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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 (41-50):
muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 9:24 PM
1 mom liked this

They must have fixed all the real problems going on in that state to waste time legislating what a woman can and cant do with her body.

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM
2 moms liked this
I think this law is rabidly anti-privacy & I'm pro-privacy.

As I said on the other thread, this isn't about religion/life. If it were, then religious folk simply wouldn't have abortions. The US isn't a theocracy & we don't legislate based on religion. This isn't about choice. We don't legislate choices in the US. We may buy any shampoo, brand of jeans, etc, that we wish. These are choices.

Since this is clearly about privacy, the question for me is this: for those of you that are anti-privacy and willing to take away the rights of others, what of your rights are you willing to surrender? To invade the privacy of others one normally requires a very high burden.
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Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 9:50 PM
2 moms liked this
I first want to honor you as a strong survivor. I second want to say I'm sorry for your loss & ambivalence. What a terrible experience all aound.

I third want to honor you for being a faithful pro-privacy advocate. How courageous of you. Thank you for having your views & respecting others' views as well.


Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

It's tough.  Personally, I am pro-life.  I was raped by a stranger after being snatched off a bench, and ended up pregnant.  I could not abort the baby.  In the end, the baby was born at 20 weeks and died within a minute.  Some days, I wish I could go back and abort.  Other days, I'm glad I chose what I did.  

Just because my personal beliefs are more pro-life, though, I don't believe every woman should have to follow my views.  I am certain many other women would do better aborting the fetus under the circumstances I was in.  I wouldn't ever want to take that choice away from them.

I'm also fuzzy on when I believe a fetus is "alive."  My son was born at 20 weeks, and he cried once, then slowly died in my arms.  So I KNOW he was alive.  And the thought that I had another 4 weeks to abort him is crazy to me.

In all my pregnancies, I didn't feel like I had LIFE inside me at the same point.  It wasn't like week 12 rolled around and I magically felt like I was growing a life just because there was a heartbeat.  With my oldest now, 5 years old, I felt like he was alive with me at 8 weeks.  With my second living son, I didnt' feel close to him and like he was alive until I felt him kicking.

I want to say having a heartbeat is a good sign the baby is ALIVE, but have you seen pictures of fetal hearts?  It is one of the first things to develope and starts beating around 18-21 days of gestation, and they are nowhere near human looking but they have a heart.  They barely have anything other than a brain and a heart, they even still look like a tube and have barely grown limbs yet!  At this point, it looks like the fetus of many other mammals.

http://php.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?title=Fetal_ECHO_Meeting_2012    If you are interested in scientific information about early embryonic developements.

I think saying 12 weeks IS pushing it too soon.  I may not fully support the idea of 24 weeks, because that is when they could survive outside the womb, but I understand why that, and not the heartbeat, was used as the point of reference.  And I am more supportive of that than of the 12 week mark.  Then again, I held a 20 week baby in my arms, and I know that greatly changed my perception of it all.


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toomanypoodles
by Ruby Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM
2 moms liked this

 GOOD!

Mrs.Kubalabuku
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Thanks.  I'm glad someone understood what I was trying to say.


Quoting Bookwormy:

I first want to honor you as a strong survivor. I second want to say I'm sorry for your loss & ambivalence. What a terrible experience all aound.

I third want to honor you for being a faithful pro-privacy advocate. How courageous of you. Thank you for having your views & respecting others' views as well.


Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

It's tough.  Personally, I am pro-life.  I was raped by a stranger after being snatched off a bench, and ended up pregnant.  I could not abort the baby.  In the end, the baby was born at 20 weeks and died within a minute.  Some days, I wish I could go back and abort.  Other days, I'm glad I chose what I did.  

Just because my personal beliefs are more pro-life, though, I don't believe every woman should have to follow my views.  I am certain many other women would do better aborting the fetus under the circumstances I was in.  I wouldn't ever want to take that choice away from them.

I'm also fuzzy on when I believe a fetus is "alive."  My son was born at 20 weeks, and he cried once, then slowly died in my arms.  So I KNOW he was alive.  And the thought that I had another 4 weeks to abort him is crazy to me.

In all my pregnancies, I didn't feel like I had LIFE inside me at the same point.  It wasn't like week 12 rolled around and I magically felt like I was growing a life just because there was a heartbeat.  With my oldest now, 5 years old, I felt like he was alive with me at 8 weeks.  With my second living son, I didnt' feel close to him and like he was alive until I felt him kicking.

I want to say having a heartbeat is a good sign the baby is ALIVE, but have you seen pictures of fetal hearts?  It is one of the first things to develope and starts beating around 18-21 days of gestation, and they are nowhere near human looking but they have a heart.  They barely have anything other than a brain and a heart, they even still look like a tube and have barely grown limbs yet!  At this point, it looks like the fetus of many other mammals.

http://php.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?title=Fetal_ECHO_Meeting_2012    If you are interested in scientific information about early embryonic developements.

I think saying 12 weeks IS pushing it too soon.  I may not fully support the idea of 24 weeks, because that is when they could survive outside the womb, but I understand why that, and not the heartbeat, was used as the point of reference.  And I am more supportive of that than of the 12 week mark.  Then again, I held a 20 week baby in my arms, and I know that greatly changed my perception of it all.




LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM

It is a controversial and ethical conundrum... there is NO consensus on the subject.

But a fetus developing without a spine and brain is NOT going to survive, regardless of the presence of a heart. There are a lot of other massive deformations that WILL kill the child, often long before term, which are absolutely excellent reasons for late-term abortions.

That is why the law is an ass: if you have to worry about noisy lobbyists in your face to win the next election, the last thing on your mind are sensible, considered, complex issues like late-term abortion.

Quoting NewMom11222011:

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.




LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Sure: a fetus developing without bones, or major organ systems... yeah, it's got brainwaves. So do worms.

Your point?

Quoting StarburstKisses:


I dont know how someone could see that it has brain waves and a heart beat and think that it wasn't alive - or a seperate entity. I dont understand how someone could then, knowing this, kill it.

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.





MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 2:39 AM

While I am pro-choice, I am in favor of this law because it protects  the woman's health.  Any abortion over 12 weeks requires  a 2 to 4 day procedure that this extremely  unpleasant, painful  and expensive. 

 I would urge any woman that is considering an abortion, PLEASE do it by  the  end of your  12wk. 

Jennygurl09
by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 2:58 AM



Quoting toomanypoodles:

 GOOD!


Yeah well it will be struck down, so you can hold your applause ;).

Jennygurl09
by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:03 AM

The law doesn't need to be well or poorly written, as it runs against a supreme court ruling on the subject. Abortions are allowed without restriction as long as a fetus is not viable. Since at 12 weeks it's not, it's already DOA. 

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