(10e) Abortion - two examples why it sometimes should be allowed and an extra.
I return again to abortion using two recent examples to show why abortion can sometimes be merciful and why those against abortion will loose part of the argument if they don't accept reason although it may take a final struggle. First of all, I am against abortion as birth control and people should use contraceptives (such as condoms, the pill or the morning-after pill) if they don't want children, although contraceptives are also condemned by those who condemn abortion. In my two examples people wanted the child but still asked to terminate the pregnancy but the abortions were denied, causing at least one fatality. I hope this will be my last main article about abortion as I am only one person out of millions and billions worldwide who has not much influence and thus it is for society to choose and for more powerful scientists to speak so to educate people in a polite way (although it may further anger extremists but not speaking will strengthen their case) because it is sad wrong selfish choices cause the death of individuals.
Example 1 - European countryMy first example happened in Ireland where Mrs Savita Halappanavar died in October 2012 because an emergency termination of the pregnancy was denied. This country forbids almost any use of abortion, even to save the life of the mother when the baby already died. This happened to the Indian family. A beautiful, young and happy woman was pregnant, but doctors discovered the foetus died. The woman asked for the termination of the pregnancy as nothing more could be done but also because she felt ill, but the doctors decided it was more important to save their own souls and denied the termination. As a result, the woman died from blood poisoning caused by the dead foetus (one would expect this happened in the darkest of the middle age). Although of course, it is difficult to disobey wrong laws that imprison doctors who try to save someone's life.
The court hearing afterwards received international attention. Here we heard that health professionals said nothing could be done because Ireland is a Catholic country when abortion is not allowed. As the doctors probably knew the woman may die if the dead baby was not removed, they still didn't do anything even when the law allowed abortion to save a woman's life. During the court hearing, the jury endorsed nine recommendations to clarify when exactly abortion is allowed. The Indian husband, now a widower, concluded he would continue fighting for the right to allow an abortion to save the life of women, ending with "maybe something out of this will be for the good in the long run", meaning maybe the laws in Ireland can change one day.
And indeed, it seems something is moving and Ireland is thinking to relax its abortion laws a very little for certain cases such as when the life of the woman is in danger or when she is suicidal although strict procedures are to be followed, such as assessment by up to six doctors. But even now some politicians will oppose any change. It seems that even pro-choice activists risk up to 14 years in prison after their mass leafleting campaign informing women how to travel to the UK for an abortion or how to buy early abortion pills.
And of course, the Catholic Church is against any reform and even foreign churches intervene. E.g. the Americal Cardinal Sean O'Malley (with Irish blood) threatened to boycott (i.e. not to meet) Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny during his visit to the USA because the cardinal claims the Irish PM "promotes" abortion. Because for the cardinal it is better to have two people death (mother and child) than one person saved (mother) because he wants to go to Heaven, and that justifies the sacrifice of two other humans. As he himself (probably) has no children, he can't understand how it may feel for a man to loose both wife and child.
Example 2 - Latin-American countryMy second example is happening now in El Salvador. Here too a woman (she uses the name Beatriz to protect her identity, and medical staff who fear prison if they help) ask for an abortion because she is ill and the chances for the baby to survive birth are very slim. The pregnant woman suffers from lupus disease that weakened her kidneys and may increase the chances she will not survive when the pregnancy continuous. In addition, sonograms showed the foetus is missing large parts of its brain and skull and will probably die soon after birth. But even if the baby may survives, it will be a livelong suffering.
But as Ireland, El Salvador is a very Catholic country and seems to have one of the world's strictest anti-abortion laws and thus 4 against 1 judges cited that "the rights of the mother cannot be privileged over those of the foetus", a phrase that can be translated as it is better to have two death people than save one although they may suggest the woman's life may be saved if necessary but then the foetus will already be larger and abortion more complicated. The law prevents abortion in cases such as rape, incest and even when the life of the mother is in danger.
Although the anti-abortion law is widely supported in the country, this case has set the health ministry and women's rights groups against (who else?) bishops and anti-abortion campaigners. Even the United Nations, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and of course pro-choice group support her case but the lobby from the church was the strongest as they probably could scare the judges with the threat of eternal condemnation in hell. And thus more people will turn away from the church when they see people die who should not have died because churches should not claim to know it all better than everyone else. Remember, El Salvador is also the country where Cardinal Óscar Romero was killed after condemning a dictator while his beatification is until now denied by his own church because he dared to defend ordinary people.
Most Latin American countries disapprove abortion although recently there have been relaxations in a number of countries while another country, San Salvador, is moving in the opposite direction after the ruling Nationalist Republican Alliance party wanted to win votes from the powerful Catholic lobby in 1997 and thus signed a contract with the devil, resulting in the imprisonment of a number of people on the grounds of infanticide. Also Nicaragua and Chile prohibit abortion under any circumstances. Strange that often countries where dictators ruled who mistreated their people have the strictest moral (Catholic) laws, including against abortion.
USABut not only in Europe and Latin America there are problems. Also in the US the mood is changing. E.g. in the state North Dakota almost all abortion clinics are closed while the remaining ones are under threat of closure. After the closures, women either have to go to other states, delaying the process and increasing costs or have an illegal abortion as in the past with the increased risk of death and mistreatment. E.g. in Pennsylvania the trial of Kermit Gosnell started who performed illegal abortion on older foetuses. If these women could have gone to an abortion clinic and not be scared away by anti-abortion people, the termination would have happened under controlled conditions. Now the anti-abortion lobby can misuse this case to claim excesses happen in those clinics while if legally done, excesses can be prevented as there is government control.
These centre also provide information on how to prevent pregnancy if children are not wanted preventing the need for abortion, and thus also this information will be lost when they have to close. In addition, they test people for sexual diseases and thus people will no longer be tested and cured when necessary and thus these diseases can spread more easily and kill people. Then churches will be able to tell people to have no sex or accept God's will and be a rabbit. In fact, it will be (again) the poorest who will suffer most.
But these centre also help health professionals who find it difficult to abort a foetus. Indeed, I can very well understand some doctors and nurses find it very difficult to terminate the life of a foetus, certainly during later pregnancies when the foetus looks more like a child. If abortion centres exist, doctors can send the women to these centres where specialists can treat the women. And of course, if an abortion is wanted, one should not wait too long as the foetus will continue growing and the procedure becomes more complicated.