Whole Woman’s Health: A Woman’s Right to Know (That Her Rights Don’t Matter to Her State.)

Sooo… remember in 2003 when the Woman’s Right to Know act was passed? The act that was supposed to make “mothers appreciate the development and characteristics of their unborn children” and “arm mothers with the truth about abortion”?

…the one that required all abortion clinics to buy and disperse publications written and printed by who-knows-who within the state that describe the development of the fetus, provide full-color in-utero pictures of it, as well as a 21 page directory full of adoption clinics & crisis pregnancy centers?

…the same one that required our Doctors to go down a list and speak directly to each and every woman about things that they believe are scientifically false? (Abortion = Increased risk of breast cancer, for instance.)

…In addition to mentioning to every single woman that she may be eligible for government financial assistance if she carries the pregnancy to term?

…Right. The one that also required women to wait 24 hours after being told about her options, but at least had the decency to allow her to listen to these “facts” via phone while at work, instead of losing 2 days of pay to physically be there in person to hear them?

Yeah, remember that? The one that we were still abiding by, when they passed the other invasive, medically unnecessary bill in the same name of informed consent?

So when it’s all said and done, the way that Texas has interjected themselves into a woman’s appointment sounds a little like this… “This is what a pregnancy looks like up close. (Are you sure you want an abortion?) And here’s a list of everything that could possibly go wrong. (Are you really sure?) Remember, you can get some parenting classes here, here and here. (How about now?) Now hold tight… (Was that uncomfortable? Sorry.) OK, This is what *your* pregnancy looks like. (Sure you’re sure?) And this is what it sounds like. (Isn’t that cute?) Well, what do you think?… Wait. Hold that thought – Come back tomorrow and tell us.”

Allllll of this new ultrasound jargon is not about informed consent, because we already had an informed consent bill on the books that obviously “wasn’t working well enough” for them. But you know why it wasn’t working?

Because abortion isn’t the problem. It’s the long list of other things that lead to women feeling like they need one. (Some of those can be fixed, and some of them simply can’t!) It’s the lack of access and the price of reliable forms of birth control that don’t make women want to pull their hair out and forget about sex altogether. It’s a lot of stuff. But it’s not abortion. And THOSE are the things that our politicians need to be working on, instead of just “cutting to the chase” and restricting access to a safe, legal procedure.

If the Woman’s Right to Know act in 2003 was anti-choice politicians way of asking women “Are you sure?” then the ultrasound bill is just the same people using politics to ask “Are you sure you’re sure you’re sure?” We just can’t wait to see what it looks like when they find out this isn’t working either and draft up a bill that asks “Are you sure you’re sure you’re sure you’re sure?” and more importantly, are we sure we want to allow them far enough into our appointment to ask it?

11 thoughts on “Whole Woman’s Health: A Woman’s Right to Know (That Her Rights Don’t Matter to Her State.)

  1. Maybe the Doonesbury comic strip can bring some awareness. I think if Rick Perry is so interested in our sex lives perhaps we should send them our pregnancy tests, or tampons. hee hee hee

    1. In my Democratic and humble opinion, abortion is murder. Having an abortion can lead to serious mental health problems later in life. I am glad there is an are you sure that your sure that your sure, because if it were up to me abortions would be completely illegal except in the case of incest or rape that is validated with a police report. There are consequences to every action. If you commit a crime, you will go to jail if your caught; if you work smart, you will get ahead if you talk to the right people; if you have sex, you may get pregnant. If a person does not want to be pregnant, they must take precautions, just like if you dont want to go to jail, you refrain from commiting a crime. Life is so much more precious than even an escalade, if you steal an escalade, you will do much more time than nine months. Allowing abortions takes away a womans personal responsability for her body. It creates the idea that there are no consequinces for ending life, when in fact there are many. I hope that some reading this will understand the importance of understanding consequinces and personal responsability. It seems that in this day and age of the great american plantation, people no longer care to think for themselves, gather information, and make informed decisions.

      1. Hi Latrasa,
        Thank you for reading. In our Democratic and humble opinion, abortion is not murder. War may result in murder. The death penalty may be murder – both are still sanctioned by the state and nation. But to us, abortion is a safe, legal, and sometimes medically necessary procedure. We don’t see any more women regretting their abortion after an unwanted pregnancy than we do women regretting their choice to have children, and we can point you to studies that debunk the abortion = depression myth, if you’d like.

        We understand and agree with the fact that humans should be responsible about the decisions that they make. But tell me which one sounds more irresponsible to you: The woman who is on birth control and has sex with her husband, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy, or the woman who in no way feels financially, mentally or emotionally stable enough to care for another human, yet disregards all of these things and signs up to be the sole guardian of another human being, anyway?

        We agree with you. Life is absolutely precious. We respect it, and encourage all of our patients to have a spectacular one, full of respect, ambition, independence, and taking responsibility for their actions. But to expect the world to abstain from sex and never make mistakes is a fantasy. Unwanted pregnancies will never go away. And because of that, we celebrate the fact that families have the personal, private choice to adopt, parent or have an abortion.

        If you care about women and men taking responsibility, invest your time in contraception, education, or tackling the root of why women may choose abortion in the first place – there are many. We can give you a list, if you’d like a few pointers on where to start. They don’t call us because they’re irresponsible. Quite the opposite. They call us because they’re being honest, good human beings whose bodies have both the natural instinct to have sex, and sometimes the natural response of pregnancy, no matter how much they actively, responsibly planned otherwise.

      2. My mother aborted two children before she had me and suffered severe depression because of it. I have a very close friend who went to a clinic to learn more about her pregnancy when she had an unexpected pregnancy. They shoved abortion down her throat without even talking about her other options, like adoption. The fact is abortion has become an easy out that takes a woman’s responsibility for her body away from her, and kills a growing entity that is developing inside her. Did you know babies practice breathing in the womb? An unborn child is a life, you don’t get something alive from something dead, life can only come from life, this is a scientific fact of biology. When you have an abortion you are killing a life, that is growing inside you. It is a human life. That is murder. I’m a liberal about victimless crimes, however, taking the life of another, unborn or not, is murder.

      3. You’re right – Regret after an abortion isn’t entirely unheard of. However, we see many, many women who feel relieved after their procedures. It’s not a very good argument for taking a personal choice away from an entire country. What we can do is educate women about their options – all of them. Moreover, the truth about all of them, and leave it in their hands to decide whether they view abortion as murder, and what they are comfortable with choosing. Not you, not us, but them. We follow this belief in our practice, and i’m sorry that your friend had a different experience.

        The fact is, and after working here for a number of years I can say this without hesitation, abortion is not an easy out. It’s not an easy decision, it’s not easy to raise the money for it and then suffer the consequences of losing that money that you needed for other things, it’s not easy to feel judged by a number of strangers who know nothing about you, it’s not easy to find transportation here, child care, the time, the words to tell your loved ones… I could go on. But no, it’s not easy. What would be easy would be to simply ignore the reality, and the seriousness, of bringing another life into the world. What would be easy would be to apply for Medicaid, food stamps and all of the other places that protestors refer our patients that may be at a financial disadvantage, and tell them to then rely on other people for the rest of their lives. We believe that women and families are better, stronger and wiser than for that to be their default answer to a problem that they don’t know the answer to.

        For as much as you think you know about fetuses in the womb, there are ten times as many things that you don’t know about every individual woman that chooses abortion – her feelings, her heart, her family. Do those matter to you? Did you know that the women and families that need our services don’t just practice breathing, but are capable of full breaths that support a real, lucid, conscious human life? Do those breaths matter to you? Is it easier for you to murder their rights, their futures and their freedom than it is to imagine “murdering” a growing entity that’s inside of them? How, and why is that so?

  2. Latrasa, many of the women who have negative feelings after an abortion were those who were unsure about having it in the first place. They might have wanted the pregnancy but had to terminate it for health reasons or they might have been coerced into the abortion by a boyfriend (a not-at-all-uncommon scenario) or somebody else or they live in areas that are vehemently anti-abortion. A lot of other women who’ve had abortions felt fine with their decisions because they thought them through and decided this was best for them. If they do feel regret or guilt about their decisions, maybe it’s because of people like YOU who make them feel that way. Remember, it’s NOT your decision. You go ahead and make the decision that’s right for you, but don’t impose your ways or decisions on others and don’t assume that the rest of us think like you when it comes to this issue.

    1. I would like to add this. What about the fathers rights? What happens when the mother has an abortion without even telling the father she conceived? There are consequences for people’s actions, no matter what they are, and to say that there are none with abortion is just naive. I am not individually insulting anyone who has had an abortion, I am insulting an article that is all to quick to dismiss an effort to provide as much information as possible, and give the mother time to process the information before she makes the decision. A rash decision in the midst of surging hormones based on fear and uncertainty should not be encouraged. If the decision mist be made, doing it during your lunch break”quick and convenient is not found the loss of life its due respect, nor does it acknowledge the pain that comes with having to kill your child before it is even born.

      1. Latrasa, we can both add as many contentions as we want, but neither of us will ever answer the initial and most basic argument that we both have about abortion: You believe that it is a form of murder and therefore unacceptable in any shape, form or fashion. Other people believe that it is not a form of murder, and therefore place more importance on living, conscious people’s rights and freedom than the mere potential for them. If neither of us are willing to step in any direction towards the other, ancillary contentions aren’t going to help. Sometimes Fathers choose with their wives and girlfriends, and sometimes they don’t. Maybe sometimes it’s because the woman doesn’t trust her partner enough to tell him, and sometimes maybe it’s because she’s in an abusive relationship. Maybe sometimes he might force her to carry it to term. Maybe other times, the woman simply does not want to. Again, this is not something that has a “quick fix” to it, as you can’t make every relationship work as a third party. And again – again, again, again – it is not something that requires your judgment, or forceful input. Your help, your kindness, your understanding, always. But never your judgment. And never your forceful input.

  3. Latrasa, as one who had an abortion many years ago — and who regrets that act— I stand with you and admire you for speaking out. You are completely correct that abortion is murder. I stand on the opposite side of the aisle from you politically, but I stand in admiration for you here. What pro-abortion and “women’s right’s” advocates like to call a “mass of cells” is indeed a human life. And many of these same advocates will band together in horror at the thought of threatening the life of a small fish; they would shout with joy at the finding of a single living cell on another planet, declaring “we have found LIFE elsewhere in the universe!” but will not acknowledge the life that is within a mother’s womb, no matter how small.

    Here is women’s right in a nutshell.

    1. Abortion = Legal
    2. Prostitution = Illegal

    So women don’t really have the freedom over their own bodies, they simply have freedom to kill unwanted babies. So sad. Approximately 4,000 babies a day are murdered in the United States alone. We should be ashamed.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer had it right when he wrote: “Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

    Psalm 139:13-18
    13 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.
    15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.

    1. Phyllis, I’m glad that your opinions on when life begins are so resolved. I’m sure that makes it very easy for you to pass judgments on others. It’s important to note that people having access to abortion is mutually exclusive from religion. That war was already settled when this country that we live in decided that an individual’s religious freedom was more important than automatically subscribing all of its citizens to a de facto, no-excuses, practice of Christianity.

      Believe what you will about abortion, but open your eyes to the fact that there’s a very diverse population of people living around you that may believe differently, understand the Bible in a different way, or have a different relationship with their God than you do. Trampling on their lives based on what you personally believe and considering their values as anything less than worthy of respect is selfish at best, and I might add, may require you to re-evaluate if you might do better in a country that is structured around a singular religion, and does not allow its people the freedom to choose. Maybe you might feel more at home in a country that still practices theocracy, or Sharia law?

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