The last few weeks have been crazy and busy and rather wonderful. Of course, the busier one is the less time he or she has to sit down and blog. And I do want to write about my RI friend’s visit, Z’s birthday, my Aunt and Uncle’s trip here, my computer dying, T’s sudden and enthusiastic entry into the world of temper tantrums, and the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me as a parent in public thus far. I plan on getting to most of that stuff, but today I read something that has me in such a tizzy it motivated me to get back to posting.
Let’s be honest. Writing about politics is not going to win me a lot of friends. And much of the political blogging out there is just preaching to the choir, which is a colossal waste of time in my opinion. Most of you guys reading are my friends who share a lot of the same political beliefs as me, and I wish there was a way for me to reach those who disagree, but I honestly have no idea how to do that. And yet my horror and frustration are so acute that I can’t help myself and I’m preaching to the choir anyway.
I am pro-choice. This does not mean I am pro-abortion. I have known several women who have used abortion as birth control, and that cavalier attitude towards pregnancy sickens me. I have also known several women who were careful, still became pregnant, and made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. Probably because I went on the pill before I was sexually active for medical reasons and stayed on it for 15 years I have never had to contend with the impossible decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. Yes, T was unplanned. But we were working towards starting a family, or more specifically Z was working hard on wearing me down. So I have no idea what I would do if faced with an unwanted pregnancy, particularly if I was young and single. But no matter what my choice would be I am grateful to live in a country where I am free to make it myself. And I am worried about the current attack on reproductive rights of American women.
My problem with the proposed provision on stripping federal funding for abortion training extends far beyond a women’s right to choose. And this problem is what I would like to share with those who are pro-life. If this provision becomes law there will be a generation of doctors who are not trained on a basic procedure that saves women’s lives. If a surgical abortion is performed in the first or early second trimester it is either 1. suction and scraping, or 2. dilation, suction, and scraping. The latter is referred to as a D&C. And over a period of 13 months I received two of them. Because D&Cs are not only used in abortions. They are used when part of the placenta is left behind after childbirth, and they are used after missed or incomplete miscarriages.
When part of the placenta is left in the uterus after childbirth a woman can start to experience heavy bleeding, which can lead to passing huge blood clots, which can lead to hemorrhaging, which can lead to death. I only got to the huge blood clot stage before seeking help. And I was nowhere near death, but it was scary enough and I was grateful that my doctor was able to perform the procedure to fix the problem. This complication happens in 2% of deliveries. What if doctors were not trained in how to perform this procedure? The mortality rate for complications from childbirth would skyrocket.
My miscarriage was in the “missed” category. My embryos had stopped developing weeks before the miscarriage was discovered via ultrasound and blood test. The D&C was performed in order to save me from the emotionally and physically painful experience of passing the “products of conception” myself after a waiting period of an undetermined amount of time. Was it a life or death medical necessity? No. But it certainly made the indescribably awful experience of losing a pregnancy slightly more bearable.
This legislation goes beyond the abortion debate and attacks the rights of all women in America. Would any pro-life person want to deny women suffering from the issues I experienced access to this procedure? I truly am shocked it is happening in the 21st century and appalled it was proposed by a woman, Rep. Virginia Foxx. What if she had a retained placenta? What if her mother or daughter did? Do we really want to punish all women over proposed restrictions placed on a legal procedure?
OK, that was kind of heavier than usual. So how about some pictures of T to lighten the mood?