Author Topic: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion  (Read 1214 times)

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Offline plethora

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Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« on: September 17, 2012, 09:47:44 AM »
http://news.sky.com/story/986087/woman-jailed-over-full-term-home-abortion

Quote
A woman who aborted her own baby less than a week before his due date has been jailed for eight years.
Sarah Catt bought drugs on the internet which induced her labour when her pregnancy was nearly full-term.
She claimed the boy was stillborn and that she buried his body but no evidence of the child was ever found, Leeds Crown Court heard.

<snip>

She tried to terminate the pregnancy in 2010 but discovered she had missed the legal limit of 24 weeks.

<snip>

Catt, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, bought a drug used to terminate pregnancy or induce labour over the internet from a company in Mumbai, India, in May 2010.
She is believed to have taken it towards the end of May 2010 when she was nearly 40 weeks pregnant.

Here in the UK there is a legal limit of 24 weeks of gestation to have a legal abortion.

I support the principle that nobody should be able to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term ... the same way a mother can't be forced to donate an organ to her child even if it's to save the child's life.

What I see here is a woman who wanted an abortion beyond the 24 weeks of gestation, was legally denied this and in her despair she searched alternatives resulting in a last minute attempt to abort the child illegally.

Of course what makes this case extreme, apart from the fact that she had a back alley abortion, is that this took place when the birth was imminent. These were the judge's words upon sentencing:

Quote
Sentencing Catt, who showed no emotion during the hour-long hearing, the judge said: "The critical element of your offending is the deliberate choice made by you, in full knowledge of the due date of your child, to terminate the pregnancy at somewhere close to term, if not actually at term, with the full knowledge that termination after week 24 was unlawful and in full knowledge your child's birth was imminent."

What do you guys think of this? I personally find the idea of an abortion at week 38-39 difficult to swallow ... but I can't help but think she should have been allowed to abort sooner when she first reached out for one. It seems to me that this woman is unjustly going to prison for 8 years for something she should have had a right to do in the first place.

Thoughts?
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Offline Garja

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 09:51:57 AM »
This is a tough one for me. I am pro choice, but if the fetus is old enough to survive outside the womb I have trouble saying this is an acceptable alternative.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 09:56:29 AM »
I'd love to know what actually happened in terms of the infant. If it was truly stillborn, and it was a drug to induce labor, then so be it. If the drug actually killed it, or if it was born live and she killed it, she's gone too far.

If I were in those shoes, I'd have labor induced and give the baby up for adoption at that point.

I'm pro-choice, but once a pregnancy is that late, I can't approve unless the woman is at risk.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 09:56:41 AM »
This is not a hard one for me. Like Garja said if it's viable outside the womb there was no point in having an abortion. My first child was born two weeks early. My second one week. For arguments sake I guess I don't carry babies to term. I can't condone aborting a fully developed fetus. IMHO this is murder. I know there's an arbitrary line some where early on in conception where I can't define if it's "okay" to abort. But week 39 is not arbitrary IMO.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 09:58:13 AM »
When a baby is that close to term, an abortion no longer "counts" as removing a clump of cells that has the potential to develop into a human being -- the fetus at that point essentially is a human being.  I cannot condone what this woman did, and the fact that she missed the earlier deadline does not excuse it.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 10:05:06 AM »
Forgive me for asking, but did she try getting an abortion before 24 weeks?  And if not, why not?  Were there any hoops she had to jump through in order to get an abortion before 24 weeks?  If so, what were they?  And by how much did she miss the deadline?

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 01:34:18 PM »
I'd be interested in knowing some of those answers as well, jaimehlers.

I can't condone what she did either. What did she have to gain at that point? It was too late to make any appreciable difference in severity or risks of labor; she would have gone through the same thing had she gone into labor naturally. If she did not want the child, adoption would have been easy to arrange, plus which she would have been able to have the baby in a hospital, or other controlled setting where her own risk for complications would presumably have been far lower.

I'm also curious as to the circumstances in which she became pregnant to begin with...I suppose the only way I could come close to understanding a mindset like hers was if maybe she was raped by someone who was a legitimate sociopath, or something, and feared bringing a child into the world, even if someone else was going to raise it, which might have inherited a horribly twisted mind.

Or might she have had some sort of issues of her own, and maybe believed she was bringing some sort of demon spawn into the world?

I suppose some of those questions would have been identified during a trial, though.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 03:19:37 PM »
I'm also curious as to the circumstances in which she became pregnant to begin with...I suppose the only way I could come close to understanding a mindset like hers was if maybe she was raped by someone who was a legitimate sociopath, or something, and feared bringing a child into the world, even if someone else was going to raise it, which might have inherited a horribly twisted mind.

Per the article she believed it was conceived during her 7 year affair with another man. (She's married. Or was married, IDK her current state of affairs.)
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2012, 04:11:17 PM »
No body? She won't say where it is buried? So no forensics. I'd need to read the transcript before judging further.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2012, 06:13:10 PM »
I am strongly pro-choice.  But I cannot help but feel that  laws restricting abortions after 24 weeks are not unreasonable. 

I know quite a few women who've given birth to preemies, including some micro-preemies.  And at 25 weeks, a preemie has a 55% chance of survival.  At 26 weeks, it goes up to 75%-85% survival.  At this point, it is not a cluster of cells.  By 29 weeks, there is more than 90% survival rate.  It is a baby.  http://preemiehelp.com/about-preemies/preemie-facts-a-figures/preemie-outcomes

Obviously, these preemies who survive owe their lives to the wonders of modern medicine.  They live the first few months of their lives attached to machines.  Although some have permanent or ongoing health problems, a huge percentage of them grow up to be perfectly normal, healthy human beings, completely indistinguishable from people who spent a few more months in their mothers wombs. 


At 39 weeks?  There is no doubt that this is a baby.  And as jynnan tonnix pointed out, she went through a full labor to abort, just as if she had given birth.  And it would have been safer.  If she did not want to parent, at that point, she should have considered adoption. 

I don't mean to be judgmental about the choices that women make, and I certainly don't like laws legislating women's bodies, but this woman did not abort a fetus.  She killed a baby. 

Offline natlegend

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 02:32:08 AM »
Yep, pro-choice here, but IMO this woman committed murder. Quite horrible, really.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Woman Jailed Over Full-Term Home Abortion
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 05:47:52 AM »

Per the article she believed it was conceived during her 7 year affair with another man. (She's married. Or was married, IDK her current state of affairs.)
Thanks...I read it on the fly and didn't catch that part. In that case, no possible justification as far as I am concerned.