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How do you feel about Arkansas law banning abortions at 12 weeks?

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Abortions at 12 Weeks Should Never Be Illegal

by Maressa Brown

ultrasoundWhen it comes to abortion laws, there's absolutely no consensus on what we all as Americans feel is appropriate. But in Arkansas this week, state lawmakers have decided they know what's best -- passing a law that prohibits abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy, which is when a fetal heartbeat can typically be detected by an abdominal ultrasound. Even after Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, called it "blatantly unconstitutional" and vetoed it. Now the state has what will be by far the country's most restrictive ban on abortion.

To be fair, it's a very hazy issue on which even people who consider themselves pro-choice find themselves grappling with. When should it simply be just too late to terminate a pregnancy? I'd argue that 12 weeks is far too early. Fetal heartbeat or not, there is a need for abortions to be legal that "late in the game."

While 88 percent of all abortions are obtained within the time period Arkansas is specifying, a post-12 week abortion should not be out of the question for various reasons ...

  1. Some women may not even recognize that they are pregnant until the pregnancy is advanced beyond that time frame -- due to irregular menstruation, thinking they're in menopause, believing they cannot become pregnant for various reasons (breastfeeding, undergoing medical treatment), or having their pregnancies initially misdiagnosed by physicians (it happens!).
  2. There are also instances where there are serious medical complications -- pregnant women are susceptible to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, severe depression, addictions, and other serious health problems. Surgery, X-rays, chemotherapy, or other treatment vital to a woman's health or life may come to a halt once the pregnancy is discovered. A woman might choose abortion if a continued pregnancy would worsen her condition and/or threaten her life, or if she requires further treatments that may damage a developing fetus. 
  3. A fetus could have severe abnormalities, like an undeveloped brain, a severe metabolic disorder, or no working kidney. She may wish to end the pregnancy rather than give birth to a child who will suffer and die in infancy or who will have severe disabilities. Unfortunately, the results of amniocentesis, one of the most important prenatal diagnostic tests, are generally not available until the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy, thus delaying the abortion decision.

These are just a few of a whole slew of scenarios that could influence a woman to seek an abortion after this inane deadline that Arkansas lawmakers are setting. And these scenarios are exactly why the limit established by Supreme Court gives women a right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb -- which is usually around 24 weeks into pregnancy. 

That said, it's hopeful that the Arkansas law is going to be found unconstitutional and overturned ASAP. (The ACLU is already gearing up to sue.) Because of course no one would wish any of the above on anyone, but live can take some unexpected turns, and Arkanas women deserve their constitutional right to do what's right for them and their fetus.

How do you feel about this law?

by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Replies (21-30):
NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM
1 mom liked this

I am not a huge fan of government intruding into private lives.  That being said, the two things typically used to define whether or not a human is alive or dead are heartbeat and brainwaves.  Both of those can be detected well before 12 weeks, so we are clearly talking about a separate living entity.  Many of the sensory cells are active by 12 weeks, so pain is felt.  This is why we will always debate the propriety of abortion and its timing.

Mama2Spencerninja

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I think it, like a lot of others prove the old adage:

The law is an ass.

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

It is a 'separate entity' when it's capable of living separate from the body.

We do not agree that a human is alive or dead based on brainwaves and heartbeats.

Quoting NewMom11222011:

I am not a huge fan of government intruding into private lives.  That being said, the two things typically used to define whether or not a human is alive or dead are heartbeat and brainwaves.  Both of those can be detected well before 12 weeks, so we are clearly talking about a separate living entity.  Many of the sensory cells are active by 12 weeks, so pain is felt.  This is why we will always debate the propriety of abortion and its timing.


romanceparty4u
by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:13 PM
3 moms liked this

I feel it's a "blanket" law that doesn't take into consideration the "what ifs". As far as "freedom" is concerned, if I lived somewhere that restricted my personal choices, I could always cross a state line at some point, to exercise those choices.

I still think government has no place in my uterus or my relationship

OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM

 I think it's wrong for the government to put this into place. 

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM

It won't be able to survive independently even once viable.  Someone still has to be taking care of it.

What would you suggest as the defining line, say in a hospital setting, of when a person ceases to be alive?

Quoting LindaClement:

It is a 'separate entity' when it's capable of living separate from the body.

We do not agree that a human is alive or dead based on brainwaves and heartbeats.

Quoting NewMom11222011:

I am not a huge fan of government intruding into private lives.  That being said, the two things typically used to define whether or not a human is alive or dead are heartbeat and brainwaves.  Both of those can be detected well before 12 weeks, so we are clearly talking about a separate living entity.  Many of the sensory cells are active by 12 weeks, so pain is felt.  This is why we will always debate the propriety of abortion and its timing.



Mama2Spencerninja

antoinettegts
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM
4 moms liked this
I think abortion should be banned completely. 12 wks isn't enough. Life begins at conception.
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Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM
That's how it is in Iceland as well and to be honest, I thought it was that way here as well for the longest time. So I don't see a problem with it.
Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:36 PM
2 moms liked this

I feel like men are trying to say that they know better than a woman. Basically, they are saying women are idiots who can't make educated decisions about their bodies. 

coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM
1 mom liked this
If a woman is at say 13 weeks and really wants/needs an abotion, she will go where she can to get one. This law won't prevent much, just cause inconvenience.
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