus for as long as it is not born. However, I think this is an erroneous distinction, because a stillborn baby is a baby, not a foetus, so an aborted baby is an aborted baby, not an aborted foetus.

(Sorry, I realise this is going into territory which may cause distress to those who have lost babies late term)

SGB - I'm somewhat disappointed by your performance on this thread, because you usually make a lot of sense. Here, however, you seem to be doing little other than shouting that abortion should be legal to term because the woman is more important and that's all there is to it, and anyone who disagrees is a woman hater and thick.

I find your view rather blunt and without any depth on this occasion. You still haven't answered my question. If a woman wants a foetus out of her body ay any point, and she is able to have that foetus removed on demand, how are her rights over her body being infringed in any way by that foetus remaining alive? Why does it have to die?

In this case, it's not about a foetus being more important, but equally important. And it's not about men imposing themselves on women's reproductive heath, but other women who feel that a woman's sovereignty over her body is all well and good, but perhaps it's shouldn't automatically extend to her having sovereignty over the life of the foetus she carries.

Xenia Mon 30-Jul-12 21:25:05

1. We allow abortion to term under English law in fact even 42 weeks if the baby is still in there in certain cases - disabilities etc.

2. Before then we have the cut off - 24 weeks? Before then it is effectively abortion on demand.

3. I imagine there are a good few countries you can travel to for a late abortion if you want one.

4. I am hoping science will in the next 10 years work out a way to remove an unborn child where the father wants it to live but not the mother and he then implants it in a surrogate and that is allowed where the mother is allowed to give up all financial obligations to it where she wishes that. That would solve the issue where a father wants the child and mother does not - which I've always felt was rather unfair to putative fathers.

5. As for when it is right to kill a child, I set out English law above. The romans and many others allowed infanticide of new babies. I have never really understood why it's murder to smother your down's baby at bi rth but lawful to abort it the day before birth.

RabidAnchovy Mon 30-Jul-12 21:26:56

Personally I think abortion to term is a disgusting idea, and I am pro choice.
It is not about ownership of ones body, I own my body but there is no way I would kill a full term baby, nor would I support any of my family or friends who thought that "aborting" a baby at term was acceptable.

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 21:30:37

"trills so all my prem babies weren't babies but foetus ... utter bollocks ! My smallest was 32 weeks...he WAS a baby and is now a young boy."

technically they became babies when they were born, however premature. Until then they were foetuses and potential babies. They were wanted and so you were emotionally tied to them. Other people make decisions based upon their attachment to their foetuses.

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 21:31:26

summerflower agreed. Not a foetus but a baby sad I can't believe the volume of women on here thinking it is all about them and their bodies. Another life is involved in this debate. A fully viable life.

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 21:31:58

"If a woman wants a foetus out of her body ay any point, and she is able to have that foetus removed on demand, how are her rights over her body being infringed in any way by that foetus remaining alive? Why does it have to die?"

why does it have to live?

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 21:33:30

Must add to make SGB happy..I am not a woman hater, I have a hell of a lot of respect for other women and I am not anti abortion !

Why does it have to live? Simply because it is capable of doing so, on its own, like all the rest of us.

GoranisGod Mon 30-Jul-12 21:39:23

Honestly the femenists on this thread are really doing themselves no favours when the best argument they can come up with to those who have a different view is "you are women haters"....

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 21:41:53

Am I wrong to say I wonder if these people who are so pro term abortion have kids? And if so do they still feel that their lives are more important than that of their child/ren?

Lucyellensmum99 Mon 30-Jul-12 21:44:43

why why why WHY? is the woman more important than the baby that happens to be inside her? It is an argument that makes me feel sick - and would put me off being a feminist if that was the criteria. I only agree with abortion to prevent suffering to the baby, or if the mother's life is at risk. Does that make me a woman hater? FFS, that is just mental.

There is a little girl in my DDs class, she was born at 24 weeks. That says enough to me.

Lucyellensmum99 Mon 30-Jul-12 21:45:41

well said tobknob

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 21:45:59

why does it have to live?

What? Seriously? Who do any of us?

OptimisticPessimist Mon 30-Jul-12 21:46:53

I think my concern with allowing induction, rather than termination, on demand is that women would a) be pushed into continuing pregnancies they would have terminated because "it's only 28 weeks to have to put up with it" b) that gradually, if women could have inductions from 28 weeks that pressure to decrease the termination cut off would increase dramatically c) that women would be pressured not to be induced becuase of the risks to the baby.

Rubirosa Mon 30-Jul-12 21:49:58

I don't think anyone is "pro-abortion", how ridiculous.

I have a child. I willingly gave over my body for 9 months and grew him and birthed him and fed him and everything. But that was my choice. The only person who could make that choice about what was done to my body was me.

We don't need a limit on the number of weeks that you can have an abortion. Each individual woman is capable of making the decision for herself.

Lucyellensmum99 Mon 30-Jul-12 21:50:04

"Setting the limit anywhere short of birth is saying that women are not the owners of their bodies and must submit to the control of men society because foetuses are more important than women."

But what if the foetus is a girl?? hmm

You are all quite. mad

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 21:50:12

Also I agree the "women hater" "sniveling superstitious idiot" comments are not helpful and also think they are the reason people avoid the feminist section. Which is a disappointment because preaching to the choir is fun but not particularly effective.

There have been a few posters who while I don't agree with them, explained their reasoning very well and I can see why they feel that way.

Margerykemp Mon 30-Jul-12 21:53:18

As recently as 40 years ago in the UK it was not unheard of for severely disabled babies to be 'left to die' after birth in hospitals. The parents would be told it was a stillbirth/natural death but it was in fact infanticide/euthanasia.

There will be plenty of pensioners still around who did this but no one talks about opening a murder inquiry.

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 21:54:04

I have had an abortion, a miscarriage and a baby - through IVF. I have always felt comfortable with my choice to have an abortion, will always remember the heartache of losing my much wanted baby and of course I am so grateful that I have my DC now.

I still believe that the woman's needs matter more than the unborn child's. I do not like the idea of late abortion but the evidence shows that late abortions very rarely happen. I am sure that all the women who choose to have an abortion late into pregnancy are not doing so lightly.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 21:54:16

The thing I also have problem is is that an elective abortion where the mother's life is not in danger is that it is technically an unnecessary medical procedure.

Surely the state is required to have some ethical debate if it is being asked to take part in such a procedure?

If you wanted your leg removed you would have to have a bloody good reason, you couldn't just say my body my choice. So why should this be any different?

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 21:54:28

So noone can answer what has been asked several times- why could the baby not be born alive at term rather than be aborted? It has to come out!

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 21:58:18

"If you wanted your leg removed you would have to have a bloody good reason, you couldn't just say my body my choice. So why should this be any different?"

ok, so do you think that the very small amount of women having a late term abortion don't have a bloody good reason? Or do you think that this small amount of women are doing it just because they don't want a baby?

Ahem - those of you saying "you feminists".... I am a very passionate feminist. But I am arguing in favour of late foetal removal rather than abortion.

Please don't make comments like "and would put me off being a feminist if that was the criteria".

Why are you some of you not feminists. The only central tenant of feminism is that women deserve equal rights to men. The rest is details, debate and philosophy, and you will never meet any two women with absolutely the same opinion.

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 22:05:01

The woman know who had twins aborted at 27 weeks in the us, did so because her married lover had not been tempted to leave his wife due to her pregnancy so they were surplus to requirements.

I personally think she should have stuck it out and had them adopted. I understand her mental health is now very fragile and she got a very nasty infection afterwards-she had some explaining to do when she was treated a day she lied, said she had miscarried.

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 22:06:06

Sorry for typos, stupid tab

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 22:08:03

I think now they probably do (df) because it is legislated. But I do belive that there would be a tiny minority of women who if it were legal (the same women who might kill their baby AFTER it was born) who would take advantage of the chance of killing their baby because they realise what's coming. If the baby is born and the woman is easily allowed to terminate parental rights it might save those few.

I also think that a few women who are suffering from depression from pregnancy might do it without being of totally sound mind.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 22:09:50

Why are you some of you not feminists. The only central tenant of feminism is that women deserve equal rights to men. The rest is details, debate and philosophy, and you will never meet any two women with absolutely the same opinion

because too many more vocal feminist give people the idea if you don't agree with their idiogly that you aren't a feminst. SGB has informed most of us that not only are we not feminist but we are women haters.

Lucyellensmum99 Mon 30-Jul-12 22:09:58

This is why i rarely post on here - i shall post what i like actually, if you don't like it, i apologise, but this is a free forum is it not? it just seems unless you agree with the woman being right, no matter what, you can't post here. Fuck that.

I don't see how its a feminist issue really, its a human issue. Yes, the woman has the baby, but for me, the baby will always be more important, always.

I don't understand what you mean by late foetal removal? Does that mean keeping the baby alive?

FWIW i can see situations where a late abortion would be necessary and i would sincerely hope that it would only ever be for medical reasons. But then i think that abortion should only ever be for medical reaons - will that point of view get me bannished completely?

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 22:12:22

"But I do belive that there would be a tiny minority of women who if it were legal (the same women who might kill their baby AFTER it was born) who would take advantage of the chance of killing their baby because they realise what's coming"

really? don't you think they would just choose an early abortion? How do you imagine that they would get all the way to 40 weeks, unless you are suggesting that they would wait all that time on purpose just so they could have a late abortion?

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 22:17:45

What vegans said.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 22:18:39

Do you disagree that some women kill their newborn infants? Maybe they realize life is about to get very hard, maybe their partner leaves them..maybe they are suffering anti natal depression

I know of a few cases where women have had babies and then killed them or pretended to lose babies (after faking pregnancies) (is it Munchhausen by proxy I'm thinking of?).. so think that a woman suffering from that would take advantage for the attention.

Again, I don't think there is going to be some huge baby genocide. but I think there would be cases.. if a woman could abort for a cleft palate someone could abort because they changed their mind.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 22:19:38

Also think gender choice could come in to it,

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 22:21:53

so you want to deny the choice to the tiny amount of women who really need it, because of the teeny tiny minority that you have imagined will abuse the right to choose?

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 22:24:08

Who would need it?

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 22:25:59

no, not at all. I am not against late term abortion (i'm not sure anyone here has said they are) but only for the medically needy.

If a woman's health is at risk. Or is she is going to give birth to a baby that will die a horrible death or have no quality of life.. obviously I don't judge them for it.

VegansTasteBetter Mon 30-Jul-12 22:26:51

but that is already an option

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 22:27:58

I once read a very good academic paper showing that the historic infant burials once thought to have been infanticides caused by women actually weren't - they were natural deaths.

It's the paradigm.

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 22:28:10

Yes I mean who would need it aside from the reasons for which are already legal.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 22:29:27

>>As recently as 40 years ago in the UK it was not unheard of for severely disabled babies to be 'left to die' after birth in hospitals. The parents would be told it was a stillbirth/natural death but it was in fact infanticide/euthanasia.<<

It also used to be the case that stillbirths were not registered, that women who had lost a baby were dealt with on maternity wards, that they were buried in unmarked graves and all manner of practices which were rightly campaigned against.

I really don't see how holding up an abhorrent practice of decades ago serves the argument. I also think there is probably evidence to suggest that when such cases came to light, they were investigated.

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 22:30:05

I would never put my own health before that of my unborn child at full term. I would be willing to die for a child of mine, it is my child and it deserves it live. As for dying a horrible death, this would be picked up on much earlier when abortion is legal.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 22:30:10

they referring to stillborn babies, not their mothers - it's getting too late for me!

As someone else said, making it the law that, after a certain duration of pregnancy the woman would have to give birth to the live baby and have it adopted would once again lead to women's loss of control over their bodies. A woman wanting a termination at, say, 29 weeks would be almost certainly be pressured to remain pregnant for a few weeks more to give the foetus a better chance at life; if she stated her intention to take drastic action to rid herself of the pregnancy, would she be locked up? What if she was a drug user, would HCP try to prevent her from using drugs by means of force or legal compulsion?

Abortions are not something women do for fun; nearly all women who terminate a pregnancy would rather the pregnancy hadn't occurred in the first place. And they would all rather terminate as soon as possible once the decision has been taken; it's not something you put off because you want to do it as late as possible.

Again: abortion is a decision that should be up to the woman who is pregnant and doesn't want to be, no matter what stage of pregnancy she's at, because her body belongs to her and no one else.

Dragonwoman Mon 30-Jul-12 22:43:50

Something that bothers me here is we are assuming all women freely choose abortion. I have known more than one teenage girl who has concealed her pregnancy until after the abortion limit has passed because she feared her boyfriend or parents would pressure her into an abortion. I think raising the abortion limit would put these girls at risk of sustained pressure over several months until they gave in and had to suffer a 'forced' late abortion. It makes me very uneasy.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 30-Jul-12 22:44:13

Out of interest, since medical records are (quite rightly) confidential, is there any substantiated case where a woman has aborted late simply because of cleft palette with no other medical reasons? Cleft palette is a soft marker for (as far as I remember) both Edwards and Patau's syndrome, both of which are invariably fatal within the first few months of life. I am always deeply suspicious of the "aborted just for a cleft palette" anti-abortion propaganda, because I suspect that behind it lies a story about parents who have made a desperately difficult decision to abort late rather than bring a child into the world for a few months of pain and minimal quality of life.

More broadly, does anyone honestly believe women would be queuing up to have late abortions for minor social reasons? As I understand it, most will occur when a birth defect comes to light which is incompatible with the foetus' survival after the birth ("disabilist" abortions - I'm a bit m'eh about the terminology, because I went for my nuchal fold and blood tests in the knowledge that I probably would have aborted a foetus with Down's Syndrome - generally happen much earlier). And it is a really agonising decision (I have known two couples who have had children in the knowledge that they probably or certainly would die shortly after birth - and certainly at least one of them wouldn't have chosen to criticise someone who made the opposite choice).

There will also be the occasional case where a woman's social circumstances are such that an abortion is best - for instance, DV escalating during pregnancy where she fears for her life and feels that a child will tie her to the father for life (DV against a woman is generally not taken by family courts as a reason for denying access to the children for the father - so an abortion would be the only way of being able to break away from further contact with the father). Personally I'd favour offering women in those circs the chance to have the child adopted at birth (since a late abortion involves giving birth anyway).

Interestingly in the UK, women are almost never prosecuted for infanticide immediately after the birth - there seems to be a general assumption (a humane one in most cases) that they are not of sound mind. And if you want to get an insight into the horrific circumstances behind this sort of case, Helena Kennedy details some absolutely tragic cases in her book, "Just Law".

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 22:45:25

SGB, I don't understand the drugs argument. My friend was in a London hospital with pre-eclampsia for 5 weeks before her babies were born. In the bed next to her was a woman who was a drug addict who was being kept in specifically to keep her away from drugs (it didn't work, she was meeting her dealer right outside the hospital every day anyway). So it seems that HCP already (very sensibly given the consequences) try to "discourage" women from taking drugs in pregnancy.

Pumpster Mon 30-Jul-12 22:46:26

Sgb that is the law now isn't it?

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 22:46:48

If it were accepted that women own their bodies, then they would indeed own their bodies.

All else would follow from that - free and quick abortion; or support to be pregnant and raise a child.

SardineQueen Mon 30-Jul-12 22:47:00

I haven't caught up on the whole thread but I just saw the comment about how the baby (foetus) is always more important than the mother. Why is that? It is quite an unusual stance.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 30-Jul-12 22:47:43

Topknob - cross posted. It's not true that all serious defects are picked up before 24 weeks. There are, for instance, some heart defects where it's really hard to resolve the precise location of the blood supply until very late in pregnancy - so it's impossible to make a decision as to whether potentially life-saving surgery can take place after the birth or not.

summerflower Mon 30-Jul-12 22:48:00

>>nearly all women who terminate a pregnancy would rather the pregnancy hadn't occurred in the first place.<<

Then surely one devotes one's energies to addressing the social circumstances that lead to such scenarios, rather than accepting a solution which involves a medical, invasive procedure and the termination of another life - how is that control? It's just compounding one problem with another.

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 22:48:03

Lurcio, apparently it does happen. No reason to doubt information released to the High Court.

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 22:50:28

The woman who is pg and doesn't want to be would NOT leave it until 38/39 weeks to abort ! After 24 weeks it is not just her selfish body it is hers and that of the BABY she is growing inside of her.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 22:50:48

The Telegraph isn't reporting detailed medical records.

topknob Mon 30-Jul-12 22:51:21

And thats is a BABY not a bunch of cells ! or however you call it to make yourselves feel better 3)

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Mon 30-Jul-12 22:54:11

That's my point about how problematic it is to argue backwards from your personal views on abortion to a universal law of female bodily autonomy, because you inevitably begin to apply contraints.

Lucyellensmum99 Mon 30-Jul-12 22:54:26

"A woman wanting a termination at, say, 29 weeks would be almost certainly be pressured to remain pregnant for a few weeks more to give the foetus a better chance at life; if she stated her intention to take drastic action to rid herself of the pregnancy, would she be locked up? What if she was a drug user, would HCP try to prevent her from using drugs by means of force or legal compulsion?
"

Abortion isn't legal at 29 weeks though is it? surely not?? If it were down to me and a woman said she would take drastic action then yes, i would absolutely lock her up - i suspect she woould be in need of psychiatric help anyway, so as much to protect her and her unborn child. If she were a drug user, i would very much hope that she could be legally prevented from using drugs - although am aware of the dangers of going cold turkey(both to the mother and the baby so that would need to be a case of what is more risky, continued drug use or forcing a woman not to take drugs) but the baby didn't choose to be born to a junkie so again, the rights of the baby supercedes those of the mother in that instance too.

I just can't get my head around the woman being more important - i think when there is significant risk to the life of the mother it is very different, but other than that, the baby didn't ask to be made.

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 22:55:39

Also I would imagine that a full chromosomal screening would reveal a problem like Patau's or Edwards' syndrome, and the reasons for the termination would be shown as patau's or Edwards or whatever other severely life-limiting syndrome. I would imagine that people would not proceed with a late termination for cleft palate without an amnio, just to be sure.

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 22:57:17

No of course the Torygraph isn't reporting detailed medical stuff- the figures are so tiny (as has been pointed out several times) that to release detailed medical info to the press would almost certainly identify individuals.

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 22:59:13

lucyellen- no abortion for "social" reasons (that word makes it sound so trivial, doesn't it?) isn't allowed at 29 weeks. The whole thread is discussing the merits of making abortion for "social" reasons (rather than medical ones) legal to birth.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 30-Jul-12 22:59:43

Waves to Duchesse! I know that's the numbers with cleft palette (have seen that article linked to before) but it doesn't tell us whether it was just cleft palette or cleft palette plus something else (hence my comment about medical records being confidential).

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 23:05:19

<waves back at Lurcio> Of course with many heart problems there's very little way of knowing at all until after birth and all the circulation has rerouted properly. But tbh those babies often just die soon after birth even with medical care- no need to terminate them in utero late in pregnancy.

Lucyellensmum99 Mon 30-Jul-12 23:05:20

duchesse really? oh god, thats so sad - i thought the only way that could be acceptable to ANYONE, i feel sick at the very idea. I cant stay on a thread that advocates that sad

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 23:07:47

Sorry to carpet bomb, frightfully bad form, I know. I just wanted to add that surely the reasons given for abortion at whatever late number of weeks wouldn't include cleft palate specifically if the underlying cause were a fatal or severely life-limiting syndrome? There'd be no need, surely? Of all the reasons they could put that would be one of the most controversial if any crackpot organisation asked to have data released under FoI, surely? oh...

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 30-Jul-12 23:08:53

Personally, I feel viability does matter in this argument, because what's at issue then is the conflicting rights of the woman to bodily autonomy versus the survival of a foetus which if born alive can then be looked after by someone else. But that shouldn't be taken as far as forcing a woman to stay pregnant to improve the survival chances of the foetus. (Given the current state of UK law, the only circumstance I can think of in which a woman might get an abortion post 24 weeks for anything other than disabilities in the foetus would I guess be mental health problems so severe that two doctors would sign to say she was a significant risk for suicide - risks to the physical health of the mother, such as pre-eclampsia, are generally dealt with by trying to get the pregnancy as far along as possible, but always prioritising the woman's life over the foetus' survival).

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 30-Jul-12 23:12:03

Special interest groups requesting info under freedom of information... yes - that's precisely why I take these articles with a pinch of salt. Ask the question in such a way that you get the bare statistics with no nuanced information about the rest of the medical history (which as you pointed out, involves conditions so rare that it probably wouldn't be possible to release it without breaching medical confidentiality), then whip up a moral frenzy on the basis of it. Sorry, I'm probably carpet-bombing too, but it's time to go to bed.

CelticOlympian Mon 30-Jul-12 23:14:08

Hmmm I think I understand the argument about bodily autonomy although I don't agree with late term abortions. For me it is a human rights argument. A baby has human rights I think, and I can't get my head around a scenario where the one day old newborn has rights and the foetus of the same gestation that remains in utero doesn't even have the right to life. It doesn't make sense to me. And I agree that as others have said we are talking largely hypothetically, but I can't help but consider how such a law would be written and be applied. I am interested to hear what those who support abortion to term think about the euthanasia of a newborn at the mother's request.

I have thought a lot about this and my view is not based on ickle cute babies or sentimentality. I consider myself a feminist although I've been told on a similar thread before that I can't be.

I think that carrying children is a privilege as well as a burden. I think it would serve women better to research better contraception, reduce rape, support motherhood and make access to early abortion easy and safe.

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 23:21:02

less than 0.1% of all abortions take place after 24 weeks’ gestation – 147 abortions in total in 2010.

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Jul-12 23:27:09

"I think it would serve women better to research better contraception, reduce rape, support motherhood and make access to early abortion easy and safe"

Possibly you have worded it badly but how can women reduce rape? Also, I suffered a double contraceptive failure, many women who get pregnant are using contraception.

Duelling - I think that post referred to the state spending more time/money on those things, not women themselves.

CelticOlympian Mon 30-Jul-12 23:38:03

I didn't mean women reduce rape. I mean rapists stop raping by legal and social pressure and by what means I guess is for another thread. And I accept the shortcomings of contraception, that's why I said research into better contraception. 100% effective contraception would be a great thing for women.

duchesse Mon 30-Jul-12 23:39:25

I think that what might help is if parents were given very specific information about what to expect in the event that their child is found to have an abnormality. I think that the fear of the problem can be far worse than the actual situation. I do suspect however that a termination of a child with problems is going to be financially cheaper than any operations required later.

I'm not saying that this influences medical staff but it might make them less inclined to try to reassure people that things are fixable (I'm thinking here of things like malformations) or that the child will be able to live with their disability. I can imagine for example people being horrified to discover than their child will be missing a limb or will have undeveloped bones in their arms legs and presume that that child's quality of life will be minimal. We can all think of many examples of people in the public eye who have a very good life despite such a disability.

I don't see why it's so difficult to accept that a foetus becomes a baby/person when it's born. That's what marks the change in its status because it's a change in state.

OptimisticPessimist Tue 31-Jul-12 00:09:30

"I think it would serve women better to research better contraception, reduce rape, support motherhood and make access to early abortion easy and safe"

And what about those who need a later abortion in the meantime? We (society) just say "sorry we can't help you because we're working to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else"?

OptimisticPessimist Tue 31-Jul-12 00:13:18

And I don't think that there's much difference in a foetus between 23+6 and 24+1 but that's all that makes the difference in current law - so why not use birth as the cut off? It's a much clearer line than estimated gestation dates which can be a good week or so out either way.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 31-Jul-12 00:21:33

Haven't read all the posts, but am absolutely horrified and repulsed that anyone would think it is ok to abort a healthy baby at 37 weeks for any reason. Pure evil and whoever thinks that needs to get a grip.

RiaSponsorsTheOlympics Tue 31-Jul-12 01:15:38

I'm sure that very few women would want to terminate at 35+ weeks, and even fewer would do so without a lot of thought and heart ache. Presumably, though, there are women who would have good reason to want to abort in late pregnancy (or is this debate purely hypothetical?).

What is wrong with early induction as an alternative? I don't know but I imagine induction vs. late abortion are approximately as unpleasant as each other.

If abortion to term on demand were legalised, would it be OK if early delivery were also offered to women? Wouldn't more options give women greater control over their bodies?

sashh Tue 31-Jul-12 07:41:12

No-one has yet answered the question why a 37 week baby can't be delivered alive, rather than 'aborted'.

Very few abortions take place at this stage, if it does it is usually for severe disability. The kind that is not compatable with life.

If a baby is born and dies after 10 mins the parents have to register the birth and the death. They have to organise a funeral. Some people prefer this option, some don't. If it is an aborted fetus, the parents can still have a funeral but don't have to register the birth and death.

Another reason for termination at this stage is hydrocephalus. This does not develop in the first trimestor, so abortion has to be second or third.

The skull of a baby/fetus with hydrocephalus can be 2.5 times the size of a normal skull. The baby/fetus will have severe brain damage, he/she/it will not survive outside the woumb. Virginal delivery is not possible.

There are therfore two options that preserve the health of the mother;

1) cesarean section

2) abortion

The contents of the uterus are cut up into pieces and delivered via a dilated cervix. In the US another procedure is used, the body is delivered but not the head. The skull is then pierced and suction applied, this removes the brain and causes the skull to colapse.

Obviously the ceserean has more risk and takes longer for the mther to recover.

CelticOlympian Tue 31-Jul-12 07:59:09

I find it difficult to accept the change in status at birth because birth happens at different gestations. For the sake of argument what about a woman who has booked a termination at 27 weeks. What of she goes into premature labour the day before and the baby is born alive. Suddenly it's a fully formed person with rights. That distinction does not make sense to me.

I also do agree with the poster who stated that abortion can be a convenient thing for society, including men. Aren't there some feminist writers who argue that abortion does harm to women?

blackcats73 Tue 31-Jul-12 09:27:21

I think the cut off for abortion at 24 weeks for social reasons is correct. 24 week babies have a reasonable chance of survival with a great deal of medical intervention. A 14 week fetus has no chance.

Religious dogma (abortion of a 6 week old fetus is murder) and feminist dogma ( The complete right to choose and a 39 week old fetus is part of her body and so can be aborted is she chooses) are as unscientific and heartless as each other.

We need medical science to protect us from radicals on both sides.

SardineQueen Tue 31-Jul-12 09:36:03

Can I just point out that we do not have the legal right to abortion in the UK. The criteria legally are as follows:

"may be necessary

The reasons for an abortion possibly being necessary are set out in The Abortion Act 1967. These are:
- continuing with the pregnancy would be a greater risk to the woman's life than ending the pregnancy
- continuing with the pregnancy would involve a greater risk of injury to the woman's physical or mental health than would ending the pregnancy
- continuing with the pregnancy would be more of a risk to the physical or mental health of any of the woman's existing children
- there is a real risk that the child, if born, would have a serious physical or mental disability"

That's from NHS choices so I assume is up to date.
So all the people talking about women in the UK having access to abortion for "social reasons" (whatever does that mean anyway confused) are not maybe conversant with the actual law.

Please also note that the law is entirely different in NI.

Trills Tue 31-Jul-12 09:37:08

I think when women want an abortion because they don't want to have a baby it comes under #2 - injury to the woman's physical or mental health

SardineQueen Tue 31-Jul-12 09:38:36

Yes trills in practice the mental healthh clause is used to allow the vast majority of abortions.

But people are talking that the current law is correct as we have abortion on demand / for social reasons to 24 weeks. We do not.

SardineQueen Tue 31-Jul-12 09:39:00

I wonder how many / if any abortions are refused?

Trills Tue 31-Jul-12 09:42:14

I'm just saying that while the law doesn't explicitly provide for "because I want an abortion", in practice there is a clear way of doing it. (I don't want to say "loophole", but can't think of the correct word)

duchesse Tue 31-Jul-12 09:49:12

I firmly believe that women should not have to jump through hoops to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy early on. I think abortion should be absolutely on demand up the age of viability, no need for any kind of "reason".

SardineQueen Tue 31-Jul-12 09:51:01

I guess with the law as it stands the current government could "tighten it up" easily if they want to as they would just need to issue new guidelines as to what can constitute enough reason under the current law.

Now there's a scary thought. Hope none of them are reading...

Really the law should be changed.

SardineQueen Tue 31-Jul-12 09:53:01

They already went and inspected all of the private abortion clinics on a whim as it seems to check that two doctors were signing off, which does indicate that they are keen to uphold the law in this area. The organisation who had to do it were really pissed off as they had to shelve all of their inspection plans at short notice and it cost a bomb.

SardineQueen Tue 31-Jul-12 09:53:39

What I find heartless is the idea that it's OK to insist that other women risk their lives continuing with unwanted pregnancies, just to satisfy someone else's idiot superstition and unthinking sentimentality. The antichoice position always starts with the idea that women are mad, feral, unfeeling, selfish and their behaviour must be controlled by men and the law, or they will be aborting all over the shop in no time.

Lucyellensmum99 Tue 31-Jul-12 10:42:56

What the actual fuck does being controlled by men have to do with it? Is it only men that insist on women not having abortions then? It is not OK to insist a woman risks her life to continue a pregnancy - or are you saying that because there is an element of risk in every pregnancy if the woman decides for "social reasons" that she doesn't want the child she should be able to end it at any time??

Its not a feminist issue, its a human rights issue.

The woman tends to call the shots anyway by definition, she is carryin the baby so if she decides she wants an abortion (early) the father has no say in it sad I believe this is wrong.

Xenia Tue 31-Jul-12 10:47:03

SW that is just the British fudge, though. We have abotion on demand up to I think 24 weeks. Why we don't just say so I have no idea but that is the practical reality.

You also have a right to refuse intervention in childbirth even if your child dies. I found that thought very comfiorting when I was having my twins - my body, my children, my choice.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 11:23:10

Human rights isn't far to bring up. A foetus isn't by law a human. As soon as it has rights, we're all screwed.

Lucyellensmum99 Tue 31-Jul-12 11:25:34

What a vile thing to say lurking sad So all those mothers who are grieving for lost babies should just get a grip and realise it wasn't human because it never got to be born. Maybe we should advote in utero experimentatin as well then, after all it isn't human yet and doesn't have the right to protection. hmm

mellen Tue 31-Jul-12 11:30:51

"continuing with the pregnancy would involve a greater risk of injury to the woman's physical or mental health than would ending the pregnancy"

As it is physically safer to have an abortion before 24 weeks than to deliver a live baby after it, we do effectively have abortion on demand pre 24 weeks.

No, no one should say (or is saying) to women who have lost babies late in pregnancy that the babies didn't matter or weren't human. The difference is that the women percieved those lost pregnancies as babies, and grieved over them. Again, it comes down to it being a matter of what the woman wants and what the woman feels.
Abortion law is not based on women's needs and wishes and never has been, because all the official thinking on abortion is (like all of human society) rooted in the belief that women and children both belong to men, not themselves.

But SGB, hardly anyone on this thread has said they want women to be forced to continue pregnancies. The general consensus is that women should be allowed to remove a foetus from their bodies whenever they damn well like.

And what is this superstition you keep talking about?

Are you even reading the thread?

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 11:57:58

It's not vile, it's true. confused If foetus' are considered human there is no abortion and women can be put on trial for murder. There is a reason they are not protected under Human Rights.

If you're anti-abortion that's fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but miscarriage and abortion are vastly different things. I do know that, lots of personal experience with both. That's a very emotive strawman.

Yes, I support abortion up to term. Personal reasons, I'm not ashamed of it and I am not vile. smile

vezzie Tue 31-Jul-12 12:30:01

This link of Margerykemp's is brilliant:
m.jme.bmj.com/content/27/suppl_2/ii10.full

I am re-posting it because some posters are posting as if they haven't read it.

I think it is very important that we have some subtlety and nuance in discussions about abortions, women's rights, fetal rights. I think it is absolutely useless to get all angry and sad because to some women, a 24 week foetus is, effectively, a beloved and wanted baby. You don't disrespect those women or their very real love for their very real babies by holding a conversation about other foetuses and other circumstances.

I am coming to this as an ex-Catholic who was repeatedly subjected to very nasty anti-abortion propaganda at my convent school. It was based on a very absolutist idea that all abortion is murder and therefore unthinkably wrong under any circumstances. Yet the Catholic church holds that there is such a thing as just war. There are times, we were told, when waging war and killing innocents is unfortunately the moral thing to do. (I have to say that I'm not big on war myself but I am very glad that the Nazis were opposed, by the only means available, bombs and bullets.) Why does the church allow for moral nuance with the killing of innocents (not that Nazis are innocents, but the children in Dresden for instance) in some contexts, but not others?

By the way I do not actually myself necessarily view an abortion as the killing of an innocent, but even if I did it would not be crazy to say it is sometimes ok, by analogy with a just war.

summerflower Tue 31-Jul-12 12:54:35

>>No, no one should say (or is saying) to women who have lost babies late in pregnancy that the babies didn't matter or weren't human. The difference is that the women percieved those lost pregnancies as babies, and grieved over them. Again, it comes down to it being a matter of what the woman wants and what the woman feels.<<

No, a baby which loses its heartbeat at 37 weeks in utero and is stillborn is a baby, no perpception about it, this was how my niece, my sister's dd was born, and I saw her, a perfect little girl, except she had no heartbeat and she was not breathing. She was a baby.

Whether or not a baby is wanted by its mother does not change the materiality of the baby. At term, the baby exists, it is not percieved. The only thing I can see by your argument that would change is whether it should be allowed to be born breathing or not. Its babyness does not change. You are talking about something very physically different from a first trimester abortion, and I don't see the issue with acknowledging that and arguing for a different response.

blackcats73 Tue 31-Jul-12 12:54:59

Agreed solid before 24 weeks, but if the mother's life is in peril during pregnancy and the fetus is 24 weeks plus, the baby should be delivered and ever attempt should be made to save him/her. (Though the woman's life should be prioritised) A woman should not be allowed to terminate the fetus after 24 weeks.

The abortion to term idea is the main reason I could never identify myself as a radical feminist. It is as horrible as the right ring Christian view that life begins at conception.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 13:00:34

The thought that I should be forced to continue a pregnancy that could kill me makes my skin crawl.

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 13:30:47

"plus, the baby should be delivered and ever attempt should be made to save him/her."

even if the parents don't want the baby? Are you going to suggest that they be forced to have the baby adopted? How horrible.

Trills Tue 31-Jul-12 13:40:22

The thought that I should be forced to continue a pregnancy that could kill me makes my skin crawl.

To some extent any pregnancy could kill you.

The thought that I should be forced to continue with any pregnancy makes my skin crawl.

summerflower Tue 31-Jul-12 14:12:32

>The abortion to term idea is the main reason I could never identify myself as a radical feminist. <

It is possible to oppose abortion and identify as a radical feminist, in fact, if one takes radical to mean root, then I think it makes more sense to oppose abortion as a radical feminist.

I think, as I said earlier, that abortion benefits society, rather than women - because it makes it easier for society not to cater for women's needs, for example, abortion is cheaper than providing proper support for women as mothers and for children, and I mean, childcare and financial support. It also means that men can continue to demand PIV sex in the knowledge that women will bear the burden of carrying or aborting a child; in fact, it makes it worse, because men/families/society can pressure women into abortions rather than stepping up to the plate and providing support. Abortion allows men to continue to exploit women sexually.

In other words, one can hold the view that abortion does not liberate women, it merely ingrains existing gender inequalities with the added burden for women of an invasive surgical procedure and the emotional stress of having to choose to end a (potential) life.

Also, abortion is an act of violence and feminism should be about non-violence. (I reject the analogy above with a just war - how can you wage war on a foetus?)

So I totally reject the view that one has to support abortion to be a (radical) feminist.

summerflower Tue 31-Jul-12 14:14:44

>>The thought that I should be forced to continue a pregnancy that could kill me makes my skin crawl.<<

I thought the argument here was very clearly about late term abortion for social reasons?

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 14:15:04

Agree summerflower

To be a feminist you just have to have the best interests of women at heart. We're all different. I suppose technically I'm a radical feminist but no one other than a partner would ever truly know that. Anyone else would think I was just very passionate about my chosen career.

Where has anyone on this thread said that women should be forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy? Have I missed some posts?

Can you explain, DuelingFanjo, why it is more horrible for the baby to be adopted than killed? From whose perspective? The parents have the baby removed from their lives either way.

MooncupGoddess Tue 31-Jul-12 14:23:40

summerflower - I am very much in favour of changing society so that there is minimal demand for abortion (e.g. 100% reliable easily available contraception, no rape/coerced sex, lots of support for unexpectedly pregnant women who want to continue the pregnancy).

But the situation for women before abortion was legal was not that great, was it?

topknob Tue 31-Jul-12 14:25:30

Sgb you clearly have an issue with men and it is clouding your judgement on on your opinion of other women debating this subject. We are not stupid or sentimental or owned by men angry we are perfectly capable of thinking for ourselves and are not selfish enough to believe a pregnancy is all about us as women. It also involves the life being created.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 14:26:16

No they don't. I have so many adopted friends who sought out their birth parents...Always ended in extreme hurt. If I hadn't had an abortion and gone the adoption road, I wouldn't want anything to do with the child. If one day s/he knocked on my doorstep, 'd have no honest answer other than I was raped by a family member and the thought of seeing you day in day out made me suicidal.

That would torture me and the poor kid.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 14:31:31

And women who don't WANT a child aren't selfish for aborting what to us, is cells.

I've had two glasses of bubbly so I'll be a little more honest than I should. I didn't care whether my foetus was cells, a blob or a human. All I knew was it needed to be out of me or I'd kill myself. The thought of that parasite growing inside me, knowing it's lineage drove me to physical and mental illness'

That's why I support late term abortion. Here in Aus we have people arriving by the boatloads, and some of them are in the exact same situation I was, except 'too pregnant.' They were suicidal at the thought of birth.

I wish women didn't turn against each other in these conversations. sad

Kayano Tue 31-Jul-12 14:31:55

I'm adopted and haven't contacted my birth family. Honestly if you are going to carry a baby to term why not just give the baby up for adoption?

I have a fantastic adoptive family and I love them so much, but because the decision was made pretty much at birth I bonded do well with them and has no attachment disorder.

I could not support full term abortion, I am so grateful that although my mum couldn't care for me I still had a chance

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 14:33:25

"Where has anyone on this thread said that women should be forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy?"

los of people (or maybe the same people over and over?) have suggested that unwanted babies should be allowed to be born after 24 weeks, pregnancies should be induced and so on.

"If the options are continue with an unwanted pregnancy, have a late abortion or be induced early then none of them are great, but if you wanted to end your pregnancy I don't see why induction/c-section would automatically be worse than abortion. Having the option to give birth early seems to me much better than being forced to stay pregnant."

"'I believe a woman has the right to have the foetus removed from her body ay any point until birth. But I don't believe she has any right to request it be killed. So if the foetus is past 24 weeks, she should have labour induced or a c-section, and the baby become the ward of the state, to be given up for adoption. I really don't see why termination of a pregnancy necessarily means the death of the foetus.' "

just a couple of examples.

When I talk about adoption I mean that I think it's a horrible idea that parents be forced to give birth to a baby they don't want to give birth to and then give it up for adoption. They do not want to have a baby, birth a baby, bring a baby into the world. If Adoption was a choice they wanted to make then they wouldn't be considering an abortion.

Kayano Tue 31-Jul-12 14:34:12

Rather an adopted baby than a dead one dueling

vezzie Tue 31-Jul-12 14:34:21

summerflower, I don't want to go too much into the just war thing as it is a construct of a belief-system I disagree with. However, I was noting that within that belief system (the doctrine of the catholic church) sometimes the killing of innocents can be accepted as an unfortunate consequence of doing the right thing. The war is not waged on the innocents, of course. Nor has war itself got anything to do with the rights and wrongs of abortion.

I just brought that up because I think it is interesting that absolutism within a belief-system is ALWAYS selective. There are always nuances and shades of meaning available in favour of things you really care about. For instance, within the Catholic church, it is more important to retain the right to wage war than to protect a woman from a dangerous pregnancy.

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 14:34:34

"Sgb you clearly have an issue with men and it is clouding your judgement on on your opinion of other women debating this subject"

oooh sheesh - lazy dig.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 14:35:13

I'm really happy for you Kayano. smile I've always wanted to adopt.

I guess just IME, the women wanting abortions late term instead of adoption had reasons none of us can judge.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Tue 31-Jul-12 14:36:19

Hi Lurking, hope you are OK. I know what you mean, about desperately, absolutely, totally not wanting to be pregnant.

Kayano Tue 31-Jul-12 14:36:37

But they have to give birth to the baby regardless furling. I they have it at 28 weeks say and the baby lives, do they say

'I'm not ready to be a parent, please give the baby to someone who is'

Or

'i am not ready to be a parent, can you please kill that baby'

No, I couldn't. The baby is already born!

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Tue 31-Jul-12 14:39:52

I know where SGB is coming from. Our abortion laws, that are very constraining on women, and which force us to pretty much pretend we are mad in order to assert our bodily autonomy, are given to us by Parliament. And Parliament's a pretty male-dominated institution. In fact most of the insitutions associated with the debates - e.g. church, medicine - tend to have have been historically male-dominated at the top.

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 14:40:26

"I could not support full term abortion, I am so grateful that although my mum couldn't care for me I still had a chance"

the fact is that you can only be grateful because you were born. for an aborted Foetus, whatever the gestation, being grateful doesn't come into it.

DizzyGoldBee Tue 31-Jul-12 14:42:57

I think the law here would possibly allow it in certain circumstances, namely because the unborn child is not seen as an individual whereas it is in other countries, I seem to recall a case in the US where a pregnant women was murdered and her killer was charged with two murders - that doesn't happen here AFAIK. There was a pregnant woman (Marie...?) who was murdered by the side of a motorway when her car broke down and her killer wasn't charged with two murders.
I would not be at all happy to assist a friend in having an abortion, it'd be her choice but I'd want no part of it. That said, I'd be supportive and not judgmental (well maybe privately to myself) towards her afterwards if needed.

Do try to get to grips with the basic truth 'late abortion for social reasons' occurs, or is even thought about in such tiny, tiny numbers that it is pretty much a myth. Yet it's always chucked about to back up this idea that women cannot be trusted to choose for themselves, that if given the freedom to abort up to term they will all be rushing off to do it. Allowing access to it in principal is a right I support completely, because setting any limits on when abortion can be performed is an unnecessary restriction on women's freedom and autonomy. It's up to women to choose, end of. Once you start insisting on personhood for foetuses, it's immediately very easy to place restrictions on women;s behaviour - should they be allowed to drive in late pregnancy? Play sport? Have a glass of wine? Oh but, you don't know how far along you are really, better stay in bed and do what you're told... Plenty of 'personhood for foetuses' advocates want to insist on legal controls over the behaviour of women of childbearing age never mind if they are celibate/know they are infertile/have been sterilised.

I do, of course, agree that no woman should be coerced into ending her pregnancy, either. But we're only going to manage that when it becomes accepted and enshrined in law that the only person who gets to make the choice of whether a pregnancy continues or not is the pregnant woman.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 14:49:00

I should add the abortion I had was 100% illegal. THAT is how desperate I was. Thankfully nothing went wrong, obviously it could have been a tragic outcome. Abortion only became legal in my state in 2008.

My nanna was the most rigid Roman Catholic you'd ever meet. he supported abortion. In the 30's, her best friend died in a back alley abortion. She strongly disapproved of abortion, but she used to tell me as a child (behind my mother's back she taught me a lot of things about women's rights ironically) that no one should bled out in a garage because of poor medical service.

It was her comments about her friend that gave me the strength to do it, even though I knew the risks. And I did it later than some here would likely approve of. I was a child, impregnated by my father in a country where abortion was illegal.

Do you think I'm a baby killer? (A term used by a post I reported and was subsequently deleted) Or were my circumstances tragic enough on some imaginary scale that it was okay?

DizzyGoldBee Tue 31-Jul-12 14:57:28

No, I don't think you are a baby killer - you were in an impossible situation and did what you thought was best, which is all any of us can do. I don't agree with it but we all have the right to make our own decision and you did what you thought was best. I wouldn't judge you for that, nor should anybody.

duchesse Tue 31-Jul-12 15:02:25

Lurking your gran sounds fab!

JuliaScurr Tue 31-Jul-12 15:11:45

Lurking so sorry you had to endure that. Your story is why I support 'as soon as possible, as late as necessary'.
Hope you're OK

MerlinScot Tue 31-Jul-12 15:22:29

Lurking, hope you're ok ((HUGS)).
I've always avoided abortion threads, the thought of an abortion always scared me, for health reasons a pregnancy could mean death or a severe disability for me if I'm not assisted (meaning lots of money spent in people caring about me and the baby before and after he's born). Therefore, I always did whatever I could not to get pregnant if not sure I could have that.
But I'm an abuse and rape survivor too and I always wondered... what if I couldn't avoid it?

I'm glad you chose what was best for you and thanks for having the courage to post on this thread.
xx

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 15:26:32

Thank you for your comments. thanks

I guess the point I'm trying to prove is late term abortions are rarely (I would say never from my own personal experience) about anything other than desperation and suffering. Obviously I would have aborted a lot sooner than I did if I understood I was pregnant (did not have the capacity) and had access to services. By the time I got to a service I was at a VERY high part of my pregnancy. I won't say how high a not to spark debate over something terrible that happened to me.

I'd also like to add it's interesting how views change when you see the woman as a human being, not a monster desperate to kill a child. I just couldn't cope. It was my life or this blob/foetus/child's. I chose mine at a very tender age, knowing I could die just from trying to save my own life.

As weird as this sounds, I did it for my child as well. I love him/her very much. VERY much. But I simply couldn't give birth to him/her and hear their cries for my breast. I just couldn't. I couldn't face knowing he had another one of his children walking the earth who could be as evil as him. I couldn't face knowing one day there would be a knock on my door.

I believe my baby is in Heaven. And when I get there, I think they'll understand.

FWIW, not a day goes by I don't think of my child. I have no guilt. I made the right decision. But I love them with every ounce of my being. I know they're watching down on me, and will love their brothers/sisters, and the partner I will find one day who doesn't cause me pain.

I guess through a mixture of two glasses of champagne and wanting to put a face of the 'monsters,' I wanted you to see we have our reasons, even if you don't agree.

FWIW I've always agreed with nanna's stance: Disagree, but don't stop medical protection. Kinda like gay marriage etc etc. Abortion is something I would NEVER go through wth an accidental pregnancy by some fuckwit, but I support (even if I don't understand) the women who would do the opposite of what I would do in that situation, because I believe as women, we all need to support each others choices. From abortion to working mum to childless to SAHM.

Kayano Tue 31-Jul-12 15:36:34

You've got me in tears Lurking you are so strong sad thank you for sharing your story.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 15:43:13

I'm a tad embarrassed as I'm drunk (thank goodness for spell check!) but I'm glad I shared my story. Very few RL people know.

Please don't cry for me or my child, cry for the fact I was in a scenario where I had no legal access. At least this way, my child doesn't need to know I feared him/her.

summerflower Tue 31-Jul-12 15:49:31

>>But the situation for women before abortion was legal was not that great, was it?<<

No, I agree, it wasn't, which is why I said very many posts back that I was conflicted on the subject of abortion. I don't think we should go back to the days when a safe, legal abortion was not available to women in need, I am not arguing that.

My issue is with the idea that abortion serves women, it doesn't, it serves to perpetuate inequalities and oppression because it provides a socially 'easy' solution to the result of oppression (unwanted pregnancy), not the cause (stigmatisation of single motherhood, poverty, sexual abuse, male dominated professions etc).

Lurking, I think you have come closest to explaining to me why a woman should not be forced to go through the process of birth to a live child against her will, and I truly appreciate you sharing your experience. I still think there is a difference between an early term abortion in this scenario, and what would effectively be a late term stillbirth. I imagine the latter could possibly increase the trauma for the woman, but I am speaking from a place of ignorance, so i will stop here. I don't think it is fair or right to have what is an abstract discussion for me about what is very personal experience for you.

vezzie Tue 31-Jul-12 15:51:44

Lurking, magnificent brave posts, thank you so much.

summerflower Tue 31-Jul-12 15:52:31

Sorry, Lurking, I x-posed with your long post as I was taking ages how to phrase mine. Really, really sorry for your situation and as I said, very much appreciate you sharing.

Kayano Tue 31-Jul-12 15:54:25

That is what I am crying for. I think you are right about where your child is smile x

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Tue 31-Jul-12 15:55:25

summerflower, I hold no judgement smile I understand it is an emotive issue and extremely difficult to understand. I still don't understand for other women in some cases, which is probably hypocritical. But I support it, because I remember that spine chilling fear going under that I may never wake up and my pain/humiliation may be all over the papers the next day, embarrassing my loved ones.

I just understood in MY situation. I don't expect anyone else to understand how you can be revolted by your own child, fear them yet love them with all of your very being.

DizzyGoldBee Tue 31-Jul-12 16:08:53

Hugs, and lots of respect.

Xenia Tue 31-Jul-12 16:11:15

People go abroad to have late abortions which in the UK would be illegal but late abortion is very rare in the UK. Iti s so rare it is a bit of a non issue. I thnk we should simplfy abortion law - keep right to abort at any time for disabled children and have a straightfforward abortion on demand (which in practice we virtually have) up to about say 20 weeks and then when technology develops enough to allow a foetus to be removed from a mother and imkplanted in another to allow a father who wants to keep the child where the mother does not to have it removed and placed in his own surrogate and of course the birth mother who did not want to have it then does not have to support or have anything to do with it. That would solve the issue of those fathers who want a child where the mother does not although we could certainly make a father pay for the whole process with perhaps a payment for the mother from the father too.

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 16:17:32

Going back to the original post

" if your mate said, "just found out I am 37 weeks pregnant really don't want it, going for an abortion"

How often is this really going to happen? Given that the majority of the tiny amount of abortions which take place this late are for medical reasons rather than because people haven't realised they are pregnant.

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 16:18:50

"then when technology develops enough to allow a foetus to be removed from a mother and imkplanted in another to allow a father who wants to keep the child where the mother does not to have it removed and placed in his own surrogate and of course the birth mother who did not want to have it then does not have to support or have anything to do with it."

sorry but I also think this would be a horrific thing to enforce, if the technology were available!

vezzie Tue 31-Jul-12 16:23:21

duelingfanjo, which part? the surrogacy part? why?

CelticOlympian Tue 31-Jul-12 16:31:42

Just catching up with the thread.

Lurking I just wanted to say that I may disagree with some of your views and others here but I don't judge and don't consider any woman a 'monster' because of her choices. Thank you for telling your story and I'm sorry you went through that.

DuelingFanjo Tue 31-Jul-12 16:33:10

the part where a woman who really doesn't want to bring a baby into the world would be expected to have a foetus removed and put into another woman's body! I mean, really this is what people would think is an acceptable alternative to abortion? Fuck me!

Here's hoping they don't ever create that kind of technology. Given the fact that it's really difficult to get a baby through IVF (though I was lucky) I can't imagine the kind of scenario above having much of a success-rate anyway - thank fuck!

Lurking: very brave of you to post your story and I'm sorry if the terminology in this debate is distressing you.

MerlinScot Tue 31-Jul-12 18:07:23

Lurking thanks for sharing and for doing it in a decent way thanks

Any choice can be debatable so you shouldn't worry. You really, really showed a great strenght and you deserve my upmost respect and admiration.

x

MerlinScot Tue 31-Jul-12 18:08:42

I'm not drunk but the "speech" check didn't work lol meant to say you deserve everybody's respect and admiration, no matter what.

LurcioLovesFrankie Tue 31-Jul-12 18:14:29

Big Hug Lurking - you are very brave to share your story with us. It is knowing that there are real women behind abstract discussions that helps us to think things through as humantely as possible.

I think I shall be adopting JuliaScurr's slogan of "As early as possible, as late as necessary" in future.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Tue 31-Jul-12 19:21:28

"As early as possible, as late as necessary."

Yes indeed, and I would wish that the decision as to 'necessary' flows from the premise that a woman owns her own body.

GoranisGod Tue 31-Jul-12 19:51:08

solid-the things you have posted on here are insensitive at best and downright nasty at worst.

I do not refer to the babies I have lost as babies for any "sentimental" reasons-I call them that because that is what they were. I have pictures of them that I could post but other posters may find it distressing.

I did not have a "lost pregnancy"-I lost 3 sons. I buried them. I think of them on their birthdays and xmas and when my dcs reach another milestone. They were real-they existed.

I have had an early abortion. I regret it but I accept it was the choice I made at the time.

Choosing to believe that babies are in fact babies rather than some non-entity does not make me a woman hater.

But Dueling, in all those examples you gave, I was saying that a foetus should be removed from the women when she wants it removed. There was no talk of the pregnancy being continued.

Mintyy Tue 31-Jul-12 20:42:33

It is simply not possible to debate this issue without feelings of revulsion and horror. The thread is about supporting abortion to term, not at 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 24 weeks or even 28 weeks. But at term. For all their innate intelligence, why are posters who support abortion to term purely on the grounds of the woman's preference unable to see that it is a deeply emotive issue that is unlikely to win the support of the general population? Why should anyone who objects be dismissed as woman-hating, whiney and idiotic? Please.

Emotion is kind of irrelevant, though, when it comes to formulating or changing laws that affect other people's autonomy. This thread was started for a general debate, it's not a case of being sensitive to an OP in a crisis situation.

And people who find the whole subject distressing do have the option of hiding the thread.

MiniTheMinx Tue 31-Jul-12 21:45:52

What about the rights of the father? And what about the situations where men put pressure on their wives or girlfriends to have an abortion? What about women who choose abortion because they don’t have supportive partners?
This is the ridiculousness of allowing this cult of fatherhood to spring up. You find some women including feminists saying how wonderfully equal their relationships are, how men should pay for their off spring and how men can parent children just as well as any mother. The end result is that women are further disempowered.

The truth is women conceive and carry children, women nurture children, if she chooses to do this with a man who she permit to father HER child, then fine but somehow we now have a situation where man as scientist, man as state and law maker and man as father now exert control over women and their children, born or unborn, through various means emotional, economic and medical, anything from availability and affordability of contraceptives to IVF and the legality of abortion and access to children through family court proceedings.

Then we have Xenia suggesting that in future men should be allowed to have a child implanted into a surrogate. And who might this surrogate be? A women of low social status desperate to pay the bills??????

The other point I would pick up on was made several pages back
so an abortion would be the only way of being able to break away from further contact with the father). Personally I'd favour offering women in those circs the chance to have the child adopted at birth (since a late abortion involves giving birth anyway)

Actually I would favour smashing this cult of fatherhood and allowing the mother to keep her baby and change the law to protect her. In fact if father's were not so heavily invested in "fatherhood" and in the control of conception and reproduction maybe less women would find themselves with unwanted pregnancies.

I think the wishes of the father are irrelevant when it comes to choosing whether or not to keep a pregnancy. It's not his body, so it's not his choice. If he didn't want a child, he should have had himself sterilised or avoided PIV.

However, I also think that men should be able to cut off their responsibilities WRT an unplanned pregnancy, because I think women should be able to earn their own living and that child benefit should be a lot closer to the minimum wage.

MiniTheMinx Tue 31-Jul-12 21:57:35

yy SGB absolutely, women need economic independence, men need to support women to make choices & to mother children or access abortion but it needs to be done at a societal level not just at the level of two individuals and an unplanned conception, that gives men and economic inequality far too much power to dictate.

summerflower Wed 01-Aug-12 07:33:05

I am sorry, I am coming back to this, because I have been reflecting on it overnight.

Lurking, in your circumstances, you were let down by your father, who raped you and abused his position, you were also let down by society for not acknowledging and dealing with rape and abuse but letting it continue, and then by the state/society you lived in for not giving you the means to understand you were pregnant and address the result of that (which was a pregnancy) earlier. I don't mean my comments to be personal to you, but your story has prompted my thoughts, if you see what I mean.

The issues which have been going round and round my head are how do we - as feminists and as part of society - deal with the issues before they get to the stage where a desperate child goes through the trauma of a late term abortion? That seems to me a really important question. It seems to me that the argument about late term abortion (and this thread has shown me it is an argument which needs to be had, and I totally absolutely admire and salute Lurking's openness on this thread) deals with the symptom of a deeper problem, and in some ways masks that problem because the results (an unwanted baby) are removed and the woman continues to carry the emotional burden alone. It seems really important to me to be able to address those issues and not just argue for a procedure which has such huge ramifications on a point of principle (woman's body, woman's choice - a slogan which to me seems to breathtakingly inadequate when the whole chain of events leading to that point is anything but woman's body, woman's choice).

Anyway, I appreciate that the debate has moved on, but I just wanted to say that this thread has challenged me to think about what I can do, in whatever small way, about some of these issues.

I'm busy with domestic stuff today, so won't have much chance to get back to this thread, but I guess I just wanted to re-iterate my support for you sharing your story and my absolute good wishes that you can, as best as possible, continue to heal, if that doesn't sound too trite.

Xenia Wed 01-Aug-12 08:16:56

As a feminist I have always believed and lobbied for fairness for both sexes including men and there are a good few areas where men are not treated fairly. That is why in a couple of my posts above I have posted about technology eventually allowing the father to take the foetus his partner wants to abort and place it in a surrogate.

I also think you should be able to agree binding arrangements before a child is born about involvement and contact (and of course instead of that being coupled with the solidbrass idea of higher state benefits I would couple it with compulsory workfare for the benefits - but is the same point - that the parent who before conception did not want later to be involved should be allowed to abrogate that responsibility although not if it were unplanned - in that case he should have spent the evening at the local art gallery not getting into the knickers of the woman when he was drunk with a baby as the result in which case they are both saddled with the financial responsiblity for life).

crescentmoon Wed 01-Aug-12 08:25:55

solidgoldbrass said:

"However, I also think that men should be able to cut off their responsibilities WRT an unplanned pregnancy, because I think women should be able to earn their own living and that child benefit should be a lot closer to the minimum wage."

Minitheminx said:

"This is the ridiculousness of allowing this cult of fatherhood to spring up. You find some women including feminists saying how wonderfully equal their relationships are, how men should pay for their off spring and how men can parent children just as well as any mother. The end result is that women are further disempowered."

correct me if i am wrong but does that mean you think it is fine in the scenario where a man "fathers" multiple children with different women and has no more contribution to them than as sperm donor?

in that scenario then women become the "responsible" gender and men can be as feckless and reckless as they like. can you have this all over the world? fine in the UK where there is a social security system but what about poor countries which cannot afford to pick up the tab? think your ideas through.

it is women who have to deal with unwanted pregnancies when the state cannot afford to pick up the tab. even when they can afford, as in the UK, it is still difficult for a woman to make ends meet on benefits/subsidies alone.

ok then you will say lets raise the benefits to mothers so that they are not reliant on men for financial support.

this utopia that you think will be achieved has already been tried out in russia. after world war II when over 27 million people had died the government wanted to replenish the population. as 20 million of those 27 million dead were men the state began a huge pro natalist policy to support single mothers. they were given generous subsidies - closer to a wage than a benefit - and often put up in special homes during pregnancy and childbirth; the state day-care system expanded to cover most children from infancy, and penalties were threatened to anyone who discriminated against conceiving out of wedlock. all good right?

(it still continues today, vladimir putin this year is still trying to incentivise women to have children by offering more free kindergarten places, cheaper housing, and a £140 a month benefit bonus to mothers who have a third child, because the population has been falling quite dramatically in the past decade by 2.5 million people.)

In 1944, a Family Law was passed which essentially freed men from responsibility for children; in effect, the state took on the role of “husband” and "father".

the result of this policy—and of the general dearth of males—was that men moved at will from house to house, where they were expected to do nothing and were treated like kings; a generation of children were raised without reliable fathers, and women became the “responsible” gender. This family pattern was felt for decades after the war. men were just absolved of all responsibility. how is that a feminist cause?

crescentmoon Wed 01-Aug-12 08:32:27

(seems very conveniently a man's cause, as much recreational sex as he wants without any responsibility except as a taxpayer, of which then women pay taxes to absolve him too)

purplesprouting Wed 01-Aug-12 09:24:41

Lurking thankyou for bravely sharing your story. Am sorry you had to act without being able to access safe and legal care.

Topknob asked earlier whether those wanting term abortion had children themselves. I would suggest that they have both children and probably a more developed awareness of situations like lurkings.

No one wants to see late term terminations. I would just like to see women's needs met individually through their hcps without a contrived legal framework that discriminates against the disabled and can work against the girls and women with the most vulnerable pregnancies.

I have had an unwanted pregnancy and placed a child for adoption, but I recognise that this is an option associated with worse outcomes for mothers than abortion. Any mother considering either option in later pregnancy needs individual and sensitive care, I don't think one prescriptive model can give women the care they deserve.

The posters wanting babies delivered early are overly optimistic about the survival rates and incidence of disability. The children obviously disabled may never get adopted, the ones whose issues manifest later may be more at risk of adoption breakdown presuming these children aren't stuck in foster care whilst relatives are negotiating rights through the courts.

Work and volunteering has brought me into contact with girls and women in situations so grim that any easy uncertainties that I held about absolute rights and wrongs have long gone. I think it naive or cruel to look at girls and women in extreme situations and to look to long term social change without addressing issues like their access to abortion.

All evidence tells us women access abortion as soon as possible and the women who haven't been able to do this often have the most need of the service.

A legal system that enshrines women's rights over their own body is consistent with steps towards a culture where women have more rights and status.

Incidentally I find xenia's idea utterly bonkers, the UK had kept payment out of surrogacy and even were this possible medically and ethically then surely the only way it would work would be on a rentawomb basis. Reducing economically vulnerable women to a portable uterus. Agreeing rights in utero is not something to be done lightly and the potential for abuse and pressure in a woman not automatically autonomous is terrifying.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 09:26:33

I just want to again thank everybody for their support and kindness. It means a great deal to me that such a horrible thing can bring women closer to a common goal, even if we all have different ideas of what the goal should be. thanks

DuelingFanjo Wed 01-Aug-12 09:59:58

"Incidentally I find xenia's idea utterly bonkers, the UK had kept payment out of surrogacy and even were this possible medically and ethically then surely the only way it would work would be on a rentawomb basis. Reducing economically vulnerable women to a portable uterus. Agreeing rights in utero is not something to be done lightly and the potential for abuse and pressure in a woman not automatically autonomous is terrifying."

Maybe it would be the Pro-lifers who put themselves forward to offer this surrogacy service for free? Or perhaps in an 'ideal' world they could invent some way of getting men to carry the babies to term? If they did I wonder how many men would really be happy to do it? Crazy.

You wouldn't get many pro-lifers, particularly male ones, agreeing to do any of the work involved in gestation. Their agenda has nothing to do with the wellbeing of babies and everything to do with placing women under the control of men.

As to raising child benefit to at least the minimum wage, that would be a recognition of the fact that raising small children is work, a job that needs to be done, and that the person doing it needs an income. Couple that with affordable childcare, and women who want or have children would no longer need to be economically dependent on individual men, with all the unfairness and potential for abuse that this involves (and yeah, yeah, we know, not your Nigel etc - but abuse does go on when women are forced into this position of economic dependence).

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 11:57:44

does that mean you think it is fine in the scenario where a man "fathers" multiple children with different women and has no more contribution to them than as sperm donor?

No, I am just focusing on the reproductive rights of women. Some may choose to become prg & wish to pursue a long term relationship with a man who will be an active and responsible father. On the other hand she might just want to have a child because it is the right time for her, how many women wait for the right man, wait for that man to make a commitment and then find time is running out. How many women put career goals first because motherhood and career are difficult to manage when we all play the economic game according to the man made rules, rules that advantage men over women, both in feudal society and now under capitalism. How many women opt to have an abortion not just because of some binary “ I don’t want a child” it is often far more complex, ranging from the purely practical & economic to the emotional response to rape.

Patriarchy means rule of the father, men seek to control women’s bodies because they are heavily invested in fatherhood. Some might say men are naturally aggressive and predatory and dislike women but there is more historical evidence to suggest that they are more concerned with shaping society to further their goals, goals that were born out of competition between men for wealth and resources. Women and reproduction must be controlled my men, whether they be working class or capitalists seeking to mould the next generation of workers and consumers.

If rape is about controlling women, why rape? Why do men control women sexually, why sexual violence? Is it because there are no other ways in which to control women? Of course not, consider the holocaust and the way which the Jews were systematically reduced to lower social beings. I would put forward the rational idea that rape occurs because men seek to control not women’s bodies but their reproductive capacities.

In Russia (which wasn’t/isn’t a truly communist country) it was found that even party members preferred marriage and family but it could afford single women and women escaping or eschewing a less than perfect domestic situation. The idea of supporting women to raise children without recourse to an individual male is a sound idea. I agree with SGB’s last post about economic dependence and abuse.

Xenia Wed 01-Aug-12 13:42:23

Slightly off topic but because women can offer it and men cannot men prohibit by law commercial surrogacy, in a sense cheating feminist women of being able to use one of their advantages over men.

The banning of payment in the UK for commercial surrogacy (although it's dead easy to procure in India anyway so not really much of a bar) is a feminist issue and the law should be changed.

purplesprouting Wed 01-Aug-12 14:09:44

Because we would love a system like India's where women are often forced into surrogacy so others can benefit.

Xenia Wed 01-Aug-12 14:12:35

Not all. Plenty of them want to and it transforms lives.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 14:21:33

Xenia your posts terrify me.

Kayano Wed 01-Aug-12 14:22:55

Why can't you receive payments for being a surrogate. You have to change your life for 9 solid months!!!

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 14:29:29

Yes interesting Xenia that men "cheat" women out of one income stream from preventing the commercialisation of surrogacy, where one women might carry and sell a baby to a another women, heaven forbid, and yet positively endorse prostitution. Hilarious isn't it and yet no one really wants to challenge it instead we all roll up our sleeves and trot back to work! or the kitchen sink. Maybe it's ok in Xenia land to exploit Indian women, is that because they are indian or because they are poor?

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 14:31:50

Lurking, I'm not sure if I'm terrified or amused grin perhaps both.

purplesprouting Wed 01-Aug-12 14:40:12

My dad is recently returned from working with a charity that aides Indian women and children. The women within the org are usually single mothers, rescued sex workers/ and/or rescued surrogates. The surrogate / sex worker roles often overlap and neither benefited the women but the men who pimped them.

Some indian prostitutes and surrogates may benefit but the cost to women is high. Currently it is a form of expoitation that trades on the low status of many Indian women. That the market is increasingly an export one is another layer if expoitation.

KarenHL Wed 01-Aug-12 14:58:49

Some interesting points on here. Espec' to see the argument that access to termination can be see as patriarchal & lessening women's rights.

Just to turn that on it's head for a moment - during my last pregnancy I was being pressured to have a termination (a v.long story I won't go into here - not by the baby's father tho'). That pressure seemed to trump my feelings, my beliefs, my body, the baby's body - everything. No-one seemed willing to listen to me and I ended up giving up trying to access medical care because I knew no one would listen or care about what was happening.

My case was unusual. Baby was ill, but no-one could tell how ill until birth. An early delivery could have enabled treatment for his illness, but cons refused. And yes, I have met several children with his condition who have both survived, had treatment & had good quality of life. My cons was a bloody sadist who did everything he could to manipulate and put pressure on me. That is a wonderful example of a man trying to subjugate a woman. Knowing that it was likely baby would die, we needed to manage his birth and death in a way that reduced his suffering (which cons refused) yet enabled us to cope mentally.

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 15:10:16

Your Dad sounds ace Purple I don't know much about surrogacy in India apart from the fact that it is women of lower economic status that undertake this. I'd like to find out more about it though.

Xenia, if men were given rights over the unborn child, women would be forced to continue with the pregnancy whilst either the man or the courts were able to arrange for a surrogate to take over. In what way would this help a a women who was suffering mentally/emotionally. Also how could it be established without doubt that the child she was carrying actually was the his biological child? I think it quite likely that such a law, given a time when we have that technology will be extremely damaging to women. Can you imagine a women who has been raped, reports this and the man is charged but it takes several months to go to court, what will happen to her rights then and indeed his? Could a women later claim she had been raped to prevent the father enforcing his right to have the child implanted into a surrogate?

purplesprouting Wed 01-Aug-12 16:16:34

Mini a friend of his runs it, he was amazed by what it has achieved and terrified by some of the realities he discovered.

Karen, your experience sounds truly dreadful. I hope you have been able to find some healing. How awful that 'unusual' meant unsupported and isolatedsad

Xenia Wed 01-Aug-12 17:02:25

An indian woman hiring out her womb to transform her family is given much more power than many of those women have. Her position is no different, but in fact a bit more honest and morally purer than a British housewive who provides her husband with sex, child care and cleaning services in return for his keeping her in food and housing. Housewives are in effect paid to breed except they are in a sense owned financially by their man. Those who are paid to breed with the freedom of being paid by someone else are in a better position. Women should be allowed to exploit their erotic capital and the areas where they have things men don't.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 17:11:07

Is there any debate you can't manage to twist into a bash against SAHMs?

Honestly, I'm kind of impressed.

'Do you support full term abortion?'

'WELL compared to the misery of the SAHMs, it's not THAT bad!!'

Now I'm amused Mini grin

purplesprouting Wed 01-Aug-12 17:48:07

Dont know if it is a mumsnet myth that xenia has an island but I can see why self governance might appeal...

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 18:11:56

Thanks purple, my screen now has sprinkles of a hot drink on it! grin

Lucyellensmum99 Wed 01-Aug-12 18:17:09

Is Xenia STILL SAHM bashing?? Still lololing at that post - I am a brood mare!!!!!l FFS So what about SAHMs who choose to stay at home even thouh their partners would rather they went back to work? tut tut

Sorry, not the issue here but good lord!

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 18:18:54

hey, at least we all went from something horrible to a good laugh!

Would it be in poor taste to say I find brood mares the most attractive of all horses?

Kayano Wed 01-Aug-12 18:19:53

Let's forget Indian surrogates for a second and even abortion. Why CAN'T a woman be paid to be a surrogate in the UK? I would do it

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 18:22:23

I don't think women can be paid here in Aus either. I'd like to know the answer too.

Xenia Wed 01-Aug-12 19:07:59

They can't be because men make the laws and this is one area women might have power and money where men can't so they stop it. There is a whole section in Hakim's book about erotic capital about that issue and related ones.

Mumsnet should lobby to enable women to be paid surrogates. It's a woman's issue. Why shouldn't we be paid if we want to be and can reach a bargain. You could easily include a requirement the both sides take legal advice etc

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 19:08:27

Karen, your situation sounds very sad, I think this is why women need to demand autonomy, whether that be the right to have a baby or an abortion. For too long men have sought to control reproduction through rape, technology, economics, marriage, medicine...........experts even tell us when and how we should give birth.

I also wanted to say, thank you Lurking you have really made me think about the issue of late abortion, although I favour early access I think what Julia said is right. I think Annie makes some interesting points too because all options should be available, all help offered, even if that means fundamental changes to the way society operates but at the end of the day, the decision must rest with the woman.

As for Indian surrogates winning the lottery of life because richer MEN pay to hire their wombs, whilst these same men can pick and choose and have female foetuses aborted. It is just a sick malaise of a society riddled with class inequality and huge levels of poverty, disease and discrimination against women.

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 19:18:22

Xenia, rather than reading Catherine Hakim Erotisches Kapital, you would find greater insight reading Das Kapital !! at least he really did understand economics and is credited with having developed some excellent social theories.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 19:24:29

It's 4:30AM here, and as such my insomnia is making me a little emotional.

I just want to say I'm sorry if anyone viewed my story as being written to guilt trip, I really didn't mean it that way.

summerflower Wed 01-Aug-12 20:59:00

I'd be really surprised, Lurking, if anyone thought that. You told your experience in a measured, honest and balanced way. It needs to be told.

Purplesprouting, I clearly remember Xenia commenting at some point not too long ago that had she been married and not working, she would never have been able to afford her island, so I think it exists.

As for fatherhood, suffice to say, my husband (white, middle class professional male) has still not got over the fact that the midwives and health visitors clearly addressed themselves to me in the process of having a baby. I honestly think until women have equality in all other areas of life, Mini has a point that the emphasis on fathers serves in some ways to disempower women in the one area which they traditionally have control over.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 21:04:14

OT but I have to ask.

Xenia, do you own an island?! shock

If you do, get off MN and go have a coconut martini! is not jealous envy

Lucyellensmum99 Wed 01-Aug-12 21:05:26

Lurking, i am personally against abortion (by personally i mean i wouldnt do it) but i would never ever judge you or think you were guilt tripping by sharing your story. I don't judge other women by the choices they make. We all have our opionions on what is right and wrong, those opinions are easy to have in theory, until we find ourselves in such a position that those opinions/principals are put the the test. I cannot say 100% that i would not have made the same decision that you did.

Xenia Wed 01-Aug-12 21:11:07

Yes, I do own an island. I wanted one when I was 10 and I bought it in 2005. It is near the equator but it's primitive, not luxury. Hopefully this summer I am having a small one room "hut" built on it if my man out there does what he keeps saying he will. 25 acres of beach, ancient rain forest, a grassy area, trees. It's lovely.

Women can achieve anything they set their minds to and earn whatever they set as their goals but too many of them choose to limit their ambitions and have not enough confidence in their own abilities (or don't marry a man rich enough to buy them an island).

I don't know if I would have an abortion or not. When I was pregnant with twins I had no tests done as I would not have aborted them anyway and it is harder with twins as if you get rid of one the other may die too. My baby sister died at 3 weeks and had down's and heart disease and I do believe we were lucky she died. I know any mumsnetter with a loved down's child will hate that statement but that's how I feel, sad though it was at the time and in the UK you can lawfully abort a down's baby even at 42 weeks if it is still in utero.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 21:19:18

Thank you summer and Lucy smile I just got paranoid (I overthink) that maybe because of my age at the time I was depriving people of the choice to respectfully disagree with me. I'm glad that's not true!

I understand the logic of aborting a child with a disability like for example, Tasax (not sure if that can be discovered in utero though, I know I can genetically test for it) where you know the life of your child will be nothing but endless pain until they die, but why is it okay to abort a Downs baby at 42 weeks but not a 'normal' baby? I don't understand?

summerflower Wed 01-Aug-12 21:39:41

'why is it okay to abort a Downs baby at 42 weeks but not a 'normal' baby? I don't understand?'

I don't know, I think it comes back to society's attitudes towards disability, but I also think it is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy with routine screening (although that would pick Down's up earlier), it gives the choice and creates a pressure to do something to avoid what is percieved as a problem.

I personally didn't have any screening as I would not have terminated, which was a personal decision based on my own experiences.

Xenia, I'm not sure about wanting an island, I recently realised I'd love a little cottage by the sea with a garden I can tend and time to tend it. It needs to wait until the DCs have grown and left home, though.

RiaSponsorsTheOlympics Wed 01-Aug-12 21:40:13

This thread is really making me challenge my assumptions, and now I’m leaning towards ‘as early as possible, as late as necessary’. (Although I can also see why in an ideal society abortion would very rarely need to even be considered.)

If I understand correctly the argument against early induction is that a woman prepared to have her baby adopted would wait the extra weeks or months, whereas a woman who wanted her pregnancy to end as soon as possible would not consider adoption, even if she didn’t have to carry to term. Have I got that right?

If that’s the case, I can certainly see why early delivery would not be a helpful alternative.

DuelingFanjo Wed 01-Aug-12 22:09:14

article on surrogacy

From what I can see on the web one of the main reason you can't pay a surrogate in this country anything more than reasonable expenses incurred is to stop it becoming exploitative.

purplesprouting Wed 01-Aug-12 22:42:35

I do see that there could be perfectly sensible paid surrogate arrangements but the sale of children is fundamentally unethical. The current legal barriers to pay possibly protects both parties as a more altruistic surrogacy is maybe more likely to work without exploitation.

The market is obviously exploitative in many countries that allow pay. Here you can have expenses, including compensation for loss of pay so don't lose out as such.

MiniTheMinx Wed 01-Aug-12 23:04:09

I used to work with children and young people with profound LDs. The downs children were great, they enjoyed life, the laughed, they all had communication skills. On the other hand the children with autism lacked communication, rarely smiled, seldom laughed and were often tormented with angst. Would I abort a child with Down, no absolutely not. Although you can test for downs there are no tests for ASD, and these children made little developmental progress compared to the Downs children.

"my husband (white, middle class professional male) has still not got over the fact that the midwives and health visitors clearly addressed themselves to me in the process of having a baby" grin very funny!

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Wed 01-Aug-12 23:07:53

Just want to share one of my all time favourite pictures. (One of my distant cousins has Downs. She is probably the kindest person I've ever met.)

This picture always cheers me up and melts my heart.

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/529601_10150989159728568_391085755_n.jpg

thunksheadontable Thu 02-Aug-12 11:10:45

I am horrified by some of the posts on this thread.

In the main, I agree with blackcats, though I do feel 24 weeks as the age of viability is a little low as though babies can and do survive at this gestation, it is only with recourse to extraordinary measures.

To me, if a baby/foetus whatever you want to call it can take an independent breath outside of the womb and there is no reason to believe it wouldn't live a full and healthy life, it is morally and ethically wrong in the extreme to kill it. The idea it would be "horrible" to force adoption but fine to deny what is actually a child of life is just nonsensical. The idea that suggesting it is wrong to seek to actively end the life of a being that responds to touch, movement and its mother's voice is one step on a slippery slope to preventing women from driving or playing sport in late pregnancy boggles the mind. I don't care if late term abortion for social reasons is a myth or not, if a baby can survive outside of the womb without extraordinary medical measures it is a person, it's a baby and that has sod all to do with woman's rights.

thunksheadontable Thu 02-Aug-12 11:12:07

And don't get me started on the idea of terminating a full term foetus with cleft lip and palate or down's.... angry

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 11:17:26

then you will be so pleased to hear that there are only a few late term abortions in this country every year and the majority are for medical reasons.

You'll also be relieved to hear that 91% of abortions in 2011 were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation, 78% were under 10 weeks and only 0.1% were after 24 weeks. There were 29 abortions over 32 weeks.

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 11:17:44
thunksheadontable Thu 02-Aug-12 11:35:12

I really am. I feel really strongly about the abortion of children with Down's because I feel it is an offshoot of a particular test and though I understand why people do it in early pregnancy in particular and would never condemn an individual woman for her choice as I'm sure it is a heart-rending one that's impossible to understand unless you've been there, I feel that if there is a legal acceptance of termination for a child with DS to term this is shockingly disablist on a societal level.

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 11:52:13

Most people who are considering terminating a foetus with chromosonal abnormalities will do so before 24 weeks. When I had a high risk Nuchal scan result I was told I could wait until the 20 week scan if I didn't want the Amnio but I chose to have an Amnio as I would have wanted to terminate earlier rather than later.

I would assume (Though of course it may be wrong to do so) that most terminations after 24 weeks are for reasons such as disability which is incompatible with life. I know that most post 24 week abortions are done under 'Ground E' which states "there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped"

2,307 abortions (1%) were carried out under ground E (risk that the child would be born handicapped).

"Congenital malformations were reported as the principal medical condition in nearly half (45%; 1,046) of the 2,307 cases undertaken under ground E. The most commonly reported malformations were of the nervous system (23% of all ground E cases; 540) and the musculoskeletal system (7%; 160). Chromosomal abnormalities were reported as the principal medical condition for just over a third (39%; 889) of Ground E cases. Down’s syndrome was the most commonly reported chromosomal abnormality (22%; 511)"

Margerykemp Thu 02-Aug-12 13:10:53

Adoption just isnt going to happen for a disabled/premature/drug addicted (or non-white sad) baby. There isnt a happy ending. They will spend their life in a home/institution where no one will ever love them and will be at risk of abuse etc. Who would wish that on a child?

Margerykemp Thu 02-Aug-12 13:11:42

How many people who are advacating adoption on this thread have actually themselves put themselves forward to adopt a disabled child? Hmm thought not.

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 13:23:16

and how many people would put themselves forward to have a foetus with a disability which is incomatible with life put into their body so they can act as a surrogate as Xenia has suggested?

Margerykemp Thu 02-Aug-12 13:27:57

yes because so many many are queuing up to be 24/7 lifelong carers of disabled kids, aren't they?

thunksheadontable Thu 02-Aug-12 13:47:16

Be that as it may, termination at term is really something to be avoided ethically. Through work, I know of two couples who have adopted children with DS, so being given up at 37 weeks + does not actually make life in an institution some sort of foregone conclusion for these children. I also know of a huge amount of drug addicted babies who have been adopted. Killing a baby at term because of a disability that is not at all incompatible with life (and quality of life for most individuals with DS) just isn't ethical and shouldn't rest on someone's views of what sort of life is "worthy". Should we just round up babies of mothers who have severe mental illness/drug and drink problems/living in poverty/working as prostitutes and kill them too because their lives would be miserable in our estimation? I am supportive of lots of different reasons for termination (and recognise that many of them are tragic for the women involved) but abortion at term for any condition that could have been identified earlier and is not incompatible with life is a whole other kettle of fish.

duchesse Thu 02-Aug-12 14:42:22

Going off at a slight tangent here, but what do people make of the fact that unborn children already receive a certain amount of social services protection in this country? Often the mothers are in a precarious situation themselves of course and also have SW involvement and encouragement not to do anything too destructive to themselves that might damage the foetus as well.

It strikes me that is probably mostly a pragmatic move by social workers, as they expect to end up having to have a lot of involvement in the child's life once it's born and would prefer it not to be too damaged at birth, but it is to a certain extent a granting of "rights" to the unborn, probably at the expense of the mother's rights to do what she wants.

MiniTheMinx Thu 02-Aug-12 15:04:17

Duchesse, it's strange how the language we use changes from foetus to baby at the point at which we decide we want to carry to term. The language changes, midwives refer to the baby, relatives, doctors and the woman herself. Just by altering the language we convey not the status of the baby/foetus but we project our desires for the baby as a separate and complete human because we are focused on the end result. I'm finding it hard to articulate it (trying to work as well), hope that makes sense!

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 15:07:48

the difference is that the women want to have their babies, so from that decision Social services have to owe those potential children a duty of care. They have no duty of care to the unborn child of a woman who is planning an abortion, though they may have a duty of care to the mother.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Thu 02-Aug-12 15:09:27

Thunk:

We don't round them up and kill them. We round them up and put them in the system.

nailak Thu 02-Aug-12 15:29:04

dueling others in your situation might have had the amino and still waited for scan as they wanted to be sure. In my head this is the sensible thing. So you can't really say because I did this most people will?

But there are also people on this thread who were told their kids would have downs but didn't.

Personally i know someone who was told his child had abnormality incompatible with life. First they said maybe wouldnt survive the 2nd trimester and recommended abortion, but she did survive, then they said wouldn't survive birth but she did, then they said will only live a few hours, but now she is 3 years old and perfectly healthy. Drs don't always get it.right.

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 15:33:22

erm, the Amnio is a pretty certain way of checking if there is a chromosonal issue. It's about 99% accurate. And even if someone were to wait until 20 weeks for a scan they would still have another 4 weeks in which to terminate before going over the 24 week 'limit'.

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 15:33:22

erm, the Amnio is a pretty certain way of checking if there is a chromosonal issue. It's about 99% accurate. And even if someone were to wait until 20 weeks for a scan they would still have another 4 weeks in which to terminate before going over the 24 week 'limit'.

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 15:36:58

"But there are also people on this thread who were told their kids would have downs but didn't"

Are there? I can't see anyone on this thread saying they were told their child had downs syndrome but then didn't? Were they told their children would definitely have Downs? Or were they told their child had a high risk of a chromosonal abnormality after a Nuchal scan.

where are these people?

DuelingFanjo Thu 02-Aug-12 15:40:25

"Personally i know someone who was told his child had abnormality incompatible with life" what was the abnormality? Was the doctor investigated afterwards for being shit. It seems odd that someone would go all the way through a pregnancy and several scans and be told that there was something seriously wrong all the way up to the birth only for the baby to be completely and totally healthy with no problems whatsoever. Even odder that a doctor who did this would not be investigated some how - I assume they were?

FWI if we are exchanging anecdotal info I have a friend who works with Down Syndrome children, some of whom have severe medical needs and she very strongly supported me in my decision that I would abort if the Amnio had told me there was a chromosonal problem.

nailak Thu 02-Aug-12 17:54:15

tha abnormalatied were a half developed heart so the blood could pull and not push, and no belly wall, organs outside of body.

The baby wasnt fine at birth, but her problems werent incompatible with life as they were led to believe. The couple were researching funerals and stuff, they were sure the baby was going to die as that is what they were told.

on birth the baby was transfered to great ormand street and had some sort of rip to help her heart, which had grown significantly between last scan and birth.

on birth they could also see although her belly muscles were absent they were growing slowly, and they were able to push organs in and stitch up belly.

She had some operations on her heart. At one month she had viral infection drs said would probably kill her

but after all of that 3 years later she is fine.

The couple are shocked at the thought they could have aborted their baby on the drs advice.

The point is not about anecdotal evidence or about is abortion wrong or right, as that is up to each individual.

The point is sometimes drs get it wrong.

and dueling although the amino may be scientifically acurate, I would like the visual evidence as well, I mean these things are not highly rational decisions are they? I would try to put off the abortion for as long as poss hoping the drs may be wrong.

nailak Thu 02-Aug-12 17:57:20

Also why are women with babies with these conditions pressured in to abortion my medical staaff?

KarenHL Wed 01-Aug-12 14:58:49
Some interesting points on here. Espec' to see the argument that access to termination can be see as patriarchal & lessening women's rights.

Just to turn that on it's head for a moment - during my last pregnancy I was being pressured to have a termination (a v.long story I won't go into here - not by the baby's father tho'). That pressure seemed to trump my feelings, my beliefs, my body, the baby's body - everything. No-one seemed willing to listen to me and I ended up giving up trying to access medical care because I knew no one would listen or care about what was happening.

My case was unusual. Baby was ill, but no-one could tell how ill until birth. An early delivery could have enabled treatment for his illness, but cons refused. And yes, I have met several children with his condition who have both survived, had treatment & had good quality of life. My cons was a bloody sadist who did everything he could to manipulate and put pressure on me. That is a wonderful example of a man trying to subjugate a woman. Knowing that it was likely baby would die, we needed to manage his birth and death in a way that reduced his suffering (which cons refused) yet enabled us to cope mentally.

Thing is, these cases of babies who are born with their innards inside out and no head or whatever and are now healthy three-year-olds are VERY RARE. Most babies born with serious disabilities die, even after repeated painful operations. I wouldn't condemn any mother for wanting to give her own baby every chance possible, but nor would I condemn anyone for believing that termination is better than a short life of constant pain and repeated surgery.

'As early as possible, as late as necessary'. It's not a difficult concept to understand, unless you really do think that women are walking incubators and that your 'ethics' enable you to take control of someone else's body by force or by law.

minipie Thu 02-Aug-12 18:08:42

I haven't read the whole thread (got to page 15) but this is something that I have considered before.

I agree with Annie's solution (which I had never thought of myself). The woman's right to have the foetus/baby taken out of her body is absolute. However, what happens to the foetus/baby after it is removed from her body (and indeed the method of removal) depends on how viable the foetus/baby is.

If the foetus/baby has an excellent chance of survival and good health, without significant intervention, then it should be removed from the mother by careful means (induction/C section) and put in the hands of the doctors and state for, if possible, adoption.

If it doesn't then IMO it is a "normal" abortion scenario and an abortion can be performed without seeking to keep the foetus/baby alive.

Where I disagree with Annie is where that line is drawn. She says 24 weeks. I don't think the chances of healthy survival are good enough at that point. I would draw the line at about 30 weeks (it would vary depending on the health of that particular foetus as shown by scan).

Xenia Thu 02-Aug-12 18:34:47

I think the law for a fit chidl is 24 weeks and for a disabled child is any time even 42 weeks if still in the womb, which is why 24 has been mentioned.

Interesting point - if you are aborting a down's baby at 40 weeks (very very unusual as someone said above hardly any abortions are late ones so it's a fairly theoretical issue) or indeed any viable baby do you the mother have the right to have it done so it is killed in the womb or must you take the method they propose to you and then if it lives - although I think they see to it that they don't live if it's an abortion as that's the point, you can give it up for adoption?

NameGames Thu 02-Aug-12 18:55:34

I don't have a problem with abortion to term, I don't think it's ethically wrong to destroy life at that point because I don't think what makes us distinct from other animals and makes our lives about more than pattern reproduction exists at that point. The thing I find really unethical about taking life is the destruction of hopes and dreams and the removal of active agency. A baby doesn't have any of these things before birth so the agency of the mother over her own body takes precedence for me. If that means having the baby and keeping it or giving it up for adoption then that's fine. If it's abortion then that's fine. I really think it's entirely up to her. I'd probably be a bit judgemental about someone who left an abortion to 30+ weeks when they could easily have decided earlier, because it seems really bad for the woman and dumb, but I just can't see that happening. Whenever I hear anecdotes about women who have done something similar it always turns out that they were dealing with horrific situations that impaired their ability to cope well.

I'm always a little surprised at how anti-abortion the pro-choice movement is. It's full of people saying they want as few abortions as possible, and how they aren't pro-abortion. But I think of myself as pro-abortion. I'm all for contraception or abstinence, or non-PIV sex if that's what you want to do. But when it comes down to it, I dont care what someone did before they got pregnant, I'd rather see as many abortions at term as women want to have than any children being brought up by people who don't really want them, or aren't really ready for them or capable of bringing them up. I'd rather see abortions at term than women trapped by child-rearing as my mother was. I think forced state intervention (both legally enforced support and child removal) needs to be limited to the very worst situations because of the horror of a society in which norms of parenting are enforced by the state, but I do wish our social consciousness was more about thinking "is this really the best time for me to be having this child?" and then keener on the option of abortion in the case of unplanned pregnancy. But it's hard to have that not step over the line into coercion (which I think is just as horrific as pressuring women not to have an abortion).

crescentmoon Thu 02-Aug-12 19:26:08

i accept abortion as a harm prevention measure but not as its own moral good namegame. not like contraception is its own moral good.

crescentmoon Thu 02-Aug-12 19:44:16

the cut off point for me is not about viability but about when the foetus has a soul, which in my religious tradition is 120 days after conception. we call this 'ensoulment'.

but we have alot of societal attitudes against abortion. we regard children as a blessing - disabled children are also a blessing in islam, have a statement of belief that all children are born sinless without inheriting any of whatever their parents have done, have an explicit forbidding of female infanticide - i have no doubt that without this you would see similar numbers of sex selective abortions amongst muslim asians as with their neighbours - and are also told 'do not kill your children for fear of poverty'. so that could apply to babe in the womb as to a child living in the world.

but i fully support abortion upto full term if it is to save the mothers life, because in islam the mothers life is more important than the baby's life and that is the only situation when abortion is allowed after ensoulment.

and in the case of rape, during the yugoslav war in 1994 many bosnian muslim women were raped by serbs and two big muslim religious councils, in Saudi and Turkey, declared that if abortion was better for their mental health than keeping the child then they should abort any pregnancies the sooner the better.

Religion can't and shouldn't be used in making laws, though. One person's imaginary friend shouldn't be able to override real people's human rights.

thunksheadontable Thu 02-Aug-12 20:40:43

"I'd rather see abortions at term than women trapped by child-rearing as my mother was"

shock

Really, it's not far from this point to infanticide. At what point do you deem the foetus/baby to have hopes/dreams/active agency? Arguably before the advent of language humans don't have these. So should someone who murders a baby be seen in the same light as a destroyer of an animal?

Honestly, how fucked up.

crescentmoon Thu 02-Aug-12 20:57:33

I'm stating how I see the foetus spiritually, only having the potential for lhumanness before 120 days, possessing a soul and the rights of a human being after 120 days. That's roughly 7weeks before the UK limit, can you tell gender or fit/disabled by 17weeks I dont know?

But i wanted to post that to show my position on abortion be based on a conservative interpretation not liberal. Muslims are much more pragmatic about abortion but it's still seen as 'lesser evil', that's why I used the terms 'moral good' in talking about abortion and contraception.

As for imaginary friend...it would be more likely to appease people's egos rather than tell people to rise above their egos.

crescentmoon Thu 02-Aug-12 21:03:34

(you can still say imaginary but I think friend is abit inaccurate. I can imagine dionysius/Bacchus as imaginary friends (god of wine,theatre and ecstasy, but not the abrahamic God, unless you are uniting that God with Jesus who walks beside his followers, then maybe I get why you keep saying imaginary friend sgb.)

NameGames Thu 02-Aug-12 21:04:30

crescent I think the idea of personhood is a critical one. If I thought personhood began before birth I would have a very different perspective on abortion. I don't believe souls exist let alone inhabit the body at 120 days post conception, but I can accept such a sincerely held belief totally alters the view of what is happening, I just don't agree that that is what is happening.

Does the religious councils' declaration apply all the time (i.e. is the woman's mental health always of higher value now, or is it just in cases of rape, or limited to the atrocities in that war)?

NameGames Thu 02-Aug-12 21:20:40

thunks

I certainly don't think you need language to have hopes, dreams, or agency. I don't think it's currently possible to know where that point starts. Birth has always seemed like an extraordinarily practical cut off point because you no longer have another person who most definitely does have personhood to give autonomy to.

thunksheadontable Thu 02-Aug-12 21:49:34

I agree with that cut off point only in so far as the foetus/baby can't reasonably be expected to live independently outside the womb without extraordinary measures being taken. However, as that will be as early as 32 weeks for some, I'm really not comfortable with the idea of an abortion at term at 42 weeks to prevent a woman from being "trapped by childrearing".

I know it's a moot point in some respects as it's unlikely to be tested, I'm just uncomfortable with the principle here.

crescentmoon Thu 02-Aug-12 22:03:56

That's a good question on how far does that particular ruling apply. I think it is unanimous that rape is a legitimate reason for abortion in Islam, in any situation war or not. But I'm not sure about the 'mental health' aspect.But certainly some Muslims do also widen that ruling further to say mental harm, and the general priority to saving a mothers life is not just her physical life but her mental health. But I think there's lots of nuances to that argument.

One Indian woman's anguish on hearing she's having a girl may be because of her society's prejudice against having girls.in the UK hearing that her baby will be disabled may make a woman have huge anguish-but hat may be compounded by how British society views the disabled-or the 'imperfect' generally. (may have full mental and physical faculties but have a facial disfigurement like cleft lip).

But it allows room for a lot of extrapolations.

NameGames Thu 02-Aug-12 22:58:59

Thunks I don't think I would be "comfortable" with a woman having an abortion at 42 weeks in order to avoid being trapped by childrearing. I just don't find it immoral, only very unwise to leave it so late. Still, in such a highly unrealistic scenario and assuming the woman does not want to give up the baby for adoption, I think abortion is wiser and preferable than a child being brought up in a family that didn't really want it.

sashh Fri 03-Aug-12 01:50:06

tha abnormalatied were a half developed heart so the blood could pull and not push

That makes absoloutly no sense.

Xenia Fri 03-Aug-12 10:45:11

I don't think we need to side track into Islam. If a husband cannot rape his wife in marriage which was English law until about 30 years ago and is still the rule in many cultures - there was even a new law in Afghanistan recently making that clear - then a wife "raped" in marriage who has a child may not then abort it? Is that what we are saying as that is not then "rape"?

In practice most UK abortions are very very earlyh - 91% someone said above so I don't think they are such a big issue. What we do need worldwide is all cultures to see that girls are as valuable as boys - many women in the West earn a lot more than men - I earned 10x my husband - so that the huge nmbers of Indian and Chinese babies girls aborted every year is reduced. Given how many Chinese women are millionaires I am surprised the statistcs persist and are so very sexist.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Fri 03-Aug-12 11:41:38

Yes but we still don't have equal pay (not in Aus anyway)

NameGames Fri 03-Aug-12 11:42:42

Isn't the Chinese issue to do with the fact parents expect to live with their son and his family when they get older - effectively a son is a pension fund. Whereas daughters will be looking after their inlaws. It isn't to do with how much the son or daughter might earn, but the culture of care taking for the elderly. That could be taken care of with a universal public pension.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 03-Aug-12 13:29:26

The Chinese situation is complex and rapidly changing. Largely as a result of a one child policy, and before gender scans were widely available, abandonment and infanticide of baby girls was widespread. Once gender scans became more widespread, this was to an extent replaced by gender specific terminations. In fact, it's now actually quite hard to find a NT baby girl available for adoption. Most children abandoned now are boys, and most have special needs (parents abandon them as they cant afford to pay treatment/rehab costs and think the government will)

So, there was a situation whereby rather than being abandoned, these girls were simply being terminated. However, the gender specific terminations now seem to be reducing as well per the latest 5 yr birth data comparing no. of boys born with no. of girls. The precise reasons are unclear but are probably linked to the trend of rural-urban migrancy.

- Breakdown of the traditional family structure whereby elderly parents would live with their son and his wife. Now more typical for adult children to work in the cities and both send money home to respective parents (most Chinese families are 2 wage in urban areas)

- Changing economic structure means girls are at least as employable as boys in mot jobs that migrants do.

Also, likely that one child policy will be abandoned in next 5-10 yrs, so government officials are getting less strict about applying it- however, this is anecdotal and varies a lot between regions (as it always has done)

Xenia Fri 03-Aug-12 13:55:30

..and we did just have that recent awful case of the lady forced to endure a 7 month termination against her will and the photo of her next to the dead baby in China.

Why can't they just change it so that elderly parents are looked after by children of both genders? It's rather sexist the way it is.

NameGames Fri 03-Aug-12 15:31:35

That's basically what a public pension would do though Xenia.

It's not really the point though is it? If people live in a culture that doesn't value girls (or those with disabilities), stopping abortion isn't going to change that. It's just going to mean more discrimination and hatred against babies and children, rather than foetuses.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 04-Aug-12 02:37:50

Why can't they just change it so that elderly parents are looked after by children of both genders?

It is going in that direction and certainly that's a more realistic option short term than a public pension system especially given that the government can see how Europe is being bankrupted by its pension liabilities.

The erosion of the expectation that elderly parents will live with their son and his wife gives more flexibility for girls to support their parents because whereas it used to be the case that parents of girls lost any support once their daughter married (because that girl would be unlikely to have any earned income, especially in rural areas) now it's more likely that both sets of parents stay in the village, the adult children live and both work in the city, and send money to both sets of parents. How that model plays out once you get into 2nd/3rd generations of migrants (now that migrants are tending to stay in the urban areas rather than locate back once they've made some money) remains to be seen, but the preference for boys is weakening.

whattocallmyself Sat 04-Aug-12 02:52:04

Im pro choice but full term abortion is murder in my eyes.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 04-Aug-12 04:09:49

Then you're not pro choice IMO.

You either believe in abortion or you don't.

whattocallmyself Sat 04-Aug-12 04:14:10

crap

there is a difference between abortion and murdering a newborn baby

whattocallmyself Sat 04-Aug-12 04:20:27

or a ready to be born baby.

40 weeks is a baby.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 04-Aug-12 05:48:30

That's why I said in my opinion you are not pro choice.

thunksheadontable Sat 04-Aug-12 09:00:37

Bollocks to that Lurking. I agree abortion at term is probably murder because if the woman laboured the baby would live with no medical intervention. You might as well say that neonaticide is a valid choice too. It's a world away from supporting women's choice to abort before viability, even if you raise that to 32 weeks.

whattocallmyself Sat 04-Aug-12 09:16:45

Aborting a full term baby (without extreme risk of death to the mother and that must be hugely rare in this country) is one of the most hideous suggestions I have come across (I'm sure I read about a woman who is being prosecuted self induced 37 week abortion a few weeks ago but I can't find it on web).

Not agreeing with this is not the same and being anti abortion, or not pro choice.

The point at which it becomes wrong is the point at which the Feotus would mostly likely survive outside the womb.

I'd like to see feotuses have "rights" so when a mother and her unborn child are murdered there are 2 offences.

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to do this anyway. To kill a 40 week old baby and then deliver it - either by c section or vaginal birth is just wrong.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 04-Aug-12 11:06:50

I think the term pro choice is a fairly subjective one, as seen through this thread. Some agree with abortion under certain circumstances, some agree up to 24 weeks, some agree up to 28, some to thirty, some full term. All say they're pro choice, so it's my right to have my own opinion on what constitutes pro choice, just like it's anyone else's to hold the opinion that full term abortion is murder and the same as killing a newborn infant.

My opinion is to be pro choice you support abortion to term. Otherwise you're just pro 'in this scenario' which IMO isn't really different to the ant abortionists who say 'except in the case of rape.'

Actually, I think I've unintentionally opened a can of worms.

Are you pro-life if you agree with abortion only in rape cases? Or only in medical cases? Are you pro choice if you think there should be a limit on how many abortions a woman can have?

thunksheadontable Sat 04-Aug-12 12:34:13

Sorry but I don't see your point. As someone else said, you can support a woman's choice to have the pregnancy terminated e.g. to have the baby removed from her body, but in the case of a full term abortion you are saying it's okay to terminate a life that can exist outside of that woman's body.

If a baby can be removed by csection etc and live on its own terms, it really has an existence separate to the woman. Under what possible circumstances is that equivalent to being opposed to abortion "except in the case of rape"?

What's the difference between an abortion of a 40 week old foetus and a neonaticide on the same day of a baby conceived at the same time who just happened to have been born at 39+6?

There may be shades of grey with earlier gestations but a healthy baby of 40 weeks gestation should not have its life terminated because of someone else's choice any more than a day or week old baby should. I honestly can't think of any reason in which it would be reasonable to insist that the woman had a right to insist that the baby die as oppose to be removed from her body.

thunksheadontable Sat 04-Aug-12 12:36:12

Also surely the idea of "abortion" is that you are stopping a pregnancy from progressing to full term - aborting a process. That process is complete at 40 weeks at which point you are terminating an independent life. That's killing, murder if you will.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 04-Aug-12 14:31:36

And that's your opinion? My opinion differs.

I'm not sure I'm seeing your point, you agreed that there are shades of grey which was my point, everyone has a different idea of what pro choice is. My opinion of pro choice is that it is always the woman's choice what to do with her body at any point in the pregnancy.

Late term abortion is always tragic and I'd be very surprised if a woman just decided at 40 weeks she wanted to abort a healthy foetus just because she didn't want a child, but there are cases of women seeking late term abortion due to rape trauma (myself being one of them.) I seriously doubt women are that sinister to wait until 40 weeks and announce she wants an abortion. Statistics have been posted here to show how rare late term abortion is.

Even so, even if it's not something I understand, I still support her choice.

thunksheadontable Sat 04-Aug-12 14:48:48

This is a discussion forum. Everyone is sharing opinions, that doesn't make them sacrosanct.

I said I would support a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy. Allowing a full term baby to die is not about the woman's rights over her own body, it's about her rights over an independent life form. I wouldn't support a woman's right to kill a newborn in dire circumstances though I would feel deeply for anyone in such a situation.

This is a discussion about the principle of the thing so frequency of occurrence isn't that relevant.

LurkingAndLearningLovesCats Sat 04-Aug-12 15:05:56

I never said my opinion was of more value than yours. confused I stated in my very first post that what constitutes one as pro choice is my opinion. I don't believe one can be truly, 100% pro choice if you (plural) don't support abortion to term. But as you said, it's all opinion and no one's opinion matters more than anyone else's.

This is really just going in circles at this point. I don't see a foetus as having rights (thank God) or being capable of being murdered when it is inside someone else's body at any point, including full term. You do at full term.
That's just how I see it. When a baby breathes air, then they are human to me. Therefore a woman in dire circumstances who smashed her infant's head in is murder to me, but late term abortion (which I believe is the same thing, to vacuum the brain out) is merely a termination, not a murder.
That's just my perception and what I strongly believe should be law in every country. I will always put the woman before the foetus. Always. If a hypothetical woman hypothetically randomly decided she wanted an abortion at 38 weeks I don't believe anyone has the right to force a c-section or force her to continue the pregnancy if she does not want to. Such a scenario would not sit well with me, but I'd still support her.

It's midnight here so time to go watch some Olympics with this darn insomnia! torch

NameGames Sat 04-Aug-12 17:39:20

thunks even if you see a full term foetus as having full human rights, it is still also about a woman's rights over her own body. To say it isn't is to treat pregnant women as non-human vessels.