Indiana Passes Bill Outlawing Abortions Due To Birth Defects
Indiana passed a bill this week which would ban doctors from knowingly performing abortions when they knew the mother was doing so because of either the sex of the child or because the child was going to be born with a birth defect or disease.
The first reason here is, of course, entirely made up. I’m sorry, I know how badly people want to believe that this is a thing that happens–especially judging by the popularity of that ridiculous hoax essay from the pretend “feminist” who aborted a male child because she hated men so much–but truly, it is not a thing. At least not here in the USA. Even if it did–does anyone want someone wacky enough to do such a thing raising a child in the first place? Sheesh.
The other reasons are way, way more complicated. Many women–including women who very much want to have a child–end up choosing abortion when they learn that the child will be born with a severe birth defect. It’s not a choice they want to make, but it’s often what they feel is in the best interest of their child.
There are cases where a child is going to be born without a brain, or a heart–where the child is going to know nothing but pain until they die a few months later. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to know that this could happen to a child that you want, and to have to make the entirely unselfish decision to not let your child go through that.
In an interview with The Indy Channel, Victoria Barrett discussed having to make such a decision:
A little more than a year ago, Barrett was thrilled to learn she was pregnant with her first child.
“We got the call from our doctor that the worst of the anomalies that the test can find was trisomy 13, and it had come back positive for that,” Barrett said.
Only 5-10 percent of babies with the rare chromosomal condition make it to their first birthday. [Ed: Those are the babies with the least severe form of the anomaly, the median life span for trisomy 13 babies is two and a half hours after birth]
An ultrasound showed Barrett’s daughter was missing part of her heart and abdomen.
“For a first-time parent, you see what’s on the screen and you see a really perfect spine, and you see a baby,” Barrett said.
After further testing, and meetings with doctors and counselors, Barrett and her husband made the decision to terminate the pregnancy at 15 weeks.
“What we would’ve been waiting for was not a miracle, but her death on her own,” Barrett said. “And as the doctor who performed the termination advised, it could be dangerous to me, and these were not things that could get better.”
Something like this happening is a nightmare for anyone. I cannot even imagine.
Taking this choice away is pure cruelty. It’s cruel to a child to allow them to go through something like that, and it’s cruel to the parents to force them to watch it.
Another woman interviewed for the site, Patti Shaw, had a daughter with Down’s Syndrome, whom she says has been living a full and happy life. She supports this measure because she believes people with developmental disabilities deserve to live just like anyone else. I can totally understand that. I honestly can. I’ve worked with people with developmental disabilities before, and I can see where she’s coming from.
However, not all parents of children with developmental disabilities are Patti Shaw. Not all of them are able to give their children such good lives–or, to be crass, have the financial ability to do so. I don’t think, when parents choose abortion over having a child with such disabilities, that they are being selfish. That they only want a child who is going to be “captain of the football team.” I think they take into consideration the life they will be able to give that child, and that is necessary and important.
I firmly believe that every child should be wanted, and ideally born to parents that are able to give that child a decent shot at a good life. I believe that is their decision to make. I don’t think it is up to doctors or the government to say “Oh, you’re not getting this abortion for the right reasons, so off with you!” Abortion is supposed to be a private decision between a woman and her doctor–so says Roe v. Wade–and the government does not need to be getting involved in this.
I have high hopes that this ban will not go through, or that it will be swiftly overturned by the Supreme Court, due to the fact that it violates the privacy rights that Roe protects. Still, it’s harrowing to know that it passed in the first place.