Should late-term abortions be legal?
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All abortions no matter when they occur are very sad affairs. It is really sad when circumstances have come together such that a life must be ended or stopped from coming to fruition. Abortions are very emotionally trying to mothers and their families. That said, abortions are completely and absolutely necessary even late term abortions. I am going to argue this from a few angles.
If a woman wants to terminate her pregnancy bad enough, she will do so regardless of whether she has to go to a clinic or get one from an unlicensed back alley "doctor" or perform one herself. Before Roe v. Wade thousands of women died every year from complications from these abortions. By allowing abortions and late-term abortions to be legal, we allow women to go through safe and regulated channels to do something they are going to do anyway to be frank.
There are many circumstances in which late-term abortions are quite necessary, but I'll just name a few common situations. Often when young girls are raped, they will not tell anyone because they are afraid or a multitude of other reasons. Sometimes no one knows these girls are pregnant until they start getting big in their third trimester. These girls never got a chance to abort the rape-child in the "proper" time window because they are too afraid or immature to tell anyone or they don't even understand what pregnancy or sex is. Is it really fair to force an 11 year old girl to give birth to the child of her rapist because she didn't want to tell anyone she was raped?
Another situation is sometimes mothers are diagnosed with cancer late in their pregnancies beyond the date of normal abortions. These women often need chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This is an excerpt from the abstract of a paper by the Department of Radiology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine
"Malignant disease requiring radiation therapy during pregnancy presents an enormous challenge for the clinician. The optimal radiotherapeutic management of the patient and the optimal management of the pregnancy involve directly opposing demands. Ionizing radiation should be avoided during pregnancy whenever possible. Doses in excess of 0.1 Gy (10 rad) delivered during gestation have been associated with various detrimental effects, and therapeutic abortion has been recommended."
Often the cancer is so fast spreading that to wait the duration of the pregnancy to administer treatment that will most likely kill or maim the fetus is very dangerous and possibly fatal for the mother. In these situations the most humane thing to do is to terminate the pregnancy and treat the mother.
My last hypothetical is that sometimes it is not apparent until late in the pregnancy that the baby has life-threatening deformities that threaten the mother as well. Is it really fair to tell a mother she must risk her life to give birth to baby that will or likely will die?
As you can see there are multitude of possible situations in which a late-term abortion is the best option. There are such diverse situations that can occur and they are so sensitive and dependent on context, that this is not an issue that is done proper service by a blanket rule by politicians. These decisions are best left up to doctors and their patients. Women who want late-term abortions should ask their doctors and if their doctors agree that a late-term abortion is the best medical option, they should seek the approval of other doctors. Furthermore all of these decisions should be overseen by a governing board of doctors.
Late-term abortions are not used because mothers changed their mind or procrastinated and this is not the intended use. Like I said the decision should be up to the discretion of doctors to determine the necessity of the procedure.
I agree with all the above. Abortion is a personal issue and i'm certain women don't choose it lightly for a multitude of reasons. But it remains a personal issue, that only the woman and her doctor can truly understand. Since almost every circumstance is unique no specific rule can be fairly applied that would limit against abortion. The forces that are against abortion do not speak for all of society nor does all of society believe or follow the full teachings of those forces and thus society shouldn't be constrained by rules and regulations that only that select force supports. A woman should not be forced to risk a great deterioration of her health, living standard, or life because some group of people believe that abortions are morally wrong. If she is forced to be obligated by this select group then how is she a free person?
I agree in the cases of severe health dangers to the child and/or mother, abortion can be the best option. But as far as the rape situation, I've gone back and forth a bit thinking about it...and I just don't think that it can justify taking a human life, As horrid as that situation is.
The fact that women will get illegal abortions is really not a sufficient reason to make it legal, unless there is proof that just as many abortions will occur either way. Abortion, in my opinion, is taking a human life. Should we really make that legal?
Late-term abortion is something that should be avoided at all costs, and I've been hearing a lot about it lately, mainly from people who were told that they should have one by doctors because their children may have down's syndrome (everyone that was told this didn't have further testing done because of the risk of killing the child (50% chance), and all were born and found to be healthy).
It's something that should be taken care of before the child develops, but if it comes down to deciding later, it should still be up to the parents who created the child... It's sad, yes, but it's not our responsibility to decide who has to have children and who doesn't. Not everyone is happily married and ready, mentally, physically, or finically, to have children when they become pregnant, and we don't have the resources and in most respects, the right, to decide for people.
I believe that this is the true conservative stance on this issue. Limited government, more freedom and leave the moral decision to be made by the moral beings who are responsible for the child, not the government.
If the baby endangers the mother's life, then yes, a late-term abortion is justified. Other than that, absolutely not. I don't care if your baby is going to have down syndrome or will be missing a limb or organ! That baby is a human by almost any body's standards and aborting it at that point would surely be murder! I don't like abortion at any point, but getting one that late most likely means that the mother does not want the baby because it will have a defect. If this is the case, that woman should not even be trying to have a child because she is an immoral and selfish person.
As is normal for pro-lifers, and by no means your fault because it is what is propogated in media and by word of mouth,
You misunderstand the situation when it comes to deformities in late term abortions.
You have to understand, that in the entire US, population something like half a billion, think about that number for a second, there are, sorry were, 3 late-term abortion doctors.
Cases of downsyndrome, and other minor deformities or retardations do not make it to these doctors, it would be impossibe for them to make it to these doctors with the tens of thousands of minorly retarded or deformed humans born in this country on a daily basis.
These children are born, given life, and hopefully cared for, the ones you seem to think were being aborted. Doctors do not, and do not want to for the most part, perform late-term abortions in these cases.
In order for a deformity or retardation to be judged by these doctors to be morally just to abort, it has to be something like, and I'm getting the name wrong, but something like I think Manchester Disease... damn, can't think of the name, but it's a disease where literally the DNA is messed up, the child will be born if taken full term, but will die within an hour or so of birth, often the mother's life is in danger as well. Meanwhile in that hour, the child will be in tremendous and unrelievable pain. Doctors know they will be in pain, there will not be a moment of joy, and in their entire and short existance they will only know pain most cannot even imagine. They may literally have eyes on their feet, nothing will be right, but they're put together just well enough for the organs to support life for a very short time outside of the mother.
It's cruel cosmic joke that these things happen, but it's important to realize they do, and not turn a blind eye to these poor souls who are cursed in such a manner.
These diseases are common among victims of incest, not so much the general public,
but they do exist, and we have the moral obligation I think to save them from this miserable existance, and the mother of the child from potential death from complications.
These are the kind of deformities that make it to these "baby killers"
and not the kind you are thinking of.
I think one would have to be a real sadist, or just completely lacking common sense and empathy, to not realize that in these cases of deformity, abortion is the only moral option.
How can one let a living thing suffer like that? And how can one believe their god, whatever god they follow, would judge someone for taking such mercy?
No, the only explanation I can think of is that people are woefully misinformed about the individual circumstances that has lead these poor girls to these doctors, and it's important people learn so that hopefully more of these doctors are not killed.
Thanks for the good argument.
"No, the only explanation I can think of is that people are woefully misinformed about the individual circumstances that has lead these poor girls to these doctors, and it's important people learn so that hopefully more of these doctors are not killed."
You're definitely right that we have to educate people that the few late-term abortion doctors are not simply baby killers, but are actually really courageous people who are helping people. They knowingly risk their lives to help ensure women who need late-term abortions can get them.
For everyone who thinks that abortion doctors are simply evil baby killers, please read this article by an abortion doctor on why he performs abortions despite two attempts on his life.
Any abortions should not be aloud if you are stupid enough to get pregnant when you don't want a baby or selfish enough not to want to look after it when you find out it may have an illness then it is your own fault why should the life of an innocent unborn child be killed because of your mistake?
I agree that abortion is wrong, and I agree that for the most part it shouldn't be allowed. But you're over-simplifying the issue. Unwanted pregnancies are not always due to stupidity(some people are raped), and not all abortions are out of selfishness. Read Iamdavid's post, if you haven't already. This is an extremely rare case, of course, but it is important to acknowledge and consider these kinds of things when deciding on this issue.