Wednesday, August 12

Compassion and the complete, utter lack thereof.

UPDATE: I didn't realize when I posted this that Warren Hern would be on Rachel Maddow tonight. Check MSNBC/Maddow website for the video.

Interview in Esquire with "the last abortion doctor," Warren Hern:

I've done some cases over thirty-six weeks, but very few.

For what cause?

For some catastrophic problems.

Like what?

Oh, anencephaly or lack of kidneys, you know. Lack of a brain.

I want everyone reading this to know that I, Blue Gal, had a sister with anencephaly. Wiki says that "A baby born with anencephaly is usually blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain. Although some individuals with anencephaly may be born with a main brain stem, the lack of a functioning cerebrum permanently rules out the possibility of ever gaining consciousness."

If my mother had been able, in the 1960's, to end her pregnancy, it might have prevented the mental breakdown which she suffered as a result, and given her ten years of her life and a good chunk of my childhood back. Some, and granted, only some, anti-abortion forces care not at all about quality of life issues for those already here.

From Esquire:

The antiabortionists say that in those cases, the woman should just give birth naturally and let God take the baby.

The [doctor's] sharp tone comes back. Having a delivery is not a benign procedure. When you are trying to keep the baby alive, that increases the risk for the woman. And Reagan put in a bunch of rules about requiring to keep babies alive no matter how hopeless it is. You have people going to Europe to get away from that.

You mean the hospital requires them to save the baby?

The hospital requires full resuscitation measures, no matter what.

Esquire interviews a couple who wanted their baby but found it had such severe abnormalities it could not survive, and that giving birth would have injured the mother, probably preventing her from having more children:

Was it painful?

Yeah, it was painful physically and mentally.

You don't want to push it. So you ask if there's anything else they want to say. The husband answers.

It's important that people have a choice. At the end of the day, when things go bad, you know? I mean, God forbid something happens to Dr. Hern, where are we going to go next? Australia? China? It's important that people know that choice is very important when it comes to things like this.

Believe me, I completely understand the compassionate and natural human nature to want to protect the unborn. But anyone who thinks another human being should by some divine will, go through the birthing process of an anecephaly fetus, is either completely stupid or a hateful, vicious, uncompassionate freak.

And Sarah Palin for all her "experience" has no idea about parenting a special needs child. It has only begun for her. Little Trig may be mentally retarded, may have other emotional issues, may wind up inflicting pain on himself or others. For her to add the LIE of "special needs baby death panels" to the health care "debate" is atrocious.

By the way, corporate media: I vote we stop the 24-hour-news cycle and all go back to one hour per network of nightly news. You only get to talk about what is sane and real and factual. That will end "debates" about torture being evil and "whether" healthcare for everyone is a "good idea" and anything else that is really truly not debatable. You won't need to fill time with "the other side" of the whole "sky is blue" question.


  1. Ian Short12:15 PM

    Dearheart, You might have added that the classic method of determining that a child is what your sister was, is to put a flashlight under their chin. If the light shines right through the top of the infants head, that indicates NO Brain. Hence...


  2. Excellent post from a very personal perspective. No one should judge or force parents in a sad situation like that to go through with a birth that is futile. Until these right-wingers have walked a mile in these parents' shoes they should keep their mouths shut. And Sarah Palin is the worst of them all.

    I too had a sister that died - she was born with a hole in her heart that was too big to repair for the primitive methods back then in the early 50s. So I know what pain it must have caused my parents to lose her as your parents must have felt about your sister.

    I only wish they would indeed get rid of the 24 hour news cycle; I think it has been the biggest contributor to the innuendo and rumors and outright lies that are being circulated in the last several years.

  3. That article... if I thought I could get through medical school, I would be tempted to specialize in late term abortions, just because that option needs to be there.

  4. This is such a personal & difficult/painful decision for parents to make. It really should not be decided by default, by people who will never have to live with the consequences of the choice.

    Excellent post.

  5. So many parents use their children as props or as extensions of themselves somehow. And that really needs to go.

    As for the news cycle, they're already in business and they're going to try any way they can to stay afloat even if it means that they'll allow self-appointed pundits to spin everything out beyond all comprehension.

  6. Anonymous10:27 AM

    The most powerful stories are always personal. And though I can't imagine what your experience was like, I'm fairly sure that it wasn't an easy decision to share it here. So, thank you for that.

  7. you and yours for posting this.

  8. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Thank you for your thoughtful post on anencephaly. For so many people, the abortion issue is black or white, and for those of us who have made the painful choice to terminate a wanted pregnancy due to severe defects, it's getting more difficult.

    In February, we were told our first child had anencephaly. Honestly words cannot describe how devastated we were. We're lucky that we had the choice to terminate the pregnancy, but the process added "insult to injury".

    My husband was not allowed to be with me; I was forced to undergo contraceptive counselling; and then forced to see another unltrasound of our child where I got to point out to the nurse that our child was missing the majority of it's skull. Afterwards, they sent me home with a bag of condoms. I have never felt so scared, ashamed, alone and angry, and my grieving husband felt so helpless....

    Where is the compasssion?

  9. Excellent post, Blue Gal. I've met women who have had late-term abortions. They wanted to have a child -- and wanted to be able to try again.


  10. Anonymous4:45 AM

    Thank you for being the first voice of sanity I've been able to find on the internet regarding this horrific subject.


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