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I suppose that I should just refrain if someone is going to use phrases like "culling the herd" in discussions about whether women themselves or someone else decides whether she has a baby. Because someone is going to decide.

I was not quite so adamantly pro-choice until I myself was faced with a high-risk pregnancy. An enormous tumor was found inside my uterus alongside the fetus. And the medical people asked if I wanted to continue. I did not have to go to a judge and lay all the details of my personal life before him. I did not have to apply to some review board and hope they agreed with what I and my doctor had decided. I did not have to just face possible death and massive medical expenses with no legal recourse. Because it was my decision to make.

I decided to go forward and try to have the baby. I had already lost one pregnancy and this was going to be our last try. The health problems were going to cause the pregnancy to be pretty intense. But I had a husband who was going to stick by me. I had health insurance and good medical facilities. I had transportation and an apartment. I had an income. I had a network of friends. Lacking any one of those things and I would probably have decided not to try to continue. 

It still turned out to be one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I ended up unable to eat anything by mouth, spending several months on TPN. I had several surgeries.  It was painful to walk across the room. I could not work or travel. I was on experimental drugs that kept me awake all night. I had to give myself injections. It was stressful beyond belief. But it was my choice to do it.

My pregnancy experience made me radically pro-choice. I would never ask any other woman to risk her life, health and sanity by remaining pregnant if she does not want to be.

In China the government decides, usually, that the woman will not have the baby. No matter what the woman wanted. In Romania in the 1970's the government decided that, usually, the woman would have the baby. No matter what the woman wanted. In both cases, you could argue that the government had a pro-death policy. In China the fetuses die. In Romania the women died--sometimes after having 12 pregnancies-- along with the fetus.

In an imperfect world where there are definitely enough people it seems absurd to argue that someone other than the pregnant woman herself--the government, a church, a court, someone who really likes babies, whoever,  should be able to decide for her.
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Mr. Blackwell I am glad you had a choice. November 17, 2013, 02:32:09 AM