Abortion: Legal Until Birth

Abortion, Legal, 9 Months, Pregnancy, Trimester, Roe, Wade, Doe, Bolton, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice

Most people are aware of the fact that abortion is generally legal.

However, many would be surprised to learn how far through the pregnancy abortion is legal.

Abortion is actually legal throughout all 9 months of a pregnancy – from conception right up to birth.

There were state laws that placed restrictions on abortion before 1973, but Roe v. Wade made all abortions legal until the preborn is viable [1].

The court placed viability at the beginning of the third trimester.

This decision put the preborn at especially high risk for the majority of the pregnancy, but left room open for some restrictions during the third trimester.

Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, went further and made abortions available for virtually any reason until birth [2].

Another major case that led to the legalization of abortion in all nine months was Thornburg v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In this case, all abortion restrictions were struck down.

This included alternatives to abortion and risks of abortion.

The Thornburg case also allowed third trimester abortions to preserve the woman’s rights [3].

Due to these court decisions, abortion is legal throughout all nine months of the pregnancy at the federal level.

In 1992, however, the decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey allowed states to once again pass laws regulating abortion as long as those laws do not place an ‘undue burden’ on women seeking abortions. Many states have taken advantage of this decision and passed state-level legislation to curtail abortion.

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References

[1] U.S. Supreme Court. (1973). “Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).” FindLaw, 22 Jan 1973. Web. 26 Jun 2011. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=410&invol=113

[2] U.S. Supreme Court. (1973). “Doe v. Bolton (No. 70-40).” Cornell University Law School. U.S. Supreme Court, 22 Jan 1973. Web. 26 Jun 2011. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0179_ZS.html

[3] U.S. Supreme Court. (1973). “Thornburgh v. American College of Obst. & Gyn., 476 U.S. 747 (1986).” FindLaw, 11 Jun 1986. Web. 26 Jun 2011. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=476&invol=747

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State Abortion Laws

In an effort to reduce the number of abortions and protect mothers from the abortion industry, states throughout the country are passing laws to restrict and regulate abortion.State, Abortion, Laws, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Regulations, Requirements

While many of us believe the human right to life should be inalienable and respected in every location alike, the unfortunate truth is that it is not, neither in law nor action.

For example, the level of protection given to a preborn baby can depend greatly on the particular state in which his or her mother happens to live.

The good news is that Supreme Court cases such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey have upheld a state’s right to impose certain restrictions on abortion. This case has spurred the passing of many laws around the country on the state level. There is also a great deal of research to indicate that various state restrictions that have been passed since have been successful in reducing abortions.

There are a variety of different types of laws that place restrictions on abortion. These include…

– Women’s Right-To-Know Laws

– Record-Keeping Requirements for Abortion Clinics

– Parental Consent/Notification Laws

– Safety Regulations for abortion clinics

– Physician-Only Requirements

– Protection of Unborn Victims of Violence Laws

Unfortunately not all states have these laws, but many within the pro-life movement believe these laws are a huge step forward for protecting the rights of the preborn, and helping make abortion unthinkable.

Taking Action in Your State

Abortion, State, Pro-Life, Legislation, Laws, Pro-Choice
For those of us who have become aware of the facts regarding abortion and realize that it ends a human life, the desire to end abortion immediately is very strong.

Pro-lifers want to accept nothing less than an immediate reversal of Roe v. Wade, which has caused such great harm to the lives of millions of women, and millions of preborn children.

However, some of the advice provided by legal experts suggests that most major policy shifts do not occur overnight, but gradually over time.

Because of this, focusing on pro-life legislation in state legislatures is of critical importance. We must demand and hope that abortion is ended immediately, but we must also take every ‘baby step’ towards that goal here and now.

Each law at any level of government is one step closer to the legal protection that was destroyed by Roe v. Wade, no matter how minor.

Whatever legal gains we are able to make on the state level, while they are certainly not enough, ought to be seen as building a foundation. These create a precedent for the future upon which more powerful laws can be built.

As of today, there is evidence to suggest that the pro-life movement is on the right track to eventually gaining rights for preborn children.

For example, the state of Mississippi has passed more than a dozen pro-life laws, and the result has been a nearly 60% decrease in abortions and the closing of 6 out of its 7 clinics in the state so far [2].

The research of political science suggests that state laws can be very effective in reducing abortion, being responsible for a “17-19% decline in abortions nationwide during the 1990s” [3].

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References

[1] Americans United for Life. (2008). Defending Life 2008. 3rd ed. Chicago, Il: Americans United for Life, 2008. Print.

[2] Americans United for Life. (2008). Defending Life 2008. 3rd ed. Chicago, Il: Americans United for Life, 2008. Print.

[3] Ibid

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The Significance of Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Planned Parenthood, Casey, Supreme Court, Abortion, Undue Burden

Although Roe v. Wade is perhaps the most well-known Supreme Court case regarding abortion, there have in fact been others since then that have had a marked impact on the legal status of abortion in the United States.

Probably the most important case since row is Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which was decided in 1992 [1]. At the time, Pennsylvania had placed several requirements for women to meet before receiving abortions, including:

– Physicians had to make women aware of the medical risks of abortion and information about fetal development

– There had to be a mandatory 24 hour waiting period after the women received the information

– There was a one-parent consent requirement (with possibility of a judicial bypass)

– Abortion clinics were required to report certain information about the women receiving abortions, such as the age of the mother, the gestational age of the preborn child, and the reason for the abortion

– There was a requirement that women receiving abortions must notify their spouses

Each of these laws was a big challenge to Roe v. Wade because it was understood that Roe didn’t allow any restrictions at all.

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court found reaffirmed Roe v. Wade and struck down the requirement for spousal notification, but it also created a new, less strict interpretation of the “undue burden” standard of review [2].

While this was a missed opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade, this latter part of the judgment opened the door for abortion to be better regulated by states. Since then many, many state laws have been passed to limit or restrict abortion. The declining abortion numbers are often attributed, at least in part, to these laws that were allowed by PP v. Casey.

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References

[1] Cornell University Law School. (1992). ” Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (91-744), 505 U.S. 833 (1992).” Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School, 29 Jun 1992. Web. 15 Jul 2011.

[2] Ibid

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Fertilization vs. Implantation–What’s the Difference?

Fertilization, Implantation, Difference, Pregnancy, Development, Abortion, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice

While spreading the basic message of valuing human life at all stages is very important, it is also important to educate people more deeply on issues of life.

For example, there are many people who do not understand the difference between the processes of fertilization and implantation.

This is often because abortion advocates conflate the two in order to confuse people on when life begins.

First, it should be noted that fertilization and implantation are two of the first major events during fetal development.

But what is the difference?

Fertilization, also often referred to as conception, is when the sperm enters the egg. This is the point at which the mother’s genes in the egg (or ovum) and the father’s genes in the sperm combine to create all the genes for this new individual [1]. At this point, a completely unique new human being is created.

Implantation is when the new human created at fertilization implants in the uterus. The newly created offspring, technically referred to as a blastocyst, travels to the uterus through the fallopian tube and implants in the wall of the uterus. It will stay there until birth, this is where most of the growth and development of the unborn occurs [2].

Although a preborn human life does not look like an adult human at the point of fertilization or implantation, this does not change the fact that the preborn human fetus is a living member of the human race at every stage in his or her development.

In order to truly respect and value human life, we must do so throughout a human’s entire life, not just during the points at which we decide arbitrarily.

These lives may not have the capability to defend themselves, but this does not mean that we should allow their lives to be taken so freely.

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References

[1] Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital & Research Center. (2011). “Fertilization and Implantation.” DMHRC,

[2] Ibid

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“Little Emperor Syndrome” And Abortion

Little Emperor Syndrome, Abortion, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, One-Child Policy

Abortion has profoundly impacted entire generations of young people, especially in countries in Asia.

In China, for example, there is a one-child policy. This has forced many children to grow up alone, without any siblings.

Oftentimes, this results in the parents and grandparents pouring their attention and money into this only child.

This can cause the child to have difficulty in interacting with others.

These children have not had to deal with hardship, nor do they appreciate their circumstances of affluence.

They have inflated egos and have to deal with parents’ high expectations, especially in regards to their education.

These “little emperors” are also forced to learn manners and morals in order to be more prepared to take on the business world [1].

The family dynamic of the country has been profoundly skewed by abortion and birth control.

Not only are these little boys’ lives affected in these ways, but they also struggle to find wives. There’s a reason we’re talking about boys here. That’s because sex-selective abortion, gendercide or female infanticide is also very common in China.

Eventually, families with only one or few children may become problematic because of the limited number of children to take care of elderly parents and grandparents.

This is just one more way in which abortion can harm society.

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References

[1] Mullen, Mark. China’s ‘Little Emperor’s’ Learn Morals, Manners. (2008).

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Sex-Selective Abortions: 160 Million and Counting

Sex-Selective, Abortion, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Developing, China

Gendercide: In places such as “India, China, and elsewhere in the developing world,” the increasing prevalence of sex-selective abortions has resulted in very significantly off balance sex ratios. It was estimated that more than 100 million women were “missing” in 1990, and that number today is thought to be 160 million.

This is obviously ironic since the abortion advocate normally proclaims abortion as an instrument of empowerment for women. While abortion hurts women in many ways, sex-selective abortion is probably the single most clear cut way. Women are so devalued that their lives can be disposed of in the hopes of conceiving a boy in the future.

This poses an embarrassing and awkward problem for the pro-choice feminist who far too often have gotten away with trying to rationalize abortion by saying it empowers women.

What about these (very young) women? How are they empowered?

Not only that, but where are the pro-choice feminists coming out to challenge and protest this grotesque practice?

There are many pro-life organizations out there trying to educate people on the reality of gender based abortion. However, the most effective and prominent is probably All Girls Allowed.  They are specifically focused on China and their population control laws that combine with a culture that values boys over girls. This, of course, has devastating affects.

Increase in Abuse of Women

According to Wikipedia: “Some scholars argue that as the proportion of women to men decreases globally, there will be an increase in trafficking and sex work (both forced and self-elected), as many people will be willing to do more to obtain a sexual partner (Junhong 2001). Already, there are reports of women from Vietnam, Myanmar, and North Korea systematically trafficked to mainland China and Taiwan and sold into forced marriages. Moreover, Ullman and Fidell (1989) suggested that pornography and sex-related crimes of violence (i.e., rape and molestation) would also increase with an increasing sex ratio.”[wikipedia]

This killing of very young girls isn’t just happening in the womb. In many places that are unable to determine gender before birth, female infanticide is also widely practiced.

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References

[1] Douthat, Ross. “160 Million and Counting.” New York Times. N.p., 27 Jun 2011. Web. 16 Jul 2011.

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A Constant Reminder: PTSD and Abortion

Women, Abortion, Traumatic, Stress, PTSD

“Abortion is a traumatic stressor, capable of causing PTSD symptoms” [1].

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. PTSD has many symptoms: severe anxiety, nightmares, and even flashbacks. The recommended treatment for this is either psychotherapy or medicine [2].

Oftentimes, women do not get the proper counseling before or after receiving an abortion and their abortion affects them in many different ways. For these women the primary symptom of PTSD is reoccurring memories [3]. Women who have PTSD from undergoing abortions have flashbacks involving their preborn child [4]. They serve as a constant reminder of what they did. Eventually this takes a toll on them.

65% of women who have undergone abortions report symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which they attribute to their abortions [5]. This was shown in a study that compared women from the U.S and women from Russia. The women in this survey voiced that they did not feel as if they got adequate counseling before they committed the abortion.

The symptoms in this study were separated into 3 different categories: Avoidance, Re-Experience and Arousal. The re-experience symptoms have the greatest percentage of sufferers [6]:

· 30% Nightmares

· 47% Unwanted memories of the abortion

· 30% Preoccupied with abortion

· 46% Flashbacks

· 65% experienced more than one symptom of re-experience.

Other studies have shown that abortion increases risk for depression.

Women who undergo abortions and develop PTSD suffer in many different ways and the memories of the abortion often affect them throughout their whole life. These women could have been better prepared for this risk if they were better counseled. Like a soldier in war, they had no clue that this would affect their life in such a great way.

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References

[1] VM Rue et. al. (2004). “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women,” Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16 (2004)

[2] Mayo Clinic. (2011). “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” Mayo Clinic, 8 Apr 2011. Web. 13 Jun 2011.

[3] VM Rue et. al. 2004

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

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Why Are YOU Pro-Life?

Everyone has a slightly different way of expressing why they are pro-life.  Maybe you survived abortion?  Maybe you’ve had an abortion and regretted it? Maybe a friend has been touched by abortion? Maybe a sibling was aborted? Maybe you just clearly see the scientific facts?

What ever it is, we want to hear from you!

Click here to give your reasons for being pro-life and to read others’.

Video: I’m Pro-Life Ask Me Why!

One of the best ways that you can help spread the movement is to talk about it.

Talking about abortion is very important.

It normalizes what is usually a taboo subject. It allows people to stop approaching it out of a place of fear of social awkwardness and start approaching it with reason.

Most of the time, reason isn’t used when talking about abortion.

The conversation is generally driven by emotions.

So, what can you do?

Be proud of your pro-life stance! Tell people that you’re pro-life and let them ask you why.

Then explain it calmly.

That is one of the best things you can do to spread the message!