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Re: Female member of Congress Tells the Story of her Abortion

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Gail, you nailed it! I couldn't have said it better. I am not a nurse or a doctor and my mother has been dead more than ten years. Therefore your information is very valuable. Yes, the need for an invasive procedure is much reduced. 

 

Yes, I fully agree that people need to act responsibly. With rights comes responsibility. But, unfortunately too many young people allow hormones to get the better of responsibility. 

 

Of course, when I was a young man in college during the late 1960s, my father laid down the law. He told me that if I got in trouble or got a woman in trouble; he would take me to the military recruiter and as he said; "my college career would end and my military career would begin". He said I could choose which branch of the service to join.  That kept me on the straight and narrow. 

 

 

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Re: Female member of Congress Tells the Story of her Abortion

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@lk152 

 

"We've Come A Long Way, Baby" . . . . Especially since 1973 -

 

TODAY

  • We have many forms of birth control and they are much more reliable than in 1973.
  • We have the Morning After Pill available without an Rx in case there is doubt and concern - offered to rape victims when they seek help soon after the crime.
  • We have our bodies that can give off very early signals, if we are listening
  • We have very reliable OTC pregnancy test that give results only after a week and can be repeated again and again with little bother - or done at a doc office or clinic along with other telling test.
  • We have RU486 better known as the chemical abortion pills, which can terminate a pregnancy up to 10 weeks in the privacy of your home.

There is little need for a surgical abortion anymore just because a woman does not want to be pregnant.

 

Women need to act responsibly and handle such an important matter using these advancements. They should exert the rights over their bodies but with that right comes their own responsibility to act.

 

Perhaps if Roe vs Wade were reworded to cover all these steps, women would realize they can act sooner rather than later if their decision is based purely on not wanting a child.

In 1973, the Court held that a woman's right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman the right to an abortion during the entirety of the pregnancy and defined different levels of state interest for regulating abortion in the second and third trimesters.

 

Now, there are so many additional things available that can prevent or stop a pregnancy from proceeding past that 1st - 10 week period that there would be little need for anything pass that for the reason of just not wanting to be pregnant.

 

And science isn't stopping there - someday, childbearing age women, will be able to turn on and off their own fertility with precision.  WHAT A RIGHT - WE CAN SET THE TERMS - Privately!

Did I just describe our many methods of birth control.

 

We aren't lacking rights in this country - we are lacking responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Female member of Congress Tells the Story of her Abortion

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Thanks to both of you for sharing personal stories. 

My own hope is that more effort will be put towards education, prevention, support, and healthcare. 

But that does not mean that from time to time tough decisions will have to be made. May we have the right and the support to make those decisions. 

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Re: Female member of Congress Tells the Story of her Abortion

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Janak is lucky to have such a strong mother. 

 

I have four kids, one of whom is disabled. I know I would not be strong enough to parent two disabled kids for life. Rep. Jayapal has my strongest support. 

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Re: Female member of Congress Tells the Story of her Abortion

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I have posted previously on this discussion board that my mother was a RN who worked in the OB-GYN Department at a large hospital in a major metropolitan area. She began her nursing career in 1942, took a break when us kids were growing up and returned to nursing when I was 12 years old. She retired in 1984. 

 

She worked prior to the Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion and one of her jbs as a nurse was to clean up after an illegal abortion went bad and the woman showed up at the emergency room. Almost always those illegal abortions were reported as spontaneous miscarriages rather than abortions. No one wanted the police to get involved and the woman wanted her privacy protected as well.

 

As a health care professional, her job was to treat the patient, not make moral or value judgements. As a nurse in OB-GYN and a mother, she hated abortion but realized that it happened and other people's circumstances were different. Again it wasn't her position to make moral or value judgements. 

 

Then when I was in college during the late 1960s, she became an instructor at the hospital's school of nursing, teaching OB-GYN to student nurses. In that role she also helped establish the family planning clinics throughout the city with Planned Parenthood. In fact she was a member of Planned Parenthood until her death at the age of 90 in 2008. She would volunteer her time, even after retirement to teach the young men and women at those clinics about contraception. 

 

She was a firm believer that if contraceptives and knowledge about contraception were readily available to young adults, unwanted and unintended pregnancies could be avoided and thus the number of abortions would be greatly reduced. Because of her activism in this field, our family was the target of Bible thumpers and anti abortion nuts. 

 

But my mother was a regular church goer and my family were all members of a church. She taught Sunday school and one of her students there was comedian Drew Carey. She and his mother were long time friends. My father sang in the church choir and my grandfather was a deacon at that church.

 

But one thing that my family had no respect for were sanctimonious hypocritical people, especially those perverting religion to spread their political beliefs. That included those self righteous anti abortion nuts who have no understanding what some people go through when considering an abortion. 

 

I often heard my mother say that if abortion were to be made almost impossible to obtain legally or illegal again; it wouldn't stop or prevent one abortion. Instead abortion would move back underground where there are no controls or regulations, just like it was before the Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision. 

 

I remember those days when abortion was illegal in most states. I was a young man then. $200 got a pregnant woman an illegal abortion back then. Or if they had wheels, they could travel to upstate New York where abortions were legal in New York state. Or travel across the border into Canada where abortions were legal as well. I knew guys who would drive their pregnant girlfriend to a state or country where abortions were legal or come up with the money for an illegal abortion locally. 

 

If she were living now and of sound mind, my mother would be livid over what politicians are doing regarding abortions. My parents as well as both sets of grandparents were life long Republicans. But when the anti abortion nuts hijacked the Republican party in the 1980s, my parents broke with the GOP. In fact iin 1992, my father admitted that he voted for Bill Clinton for President and that was the first time in his life that he voted for any Democrat for President. both he and my mother first voted in 1940.

 

My mother was not political. In fact she referred to politicians as "gas bags". But she usually voted for Republicans until the 1990s. 

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Female member of Congress Tells the Story of her Abortion

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In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tells the personal and painful story of why she chose to have an abortion and the circumstances surrounding it. Read on:

 

I call my child a miracle. Born unexpectedly in India at 26.5 weeks, shortly before I was due to come back to the United States, and weighing only 1 pound 14 ounces, Janak survived against all odds.

 

Janak, who identifies as non-binary, spent their early months in Mumbai, in a neonatal intensive care unit that had only just opened. Many of their medications were too expensive and rare for the hospital to stock and had to be procured, by Janak’s father and me, from pharmacies around the city, whenever needed, often in the middle of the night.

 

In those early months, Janak went through multiple blood transfusions and was unable to eat because their internal organs were not developed enough to take in or process milk. They had complications related to undeveloped lungs and water in the brain. They were kept in a small translucent box in the neonatal intensive care unit and were stuck with needles constantly, each time emitting a painful bleating sound because their vocal cords were simply not developed.

 

I, too, was physically and emotionally weak, having gone through an emergency cesarean section, with concerns about infection that threatened my own life. The worries didn’t end when we left Mumbai: In the ensuing years, we faced endless trips to the emergency room because of weak lungs and repeated pneumonia, a seizure and delays in speaking that made us worry about the future.

 

The fact that Janak survived this extraordinarily dangerous birth and thrived (indeed, just graduated from college!) is something for which I give endless thanks to the remarkable doctors, nurses and caregivers — in India and later at Seattle Children’s Hospital — who took such good care of this fragile being. I prayed multiple times a day to any being above that was listening that my child would live. And by all measures, we were incredibly fortunate.

 

Even so, as a new mom taking care of a very sick baby, I struggled mightily. My parents lived across the ocean, and I had no family close by to help. I was experiencing postpartum depression, which went undiagnosed for many years.

 

When I finally did seek help from a therapist, she surmised that I also had a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, given everything I had gone through. My marriage did not survive, and — while Janak’s father and I split custody — for the time that Janak was with me, I was fully a single parent, even as I was starting a brand-new civil rights organization in the wake of Sept 11. Those were rough years.

 

Some years later, I met a wonderful man, who is my husband today. I wanted more children, but in numerous conversations with my doctors, they told me that any future pregnancy would be extremely high-risk and could result in a birth similar to Janak’s.

 

I knew that I simply would not be able to go through what I had gone through again. Janak was far from out of the woods, and I needed to preserve my strength for them. I hoped there would be a time in the future when I could be ready again for children, but for the time being, my husband and I diligently took precautions to make sure that I did not get pregnant.

 

But pregnancy methods are not foolproof. I got pregnant and I had to decide what to do.

 

It was excruciating. I wanted children, but I wasn’t ready, nor was I fully recovered. I was so grateful that Janak had survived, but I could not tempt fate again. It had to be my choice, because in the end, I would be the one to carry the fetus in my body, I would be the one to potentially face another emergency cesarean section, and I would be the one whose baby could suffer the serious, sometimes fatal consequences of extreme prematurity. I could not simply hope for the best — I had to make a decision based on the tremendous risks that had been clearly laid out for me.

 

I decided I could not responsibly have the baby. It was a heartbreaking decision, but it was the only one I was capable of making.

 
 

The doctor who performed my abortion was incredible: extremely skilled, thoughtful, kind and compassionate. She knew and had seen, over and over again, what it took for women to make these choices. My husband, too, knew that it had to be my decision and offered only support and comfort through the most difficult moments.

 

I am fortunate to live in a state where pregnant people’s right to make choices about their own bodies is protected, where so many less fortunate than me can still afford to have abortions, without encountering barriers like forced counseling and waiting periods. The network around me helped me to exercise my own choice, rather than imposing someone else’s views on me.

 

Read the entire column at this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/13/opinion/pramila-jayapal-abortion.html

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