I remember when I was in labor with my daughter. When the pain got to be so bad that I had dry heaves and was going into spasms on the bed, I begged for drugs. The midwife sat down with me and very patiently explained to me that this was the pain talking, that I -- the me that was rational and not thrashing around in pain -- wanted to try to do this without drugs.
Pam wanted to make sure that I made a rational choice about how to deal with the pain. She took the better part of an hour, using snatches of time between contractions, to find out how much was me changing my mind based on how much pain there actually was verus how much I'd anticipated. We talked about what my values were, what my reflections on this experience were going to be after my baby was born, how the pain was impacting the progress of my labor, et cetera. Pam took a lot of time, going over every pain relief option with me, and finally the rational part of me chose a small dose of Nisintil to just take the edge off and allow me to use the breathing techniques I'd learned. And the Nisintil did the trick.
Pam let ME, Chirstina, make the decision about the medication. She didn't let the pain override the choosing part of me.
Some abortion advocates often smugly gloat that many of the women undergoing abortions sob about how they never thought that they would end up on the abortion table, how abortion goes against their values, their core beliefs, their identity. But they feel trapped. They feel they have no other choice.
My choice was about how much medication to use when I was in labor. It was hardly a life-altering, life-shattering choice. But Pam remembered the discussions we'd had, the plans I'd made. I was shooting for drug-free. Pam wasn't going to stop me from changing my mind if I had really changed my mind. But she wasn't about to let the pain make a decision for me that I would regret later. And I had changed my mind. Drug-free was my ideal, yes, but I was in so much pain that it was slowing my labor. What were my options? What would the impact of my choices be on me and my baby? Pam considered it worth the time. I changed my mind from "drug free" to "something to take the edge off the pain", under careful guidance from somebody who really cared about me an about my choices. Pam prevented me from just screaming for an epidural, a choice I probably would have regretted later and seen as a cop-out, with my hippie flower-child natural-childbirth values. Pam spent the time to get past the pain to the choosing part of me.
Why aren't women weeping in the abortion clinic, about to make a life-shaking, life-altering decision, entitled to the same care and concern I got from Pam? Why is there nobody to say, "Is this really a choice that you are making rationally, based on new information? Or is this the pain talking? How are you -- with your values, your goals, your priorities -- going to look back on this choice?"
When women who oppose abortion -- be it for all women or only for themselves -- end up on the abortion table, hardocre abortion advocates then hold them up as "proof" that even women who hate abortion "need" abortion.
But is the woman signing the consent form as she wets it with her tears being served or being used?
The answer is pretty clear to anybody who has eyes to see.