The following essay is a fascinating (and horrifying) story about how difficult it can be to have a surgical procedure to remove a miscarriage in the US, because of the strong anti-abortion movement in America.
Whatever your views on abortion, it's a really thought-provoking and haunting personal story. It really made me think and I'd recommend reading it.
What a horrendous experience for the poor woman but I admit to feeling uneasy about the whole scenario. As I understand it, the UK doesn't perform partial birth terminations because it says there's no need, there are other ways of dealing with these situations. So I wonder why the US doesn't do the same as the UK? Whatever, it's very very sad.
Suedonim: Facts are hard to come by but the UK does perform partial birth abortions (intact dilation and extraction) although they are very rare (as they are in the US). Late-term abortions are allowed up to birth (if I understand correctly) if there is "grave risk to the life of the woman; evidence of severe foetal abnormality; or risk of grave physical and mental injury to the woman."
The procedures for these late-term abortions are grusome; perhaps the most severe is the hysterotomy (sp?) which is basically a c-section with the fetus killed after it is born.
Late term abortion is a horrific thing, as are the circumstances of those women who choose to have them.
Yes I agree, it's one of the most thought-provoking pieces I've read. The whole abortion question is one about which I have very mixed feelings.
A few thoughts: From what I understand, because of the laws Bush has put in place giving legal rights to fetuses, it is thought that all second and third trimester abortions will possibly be outlawed, which is why no one is being taught the procedures anymore. That is why this woman (wanting to have her dead son removed surgically) couldn't get the procedure done.
My understanding is also that the majority of late term abortions are done because it's not until the 20+ week mark that abnormalities are picked up.
I found the article deeply haunting and I've thought about it a lot since reading it several months ago.
We were amazed to be told that, if there were problems found on my amnio, which couldn't be done until at least 15 weeks, I could not terminate the pregnancy in TN after 13 weeks. I simply could not believe this could be true and was finally told that , "Oh, yes, if it's medical it can be done up until 22." But I remained concerned until we were given the all clear as it all seemed very ambiguous. Still thankful that we had a healthy baby.
I believe that a lot of hospitals don't have anyone who carries out terminations past the first trimester (because it's distressing and not many consultants are prepared to do it, rather than for moral reasons).
Sorry that's the abbreviation for Tennessee in the states. Now that I am older, the thought of another pregnancy and possible complications puts the abortion debate in just as significant an arena as when I was young and unmarried iykwim.
Thanks for that, MP. I was under the impression partial birth didn't take place in the UK because of stuff I'd read when Bush banned the procedure in the US a while ago. It's stomach churning stuff, though.