Gov. John Kasich of Ohio recently vetoed a bill against abortion, and yes there is at least one mother who is glad he did.
There is always a new piece of legislation rolling through on the forever-hot topic of abortion. Recently, Governor John Kasich of Ohio had the good sense to veto the “Heartbeat Bill” passed by his state’s legislature. This bill would have prohibited abortions from being performed after a heartbeat could be detected, or around the six-week gestation mark.
Pro-lifers are waving their fists in rage. How could someone not want to support the life of a baby? But let’s back up for just one hot second. I have four lovely little girls, and I think it’s safe to say I am totally pro-baby. Had my husband not put the stops on the baby making machine that is this gal, I think I would have about a dozen little kids running around right about now. That’s just me. Not everyone is as lucky as I am. I fell in love, married my college sweetheart, and got pregnant – a lot. After a devastating miscarriage ten years ago, we heard and saw the heartbeat at five weeks and one one day.
I wanted to be pregnant, desperately. That flickering speck on the ultrasound screen was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Billions of women throughout time have shared my maternal feelings of joy and love, but billions have not. In 2011 nearly have of all pregnancies in the U.S. were unplanned. That’s roughly 2.8 million unintended pregnancies for those who love themselves some numbers. Sure, many of these pregnancies were welcomed “woopsies” between two people who recovered from the shock of a positive pregnancy test. Those men and women committed themselves to raising their surprise human in the healthiest and most moral way possible. But how many unplanned pregnancies did not fall within that category?
How many of those women were young, as in young-enough-to-be-your-children young? How many of those babies were fathered by a creepy uncle, cousin, neighbor, or (heaven forbid) father? Which pregnancies resulted from a three day drinking and drug bender? Which ones were an impulsive moment of an otherwise straight-laced student?
Who knows? The sad and short answer is: Too many.
The truth is, not all pregnancies are wanted and welcomed. I am sorry if that gets your goat and makes you sick. Ordering women who want nothing more than to not be pregnant to stay pregnant and become a mother for the next eighteen years is asinine. It will solve nothing. Thank goodness Kasich realized this and vetoed the bill. Banned after the first heartbeat? Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant by the time the heartbeat flickers. And if you don’t know that you’re pregnant, there isn’t even a choice to make! By the time you realize that life is growing inside you, the decision has been made for you.
No thank you gentlemen.
Things get sticky as we move down the gestational timeline, because there’s conflicting evidence about when and if a viable fetus in its third trimester can feel pain sensations. Regardless of my personal feelings on post 20-week abortion, I can at least see why there are two sides to the issue. This is not the case with the Heartbeat Bill, which really outlaws nearly the majority of all abortions.
Of course there are other options. Give all babies a chance! Choose adoption! Do you know who that battle cry comes from? People who have never walked in unwanted pregnancy’s shoes. It is so easy to tell a terrified 16-year-old who’s been knocked up that she should carry this pregnancy to term, birth a child and hand it over to a stranger. Can you even imagine the damage that has been done to this young mother? We hear so much about human rights for the embryo… what about this young girl’s basic rights?
At six weeks gestation you can’t predict the brain function or other organ functions of the prospective baby. Can you imagine if you were unable to terminate a pregnancy that had serious health issues? What your baby-to-be were missing part of his or her brain? What if doctors told you that your child would never leave the hospital? Would never live a life free from constant pain? Would never breathe without a vent? What if you had no choice?
Listen, I am a mother and I would crawl across hot coals any day of the week for my girls. I would also never have condemned them to lie in a hospital bed with half a brain because I was denied the right to make an educated, medically supported choice.
The topic of abortion is not a black or white issue because humans, and life in general, will always fall in the gray area. Banning abortions at first heartbeat will not created loving mothers, healthy babies, or nuclear families. Essentially banning the right to abortion carried the potential of increased fear and irrationality among a populace that never intended nor desired to be in this situation in the first place.
So please law-making gentlemen, kindly leave my uterus alone.