Saturday, February 07, 2009

Your Uterus is Your Uterus... or is it?

We've all heard by now that a woman in California had 8 kids. She's apparently unemployed and she had 6 kids aready. Last week in my city a 60 year old woman gave birth to twins. Everyone is upset by both doctors because ethically they should not have a) implanted any thing in the 60 year old's uterus because she's "too old" and b) should have only implanted one (maaaybe two) into the other mother's uterus because she's unemployed.

But here's the thing. Many might know that I'm anti-abortion. As a Christian, I think life starts at conception. Or, to be more specific, I can't say it doesn't start at conception and I think that we're unable to tell when that's a small human life or not. I think we need to protect it.

Now let's have a little side bar here about terminology. The terms "pro life and pro choice" are often thrown around because the people who do not want abortions to occur want to insinuation that the pro-abortionists are "anti-life" and the people who are ok with abortions occuring want to insinuate that the anti-abortionist want to strip away all choices. I want to be really clear... I don't know what the answer is for the world. I do not like abortions, I think that we have no idea when life starts and to say that it's not life because it can't exist outside a uterus (a fetus' natural habitat) is like saying if you put a man on Mars and he dies then he's not human becuase he was supposed to stay in his natural habitat where he could live and breathe.

So anyway. My thesis statement today is that if you are pro-choice and you believe a woman has a right to an abortion, then I believe you cannot criticize either of these women for their choices.... because it was her uterus and she used it the way she wanted to.

But what about the babies? Yes, what about them? I think that it will probably be tough. Not nearly as tough as, say, being aborted.

What about the cost to society? Yes, the treatments for fertility probably cost society and so did taking care of the babies in a hospital after they were born. How much do you think abortions cost society each year? I can tell you. In Canada there are approximately 100,000 abortions each year. Each abortion costs about $1000. That's $100,000,000.

Now, I'm not saying I'm right... I'm open to being wrong, so please have a smidgen of compassion if I've offended you and offer a contradictory opinion, I do want to hear it.

But my question is this... why is it ok for a woman to have an abortion (in the quantity she chooses and whenver she wants) because it's her body (her uterus) and not ok for her to have kids in the quantity she chooses, whenever she wants? And question two... why are the doctor's in trouble? Why are they investigated for doing what both women wanted?


Kelly McClymer said...

Hi Heather,

I've been pondering this question, also, and I can only answer the easy one: the doctor's ethics are the only ones in question because a doctor has a responsibility to make sure their patients are physically and psychologically able to understand and handle the consequences of any procedure. For example, cosmetic procedures -- many people become addicted to them and part of the physician's ethics requires them to make sure they are not taking advantage of a person's psychological instability to perform unnecessary surgery. A woman with 6 children who does not have a visible means of support and who wants to get implanted again (her interview said each implantation that resulted in a pregnancy was with 6 embryos so I discount the argument on the # implanted)should trigger concern in a doctor, who does have an ethical duty of care to his patient, no matter what she *thinks* she wants.

As to abortion, I think life begins at conception, but a woman should not have to be pregnant if she does not want to be (I'd prefer the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein's made up birth control method -- both man and woman have to turn on their fertility, or no baby).

As to the women's ethics - you cannot speak ethics to a woman who has a burning desire to get pregnant and who has the money to do so. The doctors have to be the rational ones in that equation -- and yet, who is to say where to draw the line? Eight babies who are going to have health problems their entire lives will be a burden on their mother, their grandparents, and their older siblings. They will undoubtedly also be a joy.

I think a lot of people just react viscerally to the horror of having eight infants to feed, diaper, bathe and raise (and that doesn't count the other six kids under eight years old!).

I've raised three -- and at times that seemed too much :-).


Serenity Now! said...

Thanks for the great comment Kelly!

I wonder, though, why a doctor who performs an abortion doesn't also have to ensure that the patient is psychologically able to cope with having one? There's no follow up, no counselling, nothing. You get about a 15 minute interview before the procedure.

I don't know that the kids will have health problems all through their life... I know quite a few people who were preemies and totally healthy. One of my good friends was the smallest baby to survive at the hospital she was born at, she was under 2 lbs. She's had no issues at all.