Where are Men when we need them?
...I always asked, ‘What situation caused you to make this decision?’ I expected to hear tales of financial woe, yet nearly 90% of the women told me they had had their abortion because of a relationship – someone they loved, a boyfriend or a parent, told them to.... ‘I would have had that baby,’ I heard repeatedly, ‘if only I’d had one person to stand by me.’ – Frederica Matthewes-Green , National Review, December 31, 1997, p41
- 1.4 million abortions are performed in the US per year, 44% on women who have had previous abortions, 82% on women who are unmarried or separated. This is enough for 43% of American women to have an abortion during their lives at present rates.
- 89% of abortions in US are performed before 12 weeks, 1% after 20 weeks (90% of these for non-medical reasons).
- D&X (Dilation and Extraction) A late-term (post 20 week) procedure in which the fetus is brought feet first into the birth canal, a large needle is inserted into its skull, its brain suctioned out, and the fetus removed. Popularly known as "partial birth" abortion.
- D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) A late-term procedure in which a serrated forceps is inserted into the womb, and the fetus dismembered and removed. More common than D&X, above.
- In D&X or D&E the fetus is usually, but not always, killed first, by cutting umbilical cord or via injection of digoxin or other lethal agent. The rationale for not killing the fetus before suctioning its brain or cutting it to pieces is a better medical outcome for mother, and that the nervous system of fetus not sufficiently developed to "appreciate pain."
- Women who have had late-term abortions for non-medical reasons tend to be young, living with their parents, and to have involved their parents in the decision. The inference is that it just took a long time for the families to reach a decision to abort.
- To survive, a very premature baby usually must have developed at least 23 weeks. – US News & World Report, March 30, 1998, p60.
Women who seek abortion do so often because there is no one they can turn to for the love and help they need to raise a child. As long as so many of our men are not man enough to help raise their children, beating those women with the blunt instrument of the Law will generally be the wrong solution. We need to build consensus on abortion, rather than to continue a polarized debate that so far has led to a widening gulf between the political left and right that threatens the integrity of our society.
Late term abortions, however, are particularly grisly, whether the unborn fetus has its brains sucked out through a needle, or whether it is cut to pieces in its mother’s womb. Although there is national disagreement as to whether a fetus at a given stage of development is a baby, there is no disagreement that it is rapidly becoming a baby, and that late-term abortions tread perilously close to infanticide, especially considering that only about 10% of them are done for medical reasons. Fortunately, they are performed rarely enough that doing without them will not cause a major dislocation in our society. While we tone down the pro-life and pro-choice shouting, let us also back away from non-medical D&E’s and D&X’s, and do so in our morals, in our medical ethics, and in our Law.