Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Latest Attempt to Mandate Bad Information

The House of Representatives this week is scheduled to vote on a bill titled the "Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006." Republicans are hurrying to have this bill considered before the new Congress takes over.

The bill requires that every woman in America who is having an abortion after 20 weeks receive a pamphlet that says that abortion causes pain to the fetus and that they have been offered fetal anesthesia.

The problem? Well according to a review article by the American Medical Association, "Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester," and there is "little or no evidence" of the effectiveness of fetal anesthesia and "limited or no data" on the safety of administering it.

In other words, anti-choice legislators are attempting to pass a bill that is not consistent with what science is telling us in order to discourage women from having abortions. They are also trying to legislate medical practice based on false information.

That's not just bad medicine -- it's bad ethics. Women have the right to complete and unbiased information when they are making decisions about the future of pregnancies. Mu understanding is that most abortions after 20 weeks are because of fetal abnormality and the mother's health. Adding to the mother's pain at this time is wrong. Tell your Congressperson to vote no.


Sparki said...

So if you want women to get complete & unbiased information (which, btw, Planned Parenthood RARELY provides), does that mean you're okay with women watching the ultrasound of the fetus in their wombs that they think they might want to terminate?

Even though THAT tends to discourage abortion?

Or are you really just saying you want women to be encouraged to have abortions, even if that means withholding the true, active, current images of their living fetuses?

Rev. Debra W. Haffner said...

Sparki, I kind of expected you might leave a comment.

Where did you get the idea I want to encourage women to have abortions? I think that's such a distortion of a position that affirms women's moral agency and thinks abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible...as well as rare.

On the issue of sonograms, I think that's up to the woman and her physician. If a woman wants to see the fetus, I think that should be an option. I don't think though that should be legislated.

Sparki, I have two children who are the center of my life. In the pro-choice religious world, we like to see we are pro-family, pro-child, and pro-life. It is a distortion to believe that pro-choice people want people to have abortions; my commitment is to making sure that women don't face unplanned pregnancies in the first place.

Cassandra said...

It's semantics. Pro-choice people want abortion to be available to those want one. That is just deceptive way of saying pro-abortion in my books.

It's the same with the anti-choice label. I would argue that you have a distorted view of my position. Am I "anti-choice" because I think it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being? Naturally, I'm sure you don't see things this way. Both sides use semantics to their advantage.

Sparki said...

Rev. Haffner:

...[M]y commitment is to making sure that women don't face unplanned pregnancies in the first place.

As is mine. But we take very different tactics. You encourage premarital and extramarital sex among "consenting" parties, but those are almost always the situations in which a pregnancy would NOT be wanted. And sex, like it or not, makes babies.

Furthermore, how can you possibly call yourself pro-life and pro-child when you're perfectly okay with people exterminating their living unborn children? Your sonograms of your own kids surely showed you that they were alive in your womb...and abortion ends that life. It's a medical and scientific fact. The human fetus, which meets the scientific definition of life (consumption of oxygen and cell division), no longer lives after abortion. In other words, that human fetus was killed.

I find you to be a bundle of contradictions. And every time I call you on it, you stop responding to the thread and move on. I know it's tough for a person to admit when they haven't thought things through very well, but I think it would be helpful for you to re-evaluate your opinions on many of these issues. If you don't want to promote abortion, why encourage sex between the people who are most likely to find pregnancy an unwanted burden? If you want to be pro-life, why give your approval to a procedure that destroys life?

Rev. Debra W. Haffner said...

Sparki, to imply that after 30 plus years my opinions aren't well thought out is insulting at best. Again, I hope that you have checked out our "Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Abortion As a Moral Decision."

The fact is that you and Cassandra and I disagree about when human life begins and the moral agency of women to make this decision. The fact is that many married women have abortions; in fact 60% of the women having abortions are already mothers. See the Guttmacher Institute web site for more information on this....

But what continues to puzzle me is why the two of you are such loyal readers and responders of my blog? I don't spend my time reading blogs of people who I vehemently disagree with...seriously, why do you read me?

And the reason I end threads, as I will this one, is that I don't believe that people continue to read the comments...and frankly posting a blog every day already takes requires precious time, no less responding to comments days after they are posted.

I believe and respect your sincerity, and know that people of good faith differ on these very important issues. I have participated over the years in fruitful common ground efforts. But, I doubt that a blog is an effective common ground strategy.

Sparki said...

I read your blog because I have a great deal of curiosity about you. I can't figure out how you can simultaneously hold such conflicting opinions, so I keep reading to learn more about how your mind works.

As for "insulting" you by suggesting your opinions aren't well thought out, I apologize. But I myself am constantly re-evaluating what I think, and I've changed my mind about some issues once the facts were laid bare before me. IMHO, that's a good experience. I never take insult when somebody provides me with information that proves my previous theory was wrong.

I see that you choose to reject the scientific definition of life when it applies to humans in the womb. This is your choice, of course, but how do you justify it?