You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 16, 2013.

reproductivejusticejpgA big thank you to Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^ from the comments section of a blog post on Pharyngula.

Tigger talks about the inconsistency in many of the arguments religious anti-choicers make.

Back to regret:

When we lose someone, the loss hurts; among other reasons because we remember all the time and experiences that we had with them and recognise that we will never repeat those and also because the future we had planned with them, and were looking forward to, is no longer.
When a wanted pregnancy is lost, the loss hurts partly because we have lost the future we had planned; but the personality we were going to share that future with was, after all, a figment of our imaginations. We have very little, if any (depending on the length of the pregnancy) shared past with them to remember and mourn. The regret is for the loss of a potential life arc rather than an actual one. Yet when a baby is born, the future we had planned during pregnancy often turns out very different in the actual living of it, but we don’t usually mourn that loss of the planned future, because we happily adjust our expectations according to the real child we have borne, rather than the imaginary one of pregnancy.

(I’ve had a thought – maybe the personal hurt that some people feel when they realise that they have a disabled child (especially Autism-Speaks-Parents) is because they are unable to adjust the plans they had, for the imaginary child-to-be, to accommodate the real child, and they cannot bring themselves to want that child as much as the one they imagined themselves having. That would also explain those parents who control every aspect of their children’s lives: choosing (or at least trying to choose) their clothes, toys, friends, careers, partners… they are trying to turn their real child into the one they imagined they would have).

When an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy is discovered, the pregnant person suddenly finds themselves in a situation where the future they had planned, and were looking forward to, is no longer. That loss hurts just as much as any other; but they can do something about it that restores the original plan. That might be why few people regret elective abortion. It is something that restores their control over their lives and their futures, rather than something which takes everything away.

One thing that might help people become more rational about the whole elective-abortion-equals-murder thing would be to put it in context by speaking out about miscarriage, AKA spontaneous abortion, statistics.

A vast and important part of the experience of people seems to be hidden behind a curtain of shame, and failure, mourning and regret. Every person I have spoken to on the subject knows someone who has had at least one miscarriage. Most, like me, have had several. But no-one mentions it in conversation. It simply gets swept under the carpet and ignored. If one of us doesn’t deliberately ignore the hushing and silencing tactics and raise the subject anyway, it never gets discussed. So no-one knows how prevalent pregnancy loss is. And that isn’t counting the loss of embryos so early that no-one is aware that the egg was ever fertilised.

I’d like to ask these ‘pro-life’ whiners, picketing with their signs, something important (they aren’t actually ‘pro’ anything; nothing they do is actually aimed at changing the status quo; it’s all about them feeling superior without actually having to do anything helpful for anyone). Exactly how do they treat women who have miscarried a wanted pregnancy? How much sympathy and understanding do they give them? How do they commemorate the deceased conceptuses/embryos/fœtuses – all ‘unborn babies’? How many prayers do they offer up each week for the ‘souls of the babies’ lost by members of their congregation over the previous seven days?

And I’d like to ask them who, exactly, is responsible for their loss? For every baby born, at conservative estimates more than one, up to three conceptions were lost.

The truth is that, if they truly believe that not even a sparrow falls without the say-so of their God, that life begins at conception and that every death of an unborn baby is a major tragedy, they should be picketing the churches!

I’d like to ask them why they aren’t angry at God.

When their God kills blastocysts, embryos and fœtuses – ones that would be wanted – by the hundreds every minute of every day, all over the world*; yet they say it is wrong for someone to decide under any circumstances whatsoever to end their own pregnancy, when humans do so at the rate of just 83 a minute**?

When 33 mothers die, every hour from complications caused by pregnancy and delivery***? (I was nearly one of those appalling statistics, back in 1984, when they were even higher.)

When, of the 15,000 babies born every hour, 634 won’t live to celebrate their first birthday****?

If no-one ever had an elective abortion again, anywhere in the world, 44 million elective abortions wouldn’t happen each year. But at least 22 million of those embryos and fœtuses would die, through miscarriage, anyway. And more would die because the person carrying them would die.

By successfully ending elective abortion worldwide, you’d save, at best, 12-22 million lives a year. Meantime, over 150 million embryos and fœtuses, most of them very much wanted, would die before being born, through miscarriage.

You think life begins at conception, and want to save unborn babies? Stop wasting time and money picketing abortion providers and trying to make people who have had elective abortions feel ashamed or guilty.

Sponsor research into preventing spontaneous, not elective, abortion. Make pregnancy safer.

Save over seven times as many lives.

Thank you.


*Worldwide births, 15,000 per hour, 250 per minute; spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and failed implantation rates, conservative estimate 60-75% of all fertilised eggs = 22,500 – 45,000 per hour, 375 – 750 per minute (various implantation estimations, several sites)
**Elective abortion rates 42 – 44 million worldwide per year, 4,800 – 5,000 per hour, 80 – 83 per minute (Guttmacher Institute)
***”Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.” (WHO)
****Worldwide infant mortality, 37.61 deaths/1,000 live births (UN)

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