Carrying non-viable fetuses poses serious risks to mothers.
Late last April, a Republican from Texas quietly tried to close a few late-term abortion loopholes for women who discover late in their pregnancies that something is seriously wrong with their baby, making it impossible to terminate their pregnancies.
In Texas, and many other states, it is illegal for a woman to get an abortion after 20 weeks unless birthing the child poses serious risks to the mother’s health, the baby is found to have abnormalities, or in cases of incest and rape.
Texas state Representative, Matt Schaefer, introduced an amendment that would close the viability loophole and make it illegal for a mother to abort her child because of abnormality or in cases where the child has no chance of survival. For a fetus that is dying, Schaefer wants women to carry around the fetus until it dies inside her, rather than end the child and mother’s suffering.
CSHB 2510, authored by Schaefer, states:
In my opinion, this practice just doesn’t value what God values, and God values that life inside the womb. God values that child who is defenseless. And when you think about a baby inside its mother, it’s the most defenseless among all of our people. But a baby that has abnormalities is even more defenseless, and we have seen a trend, not just in the United States, but in other parts of the world, that these babies, because they may have severe disabilities, are being aborted for that reason.
And when Schaefer was asked why he would make mother and child suffer needlessly, he said:
That’s part of the human condition, when sin entered the world, and it grieves us all.
Originally, this bill was approved but was stopped on a technicality. The bill is still expected to move forward once the technicality is resolved.
Now, how does this put women at risk?
Sometimes, a fetus doesn’t die, in that it still has a heartbeat, but the mother’s body may try to terminate the pregnancy on it’s own. However, if the mother is unable to fully deliver the fetus but the baby still has a beating heart, legislation like this would stop the doctors from performing a termination procedure.
In Ireland, there was a case where a Hindu woman, Savita Halapannavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, started to miscarry her child. Her fetus still had a heartbeat, however, and Savita who was in severe pain was sent home from the hospital because there was nothing they could do but wait. The doctor who treated her case said the mother’s life was not at risk at the time.
Savita asked for a termination three times and was told by her doctor:
This is a Catholic country – we cannot terminate because the fetus is still alive.
Eight days later Savita and her child died.
And this is what Republicans are trying to bring into America. They want to reduce clarity on when it’s okay to terminate a pregnancy and when it is not and that puts women in serious risk. When the legislative body only wants a child born, saving the mother may come secondary.
Other risks may be if the mother forced to carry a dying fetus and that fetus dies in-utero, there is a huge risk of sepsis from decaying fetal tissue. This is deadly.
Who has late-term abortions?
I think when Republicans think of late-term abortion they think of a woman as some slut who forgot to get an abortion before 20 weeks. They think of her as an irresponsible, morally bankrupt idiot who just wants to murder their baby. But, that’s really not who has a late-term abortion. Women don’t put their bodies through an unwanted pregnancy. That is asinine.
Only one percent of abortions are performed after 24 weeks. In most cases, it’s a woman who truly wants her baby but because of some cruel twist of fate something went wrong with her pregnancy. I think there is a very painful amount of thought that goes into this choice. I don’t think any mother thinks, “Oh my baby is going to be mentally or physically handicapped? How embarrassing! Flush it!” No. That’s what I assume legislators like Schaefer picture.
I think women do it more for the baby than themselves. Now, sure, some people who are born with deformities go on to live good lives, but in cases of severe abnormality, some children live worse lives than death. A life full of hospitals and therapy and pain. The level of care some children require is so extensive that a parent cannot provide the help their child needs and state help is needed.
One woman commented on Schaefer’s Facebook post in response to a Christian’s claim that women must suffer disabled children which put this argument into perspective:
So, not only does this Texan representative want women to suffer having an unwanted, disabled child, he cares very little about the child’s experience which just goes to show Republicans really only care about birth and not life. Decisions like this are highly individualized, some people have the means and patience to have disabled children and some simply do not, but lumping everyone under the same generalization is unfair to both mother and child.
Indiana also tried to introduce similar legislature to their state but it was struck down. It seems that after all the triumphs women have made in regards to choices for their bodies it’s always under threat that under a new governor, senator, or representative those gains could be taken away. And late-term abortions for abnormal, non-viable or severely limited children has become the new battleground for zealots.
Go to this childless misogynist’s Facebook page and let him know how you feel about this, the bill which passed but stopped on a technicality is expected to be re-introduced into the Texas state House pending review by the Department of Health committee.