HOUSE VOTES TO SLASH ALL FUNDS FOR FAMILY PLANNING & HEALTH SCREENINGS AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD

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Women’s rights supporters plan protest at Rep. Hunter’s office today at noon


February 24, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –Republicans in the House pushed through a 240-185 vote to strip all Title X funding from Planned Parenthood, sparking outrage among health advocates and women’s rights supporters, who have organized multiple protest rallies in San Diego this week including a rally today outside Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office in El Cajon.
 

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) introduced the amendment to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funds. “It is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortion,” he said.
 

But Title X funds have never covered abortion care, so Pence’s statement is misleading, suggests Terry O’Nell, president of the National Organization for Women. Should the measure pass the Senate and become law, she said, “Millions of women, the vast majority of whom have incomes of less than $11,000 a year, will lose access to pap smears, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and contraception.” Calling the bill “dangerous and discriminatory,” she added, “There is little doubt that the WILL kill women.”

 

In a press statement issued yesterday, the NOW leader accused House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) with conspiring with the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops to endanger women’s lives. She cited other pending Republican-backed bills as examples. HR 358 would encourage healthcare profivders ro refuse training, performance and even referrals for healthcare. “This bill gives our government `blessing’ to any emergency room that would let a pregnant woman die rather than perform an abortion procedure that could save her life,” she noted. Another bill, HR 3, would revoke abortion rights even for rape victims. HR 217 would permanently eliminate Title X family planning services as well as screenings for cancer, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Testimony on the House floor became emotional after Rep. Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey) described a procedure commonly used not only for abortion but when a woman miscarries. His speech prompted California representative Jackie Spier to speak, revealing that she had the procedure herself in the 17th week of pregnancy, after the fetus slipped from the womb into the vagina and her doctor advised the procedure to prevent infection as her pregnancy was failing.
 

“I lost a baby. But for you to stand on this floor and to suggest as you have that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous,” Speier said.
 

San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray all voted in favor of eliminating Title X funds for birth control, cancer screenings and other non-abortion procedures for poor women. Local Democrats Susan Davis and Bob Filner voted against the measure.
 

The House vote was praised by the National Right to Life Council, whose president, Douglas Johnson, said, “Now Senators, too, will go on record on whether to push the snout of this bloated abortion mega-marketer, Planned Parenthood, out of the U.S. Treasury feeding trough.”
 

All abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood are legal under federal law, despite an inflammatory Internet video slamming the organization for providing abortion counseling to minor prostitutes.
 

Nobody in Congress is trying to fund abortions at Planned Parenthood, however, making the issue a red herring. Instead, the Republican agenda is to starved Planned Parenthood of funding, a move that no one disputes will also deny access to affordable birth control, cancer screenings, and other services for women who may not be able to afford them elsewhere.
 

Meanwhile at least one Republican in Congress has introduced a bill to fund birth control--for wild horses, not women:  http://community.thenest.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/49393987.aspx

 

Planned Parenthood has posted an email petition on its website urging that the mesaure to defund family planning and health screenings for women be defeated: http://www.plannedparenthood.org
 

 

Now local activists are fighting back as well. Yesterday, a rally was held outside the federal building in downtown San Diego to protect women’s reproductive rights.
 

Today at noon, a coalition of groups including MoveOn, Democracy for America, local Democratic clubs and women’s organizations are urging people opposed to the funding cuts to rally outside Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office at 1870 Cordell Street in El Cajon , suite 206.
 

If you wish to voice your views for or against this measure, you may contact Rep. Hunter’s El Cajon office at 619-448-5201 or his Washington D.C. office at 202-225-5672.
 

To reach other members of San Diego’s Congressional delegation in the House, click here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/0809soundoff
 

Comments

Comes down to what side of the fence you are on.

Abortion is killing a child. If you can live with it you can live with it. If you can't you can't. It is a choice you and you alone make. Some women use it as birth control. Can't see how anyone could ever do that. Sometimes it to protect the life of the mother. Everyone should agree with that. I am having more and more problems with Big Brother paying for this. I am also conflicted with the massive number of black women (hugely disproportional with all other races combined) who are aborting their unborn children.
Here is where I will make every woman mad at me but you can not deny that I am right. It is up to the woman to control, stop, or say when to have sex. Men do not think with their brain just ask you mother. It is up to the woman to protect themselves with birth control. Men may or may not step up and take responsibility but you may just see tail lights. That is a mans choice to run. You WILL be raising the child. Think about it!

The other side of the forced childbirth issue

Abortion is a thorny issue.  Dan, your statement about black women having abortions seems to assume that it's because they don't care about children.  But Dan, there are many more black women living in poverty than white women. Did you know that the #1 reason women give when asked why they're seeking an abortion is that they can't afford to have a child?  Lift women out of poverty, with good-paying jobs and at the very least, healthcare for poor women and you would see a lot fewer abortions I suspect.  This isn't about race, it's about the impacts of being poor. Also many abortions are among married women, often with more children than they can care for already. 

A poor Mom struggling to feed her kids may feel she has no good choice, and makes the one that will enable her to keep working to support her family without adding expenses she just can't afford.  It costs many thousands of dollars to give birth, and that's assuming a normal delivery.  C-sections, a baby that must be hospitalized for a while, can push that far higher.  Not counting the cost of actually caring for the child after it is born. 

My views on the abortion issue have evolved through the years, as my eyes have been opened to the suffering of many women and girls in desperate situations.

Arguments such as "its is up to the woman to protect themselves with birth control" simplify the problem by suggesting that all abortions are just women aborting healthy babies for convenience sake. I agree that abortion should not be used as birth control. Why then is the GOP defunding birth control, which would seem to lead to even more unwanted pregnancies? Studies have shown over and over that abstinence-only sex education just doesn't work; you only wind up with more pregnant teens.

But there are many pregnancies that were actually wanted initially, and then something goes wrong. I had a married friend who learned that her baby's organs were all growing on the outside of the body.  The baby couldn't be saved.  Why should a woman in that circumstance be forced to carry the pregnancy to term only to watch her baby die anyway? 

There are also many babies born of rape or incenst. I know; I've interviewed my share of the victims through the years as well as social workers, caregivers, healthcare workers, etc. when I wrote for women's publications. There is at least one southern state where a young girl who was raped by her father--and a pediatrician's records proved it--couldn't get a judge to okay an abortion because daddy was a law enforcement official and no judge would go against him.  So the girl was victimized twice. 

Then there are cases where the woman's health is at risk.  She has cancer and needs chemotherapy but they won't do it on a pregnant woman because it would destroy the baby. Or she takes mental health drugs that could harm a fetus, but going off them could make her psychotic and dangerous to her other children.  Remember the sad case pf Andrea Yates, who drowned her 5 kids in a bathtub after going off her meds for her last pregnancy and while nursing?  Her kids might be alive today if she hadn't had the last one.  Yes, birth control would've been the best option there, but once pregnant given her severe post-partum depression in the past, an early-stage abortion might have been the lesser of the evils.  Five other little children might be alive today.

 

If you take away abortion funds for poor women (rich women will always find a way) and a woman can't afford an abortion, how is she supposed to afford to deliver a baby? Or care for it....many can't bring themselves to give their child up for adoption, even if economically that makes more sense. These are children at risk of neglect or even abuse. What if the Mom is irresponsible--a drug addict and has a drug addicted baby? There aren't enough adoptive homes for such children. Have you adopted a drug baby? If not you should consider who would.

I do believe in encouraging pregnant mothers by offering options to abortion -- a safe haven to have a child and medical care if she has no coverage for the many thousands of dollars it costs to give birth, if we as a society believe that saving unwanted babies is an important moral value.  Women should be informed about adoption alternatives if they ask for an abortion, and also told about any services that might help them if they want to keep a child. But ultimately, there are some who just don't feel they are mentally, physically or emotionally strong enough to go through 9 months of pregnancy and give birth.  Men have never gone through that, and may not realize how difficuilt it can be for many women, especially if you are poor, have other children to care for, or are trying to hold onto a job or stay in school.

Then there's the issue of forced pregnancies by rape or incest.  One of the saddest cases I know of happened to a friend, years before I met her. She was raped by a teacher and got hit by a bus while crossing a street to go to an abortion clinic. She was in a coma for 10 months.  Her face was scraped off on the pavement.  The doctor told her parents the only way to save her face was immediate surgery if they authorized an abortion because the anesthesia would harm the child, which was only about 3 weeks along in the pregnancy. The parents were Bible-belt believers and refused.  So her baby was born while she was in a coma, against her clear wishes based on the appointment she'd made for an abortion, and adopted out since she couldn't care for a baby while recuperating from a coma and mommy and daddy dearest apparently didn't want it, either.  Her face was horribly disfigured for the rest of her life because of a rapist and her parents' decision.

A social worker told me about an 11-year-old who was so tiny that doctors feared she couldn't safely give birth.  Her ribs stuck out and one dislocated in the final stage of pregnancy. But she did give birth, and suffered terribly; she tore and was also left sterile from the damage that was done.  She was an incest victim.

People want to see abortion as a black and white issue (and I'm not referring to race, just morality) but in truth there are so many shades of grey where neither choice is good, but abortion isn't always the worst of them, many believe. Refusing to fund abortion means more poor women will be forced to give birth, however dire their circumstance may be. You're not just punishing those who were irresponsible. And for those who were merely irresponsible, what kind of mothers will they be?

There are also cases of failed birth control, even when women are responsible. A married friend had an "oops" baby because the "low dose" birth control pills her doctor gave her turned out to be too low. Thankfully she was in a position to be able to have the baby, but not every woman is.  Diaphragms are unreliable, condoms occasionally break, and the "rhythm method" advocated by the Catholic church is the worst of all. What is a married Catholic woman who doesn't want many children supposed to do? What good choice does she have?

Another woman I know escaped a horribly abusive husband who nailed the windows shut to keep her locked inside the house after he'd beat her.  She took the grocery money one night and fled on a bus to another city with only the clothes on her back to escape that brute. Then she found out she was pregnant, with only a minimum wage job and no health insurance, not a stick of furniture in her one-bedroom apartment and no savings.  She was in tears, desperate, and mercifully she turned out to have a tubal pregnancy and then miscarried on the way to the hospital in an ambulance after collapsing at work, so she didn't have to make a choice.  But what if she hadn't?  She was black and blue from head to toe the first day she applied for work at the store where I was a clerk, from the brutality she'd endured. How is it right for a bunch of men in a legislature to force a woman like that to carry her brutal spouse's child to term? I was 17 when I met her, and it changed my mind on the abortion issue. Don't say she should've turned to family for help. She had tried. Her father drove her back to her husband!

Then there are are women with very high blood pressure,  heart conditions, etc that sometimes these worsen with pregnancy. They didn't know beforehand.  Diabetes in a mother can endanger both mom and child.  My cousin had that circumstance, chose to keep the baby and he nearly died; was in hospital for months and had respiratory problems his whole life.  I admire her decision to bravely risk her life in those last few months. But someone else might reach a different decision, especially if they had others dependent on them -- young children, an ailing spouse or parent. 

For me, one factor not discussed much is at what stage does the fetus or baby feel pain. In the earliest weeks the nerves have not yet developed, and pregnancies can be diagnosed within days or hours now, not like in the old days.  Should an egg or a few cells with no nerves or feelings be more important than a young girl's physical or mental health? Odds are good she'll have another baby later in life when she's ready to be a mother. A woman should make up her mind in the early stage though, not suddenly decide in late months that she doesn't want a baby unless there's something terminally wrong with the development of the fetus or a life-threatening condition facing the Mom. That's pretty well what Roe v. Wade says; it gives the mother the decision in the first trimester only; after that there have to be some other reasons beyond convenience, confirmed by a doctor.

Outlawing abortion doesn't even stop all women from having them, especially in San Diego. Before abortion was legal here, lots of women died or were left sterile by abortionists in Mexico, or by illegal abortions in the U.S., or self-induced ones.  Research the numbers; they were actually quite high. Thousands a year. Do we want a pregnant teen to risk her life going into Mexico where there is so much violence from drug cartels? How would you prevent that from happening if abortion was made illegal again?  Or harming herself by trying to induce abortion?  One set of unwed teens agreed he would hit her in the stomach with a baseball bat to induce abortion--horrible. He wound up in jail on a felony charge; this was in a state where parental consent was required and the girl was afraid to tell her father. Another well-intentioned law with an unintended consequence in that instance.

Yes, girls and women should try to be responsible. But boys and men should be taught to be more careful too.  If a young man gets a girl pregnant, he shouldn't be free of all responsibility.  If parents would teach their sons that if you get a girl pregnant, we will expect you to take responsibility for caring for her and the child, I'll bet the young men would think twice before having unprotected sex, or might even wait until marriage, and surely wouldn't pick up a baseball bat to try and destroy the evidence of their mistake.

Having had two children myself, one with a very difficult labor and a baby turned upside down, I'm pretty sure that if men could get pregnant there would no longer be a national movement for forced childbirth.

 

 

I will answer these in

I will answer these in order.........

Abortion is a thorny issue. Dan, your statement about black women having abortions seems to assume that it's because they don't care about children. But Dan, there are many more black women living in poverty than white women. Did you know that the #1 reason women give when asked why they're seeking an abortion is that they can't afford to have a child? Lift women out of poverty, with good-paying jobs and at the very least, healthcare for poor women and you would see a lot fewer abortions I suspect. This isn't about race, it's about the impacts of being poor. Also many abortions are among married women, often with more children than they can care for already.

.......I can not agree with you. Many women have births at intervals to add to their welfare payments. Again I will shoot straight with you an pull no punches. I will not give P.C. answers. I will give you the truth as I have personally seen. I don't know of ANYONE that says they can afford a child, no matter their income. They are expensive at any income range. Lift women out of poverty? are you kidding? with good paying jobs? This state is pushing every company out with regulation and taxation that NO other state other than New York has. They are have the same problems we do. Don't get me started on healthcare. OK you got me started.........................................................

A poor Mom struggling to feed her kids may feel she has no good choice, and makes the one that will enable her to keep working to support her family without adding expenses she just can't afford. It costs many thousands of dollars to give birth, and that's assuming a normal delivery. C-sections, a baby that must be hospitalized for a while, can push that far higher. Not counting the cost of actually caring for the child after it is born.

........................... That poor mom will get additional money for her child. She will receive the finest medical attention the tax payer can afford. Really, don't take me for a fool. Women go to the hospital and deliver without paying every day. Illegal aliens do this with such regularity that trauma hospitals are closing all the time. Have you driven down East Main street to see the hospital still closed in El Cajon? So don't give me the they can't afford healthcare. I am the one that can't afford healthcare but I am forced to pay for theirs whether they are here as citizens or not. Personally observed a Hispanic family come into Children's Sharp in a NEW 2010 Range Rover with Baja California plates go up to the admitting area and say they had no money or any way to pay. Their child was admitted and cared for. They were RIGHT NEXT TO US for the entire time. I could here them talk to each other in English but as soon as any nurse or admittance person came by they switched to Spanish and gave it the obligatory no habla English' ...........................................

My views on the abortion issue have evolved through the years, as my eyes have been opened to the suffering of many women and girls in desperate situations.

Arguments such as "its is up to the woman to protect themselves with birth control" simplify the problem by suggesting that all abortions are just women aborting healthy babies for convenience sake. I agree that abortion should not be used as birth control. Why then is the GOP defunding birth control, which would seem to lead to even more unwanted pregnancies? Studies have shown over and over that abstinence-only sex education just doesn't work; you only wind up with more pregnant teens.

....................The credit card is maxed out. You know that right? The Government is not supposed to just give you things that you think you need. otherwise we would all get our loaf of bread, a car, a ration of gasoline etc. Socialism does not work. You know birth control is not that expensive. Here is another "man" truth I will let you in on. Don't tell anyone OK? If you as a woman tell a man "no sex because I can't afford birth control" well he will trod through 10 feet of snow to get to the drug store and buy rubbers by the crate! It is an undeniable truth. Like I said it is a "man" truth. That will also take care of the whole abstinence only problem................................ ........

But there are many pregnancies that were actually wanted initially, and then something goes wrong. I had a married friend who learned that her baby's organs were all growing on the outside of the body. The baby couldn't be saved. Why should a woman in that circumstance be forced to carry the pregnancy to term only to watch her baby die anyway?

................Special circumstance like that are not what I am talking about and you know that. That is such a small percentage the number is in the tenths of a percent...........................

There are also many babies born of rape or incest. I know; I've interviewed my share of the victims through the years as well as social workers, caregivers, healthcare workers, etc. when I wrote for women's publications. There is at least one southern state where a young girl who was raped by her father--and a pediatrician's records proved it--couldn't get a judge to okay an abortion because daddy was a law enforcement official and no judge would go against him. So the girl was victimized twice.

..................Again I will default to my previous statement..............................

Then there are cases where the woman's health is at risk. She has cancer and needs chemotherapy but they won't do it on a pregnant woman because it would destroy the baby. Or she takes mental health drugs that could harm a fetus, but going off them could make her psychotic and dangerous to her other children. Remember the sad case pf Andrea Yates, who drowned her 5 kids in a bathtub after going off her meds for her last pregnancy and while nursing? Her kids might be alive today if she hadn't had the last one. Yes, birth control would've been the best option there, but once pregnant given her severe post-partum depression in the past, an early-stage abortion might have been the lesser of the evils. Five other little children might be alive today.

................................Again to my last statement, but I will add that our society is over medicated. Why must every turmoil in life require a pill. Have we really "experienced" more pain and sacrifice than our forefathers? Can you imagine the Country we would have right now had every settler had their Prozac and just relaxed for a week or two? The crops will take care of themselves right? We need to be more self sufficient, stronger, and more capable. We can take it we are America..........................

If you take away abortion funds for poor women (rich women will always find a way) and a woman can't afford an abortion, how is she supposed to afford to deliver a baby? Or care for it....many can't bring themselves to give their child up for adoption, even if economically that makes more sense. These are children at risk of neglect or even abuse. What if the Mom is irresponsible--a drug addict and has a drug addicted baby? There aren't enough adoptive homes for such children. Have you adopted a drug baby? If not you should consider who would.

...............I am actually surprised to made this statement. I have told you I am conflicted about abortion. That is my crutch or cross to bear. You are stating that someone who wants an abortion (to kill their unborn baby) but once it is born could not give it up for adoption? Does that make sense to you? It sounds more like a change of heart AFTER the child is born. This was the starting of my "being conflicted". Children at risk of neglect and abuse? You are muddying the waters with that...........................

I do believe in encouraging pregnant mothers by offering options to abortion -- a safe haven to have a child and medical care if she has no coverage for the many thousands of dollars it costs to give birth, if we as a society believe that saving unwanted babies is an important moral value. Women should be informed about adoption alternatives if they ask for an abortion, and also told about any services that might help them if they want to keep a child. But ultimately, there are some who just don't feel they are mentally, physically or emotionally strong enough to go through 9 months of pregnancy and give birth. Men have never gone through that, and may not realize how difficuilt it can be for many women, especially if you are poor, have other children to care for, or are trying to hold onto a job or stay in school.

.............. Stop with the money issue I have answered that one and it is a non issue here in the U.S.A. Moral issue is the supreme question. I have also answered the "I don't think I can hack it" or the "it will mess up my figure" It is for selfish reasons. I told you I won't pull punches. I am not talking Jr. high school selfish either. A man can chose selfish reasons to abandon a woman he impregnated also. I would call that man a coward and selfish.................................

Then there's the issue of forced pregnancies by rape or incest. One of the saddest cases I know of happened to a friend, years before I met her. She was raped by a teacher and got hit by a bus while crossing a street to go to an abortion clinic. She was in a coma for 10 months. Her face was scraped off on the pavement. The doctor told her parents the only way to save her face was immediate surgery if they authorized an abortion because the anesthesia would harm the child, which was only about 3 weeks along in the pregnancy. The parents were Bible-belt believers and refused. So her baby was born while she was in a coma, against her clear wishes based on the appointment she'd made for an abortion, and adopted out since she couldn't care for a baby while recuperating from a coma and mommy and daddy dearest apparently didn't want it, either. Her face was horribly disfigured for the rest of her life because of a rapist and her parents' decision.

................. I am not a purist, never have been. (conflicted rears its ugly head again) I am not against rape or incest abortions. I would prefer a very, very, very, late term abortion for the teacher. I would hope that it would be very painful as well. (another conflict) I believe in the murder of those that murder, rape, or kidnap. I am for the murder of child molesters. I would not have one ounce of compassion or reservation for these people. I have been a soldier so when asked I would carry out my duty without hesitation. I have never had to and am thankful for that and the soldiers that have and do. They are our FINEST Americans. So killing to me is a choice that I "use" my moral judgment to justify................................................

A social worker told me about an 11-year-old who was so tiny that doctors feared she couldn't safely give birth. Her ribs stuck out and one dislocated in the final stage of pregnancy. But she did give birth, and suffered terribly; she tore and was also left sterile from the damage that was done. She was an incest victim.

.............................My grandmother died giving birth to my father. She was over anesthetized by a drunk doctor. If my father was not born, neither would I. Incest should be dealt with by the law and prison population. Back to very, very, very, late term abortion. How many months is a 20, 30, 40 year old? I say abort him and save possible additional victims..................

People want to see abortion as a black and white issue (and I'm not referring to race, just morality) but in truth there are so many shades of grey where neither choice is good, but abortion isn't always the worst of them, many believe. Refusing to fund abortion means more poor women will be forced to give birth, however dire their circumstance may be. You're not just punishing those who were irresponsible. And for those who were merely irresponsible, what kind of mothers will they be?

.........................Are you going to decide what kind of mothers they will be? I have wrestled with some legal issues (not mine purely philosophical) dealing with licensing etc. especially firearm related. I believe it is a womans responsibility to be able to protect herself and her family and think every woman should learn how to use, practice and own a firearm for personal protection. Some say that there should be testing and requirements. I always have to ask myself. Who would decide this? Why is it that this one person or people get to decide who does and who doesn't get the right to protect themselves? Our forefathers were VERY smart men that put the word "people" to mean the individual person. In internet terms that would be called "EPIC" :).......................................

There are also cases of failed birth control, even when women are responsible. A married friend had an "oops" baby because the "low dose" birth control pills her doctor gave her turned out to be too low. Thankfully she was in a position to be able to have the baby, but not every woman is. Diaphragms are unreliable, condoms occasionally break, and the "rhythm method" advocated by the Catholic church is the worst of all. What is a married Catholic woman who doesn't want many children supposed to do? What good choice does she have?

.................Conflict again. Late term, early term and making a choice about the "RISK" of getting pregnant. Don't forget the risks even more devastating the pregnancy like STD's.....................

Another woman I know escaped a horribly abusive husband who nailed the windows shut to keep her locked inside the house after he'd beat her. She took the grocery money one night and fled on a bus to another city with only the clothes on her back to escape that brute. Then she found out she was pregnant, with only a minimum wage job and no health insurance, not a stick of furniture in her one-bedroom apartment and no savings. She was in tears, desperate, and mercifully she turned out to have a tubal pregnancy and then miscarried on the way to the hospital in an ambulance after collapsing at work, so she didn't have to make a choice. But what if she hadn't? She was black and blue from head to toe the first day she applied for work at the store where I was a clerk, from the brutality she'd endured. How is it right for a bunch of men in a legislature to force a woman like that to carry her brutal spouse's child to term? I was 17 when I met her, and it changed my mind on the abortion issue. Don't say she should've turned to family for help. She had tried. Her father drove her back to her husband!

....................I married an abused woman. She was beaten many times by her ex husband. So I have lived it. She has two wonderful children that I raised with her. I love them as much as the one we had together. You know how I feel about abusers, incest, rapists so I don't need to rehash that. Also I don't need to tell you there is help for her and I have been poor before also. Life is tough sometimes but there is no place on this planet that is better to be "poor" in............................

Then there are are women with very high blood pressure, heart conditions, etc that sometimes these worsen with pregnancy. They didn't know beforehand. Diabetes in a mother can endanger both mom and child. My cousin had that circumstance, chose to keep the baby and he nearly died; was in hospital for months and had respiratory problems his whole life. I admire her decision to bravely risk her life in those last few months. But someone else might reach a different decision, especially if they had others dependent on them -- young children, an ailing spouse or parent.

.............I am glad she is OK and I am glad the child is OK. I bet she is a wonderful mother and I bet if you asked her right this very second, even if she was mad, did she make the right "choice". What do you think she would say?................................................

For me, one factor not discussed much is at what stage does the fetus or baby feel pain. In the earliest weeks the nerves have not yet developed, and pregnancies can be diagnosed within days or hours now, not like in the old days. Should an egg or a few cells with no nerves or feelings be more important than a young girl's physical or mental health? Odds are good she'll have another baby later in life when she's ready to be a mother. A woman should make up her mind in the early stage though, not suddenly decide in late months that she doesn't want a baby unless there's something terminally wrong with the development of the fetus or a life-threatening condition facing the Mom. That's pretty well what Roe v. Wade says; it gives the mother the decision in the first trimester only; after that there have to be some other reasons beyond convenience, confirmed by a doctor.

......................Does the unborn child "feel" pain. I hate that term. I really do. It has been a year since I put my 13 year old German Shepherd down. Did I feel pain? Did I bleed, or was I bruised? No, but pain? I will tell you it was "The most painful thing I have ever done in my entire life" Not a single day goes by that I don't "feel" pain. If I get it right you feel some conflict also in late term abortion. So who gets to decide what is late and what is not because everyone's morals can differ and everyones morals differ from day to day even if just a litte........................

Outlawing abortion doesn't even stop all women from having them, especially in San Diego. Before abortion was legal here, lots of women died or were left sterile by abortionists in Mexico, or by illegal abortions in the U.S., or self-induced ones. Research the numbers; they were actually quite high. Thousands a year. Do we want a pregnant teen to risk her life going into Mexico where there is so much violence from drug cartels? How would you prevent that from happening if abortion was made illegal again? Or harming herself by trying to induce abortion? One set of unwed teens agreed he would hit her in the stomach with a baseball bat to induce abortion--horrible. He wound up in jail on a felony charge; this was in a state where parental consent was required and the girl was afraid to tell her father. Another well-intentioned law with an unintended consequence in that instance.

.............I don't really have an argument for that as it is true, and I agree with you. I will say that hitting your girlfriend in the stomach with a bat is not getting the relationship off to a good start. Young people can do very stupid things........................................

Yes, girls and women should try to be responsible. But boys and men should be taught to be more careful too. If a young man gets a girl pregnant, he shouldn't be free of all responsibility. If parents would teach their sons that if you get a girl pregnant, we will expect you to take responsibility for caring for her and the child, I'll bet the young men would think twice before having unprotected sex, or might even wait until marriage, and surely wouldn't pick up a baseball bat to try and destroy the evidence of their mistake.

.........................And you shouldn't drive drunk. I am not being cavalier. I am sorry if I am sounding that way. Back to the whole honesty thing. Boys (hope you noticed I didn't say men) have the choice to run. Many many will some will not. I think I have the same level of confidence in that as you do in abstinance...............................................................

Having had two children myself, one with a very difficult labor and a baby turned upside down, I'm pretty sure that if men could get pregnant there would no longer be a national movement for forced childbirth.

....................Oh yeah well you should try shaving. Dang it you gals have it harder there too. OK you totally got me on that one. :)

Dan.