Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The "Protect" Life Act

They call it protecting life. Protecting "babies". Which I'm sure they would have a splendid time doing when it is dead inside of its hemorrhaging mother.

The "Protect Life Act" has been passed by the House of Representatives. For this to become a law, it has to be passed by the Senate. If this does become passed by the Senate, the President can veto it (which he plans to do, thank God).

This has been called the "Let Women Die Act" and rightfully so. Under this act, a hospital (federally funded or otherwise) does not have to provide an abortion to a woman or even have to refer her to someone who will provide her one. No exceptions. If a woman is about to die (which would result in the death of the fetus, obviously), it still doesn't matter. The only person who would save her life would be God.

"But," the pro-lifers cry, "it and rape/incest and the mother's life being at stake only make up one percent of abortion! You're taking this out of proportion." Yeah, this is another reason I hate statistics. It's only one percent unless she's you or related to you. Then it matters (seriously, every person matters in a tragedy. That, however, is a blog post for another day). The fact that they're are making no exceptions and think that no exceptions should be made is scary. I'll get back to this later, however. I'll make the pro-choice argument first and that will follow.

Before I begin, I would like to lay out fetal development. First comes conception/ fertilization, obviously; I assume I don't have to lay that one out. At this point the baby is a zygote. It will remain so for four days until it becomes a blastocyst. After it turns into an embryo* which arises from either the first mitotic tear (when fertilization of oocyte or female germ cell in reproduction) or any other process that initiates the development that becomes organized. Then, of course, it becomes a fetus during the ninth period from fertilization when the organs begin to grow at a rapid pace until it reaches nine months. At nine months, of course, it becomes a baby (or earlier. After the second trimester, it is possible for the fetus to survive outside of the womb).

As a zygote and blastocyst, it is literally a mass of cells. Most miscarriages happen around this time period and, because it is only visible by microscope, go unobserved. At four weeks, the face and neck of the embryo are just beginning to become evident while the heart and blood vessels begin to develop and vital organs are beginning to form. It still has its tail. Type "pig (or reptile) embryo four weeks" and follow it with "human embryo four weeks" (make sure it's actually at four weeks. Google will just pick up on the word "embryo" and might even show ultrasounds of fetuses) and it will be difficult to see a noticeable difference. At this point, a pregnancy test would turn positive. At eight weeks, the embryo is a half an inch in size. It has some human features such as limbs, ears, eyelids and some nose but is still pretty undeveloped. At the end of the first trimester (twelve weeks), the fetus will be two inches, be able to move and have a heartbeat. This will be obviously human and so is usually featured on gross abortion pictures sent by pro-lifers (those are usually second-trimester fetuses though).  It is important to note that 90% of occur prior to this and a woman is unable to get an abortion without the permission of a physician.
It kind of disturbs me that we are electing politicians who are scientifically illiterate. Yes, it is a human. Yes, it is alive. It can barely be considered a person think/ be aware of its surroundings and circumstance, survive away from its human host (a.k.a. its mother) or even breathe.

I'm a fourteen year old girl. I should not be more literate on the topic on both sides than the average politician and I should have much less sense. But no. Somehow it seems that I am the only one who has looked at both sides to formulate my opinion and I did this all at the mercy of my computer without any real research (perhaps it is my being open-minded and unbiased on the issue. I actually was pro-life at one point). Wow. These people are making decisions with less knowledge than me (besides what their pastor or priest told him) that affect real women and real families.

An embryo/fetus, by technical definition, is a parasite. It feeds off of the resources of its host, cannot survive without the host and can impact her health and body in a negative way. Obviously, a pregnancy can cause great joy for those expecting and for those people it's a gift. However, this is not the case for all by any means. For many, an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy can bring about a slew of unwanted emotions and consequences. If she does not want to deal with the emotional repercussions that carrying the baby to full term, then by no means should she have to deal with it. If she wants an abortion, then it should be up to her and not the government to get one.

These types of acts have real and profound consequences. Even if the woman's life is not directly at risk, her life could still be put at risk. Let's say she's a married mother (contrary to popular belief, most women who get abortions already have a child and only one-fifth of women who get abortions are teenagers) from the rural South who just got laid off from her blue-collar job. The nearest hospital is miles away. Now, imagine she is told, "Sorry, the doctors here are pro-life." There are no other local hospitals. She has two kids and a husband to feed; she cannot pay for prenatal care or for the raising of an additional child. The chances of her resorting to an abortion by her own hands or by the hands of some back-alley abortionist are high. A procedure that is virtually risk-free at a hospital is now very dangerous indeed.

That's bad enough. But then... Then there's that clause. The clause that gives the Protect Life Act its name. The woman could be dying but it wouldn't matter. If the hospital does not want to perform an emergency abortion then they don't have to.

They don't matter though. They're one percent. Only one percent. One percent means it probably isn't going to happen to you or even happen often enough so it doesn't matter. Of course, never mind the rape/incest (it does include them) and the dying women. No. A fetus still takes precedent over them.

Like I said, one percent matters. Every death is a tragedy, especially if it's preventable. This law is still putting women at risks no matter how it's looked at. It's saying that fetuses are more important than the women that carry them. That women are just baby-carriers in God's eyes (pro-lifers can be atheists and secularists but not usually). It's relevant to point out that approximately two-thirds of all abortion protesters are men. One hundred percent of those men will never have to make that decision.

People are saying you have the right to practice your religion. To not have to violate what you believe in. I really, really don't care about other people's religion. If someone wants to practice a religion, whatever. The minute they force that on someone else or it infringes on other people's rights (especially their lives) then I have absolutely no tolerance for that. It is also relevant to point out that the Bible says nothing on abortion, with a few Old Testament passages that could be interpreted as pro-choice so you can't even say that (there is one where a man's shove induces a miscarriage and he has to pay a fine. There are so many things wrong with that but hey, he didn't have to die like he would if he had killed another man).

These people are willing to let women die just to uphold their disgusting, warped, sexist beliefs. They aren't pro-life; they're just sick and misogynistic.

This act still has a long way to go in becoming a law but the fact that it came that much closer... That's frightening.  It also shows how Roe vs. Wade is still constantly under attack, even more than five decades later. The modern feminist movement may be flawed but the issues it presents... They're still here.

The issue is far from over and we will have to keep fighting until it is. The lives of women and of those who care about them depend on it.

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