Monday, November 20, 2006

Can you change your mind about a "need"?

Abortion advocates ensure us that women only have abortions they "need". How, then, can they explain why some women change their minds after a failed abortion attempt? If the birth of this baby is truly going to utterly ruin the woman's life, wouldn't she still "need" the abortion when she learned it had failed to kill the fetus?

"Liz" has an abortion at a Planned Parenthood on September 22, 1990. As it turned out, the pre abortion ultrasound had shown a twin pregnancy, but only one twin was aborted. Planned Parenthood was short staffed when it came time for Liz's 3-week follow-up appointment, so they canceled it. Liz repeatedly attempted to reschedule, but the phone would be busy when she called at 8 AM as instructed, and when she would call later in the morning they would tell her to call back again at 8 AM because that is their time for scheduling appointments. Liz later returned to Planned Parenthood for a counseling appointment in October, but she was not given an examination. During her annual physical in February of 1991, her doctor discovered that the surviving fetus was still gestating. Although Liz feared that the abortion attempt had harmed the surviving fetus, she continued the pregnancy. The surviving fetus was born on May 16, 1991.

"Glenda" had an abortion at a Family Planning Associates facility on August 20, 1981, and was assured that "the abortion ... had been successful and that she was no longer pregnant." The abortion had failed to kill the fetus, however, and Glenda had the baby.

"Emily" had a suction abortion by Basil Bisca on September 24, 1983. The lab report indicated that "only a few fetal tissue were seen which was a direct indication that it was very likely that the pregnancy was not interrupted during the abortion procedure." Emily's pregnancy continued, and she gave birth to a full term infant on April 29, 1984.

Sixteen-year-old "Tawnya" had an abortion done by Joseph Booker at New Woman Medical Center September 29, 1990. Booker did not send the tissues to the lab, and therefore did not realize that he'd removed a portion of the placenta but had left the fetus alive and entact. Four and a half months later Tawnya gave birth by C-section to premature infant boy who died from multiple birth defects about five hours later. Tawnya sued not only for the failed abortion, but for the premature birth and death of her baby, blaming the prematurity and death on damage done by the abortion attempt. She was given a $75,000 verdict by the jury.

"Lena" had an abortion by Dr. Gay Boyle at Birmingham Women's Medical Clinic November 21, 1982. Although staff there assured her that the abortion had been successful, she learned later that the fetus had survived and that she was in the second trimester of pregnancy. When she informed the facility, they advised her to have another abortion because the fetus might have been harmed by the abortion attempt. Nevertheless, Lena chose to continue to term despite considerable emotional distress caused by worry about the baby, who was born July 23, 1983.

"Latisha" had a positive pregnancy test on December 30, 1981. The staff at Her Medical Clinic recommended an abortion, which she had that day. When she returned to Her Medical Clinic on February 22, 1982, they told her she was still pregnant. Latisha "could not bear the emotional trauma of a repeat abortion at that stage in her pregnancy," so she had the baby.

"Kathleen" had an abortion at Women's Health Center of West County April 13, 1984. When she reported for Army Basic Training a few weeks later, she was found to be 13 weeks pregnant. Kathleen was discharged from the Army, and gave birth to her baby on October 19, 1984.

"Peg" had a D&C abortion at Dr. Burton Krafte's office when she was eight weeks pregnant. Upon returning for a follow up visit, Peg was discovered to be 18 weeks pregnant. She had the baby.

"Addie" had abortion done by Marvin K. Levin at Family Planning Centers on November 1, 1978. When she returned on December 20 for her follow-up appointment, she told them that she still felt pregnant, but they assured her that the abortion had been successful. Addie went to a clinic for a pregnancy test on January 9 of 1979, and was informed that she was indeed still pregnant. By then, Addie was 14 weeks pregnant and decided to carry to term.

If, as abortion advocates would have you believe, women seeking abortions are adamant that they "need" them, then wouldn't women always have a second "safe and legal" abortion to kill the fetus that survived a first abortion attempt? The fact that a cursory glance through my notes found these cases, and more, should give us pause. Is abortion something women are really so sure about? Or is it something they resort to in a moment of crisis, something that they're ambivalent enough about to change their minds even after undergoing an abortion procedure to get rid of the "unwanted" fetus?

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