Tag Archives: women’s health

Legalized Abortion: Harm Reduction or Just Harm?

by James Richmond

I somewhat recently attended a debate hosted by uOttawa Students for Life in mid-November. At this debate, the pro-choice debater, Jovan Morales, posed an often used argument which presents abortion as a ‘harm-reduction’ solution. Essentially, this position proposes that without legalized abortion, women will seek ‘back-alley abortions’ in non-sterile environments where the possibility of infection and maternal mortality is much higher.

There are a number of issues with this argument, and I will briefly address two of them. The first is that I see this approach as merely a band-aid solution. Legalizing abortions to give women access to sterile facilities with skilled physicians does not address what led the women to seek abortion in the first place: Was it a boyfriend who does not wish to deal with the consequences of his actions? Parents who want to avoid family embarrassment? The terrible trauma of rape? The woman who does not want her life to be disrupted by having a child? A lack of support from family and friends? In these situations, I believe there is a cultural problem rather than a medical one. Western culture is self-centric in that we place utmost importance on our personal choices: What is it I want to do? How does this affect me? What about asking what exactly is at stake when it comes to abortion, and more precisely who? We know beyond a shadow of scientific doubt that the preborn are human beings and as such their lives must be protected along with their mothers’.

Furthermore, if the foundation of the argument is based on the health of the mother, institutionalized abortion is no guarantee of even a decrease in maternal mortality rates. A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) titled “Trends in Maternal Mortality” discovered that from 1990 to 2008, after the legalization of abortion, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of Canada increased by 94 percent (28) and the MMR of the United States increased 96 percent (32). Legalized abortion is clearly no panacea for women’s health.

The ‘harm-reduction’ argument is also used to push for abortion clinics in developing countries. The National Right to Life group published an article which discusses the myth proposed above by Mr. Morales. I encourage you to read the short document, “Why legalized abortion is not good for women’s health.”

Advertisements

Happy Ending for Selfless Mom and Baby Delivered at 28 Weeks

by Marissa Poisson

From an article on a young woman who had a rare tumour growing inside her heart while pregnant:

“I decided I would have him before doing anything with me,” she said. “I wanted him to have a chance to survive before me. There was no way I would be able to do the surgery while being pregnant knowing there was a chance he would die from it.”

Not everyone felt the same way. Some family friends, a nurse in Thunder Bay, even her mother for one brief moment, thought Stout should put herself first. They intimated that Stout could always have another baby if she were healthy.

“They weren’t saying it meanly,” said Stout. “They were saying that I hadn’t met the baby yet, that I wasn’t attached. But even when I was pregnant, Bentley was my whole world. I would never choose myself over him.”

Half Body, Whole Life

by Dante De Luca

Today’s story is about a woman named Rose Siggins; I am sure many of you are familiar with her story. Siggins was born with a medical condition called sacral agenesis, which means that she is missing the lower part of her spinal column. Her useless legs were amputated when she was a child in order to increase her mobility. Despite all this, she has lived a full and fairly normal life. She appeared in the 2005 documentary The Woman with Half a Body by the British Channel 5 in their series Extraordinary People and in the documentary Born Different: Unbelievable Medical Conditions on E! Entertainment Television in 2010.

What is all this doing on our pro-life blog, you ask? Well, not only is Siggins remarkable for the many obstacles she’s overcome due to her medical condition, but she is also a shining example of a woman who chose life despite overwhelming circumstances:

 “Two years into their relationship, Rose discovered that she was pregnant. Rose’s pregnancy was extraordinary and ground-breaking, no-one with Sacral Agenesis had ever given birth. The only doctor who didn’t advise Rose to have an abortion was Dr. Wilson who says “This couple have committed themselves to a pregnancy and she is, basically, laying her life on the line because nobody knows what this means, no-one has lived this experience before. With the first counselling with Rose and David I was very specific and told them that they have to know that if they move forward with this that she could die.” The main concerns were with her lungs being compressed, as the baby was likely to grow up the way because of her short stature. The other concern was how she would tolerate a caesarean delivery, because the baby was lying transversely she would have to be opened across the top, a true 19th century caesarean delivery. Rose told her mum that if there were any complications and there was a choice between her life and the baby’s, she should choose the baby.”

For the rest of her story, I present you with this article: part one and part two. You can also watch what I think is the Channel 5 documentary The Woman with Half a Body here.

The Pain of Abortion

by Kate Larson

If, like me, you were unable to attend the Silent No More event on Feb. 2, I direct you to their website where you can listen to or read stories from women who have regretted their abortions and found healing. The stories are short, but there is a lot of pain in them, pain in the circumstances leading up to the abortions, pain in the procedures themselves, pain in the fear, self-loathing, depression and other negative emotions many women experienced before, during and after the abortions, pain in their regret at the decision, and pain in the healing process. The stories, however, end hopefully. While the regret at choosing abortion does not go away and has led these women to speak out, the stories describe finding forgiveness both from others and from themselves, and experiencing a sense of being set free from the past.

The latter cannot be said of the comparatively few testimonies I have come across from women who apparently do not regret their abortions. They may genuinely feel this way, or genuinely believe they feel this way. They are entitled to their opinion. What strikes me about these stories, however, is how much more negative they are than the stories of regret, despite being considered “positive” experiences of abortion. I don’t just mean negative in the obvious sense of considering that there is nothing regrettable in ending a human life. I mean negative in the sense that they detail all the pain of the stories of regret without the redemption.

Many of the “no regrets” stories describe women being in the same situations and experiencing the same fear, anger, shame, and pressure upon discovering they were pregnant as they do in the stories of regret. Both types of stories describe women having similar reactions during and after their abortions, such as crying, hatred of themselves and those around them, initial relief, and emptiness. The main difference is in how most of the stories conclude. The stories on the Silent No More website end with the admission that, though the hurt caused by abortion never goes away, healing is possible. Many of the so-called “positive” stories of abortion conclude that the author has no regrets because she considers herself undeserving or unfit to be a parent, because she has made and sees herself continuing to make bad decisions, or simply because she did not know of, or wish to know of, any other option at the time. Far from proving that the negative consequences of abortion are either non-existent or inconsequential, the “no regrets” stories show women in pain and as in need of healing as the women of Silent No More. The real difference is that the women of Silent No More have found healing and want to help others begin that long process.

I’m a Person: Inside and Out

by Theresa Stephenson

A couple, friends of my family, are expecting their first child. With excitement, I have been shown ultrasound photos and told about the baby kicking and moving. At one of their first ultrasound appointments, the technician explained that the baby was sleeping. What a human characteristic! How incredible, that while still in the protection of the mother’s womb, a tiny life is able to move, to kick, to sleep, to dream, to listen. Yet despite all of these amazing, miraculous things that an unborn baby is able to do, Canadian law does not outline any restrictions for abortion. Abortion is legal during all nine months of pregnancy for any and every reason.

But, tell me, what is the difference between a sleeping child who lies inside his or her mother and one who lies in his or her mother’s cradling arms? Tell me, what is the difference between a baby who listens to sounds and murmurs of his or her parents’ voices while cocooned inside the womb and one who hears the sweet lullaby of his or her mother while lying in a crib? The difference is that one baby is “inside” and the other is “out”.

However, I would like to make the bold claim that in either case that human life is indeed a person. We have posted arguments that personhood should not be based on 1) size 2) level of development 3) environment and 4) degree dependency . Rights and liberties must be granted for all human beings regardless of the factors outlined above and any infringement of these rights is a heinous injustice.

We at uOttawa Students for Life fight against these violations and work to bring an end to abortion.

A Shame and a Sham

by Marissa Poisson

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking home from the March for Life with my little sister in my arms and my cousin by my side. A group of people had been walking in front of us since we left Parliament Hill, and we were about to pass them on the sidewalk. One young woman, who must have been about my age, looked at us and said, “Shame on you.” Caught off guard, I offered a faint smile and we kept walking.

A few days later, a part of Bank St. was closed due to an accident. I saw a person on a stretcher being taken to an ambulance, and I hoped he or she would be okay. Then I remembered that a few blocks up the street, a short walk from Parliament Hill, there was another life-and-death situation occurring. I wished I could tell the paramedics that the next place they needed to go that Wednesday morning was the local Morgentaler Clinic because there were lives to be saved and people to be healed there. The real shame is that while we would never say that helping someone who is lying injured on the street is none of our business, not enough people want to think of the women and unborn children who find themselves on the threshold of abortion facilities.

If I could talk to the woman who said those three words to us on the street, I would ask what motivates her support for abortion and challenge her to inform herself about what an abortion does to the two people who are subjected to it. For a wealth of factual information, I would recommend Signal Hill to her.   For a look into the minds of passionate and compassionate pro-life individuals, I would point her to ProWomanProLife and, of course, this blog. I think that if she decided to seek the truth at the heart of the matter, she’d see abortion exposed for what it really is: a sham. Drop one letter from “shame” and you’ve got an apt descriptor of death and pain coated in words like choice, freedom and reproductive rights. It is high time we move toward love, support and intellectual honesty.

The Hippocratic Oath

by Paul T

Doctors can often be the most influential figures for women who are confused and nervous about their unplanned pregnancy. Women see doctors as healers, role models, even important figures when they have no one else to turn to. These doctors, however, even under the Hippocratic oath, are often keen to suggest abortion as the first and only option for the woman seeking help. I seem to remember and quote one of the most important lines in the Hippocratic oath:

Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

It seems to me this part of the oath remains as true to the doctor’s role now as it ever did. Isn’t the doctor the one who heals? The one who cures? The one who cares for patients? Let’s remember that pregnancy is not a disease, it is the natural reproductive cycle of the human species. Thus, terminating it is not curing anything. It’s not healing anything either, nor is it caring for the patients, the woman and child.

The doctor plays an essential role in the lives of men, women, and children, and his Hippocratic oath is explicit in its defence of life in all instances. The doctor’s role of curing, and healing, and protecting life can be no more evident in the role of delivery at childbirth. The doctor’s role of delivering the unborn child and handing it to the mother is a much different picture than that of the “doctor” who aspirates the unborn child into a machine, or dismembers it within the mother’s womb. It is up to us, as a just and responsible society, to stand up for the giving of life in all circumstances, and not to be turning a blind eye to “doctors” who recommend and perform the spilling of innocent blood.