Attack the Test or Change the Culture

I read an article claiming presidential candidate Rick Santorum does not believe that health insurance should cover amniocentesis because the results often lead to abortion.

Yes amniocentesis has led to abortions, but it has also given parents an opportunity to prepare for children with special needs months before the child comes home from the hospital.

I have been blessed to know a couple mothers who truly valued this time to prepare.  In one case, the mother was able to research her baby’s condition, prepare her home and family, sell her car and buy a minivan, and most especially prepare herself for the complications that might take her baby’s life.

She was encouraged to have an abortion many times during her pregnancy; her decision against abortion was questioned and often condemned by those in association with her.  However, she stood firm. Her child was given a very slim chance of making it to full term and she prepared herself. Once he made it to term, he was given a very slim chance of survival and again she prepared herself.  The well prepared mother took each day as a blessing and cherished every moment.  She rallied her family around her and continued to educate herself and her family on what might come next.  After nearly three years of being told her child might not survive, she invited all her supporters to her son’s second birthday party.  He was a joy to watch, a blessing to all.  He still is.

If insurance companies do not pay for this procedure, women are much less likely to undergo it.  As with any procedure, it should be the woman’s choice.   Comprehensive insurance should be comprehensive.  It should leave the decision of which procedure is needed up to the doctor and the patient, not up to bureaucrats and accountants.

The discussion of abortions being linked to amniocenteses should not be centered on whether the procedure is covered; it should be centered on changing the medical community’s feelings that they should encourage abortion when the chances of “normal” life are slim for the child.  This is what needs to change.

Abortion may be legal and may be in some cases be in the woman’s “best” medical interest, but to encourage it for the goal of limiting possible emotional suffering or struggle later on, should not be the outcome of amniocentesis.  Amniocentesis is a test and while warring against it is easier than changing attitudes, it is not the solution but the cop-out.

Is it Justified?

I have just read of the new law waiting to be signed by the governor of Virginia. It would require a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an transvaginal ultrasound. The first article I read was an outraged editorial opposing the law, but what upset me was the rhetoric of the proponents for this law. It reminded me of other times civil liberties have been violated by the government. I searched and found to my dismay that versions of this law were being considered in other states as well.

Regardless of which side of the abortion debate you stand on, I ask you to consider whether this rhetoric, and the intent behind the proposed Virginia law, is not an abhorrent violation of moral decency and civil liberty?

It appears that the intent of the forced transvaginal ultrasound is to ensure that a woman seeking an abortion fully understands what she has chosen to do.  This seems reasonable on the surface, but as with any controversial issue, the debate around this policy has become embroiled with little reason and volumes of appalling opinion.

So I would like to pose three comparisons; and please bear in mind I am not trying to make light of any of these issues.

Okay so let’s assume you believe abortion is murder.  A legalized murder, kind of like suicide is for all intents self-murder and is not illegal, mainly because you can’t prosecute the deceased for their own death. (I would hope you would not prosecute anyone for attempted murder if they failed to succeed with their suicide.)  So you can’t stop the woman from seeking a legal murder, but you feel you must impress upon her that she is killing a living being.  So you force her to recognize the beating heart by “penetrating” her body against her will.  This violation is justified because you are trying to prevent a murder.

Next let say you would like to go on a hunger strike, maybe even to oppose abortion. So you set out to starve yourself until abortion is abolished.  Others would try to talk you out of it, but to no avail.  So the state steps in and force feeds you through a tube, preventing you from murdering yourself.  This is justified because the state is preventing a murder, a self-murder, but still a murder.

Finally let say you are a terrorist and you are planning to murder many people because they teach principles that are abhorrent to your moral beliefs.  You are captured but your partners are not.  So the government steps in and tortures you so you will divulge information which might put to an end your murderous plans.  This torture is justified because it might save many lives.  The government recognizes that you really don’t fully understand the magnitude of your actions, that your moral beliefs are misguided and you are obviously incapable of fully understanding what you have chosen to do.

It is not my intent to weigh in on the abortion debate, again it is the rhetoric that upsets me.  Have we learned nothing from our past?  Is there not a better way to save lives or are Machiavellian ideas to always be the justification for the disregard of civil liberty?