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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


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

EmmelineGoulden Mon 01-Oct-12 17:02:58

mimmum, then you are repeating a fallacy. Bodily autonomy is not her ability to realize a desire not to be pregnant. It is the right to do as she pleases to her own body.

You can't have it both ways and say that women have bodily autonomy, but can't do as they please to their bodies. It's a nonsense.

mimmum Mon 01-Oct-12 10:01:17

"So bella, given the physical reality of pregnancy, how does that fit in with a woman being entitled to full control over her own body?"

Well at the risk of repeating what others have said more eloquently, she doesn't want to be pregnant any longer, this is her bodily automony, the baby and at 39 weeks it is a baby, wants the chance at life, wants to be born. She gives birth in a hospital the baby lives and she is no longer pregnant. Why does it need to be part of her bodily automony to end this life.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 30-Sep-12 23:12:28

So bella, given the physical reality of pregnancy, how does that fit in with a woman being entitled to full control over her own body?

bellabreeze Sun 30-Sep-12 22:59:45

Emmelinegoulden my belief is that an unborn baby even is their own person, physically they are living off their mum but it doesnt mean (in my eyes) that a woman can choose to end that innocent beings life

EmmelineGoulden Sun 30-Sep-12 22:52:05

How would that work bella? Physically, a woman's unborn baby's body is a part of the woman. How can a woman have full control over her own body but not that of her unborn child?

bellabreeze Sun 30-Sep-12 01:37:20

I think women should have full control over their body BUT NOT SOMEONE ELSES BODY (the innocent unborn child)

avaboosmummy Fri 28-Sep-12 21:38:30

I certainly would not support abortion to term unless for medical reasons as it simply appears as just another sad indictment of the me, me, me world we live in.
If you decide to have sex, be mature enough to know what the consequences may be, like lots of things these days people do not want to take personal responsibility for anything.
If there is solid medical evidence that there will be a major disability then abortion should be allowed, however I feel not all mothers would take this route and would see out the pregnancy and let nature take it's course.
The woman who aborted at 39 weeks I find disgusting. Complete lack of morals and then just gets rid of a baby as it's going to be an 'inconvenience'.
Selfish, selfish, selfish and of course in the process ruins the lives of her other children and husband.

TeaAndHugs Fri 28-Sep-12 18:07:57

When you label something as "evil" you are giving up an opportunity to understand it and prevent it from happening again. Abortion clearly shouldn't be legal at 39 weeks, but that doesn't mean society shouldn't be reaching out to women who seek abortion beyond the 24 week limit to help them cope. Offering a procedure where the baby is removed (induced) without being killed would be much better than telling 25-week pregnant women they just have to deal with being pregnant for another 15 weeks whether they like it or not.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 23-Sep-12 08:33:15

Id Why would that be considered abortion? Babys do die because of drugs a mother has taken, it's not common but it's hardly unheard of. They don't get prosecuted.

IdCalUaCuntBtUvNtGotTheDepth Sun 23-Sep-12 02:35:14

I question whether the baby was born alive or not too, otherwise why still refuse to tell where the body was?

Would any of you feel that it was still an abortion if the baby passed away form the medicine she took after the baby was born?

RumbleGreen Sat 22-Sep-12 17:37:57

She was found to have no MH issues and the drug she took was to induce birth, she says the baby was stillborn but won't say where the body is probably because she killed it after birth and the body would prove that the child was not stillborn and she would have to serve a lot longer than 4 years (she is not going to do the full 8 years). Really struggle to see why I should be sympathetic.

Sausageeggbacon Sat 22-Sep-12 16:48:11

I have no sympathy for her, what she did was evil. It starts with an affair, hiding her pregnancy from her partner and an abortion at a point when a lot of children are born. Sorry but she had the intelligence to look on the internet for a solution which is a pre-planned event. Mental Health issues have a limit when you are talking about someone who plans anything over several weeks.

I had a legal abortion at 14 weeks a long time ago, I struggled with it then I just cannot see how anyone can think at 39 weeks it is going to solve any problems. At 39 weeks it is not just our bodies, we are sharing it with another human being. And I hate people who discount the unborn when someone who is pregnant is killed.

sashh Sat 22-Sep-12 08:34:07

Why must people who carry out evil acts always have MH issues?

They don't. And they may have MH issues that are nothing to do with their actions. But in this case there is a history of behaviour that is not normal. A history that goes back years, at least 10.

Had she gven birth and then killed the child, IMHO she could have an infantiside defence, it is rare for a woman found guilty of infanticide to be given a gaol term.

could another person have caused the loss of her baby with no serious legal repercussions?

Yes. The Omagh bomb killed 29 people, one of those people was carrying twins. The number of deaths is still 29, not 31.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 20-Sep-12 07:58:06

Lula Certainly for my part I see a full term foetus as having huge emotional weight, not to mention a big investment of time, resources and sacrifice. But I still don't think it should be criminal to do as you please to your own body.

I wouldn't necessarily argue against a separate charge for an assault that intentionally ended a pregnancy (at any stage, not just after viability). But I don't see why a charge of GBH with intent (though I think the law on assault has changed and this is no longer the offence) would be insufficient. Technically GBH covers/ed injuries from a broken nose to permanent incapacity in a comma. You don't have to see loss of a full term foetus as equivalent to a broken nose to think GBH sufficient. But I do mainly see the wrong as being against the pregnant woman rather than the foetus.

LulaBear Thu 20-Sep-12 04:24:13

I didn't read all 27 pages, so forgive me if I missed something.
This woman aborted at 39 weeks (when baby was very much viable). If it follows that she could abort until the baby was born, that it had no autonomous rights (as some are suggesting) then could another person have caused the loss of her baby with no serious legal repercussions? (And I'm well aware she did, in this case.)
If a burglar had broken into her home, and beat her so badly that she lost the baby, would that be GBH? Or would you argue that the burglar should face child destruction? After all, the child has no rights.
Or would it just be infringing on the rights of the woman carrying. In that case, a broken nose can need serious surgery as well, and carry emotional scarring.
If you argue the loss of a baby is more damaging, then to my mind you are admitting a baby carries significant emotional weight, and should be protected above and beyond other injuries.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 19-Sep-12 17:35:47

The point that it is a classic Liberal stance was simply in response to your suggestion that my position was a feminist one and alienates women from feminism. I was merely pointing out that it isn't at its root a feminist one and as an opinion it shouldn't alienate people from feminism, because it isn't necessarily a feminist position. I think the reason that we forget that you don't actually have to identify as feminist to take such a position is because it's only pregnant women that are routinely denied bodily autonomy.

So we think of it in terms of women's rights, not human rights, because, sadly, if something only applies to women it is less likely to be seen as mainstream (now that's an opinion that does come from my feminist view of the world).

The argument over when we start to be human is a different one and one that feminists have as wide a range of views on as society as a whole. I'm an outlier on that one, though I see why viability is attractive to many, I just don't find it compelling. By even if you think a foetus at whatever point has the same rights as another human being, in criminalizing this woman we are insisting the rights of that foetus override the bodily autonomy of another person - something we do not routinely insist on in any other situation.

autumnlights12 Wed 19-Sep-12 15:40:17

It might be a 'classical liberal idea' Emmeline, but that doesn't change anything. There's a big difference between a 12 week old foetus (and 87% of pregnancies are terminated before 12 weeks, thankfully most women take early action) and a baby at 38 week gestation. I don't use the word 'foetus' at this stage because after viability outside the womb is possible, there's a fully formed baby. Not a collection of cells. The tiny minority of women who want to abort after 24 weeks, and have no medical reasons to, have the option of adoption. It's not perfect, and traumatic for many women. But how the hell would giving birth to a dead baby be less traumatic than giving baby up for adoption?

EmmelineGoulden Wed 19-Sep-12 15:20:25

Not entirely Autumn. The idea that bodily autonomy is an essential right isn't a feminist one. It's a classic Liberal one.

Whether or not you believe a fully formed foetus has rights does not necessarily impact on whether another human also has rights. Sometimes, even if the outcome is heinous for another, the rights of one person should not be overridden by law. I think bodily autonomy is one of those rights.

I'm also a feminist, but my philosophy on abortion is more heavily driven by a Liberal social agenda and a belief that people who are born should be considered more important than people who are not, than a feminist one. I think there is plenty of scope within feminism to have a different approach to abortion than I have.

autumnlights12 Wed 19-Sep-12 13:51:43

Emmeline, I guess it depends on whether you think a fully formed, healthy, full term baby has any legal rights or not? There's a reason abortion has legal limits. State sanctioned murder of full term infants is wrong. To argue otherwise is to deny the rights of a fully formed child capable of living separately from his/her Mother and it's the sort of 'opinion' which alienates hordes of intelligent thinking women away from feminism and helps inspire 'why I don't identify myself as a feminist' threads on Mumsnet.

autumnlights12 Wed 19-Sep-12 13:47:30

thank you getmorenappies, thank god I'm not the only one.
Why must people who carry out evil acts always have MH issues?
It's one of my biggest bugbears.
The court case revealed that she was covering up an extramarital affair and her husband didn't even know she was pregnant because she was hiding it.
Could it be that she was selfish and immoral and didn't have MH issues?

EmmelineGoulden Wed 19-Sep-12 13:44:52

"I find it utterly abhorrent that anyone seeks to find excuses for this woman or seek to justify what she did"

I don't think it needs excuses or justification to think this is a bad day for justice. I don't think it should be criminal to do something to your own body. Even if what you do is awful and horrible and causes loss to others. Removing bodily autonomy from some is an unethical way to try and diminish harm to others.

getmorenappies Wed 19-Sep-12 13:33:56

I am no expert but I do think she has some mental health or psychological problems

Thankfully there are experts involved in cases like this. If they had of determined she had MH issues she'd be receiving care in a secure unit.

I find it utterly abhorrent that anyone seeks to find excuses for this woman or seek to justify what she did.

sashh Wed 19-Sep-12 13:12:31

I find it quite offensive that anyone would try to sympathise with Sarah Catt.

I cannot think anything other than sympathy. She obviously has some problems. She had previously terminated a pregnancy. She than attempted to obtain a termination for a subsequent pregnancy but was too late.

She concealed a third pregnancy from her husband until birth and she DID try to terminate this pregnancy but was 26 weeks when she got to the clinic. Two weeks earlier and she could have had a safe, legal procedure.

If she hadn't attempted to obtain a legal abortion then there would have been no record of the pregnancy.

I am no expert but I do think she has some mental health or psychological problems.

I am not in favour of all the restrictions on abortion. For instance there is no medical reason for a woman to return to a clinic to recieve the second half of a chemical abortion.

autumnlights12 Wed 19-Sep-12 12:26:26

I find it quite offensive that anyone would try to sympathise with Sarah Catt.
She induced an abortion at 39 weeks. That's a crime, and rightly so. She had other options. She chose to do something very wrong and illegal. How do we know the physical suffering that child suffered as a result of her selfish actions?
As soon as human life becomes viable outside the womb, I'd say it isn't a simple case of 'it's her body' and if that's the feminist theory, it's a very stupid, utterly repugnant one. There are restrictions on abortion as there absolutely should be. I'm pro choice, as long as it's carried out in the right way at the right time. It's inhumane to suggest that women have the right to kill their fully formed unborn baby whenever they feel like it.

Uppercut Wed 19-Sep-12 12:17:59

"Had the same procedure been carried out in hospital, the baby could probably have been saved and put up for adoption, and Sarah could have been given appropriate physical and psychological care"

Nothing was stopping her from giving birth in hospital. At full term she was going to have to give birth somewhere.

Killing the baby was entirely optional.

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