‘After Tiller’ Made Me Grateful I Had The Option To Abort My Own Doomed Pregnancy

Over the weekend “After Tiller” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film depicts the aftermath of the death of Dr. George Tiller. Tiller was one of only five doctors in the US that performed late term abortions, a fact that led to his murder (in his own church no less) in 2009. Only four doctors remain, and “After Tiller” documents their struggles. Watching the film made me consider what I would have done if it had been me, eight or nine months pregnant with a child that would never be healthy and might not come out alive at all. It also had me considering the huge and problematic difference in treatment between women who choose to continue their doomed pregnancies and women who don’t. After all, both sets are losing babies.

The idea of a late term abortion is one of the most polarizing and controversial issues in the U.S. Even people who are otherwise pro-choice often draw the line at abortions performed after 25 weeks or so. The procedure is so abhorrent to some folks that the doctors who perform them are regularly harassed and threatened. Dr. Tiller’s murder was hardly the first time he had been in danger. He received almost constant death threats since he began his work in 1975. Tiller’s clinic, Women’s Healthcare Services in Wichita, Kansas, was firebombed in 1986 and in 1993 he was shot in both arms by an anti-abortion extremist. The other doctors who continue his work receive similar treatment.

“After Tiller” profiles doctors Susan Robinson, Shelley Sella, LeRoy Carhart and Warren Hern, the four remaining late-term abortion doctors in the U.S. today. Three of the four, Robinson, Carhart and Sella, are all former colleagues of Tiller. Dr. Hern has never worked with Tiller and still practices in his home state of Colorado. In order to continue Tiller’s legacy, his three former co-workers have moved out of Wichita to different practices all over the country. They believe that their work is of extreme importance. In the trailer we see a grim but dedicated Dr. Robinson exclaim “I can’t retire. There aren’t enough of us.” The film explores the separate motivations for their work and the difficulties that come with performing such a controversial procedure.

As I’ve mentioned before, I, like many of the anonymous mothers in the film, faced a doomed pregnancy. Unlike the moms in the film, the decision was made for me by my body – I went into an early labor before anyone realized I was having a placental abruption. If the condition had been discovered sooner, however, I would have faced a difficult decision; whether or not to terminate my potentially deadly pregnancy.

One in 100 pregnant women suffer from a placental abruption. Most cases are mild and require little or no attention, while others, like mine, are catastrophic and can lead to a stillborn child or the death of the mother. In my case the abruption was almost total. The prognosis for my son would never have been a bright one. I find that this fact both horrifies and comforts me, depending on what the discussion is. My prognosis would have been slightly better, because I was in a great hospital in NYC (in the U.S only 1 in 2,500 women die from this condition).  In parts of the world with lower medical standards however, maternal death from severe placental abruption is extremely high.

Would I have terminated my pregnancy, knowing the prognosis? Probably. For the child I already had who needed her momma, for the children I had yet to have and for my husband and family who needed their wife, daughter, sister, friend. And yes, because I wanted and still want to live. Of course, if the prognosis for my son had been better, that decision might have been very different.

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    • Blueathena623

      Wow. 4? Makes me really want to get my act together and go to medical school so I can help them.
      Hugs and kudos to you and all these women and these doctors and everyone who helps with these very stressful situations.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        It’s funny, I felt the same way.

      • Anti-death

        I don’t believe anyone should be killed, which is why their being 4 is 4 too many.

      • CMJ

        Ugh, you just called another commenter brain damaged. I don’t know if you’re the best person to lecture on moral values.

        Also, grammar is your friend.

      • Anti-death

        You have to be brain damaged if you think that shoving a knife into a baby’s brain and crushing their head is more humane than giving life to a special child.

      • CMJ

        Bless your heart.

      • AugustW

        *fetus

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        That isn’t how it’s done. Do some homework that isn’t fed to you from a propaganda group.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

        You have to be brain damaged to think that a baby and a fetus are the same thing.

      • Blueathena623

        I just want to take you home and put a little vest on you, and maybe a little blue fez. And then I will train you to be my helper monkey, to reach things that are too high and pick up the Cheerios that fall on the floor (you can eat them or throw them away, your choice). And I shall call you Sir Allister Pigglebottom.

      • Simone

        Blueathena, I am in love with you now and forever.

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        Just fetuses incapable of thought, or are fully grown, cognizant people on death row exempt?

    • alice

      Not to make light of this topic, but: how amusing is that Chick-fil-A advertisement popping over the image of the pro-choicer’s sign: “If the fetus you save is gay, will you still fight for it’s rights” ?

    • Rachel Sea

      I used to think that I would not terminate a pregnancy just because the baby would be severely disabled. After having worked as a caregiver for developmentally disabled adults in group homes, I would terminate without question, or hesitation. I’d rather my child never live, than live in one of those places.

      • Pro-Choice

        I also work with severely disabled adults (young adults and old) and I would terminate without question as well. It is not a life I would wish on anyone and I would not anyone to live in a home.

      • Rachel Sea

        The place I worked was nicknamed The Hellhole, and it was the best rated group facility in the county. The worst rated facility had an employee who, for 4 years, zapped residents with a stun gun, and cattle prod, for fun, and no one did anything about it.

        It was the worst job I have ever been sad to leave, because ex-employees are forbidden contact with residents, so I have no idea if the people I cared for are okay.

      • Katherine Handcock

        I understand the reasoning behind forbidding contact with residents after an employee leaves, but it’s still tremendously sad. Whenever you work so closely with anyone, you want to know how they are doing, even after you leave.

        When my grandmother first started showing serious signs of dementia, my dad and uncle hired an amazing woman, not as a caregiver, but as someone to visit, drive her out to get her hair done or go shopping, play cards with her, and so on. Even after Grandma had reached the point where she couldn’t do any of those things any more, and everyone reluctantly ended the contract, this lady kept visiting her and kept in touch with our family. She was there at the memorial we held when my grandmother died. As far as we were concerned, she was a family friend, and she deserved to grieve with us.

      • nightshaderebel

        ive worked in a good number of situations like that, after a while, you care about those people as if you are family (from the caregivers point of view) id be sad if i didnt ever hear when people id been close to passed, or even got better. part of why i didnt work in group homes long. they are too depressing.

      • natalie

        Shame on you for not standing up for your clients and going as far as you had to go to report and protect them.

      • Rachel Sea

        Fuck you. I reported that facility to state licensing and the state ombudsman at least twice a month for the year I was there, and when licensing showed up, they did nothing, they didn’t even reprimand the administration, even for clear violations. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown for the last 5 months because nothing I did made anything any better. So, seriously, fuck you.

      • natalie

        This was where? State will have our head if we have a paper filed incorrectly. Heaven help someone who was reported to have abused a client. So document the abuse go to the newspaper, the media, the families.

      • Rachel Sea

        I did go to the press actually, but since I wouldn’t name myself or the clients, and because there had been no deaths or arrests, they weren’t interested. In order to give them a good story I would have had to commit felony HIPPA violations.

        None of the people I cared for had family (except those who had been removed from the custody of extremely abusive family, but there were restraining orders against them).

      • natalie

        Once again I would love to know what state this was in. Yea most media is going to need more than a unnamed person told me this second hand information.

      • Rachel Sea

        Of course they are, but to do that, I would risk prison. I’m in California.

      • natalie

        Really that is interesting one of my best friends returned to California 2 years ago after working and living here. She continues to do the same work there and I never got the impression that the health care system there was so lax with clients. I will have to ask maybe they are. If you would have had proof of the claims photos, or video you could have gone to the police and should have had immunity.

      • Rachel Sea

        Taking photos and video without client permission is illegal, and none of the clients were high enough functioning to give informed consent.

      • Peace1203

        I have to say that if something THAT BAD is going on…FUCK informed consent, HIPPA laws, and your own privacy. If you feel so strongly about this that you feel some people shouldn’t be born, then you should be strong enough to break laws in order to stop it.

      • thevk

        No need to be a judgy douche, Natalie.

      • meteor_echo

        Life with a severe disability seems to me like it would be hell, not a life. I absolutely agree with you.

      • natalie

        Do you tell your clients that you feel their life has no value and you wish they were dead?

      • Rachel Sea

        No, I’m saying I love the people I care for, but the lives they lead are routinely torturous because their caregivers don’t.

      • Pappy

        I wish these people could understand the difference between “I wish you never had to suffer this.” and “Your life has no value and you’re better off dead.” It’s possible to love and value someone so much that you wish there was some alternative to the miserable life they’re living. It doesn’t mean you want them to die, it means you wish they had ceased to exist before they developed the capacity to suffer. Subtle but significant distinction.

      • Peace1203

        The point isn’t when you feel the person should have ceased to exist, the point is that you feel that some disabled people shouldn’t exist, and that the problems they face are because of their disabilities and not the way society is set up. I mean, really: “I don’t think that disabled should be killed”? That’s your standard? Surely society should have higher standards than that.

      • Anti-death

        It’s a good think that your mom didn’t think the same or she’d have aborted you. If you weren’t brain damaged you could just raise the child yourself instead of murdering it.

      • CMJ
      • DMH

        OMG I LOVE THIS.

      • Rachel Sea

        When parents pre-decease their disabled children, where do you think they go?

      • meteor_echo

        He doesn’t think. You put too much faith into this…. individual.

      • natalie

        To group homes like I work for. Almost all of the people who live there have parents who passed away. What is your point?

      • Rachel Sea

        That you can’t advocate for, or protect your child after you are dead. If you pre-decease them, you have no control over where they go.

      • natalie

        If you make plans for their placement before your death you can.

      • Rachel Sea

        Your will is only a suggestion to whomever takes charge of your child. If your child is conserved you can appoint a guardian, if there is anyone willing to take that on, but a lot of people don’t have that kind of backup.

      • natalie

        Wow all the clients I have cared for in the last 8 years must be in the minority because they all have had people in the family or friends step up. In one case a man that worked there quit his job so he could be the guardian to a client that had no one. Depending on the severity of the disability a client can even be their own guardian at times.

      • Rachel Sea

        No one I cared for had family, or even court appointed guardians. In spite of being severely and profoundly mentally retarded, all were legally autonomous, though in practice the facility administration made all their decisions.

      • meteor_echo

        Where they can be abused, raped, mistreated or harassed, and you wouldn’t be able to do anything, because you’d be dead. Your point is not as valid as you think – group homes are not all sunshine and roses, like you describe them.

      • natalie

        All those things can and do happen to people who have parents that are still alive disabled or not. I am aware that all places are not good places to live.

      • http://awimpinwyoming.wordpress.com/ Archer

        Dude, you’re totally entitled to your opinion regardless of whether or not anyone else in these comments agrees with you. But here’s the thing; if you’re going to argue with the other contributors, you need to take a look a the ‘argument pyramid.’ (see below)

        Most educated and informed arguments are formed using the top 3 levels. Right now, you’re stuck in the very bottom two. What this means is that even if you had a valid point mixed up in your ill-formed replies, nobody is going to find it. Take a minute, think about what it is you really want to say, and try again using some of the top argument techniques.

        But if I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that sometimes I have trouble using more than ‘ad hominem’ and ‘name calling’ when I disagree with someone who’s being inexcusably obnoxious, especially when it is regarding an especially sensitive subject.

        Like right now. You are being a total ass hat.

      • http://awimpinwyoming.wordpress.com/ Archer

        The Argument Pyramid

      • AugustW

        Murder carries a legal connotation. As abortion is legal, it can’t be murder, legally speaking.

        Try again.

      • Mikster

        If I was found to have severe disabilities in utero I just hope my mother would have been unselfish enough to abort.

      • Mary

        My mother works in a home with people who are disabled and her opinion is very different from yours. She loves the patients. They are each unique and have wonderful characteristics. She’s always telling me stories about them. I’ve met a few and they may be challenging but they are human beings and very likeable, they aren’t these horrible monsters who live horrible lives. Well, not all of them anyway, there is some abuse, which is sad but usually caught.

        My aunt also works for the state in these homes and she would bring this one man to all our family functions, he was mute but he was like part of our family and we loved him. He was a happy man in his happy little world. You can’t say they all go on to live horrible lives.

      • Rachel Sea

        I love the people I cared for, but that wasn’t enough to stop the abuse they suffered at the hands of other “caregivers.”

      • momof1boy

        The point isn’t about what you would do. The point is that each woman should have the right to make that choice for herself.

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        Agreed, but I think she was making a personal observation for the point of opening discourse.

      • natalie

        You shouldn’t be working with people who are disabled if you don’t even value their lives and think they would be better off dead. It would make me sick to know someone like you was caring for my loved one. Yes there are shitty places that some disabled people live just like there are shitty places that the non disabled people live. I happen to work with the disabled as well and I love the home I work in.

      • Rachel Sea

        It’s very nice for you that you were not working in the same county as me, because the standard of care in my community fucking sucks. If you had worked where I worked, in the “best” facilities in the county, where overnight workers routinely left clients laying in puddles of urine all night so that the skin on their legs and back developed rashes and sores, where mysterious “round marks approximately 4″ across with five 3″ lines radiating from upper margin” appeared on the clients’ bodies routinely, where treatment was withheld when inconvenient or expensive, where mobility aids were left broken for months and years, where clients were tied to wheelchairs because it was inconvenient to allow them to walk, where clients’ teeth rotted out of their heads for lack of appropriate dental care, where Deaf clients were denied language because of costs, where clients were sometimes kept in isolation for their own safety because of chronic under-staffing for the sake of profit, where no matter how many times an employee “just happened” to be the only one present when a client suffered an injury, they were never removed, because there were no eye witnesses, and where the state board who was supposed to enforce the law and protect the clients’ civil rights did NOTHING, because there was a shortage of homes, and so overworked licensing nurses had incentive to look the other way…you might feel as I do, that I would rather my loved ones die before they have to live through that.

      • natalie

        This happened where?

    • Zettai

      “You have choices, they all suck.” This comment hit home for me.

      If it were me, and my child was going to be stillborn or have an agonizing life I would do it. These doctors and the women who have to make this heart-shredding decision are so damn brave.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Ok seriously that anti-choice sign (2nd image)….someone needs to take a course in ‘how to make a decent protest sign’ because dude that’s a hell of a novel you’ve got there.

      Also, yes, much support to anyone who is facing these kinds of decisions, and may those 4 doctors (4!) be safe, stay strong, and have peaceful ends at a lovely old age surrounded by the people who love them, not at the hands of a murderous asshole.

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        The protesters are parodies of themselves.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      His murder upsets me very deeply. He did his best for women who believed they were making the best choice. How is it the pro-lifers cannot see their own vicious irony? It’s easy for these people to pass judgement, it’s likely they’ve never been in this position.

      Until I installed adblock, one of the ads that featured regularly before youtube videos was an irish pro life video featuring a woman who found out her baby had anencephaly, and carried him to term anyway. I can’t even say that i wouldn’t have made the same decisin, because here in ireland it ISN’T a decision. If your foetus has severe abnormalities you carry that sucker til the bitter end. Choice is a precious commodity here and nobody should be attacked for theirs.

      • meteor_echo

        *sigh*
        I know that women who live in Ireland (and Poland) have to go to England to have abortions. Are late-term ones not an option even there?
        Intrusive catholicism sucks ass. All the ass, all of it.

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        abortion of any sort is not legal here. a friend of mine was raped by her 19 year brother. she ended up pregnant at 14, and had to go over to England. the abuse she got and the looks she got from people even in the clinic she said were beyond cruel. she even had one woman ask her could she not have turned on the tv rather than get pregnant “with a Paddy”. Irrespective of nationality, this was directed at a 14 year old GIRL! A young woman, who had no choice over what happened, had the courage to tell her parents right away what happened and then realised she was pregnant with her incestuous rape-child.

        I’ve asked her now, 12 years later, with a beautiful little girl, whether she ever wishes it had one differently, and she told me when she looks at her daughter, she is rushed with love- but as a scared, hurt and lonely girl, she would have hated that child. she knows now, after experiencing the love from her baby daughter, that she would never have been able to raise that child properly. it took her ten years and her little girl to put her heart at ease that no, she would have been unable to love that child, that constant reminder of what that bastard did to her. she would have had to live with it everyday, he was free (he killed himself a week after). to come to that conclusion at any age is hard- much less a young girl, assaulted by a family member

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I personally cannot handle the thought of carrying a dying baby inside of me. I think I would need to end the pregnancy and say goodbye on my own terms than wait… and wait… and wait , only to labour and birth and lactate while watching my baby die.
      Christ… Too much. Too damn much. No.
      But, you know, if a woman needs to go through that, then I support her. If she doesn’t, I support her. We all react to traumatic news differently. We all have ideas about what’s best. I think when it comes to a doomed pregnancy, you get behind the mother and her partner and support them. Either way, they’re losing their baby, they’re just doing in a way that they feel is the least upsetting.
      For some, it’s ending the pregnancy. Say goodbye on their own terms. For some it’s letting nature take its course, trusting a higher power maybe to make the call.
      One size fits all has no bearing on this issue. And four doctors that allow women to have options is way too few.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      Funny how many anti-choicers are also against food stamps and other public assistance. It’s the fetus they care about, you see. Once that little baby’s born (especially if it’s born brown), it’s a mooch and a deadbeat.

      • AugustW

        They are pro-birth, that’s it.

      • Amanda Stanley

        I think that’s a bad generalization to make. I believe in the freedom to live, work hard, and persue what makes you happy. I believe that we need community to support us in times of need. I myself was in foster care and plan to give back.
        A massive amount of people clearly care about others in the community who are having their right to live taken away.

      • CMJ

        Wait, what people are having their right to live taken away? Others in the community? Or are you talking about a fetus?

      • Amanda Stanley

        I’m talking about a baby in the womb.

      • natalie

        Yes a human fetus which would make it a human being and what are human beings gasp they are people.

      • CMJ

        Her sentence was a hot mess. A fetus is NOT a member of the community….

        I’m all for listening to other people’s opinions (even when I disagree) but I do need for that opinion to be explained properly.

      • meteor_echo

        Holy run-on sentence, Batman!
        A fetus is a human being that one day might be. It’s not a human being that already is, and its “right to be born” doesn’t trump the right of its mother to bodily autonomy.

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        Here’s the thing, though. The community *doesn’t* give back. The community cuts low-income programs, invests in the prison industrial complex and the slave labor therein instead of rehabilitation, dooms generations of wretchedly poor families to live in subsidized housing whilst dangling the threat of homelessness over their head if they supplement their welfare with a paycheck in an attempt to save up to escape their wretched situation, and this part is my favorite, lets schools go to utter waste.

        Between wanted and unwanted babies, who do you think is affected by this?

      • Amanda Stanley

        We are all a part of the community and its our personal responsibility to do what we can to make it better. If we step up individually, then we can change the nation.
        As for which babies are affected, all of them are. All people are affected when we let our sense of community slide and charge the government to take care of others.

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        I’m sure no one has thought of that before. Until that comment, we’ve been standing there banging rocks together as our infrastructure crumbles around us.

        As for the government taking care of the least of us; if not for that, what is our government but a playground monitor?

        Charity is not dependable enough to be accounted for the well-being of a community. We pay taxes in part for programs that ensure this.

      • AlbinoWino

        But then who exactly is going to take up helping the needy if the government completely washes its hands of helping the less fortunate? I mean, I see expensive churches springing up all over the place and I see Christian groups spending their free time protesting abortion clinics. Hell, they were lined up around the street to support Chick-fil A a few months back but do you see them lining up around the corner to help the poor? No, not really. We could all use a little more community and kinship with our fellow human but having the government erase any and all assistance would be even more catastrophic to families in need. I myself worked with kids in foster care and saw the system getting funded less and less and watched more kids fall between the cracks.

      • akat

        You sound like me when I was younger and more naive. Except I never thought subjugating women was part of “community.”

      • akat

        to Amanda Stanley, not Annie!

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        Ohgood. <3

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        Me?

      • Pappy

        There’s a great piece here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html
        where the author talks about why she left the Pro-Life movement. She genuinely wanted to save the fetuses she was taught to regard as people. She switched camps when she realized the anti-welfare, anti-sex ed and birth control attitudes of the movement actually encouraged abortion rather than decreasing it. My favorite part is where she says that she realized their goal was not to save the lives of babies they believed were being murdered, but rather to punish women for having sex they considered sinful.
        About halfway down the piece she mentions a Pennsylvania bill that would have cut back welfare benefits to women who gave birth while on the program. This would mean a woman would have to choose between having an abortion or having her living children suffer deprivation. No surprise… The majority of the people supporting the bill were pro-life Republicans. Why is there no raging uproar from the pro-life camp at these politicians supporting a bill that gives women incentive to kill their babies?

    • Lisa Judson

      I have never understood how people can make judgement on the lives of people they do not know. I also do not understand how a lot of pro-lifers believe that these women that are getting abortions are stopping in and acting like it is a mani/pedi and they are off! It is a hard and devastating choice. Are there crappy women that use abortion as form of birth control? Of course. All women are not these women. And I guess I hate how the people against abortion believe that they are all like this. I am neither pro choice or pro life, defined by our media. I just support women and what they think is best for their bodies/families/unborn-babies/minds…… I am not you. We are not you. Please do what is best for you. Isn’t that what we are all supposed to wish upon our fellow human beings? The best of the situation they have?

      • Magrat

        How is it “crappy” to use abortion as a form of birth control? It’s certainly not the safest, cheapest, or most convenient method (which leads me to think the most of these “crappy” women don’t actually exist except as a bogeyman in the minds of anti-choicers), but it doesn’t affect you. Let’s drop the “abortion is always a hard choice and only bad people WANT one” rhetoric.

      • Lisa Judson

        Thank god for you, taking one point in my positive post to point out as negative. One of my friends has had 6 abortions because she “hates” pills and the thought of something in her body, AND how condoms feel. Some women would rather do that than take a pill, make their partners wrap it up, what have you. It’s just the way things are. I believe there should be abortion, early or late. I believe women have a choice. But I also understand that sometimes, people lump everyone into some CRAPPY peoples choices.

      • Amber

        Repeated abortions have to be one of the crappiest forms of birth control available. It’s incredibly expensive and so much more intrusive than other forms.

        So, yeah, it’s crappy, even if you leave all moral judgment out of it.

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        Yeah, I have to agree. Leaving the moral aspect out, it doesn’t make common sense, especially depending on when one has the abortion.

        I mean, at the very least you’re taking time and space from a clinic or hospital when one could have instead invested in some form of birth control.

      • Magrat

        The commenter said “crappy women,” not “crappy birth control.” That’s a moral judgement.

      • Amber

        Well, personally I would call them stupid not crappy since using abortion as your regular birth control is unbelievably stupid.

        But, I don’t have any issue with the term crappy.

      • Guest

        Ohmygod. I just remembered I was on the internet…posting to….internet commentors….Im out.

      • R Zhao

        Lisa, I think you made a thoughtful and meaningful comment. I also agree with you in many ways. I have conflicted feelings about abortion but I am pro-choice. I think abortion must be hard, both mentally and physically for most (all?) women so it makes sense to call it “crappy” but perhaps we’d better not call women “crappy.”

        I think there’s usually someone waiting to criticize and get defensive if they don’t agree with your comment, but I think it’s more helpful if we have an open discussion. We all have different feelings about this very sensitive topic.

      • Lisa Judson

        Thank you for your comment however I never called women as a whole crappy. I said that the view of women that get abortions is lumped into a whole view by some women that make crappy decisions. Because there ARE crappy women.. Crappy humans. That use abortion for selfish reasons. Am I saying all women do this? NO. Do I think most women do this? NOOOO. but do I know there are people that are selfish and had other opportunities but chose this instead….yeah. Yes it is traumatic for most people (i know) but also some women dont care, and in my friends case she’s said ” well honestly it isnt that bad….so id rather do it than have to take a stupid pill”. So yes. Internet world. I am sorry I used the word “crappy” and “women” in the same sentence. I just couldnt believe my comment was taken to such a context when I am so passionate about it and think it is really needed. So while I very much appreciate your comment. Women can be craptastic.

      • meteor_echo

        “Selfish” is subjective. Even if you deem someone “crappy” for having more than one abortion or for having abortions for a “selfish” reason, you have no right to judge them – because if you don’t trust them with picking a choice that is the best for them, I really hope you wouldn’t trust them with a child.

      • Pappy

        FWIW, my mom was one of those women who used abortion as birth control. She was manic depressive. She went through years where she repeated the same vicious cycle: Go manic, get pregnant and then wise up and abort. I was the one she kept. I love her deeply but I can say without hesitation that she should never have become a mother. My aborted “siblings” were the lucky ones. This is why I support abortion on demand. The women who use it as birth control are usually the absolute last people who should be becoming parents.

      • Lisa Judson

        Look I am going to try and I guess, redeem myself, even though I dont even know. I am so disheartened by response I got. Anyway I am sorry I called women “crappy” but again. Women can be. Everyone CAN be. I still was friends with the girl. I am in NO WAY against abortion. I was trying to say that what bothers me is because there are women that “seem to” (maybe they really are hurting inside I dont know. I am not them) not care. My friend didnt. She literally said to me, “it’s not that bad” and she would rather do that. And THIS view is what gets used agaisnt abortion. Maybe I didnt make myself clear that that is what bothered me? But look. None of you can convince me that there arent crappy people. No i dont want these people being parents. But that wasnt what I was trying to say. I DO NOT LIKE that this is the position people against abortion, lump all abortions into because some people do it. I wish everyone was able to have multiple forms of safer/less intrusive/ less traumatic birth control OR that some women could handle carrying a child until birth and giving up for adoption. But that is not reality. I was still friends with this girl even though it broke my heart how carelessly she was like “yep im pregnant got to get rid of this little twit!” (yes she said that). Im human also. Forgive me for caring about humans,even unborn ones. No im not pro-life. But it doesnt mean that when I see someone speak and act like my friend did, im not allowed to feel upset. I am not saying she is a terrible person and because of her i hate abortion. If thats how she wanted to do it, fine. She has and needs that right. But in my mind. She is crappy for being so careless with life when there were ways she could have prevented it. So forgive me for being human. Like everyone else. Im glad that everyone that told me I have no right to judge people, have lived their whole lives not ever judging another human being but maybe it is just me, Maybe Im crappy for thinking some people that sometimes get abortions are sometimes crappy about it. Human beings are kinda crappy sometimes. Really. I mean have you seen Miley twerk? I needed bleach for my eyes after that. It was pretty shitty.

      • blh

        She sounds like a pretty disgusting person. I couldn’t even be friends with someone like that. I very much hope something goes wrong when she’s having one and can’t get pregnant anymore.

      • Lisa Judson

        She actually got into a really bad car accident with her husband a few years back and is permanently in a wheel chair now. So. No she cant…

    • Amber

      Anyone who would force a woman to go through an entire pregnancy and then give birth to a child who can’t survive is just evil. There’s no excuse for that. I’m glad we have at least a few doctors who are compassionate enough to realize that.

      I had a cousin who had a late term abortion because her baby had anencephaly. It didn’t have a brain. Survival was impossible. It was a wanted pregnancy and very hard on her. It disgusts me that there are people who would try to force her to continue a doomed pregnancy with no regard to how it may have affected her.

      • AugustW

        I think some people read the Handmaiden’s (Handmaids?) Tale and decided it was a textbook, not a warning to be heeded.

      • Blueathena623

        Any reference to my gal Maggie gets a thumbs up.

      • Shea

        I’m giving you a thumbs up for referring to Margaret Atwood as “my gal Maggie”.

        I like to imagine the three of us sitting around in Tim’s, drinking coffee and talking shit about misogynists.

      • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

        Timbits are on me.

      • meteor_echo

        Anyone who would force a woman to go through an entire pregnancy and then give birth to a child when she has reasons to abort is evil, period.

      • Amber

        Yeah, I agree with that. But I think it’s even more evil when the child has zero chance of survival.

        It’s like they’re saying, “You will go through months of psychological torture and physical discomfort to give birth to a corpse because it pleases us!”

        That’s some hardcore evil. Like a hideous alien necromancer who raises human corpses from the grave just to rape them to death, over and over again.

      • meteor_echo

        Or when the pregnancy is a result of rape.

        I really, really hate pro-lifers who think it’s a good idea to use pregnancy and children as punishment for having had sex.

    • Simone

      This is a beautifully written article about an important film.

    • JaneDoe27

      I have so much respect for these courageous doctors and nurses. And any person who has not been through a doomed pregnancy has no idea what heart ache and soul crucshing decisions these women are facing. I had to make this decision when I went into labour at 23 1/2 weeks with my second child. He was fatally disabled and was suffering from a syndrome that would have had him born blind, deaf, with cerebral palsy and metally incapacitated. A life of pain, tube feeding, hospitalization and confusion. My husband and I had to have the discussion: should we try to prolong the pregnancy? Should we let labour progress on it’s own with my life hanging in the balance? Should I have a caesarean? And if he is born alive, should we provide extrodinary medical care to prolong his life or just keep him comfortable until he passes? This was the worst week of my life and I would not wish these choices on my worst enemy. I am thankful every day that I am Canadian and that these decsions were seen as MEDICAL choices and that I had full access to the best health care possible. There is no way at all that any politician or clergy person or moral majority terrorist should have had a say in what my family was going to decide.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        I’m sorry for your troubles, that must have been terrifying and heartbreaking.

      • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

        Which is also why we need to make sure Harper’s government doesn’t take that right away. I can’t believe they’re moving forward with a motion to make it illegal. Thank you for sharing your story. Reason more to not take our situation up here for granted and keep it the great country that it is.

    • 88Mwife

      Beyond the religious aspects (which, in my opinion, shouldn’t be a consideration when it comes to legislature) and the political, these are women’s lives we’re talking about.
      This. 1000x this. Thank you. An individuals personal feelings and religious views have no bearing on federal legislation. If you believe it is wrong and immoral, good for you. Wave your signs and write your nasty troll comments. But the personal feelings of an individual have no legal standing, and therefore should not be taken into consideration when drafting legislation.

    • BubbleyToes

      I want to watch this documentary asap! This makes me so sad that he was murdered. I feel so much compassion for these women. I know that if I were in their situation, I would absolutely terminate the pregnancy. As a couple people have said below, I have also worked with the mentally disabled and I would not want that for my child or my family. Hopefully, this would mean I could have an early abortion, or at least not a late-term one, but if I didn’t find out until later on that my child would be severely disabled and not have a good quality of life, I would still terminate. My husband agrees. It makes me sad that there are so many people who would judge me and these women for that without even knowing the circumstances. They should volunteer at a few group homes and see what that life is truly like for them and also see what it means to spend the rest of your life caring for someone who is in that situation.

    • Amanda Stanley

      I would give my child the chance to live. I would not make that decision for him or her.

      • Ann B.

        And that is your opinion, your choice to make. But each mother has to make her own decisions for her body and fetus growing inside her. You can make that choice for yourself, but it is not your place to make it for someone else.

      • Mikster

        And I would support your choice to make that decision. I’d expect you to support my choice to abort in these kinds of circumstances as well.

      • Amanda Stanley

        I don’t support killing a baby in the womb :/

      • Mikster

        Then I’d ask you to mind your business and stay out of my own. Until YOU can assume each and every short and long term risk inherent in either continued gestation and childbirth or abortion in my stead, you have no relevancy to my choices whatsoever.

      • Amanda Stanley

        I would not stay out of your business if you killed someone with a voice, and I won’t stay out of your business if you kill someone without one. Law and justice is all about getting into people’s business. Unless you believe in complete anarchy, your logic is flawed. I’m sure if I was abusing my child you wouldn’t hesitate to help her. Although my family is “my business”, there are laws set in place to protect individual rights.

      • CMJ

        I hate to break it to you honey but abortion is legal.

      • Amanda Stanley

        I know. It’s aweful. :(

      • CMJ

        Maybe for you, but it’s a lifesaver (literally) to many, many women.

      • Amanda Stanley

        1 in 2500 women who HAVE the condition (of placental abruption) die. 9 out of 1,000 women have the condition. The chance of dying from this is much less than a person dying from an excessive cold, or falling down the stairs.

      • CMJ
      • Frances Locke

        I guess you missed the part where I said I lost a child because of my OWN placental abruption.Therefore in the situation I was talking about (you know, my own) there wasn’t a question of whether or not it existed. I wasn’t talking about the majority of pregnancies. It almost seems as if you didn’t actually read the post, and instead headed down to the comments to be a contrarian.

      • Courtney

        Then don’t have one.

      • meteor_echo

        Yeah, it’s oh so awful that women nowadays have the right to not be unwilling incubators, or to prevent a child being born into a life full of suffering. Screw you with a rusty morgenstern, and the high horse you rode in upon.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        The “LAW” is very clear in the nine states where this is legal (third trimester) These aren’t children that will ever live or have a quality of life. I wouldn’t want to believe in a god that would value misery and pain over a dignified death like the ones in this film.

      • Amanda Stanley

        So a dignified death is an execution? Why is a fight for survival less dignified? We don’t kill stage 3 cancer patients.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        These are babies born with excruciating, often horrifying deformities. Half their brains missing, limbs not being able to bend, etc. Things that go beyond the scope of “stage 3 cancer patients.” These are often children that will only live for hours or weeks, and will be in constant agony. The medical bills may bankrupt the parents and make them unable to care for their living, breathing, thinking, feeling children. This is less like euthanizing someone with cancer and more like pulling the plug on someone who is brain dead or nearly so and in agonizing pain. And before you ask, YES I am a supporter of elective euthanasia as well, and certainly for not being on life support past the point where I would be viable (my choice, not a choice I would foist on someone else because of my ideology).

        That’s the difference between the pro-choice side and the anti-choice side though. We don’t want to force our beliefs on you. We would never want to force a woman to have an abortion. You want to put your baby through 6 months with numerous surgeries that won’t help in the end? Go right ahead. You feel you are strong enough to handle a severely disabled child? That’s great, and even admirable. But we won’t force you to. You, on the other hand, would. And in the same turn probably support a political party that wants to also cut funding for programs that would feed these unwanted babies that your policies would force into the world.

        You think you’re some saintly martyr who is stronger than the women in this film, but you aren’t. You’re judgmental and heartless and I refuse to argue with you any longer.

      • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

        I heart you.

      • Mikster

        Well I guess you’d be getting a police escort from the hospital then. My body, life and health are NOT your business, and you violate my privacy in trying to insert yourself into my womb. You have NO right to impose risks upon me against my express will and consent.

      • AlbinoWino

        So maybe if you’re so damn sanctimonious on this you need to be out there adopting all of the unwanted babies of the world. You’re so eager to tell other women what to do with their bodies but I sincerely doubt you do anything to improve the lives of the ones who have not been as fortunate. Or better yet, why not volunteer to give talks on sex ed as that is one of the biggest deterrents of unplanned pregnancy. You know what countries have the lowest abortion rates? Western Europe. And guess what? Abortion is legal in those countries with the lowest rates. They also make birth control and sex education easier to access. You know what countries have the highest abortion rates? Underdeveloped ones where the practice is usually illegal. The women in those nations suffer immensely, as we did here pre Roe v. Wade, from not having the procedure done in sanitary conditions. So is that your great dream for this country? The government gets to be the boss of women’s bodies, women who get back alley abortions die, and we can all feel morally superior? Pro-life indeed. I say you’re full of shit.

      • Amber

        Sometimes there is no chance. As hard as you might click your heels together and wish for it, brains don’t just spontaneously appear after birth.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

        A lot of anti-choice people feel the same way until they are actually facing the decision: http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

      • meteor_echo

        Yup. then the only moral abortion is their abortion, and everyone else will, like, definitely go to hell.

      • Pappy

        Thanks for posting that link. It’s a very interesting read. :-)

      • Amber

        Wow, what a bunch of disgusting hypocrites. My jaw dropped at the girl who got her abortion and came pack to picket at the same clinic THE NEXT DAY!

        What is wrong with people?

      • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

        A lot of anti-choice people feel the same way until they are actually facing the decision: http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

    • http://kathyskontests.blogspot.com/ Kathy Burton

      Thank you for sharing your perspective. It is necessary to let others know that they are not alone. I work with families who have made this decision and those who wish they had. Ignore the trolls below, they lack the ability to imagine a life any different than their own.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Thank you! Unfortunately, since I have long been a supporter of women’s reproductive choice, including the one in this post, I have gotten pretty used to the trolls. I appreciate your support and thank you for the work you do. It must be difficult but it is infinitely necessary.

    • K

      First of all, I would like to commend you for writing this. It certainly won’t make you any friends, but I strongly believe that it is something that needs to be written. I have never been in this situation and I hope to God that I am not ever in this situation, so I can’t honestly say how I would react. BUT, I strongly believe that it should be someone’s choice. No one should be made to continue carrying a child who will NOT survive, especially if there is a chance at harming the mother. There is absolutely no need for someone to risk their life for one that is not guaranteed any chance of survival.
      When I was told that I did not have a viable pregnancy, granted it was early, my body had not done what it needed to. I was given the choice of “waiting it out” or being able to schedule a D&C. At that point, my body still thought that it had a healthy pregnancy and that wasn’t the case. It was important for me to have that choice. I chose the D&C. It was the one, tiny bit of control that I had in an absolutely horrible situation. And I am so glad that I went through with it. It gave me a bit of strength knowing that I had some control in the situation, when the rest of my world seemed to be ripped away.

    • Alicia Kiner

      There is a very big part of me that cannot even believe this is an issue. This to me shouldn’t qualify as an abortion, late-term or not. Yes, miracles happen every day. But for the most part, we are talking about babies who either won’t survive outside of the womb at all, or for a matter of hours at best. And that idiot troll obviously didn’t read your article. He/she is threatening your life over a life threatening late miscarriage (basically). Moron.

    • Pappy

      I have to encourage people interested in this subject to read this piece by Abby Stone;

      http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/what-late-term-abortion-looks-like/

      It is one of the most searing, beautiful and heartbreaking things I’ve ever read. I have known people who ended pregnancies because of severe birth defects and I could see how hard it was. Nothing but crappy choices, indeed.

    • CrazyLogic

      I had an anthropology teacher that did a case study at Dr Hern’s clinic. Couples would volunteer for a survey and interview to discuss the reason they were getting the procedure. The vast majority of them were for medical reasons, but there were some that terminated pregnancies that MIGHT have been healthy, I say might because they had no idea. There were quite a few women going there because they didn’t know they were pregnant until after the normal cutoff period. Some were raped, some had mental health issues, she mentioned at least one girl was fifteen and hadn’t been taught well enough to know. It was NEVER “oh I forgot to go get that abortion like I meant to do four months ago” (as she put it one class)

      I thought this teacher was awesome. Why? Because she didn’t judge at all (she actually brought it up in the “anthropologists must remain neutral class). She was recording statistics, surveying the reactions and other such things. I don’t know the results of her study, since it was still in the works when the semester ended, but dear god it was awesome to watch as she explained what she was doing and people’s reactions to the anecdotes in class.

      It was also interesting to hear how Hern’s security changed after Dr. Tiller’s murder. He actually hires bodyguards when going to medical seminars and the like because he was pushed to be THAT paranoid.

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