Abortion: The facts and numbers Part I

I totally love anime and manga. My love affair started with anime. My brother somehow had the connect and could get collections of anime from his friends and we used to binge watch them together. It was an incredible bonding time between me and him. One of the anime that my brother brought home was Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi. The opening arc has our protagonist trying to join this swank organization known simply as “Hunters”. Now, just like any other swank organization, the higher ups of this club do not just accept anybody, thus to join this organization there is test (isn’t there always a test). One of the tests was a riddle that went a little something like this: A bandit has both your mother and your lover; the bandit says he will kill one and not the other but you have to choose who to save. At this point our adventurer has found a group of misfits who are also taking the hunter exam and have become his friends, everybody needs a crew right. Also, in this group is a character that is trying to take advantage of our heroes so he can pass the exam on their effort; classic fall guy. This guy determined he had figured out the riddle and stepped forward to answer. “You save your mother; you can always get another lover but you cannot get another mother”. Sound reasoning, but incorrect. Without going too much into the premise of the scene the answer is silence; meaning there is no right answer all life is equal. Very fairytale if you ask me. So, our merry band of travelers get the answer correct and are allowed to progress. As they walk to the next phase of the test, the protagonist is uncharacteristically silent, which he breaks with a long-frustrated sigh. Amazed at this, his friends ask why exclamation. Our hero lamented that no matter how he thinks through riddle he does not know how to answer it. This obviously amused his companions who then reemphasized that there was no answer and they had passed the exam and thus no need to fret about it. Our protagonist is no idiot: simple-minded yes, but idiot no: he gets that part, his thinking was ifhe was ever in such a situation, then what will I do? The reasoning of the other fellow on the surface seems sound; but let’s say your lover was pregnant with you baby, will the answer be that simple? Or maybe your mother is 99 years old and on her last leg and your lover is 21, then what? This matter is clearly situational.

This brings me to a similar matter, minus the elite organization unfortunately:  abortion. Everyone has their opinion about it; no one can tell me what to do with my body; it is murder; etc. Personally, I really do not know how I feel about it. I get, it is not my body, but at the same time the life that is terminated never asked to be conceived and yet their life is taken away before they could even do anything. Should the father have a say; recently the number of immaculate conceptions has dwindled so it is safe to say that it takes two to make a baby so should the other half also have a say? With all that being said, I remember having a conversation with a female friend of mine and she said if she ever got pregnant, she would get an abortion…I responded by letting her know that if I got a girl pregnant I would support her decision to get an abortion. You would think that would show what my position is, but I will be the first to admit that my response was based purely on selfish reasons (I am not ready to be a father) rather than something more profound that would round this discussion up that there would be no need to discuss this matter further. That is the problem with public opinion right, it ignores the relative situation that the respective individual is in at the moment they make decision to abort. Take this instance for example: I went to a Jesuit high school. If you a familiar with the Jesuits they emphasize service, so in order to come back to the high school for my senior years I had to do what they called Service Projects, this was basically three weeks of forced service to the less fortunate of our society. My three weeks were served at a school for the physically and mentally handicapped. I say “forced service” in the sense that I had no choice, however, the whole experience made me so much richer as a person and I am glad for the experience (maybe I will go further into the details of my experience in another article). During my second week, there was a female student who seemed new as in I had never seen her before (yeah, after a week there I think I know every student right). She was not a new student, but rather just came back from being sick. Turns out that some…sicko… had raped this poor girl and she got pregnant with twins. Remember she is mentally handicapped, so she did not even understand what had happened (was happening) to her. As a result, her parents and the doctors determined that it would be best if she got an abortion. As you can see, facts and circumstances behind abortions will differ, in addition, we are not in the shoes of the person so really, how can we say what is best for them. The above is an example that I guess makes the abortion decision easier. What about teen pregnancy? Failed contraception? Or simply people giving in to their urges having a one-night stand which results in pregnancy. Not so clear is it. I can see arguments for both sides in those instances. Like I said, I really do not know where I stand on this matter. Thus, this article is aimed at looking to see if we can somehow clear the waters up a little. I say we in that I am not trying to push my agenda down people’s throats, rather I am trying to set up a discussion on this matter in attempt to see if a reasonable conclusion can be reached…if possible. In addition, matters discussed in this article will be based on research, I am not an expert on the matters discussed. So please feel free to write in the comments I will do an article basically reacting to comments raised (as reasonable as possible) that are feel are well presented and further analyze this matter forward. At the end of the day I want this article to spark a practical discussion on this matter to avoid politicians using abortion to pull on our emotional strings and thus blinding us to other more pressing matters that the government should be addressing. Let’s begin:

As we stand, we have determined that the decision to abort or not to abort is relative from individual to individual. As such, it is my two cents that the body that is best to make this decision is the government as it is democratically elected and thus is the best representative of the views of the nation as a whole. Note I said the “best representative” implying that there is no correct answer but this is the best we can do with the resources we have. According to  www.economicsdiscussion.net the role of a government can be divided into two parts: direct role and indirect role. In the direct role the government is a social-welfare organization. It works for the benefits of the common people without making any motive to maximize profit. The government also plays different indirect roles for the rapid economic development of the country.

According to www.usa.gov there are three branches of government, Legislative (makes the laws), Executive (executes the laws), and Judicial (evaluates the laws). So, our first point to address… “consider” is probably the better word to use…is the Legislative branch of government. What is the current law as it relates to abortion? According to www.family.findlaw.com/reproductive-rights/abortion-laws: The 1972 case of Roe v Wade is the most important decision affecting abortion in the United States. The case made it possible for women to terminate their pregnancies for virtually any reason within certain gestational time limits. Since the case, abortion has come under scrutiny by lawmakers and abortion opponents who have pushed for stricter abortion laws over the past several decades. In a 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court upheld a woman’s right to legal abortion, but allowed for states to impose certain restrictions on abortion. I will admit, I am actually pretty surprised with the above. I certainly thought that the whole abortion argument was a legal argument i.e. whether the law can support such an exercise; only to realize that on a federal-level, abortions are totally legal (within certain bounds) and the states are allowed to impose “certain restrictions” to the abortion law. I guess you can tell from my name that I was not born in the US. Thus, the whole federal vs state kinda confuses me. When I started working on this article, I had a map on how the article would progress. To be honest with you, a discussion between federal and state law was nowhere near the skeleton of this article, but I guess I have to learn to be fluid and go where the information leads me. Federal law is the supreme law in the US and overrides state law whenever there is a conflict. State law is the law of each separate U.S. state and is applicable in that specific state. The state law applies to residents and visitors of the state, and also to business entities, corporations, or any organizations based or operating in that state. When a state law is in direct conflict with federal law, the federal law prevails…That makes sense to me…According to the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, states were given the power to put restrictions on federal law. To me restrictions are more of an addition to the existing federal law that is applied by each state, and thus one would expect that if there are any restrictions that end up going against the spirit of the federal law then the federal law prevails i.e. those restrictions are not enforceable on a legal basis. Again, this still makes sense to me. I am failing to see what the whole hullabaloo about abortions are (ignoring any religious arguments that is, separation of church and state I believe is what it is called). Ok, so what are these restrictions that a state can impose? It will obviously vary from state to state but general examples include counseling for the women, waiting periods before an abortion, who is authorized to perform an abortion, parental involvement (for minors), and funding for the abortions. This is clearly not an exhaustive list but it is supposed to provide you with an appreciation of the power of individual states as it relates to the restrictions it can place. Aside from the last example, I feel like the restrictions all seem reasonable. As it relates to funding, let’s put a pin in that aspect and deal with it at a later time.

Let’s look into some specific state restrictions that have been imposed. In 2019 abortion has been a hot topic and as we draw close to the US 2020 Presidential Election, I feel like abortion is going to be an even bigger topic in the future (all the more reason to start this discussion now). My Facebook feed has been filled with opinions of folks from all walks of life. I guess this has been fueled by the new abortion laws that have been introduced by various states in their attempt to exercise their rights to restrict the abortion federal law. The following states have been deemed to impose more restrictive laws on abortion, thus, we are going to analyze these laws and determine if they are in contradiction of the federal law.

Kentucky: According to https://state-laws.laws.com/state-of-kentucky: Abortion is deemed illegal in the state of Kentucky after the fetus is determined as viable. After this ruling, abortion is only legal if the procedure is necessary to preserve the health or life of the carrying woman. Abortion is regarded as legal if a medical professional determines that the procedure is necessary; to affirm such a ruling, the medical professional must also secure the opinion of an additional professional. Abortion in Kentucky is permitted during first trimester; and after viability of fetus, only to preserve life or health of mother. According to www.pregworld.org: A viable pregnancy represents one which may lead to a living baby being born. Otherwise speaking, a pregnancy is considered viable if the doctor notices that the fetus is evolving normally, there are no indications of miscarriage, and there`s high chances for the doctor to consider the pregnancy will result will be a live infant. The “viable pregnancy” terminology is generally used when describing an “alive” pregnancy. A viable pregnancy before there`s really a heartbeat (before 6 weeks) might lead the doctor to the assumption that the pregnancy hormone hCG is rising in a normal manner. But a viable pregnancy could also mean that there`s a fetal heartbeat and that the baby is really alive.

Mississippi: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/mississippi-law/mississippi-abortion-laws.html states: An abortion is legal in Mississippi as long as the abortion is performed before 20 weeks of pregnancy. An abortion is illegal if willfully or knowingly by means of instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance one causes any pregnant woman to abort or miscarry, unless it’s performed by a licensed physician and done to save the mother’s life[1] or when the pregnancy was the result of a rape[2]. It is important to note that in March 2019, Mississippi’s governor signed a bill banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which occurs at about six weeks. Under this law, after detection of a fetal heartbeat, women would only be able to get an abortion to save their life. Doctors performing an abortion that isn’t in compliance with this law would face up to six months in jail. As at the time of writing this article, this law was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in May 2019 and remains subject to judicial review.

Ohio: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/ohio-law/ohio-abortion-laws.html states: An abortion is illegal if there was a failure to obtain informed consent; taking the life of a fetus born alive or failing to provide reasonable medical attention to same; or After viability, purposeful termination of a human pregnancy by any person, including the mother herself, with the intention other than to produce a live birth or remove a dead fetus. Informed consent is any consent that is given after a patient has been informed of their medical condition, treatment choices, risks associated with the treatment and prognosis. Under pending law proposed in April 2019: no abortions may be performed on fetuses with a detectable heartbeat, usually around 6 weeks after conception. There are no exceptions for unwanted pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. An abortion is legal if performed or induced by a physician who determines in good faith that the fetus is not viable or to prevent the death or serious bodily injury of the pregnant woman. Under pending law: Any abortion performed before a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Missouri: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/missouri-law/missouri-abortion-laws.html states: An abortion is illegal if it is performed after 21 weeks and 6 days from date of conception (except if the woman’s life or health is threatened); any procedure that fails to follow statutory regulations, as required for both patients and clinics; abortion for purpose of providing fetal organs/tissue for transplant or other purposes; use of public facilities, employees or funds for abortion, except where necessary to save mother’s life; taking the life of a fetus aborted alive; or performing an abortion without physician’s license and surgical privileges. There is silence on what constitutes a legal abortion as such I feel it is safe to assume that the opposite of the above will be a legal abortion.

Louisiana: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/louisiana-law/louisiana-abortion-laws.html states: A criminal abortion is defined as an abortion performed by a person who isn’t a physician licensed by Louisiana and results in the death of an unborn baby. An abortion can be classified as criminal whether it was done with or without the consent of the pregnant woman or her legal guardian. There is silence on what constitutes a legal abortion so the opposite of the above will result in a legal abortion. The law does call out the need for the woman’s informed consent or their guardian where applicable before an abortion can be performed. Louisiana’s governor signed a bill in May 2019 that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected (about six weeks into a pregnancy) and which provides no exception for those who become pregnant because of a rape or incest. Under the text of the bill, the law only takes effect upon resolution of a federal appeals court case addressing a similar Mississippi law.

The above is not the full law and I have just limited my discussion to the points that I felt were the crux of the legislation and for a full understanding I suggest reading the law in its entirety. At first glance, the restrictions seem reasonable. I have used “reasonable” quite a lot in this article, and if I was a betting man (I only play poker, never bet against the house, the house always wins) I would put my money on me using the word in several other instances in this article. What I mean by “reasonable” is the legal term of reasonable which can be best defined as in law under the principle of a reasonable person. A “reasonable person” is a legal expression used in both criminal and tort law. It refers to a theoretical person in the society who shows average judgment, skill or care in his or her conduct. … In judging conduct, reasonable person law considers perceptions, experience and knowledge. For example, a person cannot deny knowledge of commonly known facts such as ice being slippery or alcohol impairing driving ability.

Sigh, I guess in the words of Ray-J, where do we go from here. Since this article has taken a life of its own from when I started, the next logical step for me to take is to go back to the beginning. Back to the two cases that have resulted in where we are today.

1972 case of Roe v Wade: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/410/113.html provides the detail of the case. Below are the important factors from the case:

Jane Roe, a single woman who was residing in Dallas County, Texas, instituted this federal action in March 1970 against the District Attorney of the county. She sought a declaratory judgment that the Texas criminal abortion statutes were unconstitutional on their face, and an injunction restraining the defendant from enforcing the statutes.

Roe alleged that she was unmarried and pregnant; that she wished to terminate her pregnancy by an abortion “performed by a competent, licensed physician, under safe, clinical conditions”; that she was unable to get a “legal” abortion in Texas because her life did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy; and that she could not afford to travel to another jurisdiction in order to secure a legal abortion under safe conditions. She claimed that the Texas statutes were unconstitutionally vague and that they abridged her right of personal privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. By an amendment to her complaint Roe purported to sue “on behalf of herself and all other women” similarly situated.

The District Court held that the appellee failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that the Texas statute’s infringement upon Roe’s rights was necessary to support a compelling state interest, and that, although the appellee presented “several compelling justifications for state presence in the area of abortions,” the statutes outstripped these justifications and swept “far beyond any areas of compelling state interest.” Appellant and appellee both contest that holding. Appellant, as has been indicated, claims an absolute right that bars any state imposition of criminal penalties in the area. Appellee argues that the State’s determination to recognize and protect prenatal life from and after conception constitutes a compelling state interest.

A state criminal abortion statute of the current Texas type, that excepts from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician.

(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.

(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.

1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/505/833.html provides the detail of the case. Below are the important factors from the case:

At issue are five provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982: 3205, which requires that a woman seeking an abortion give her informed consent prior to the procedure, and specifies that she be provided with certain information at least 24 hours before the abortion is performed; 3206, which mandates the informed consent of one parent for a minor to obtain an abortion, but provides a judicial bypass procedure; 3209, which commands that, unless certain exceptions apply, a married woman seeking an abortion must sign a statement indicating that she has notified her husband; 3203, which defines a “medical emergency” that will excuse compliance with the foregoing requirements; and 3207(b), 3214(a), and 3214(f), which impose certain reporting requirements on facilities providing abortion services. Before any of the provisions took effect, the petitioners, five abortion clinics and a physician representing himself and a class of doctors who provide abortion services, brought this suit seeking a declaratory judgment that each of the provisions was unconstitutional on its face, as well as injunctive relief.

JUSTICE O’CONNOR, JUSTICE KENNEDY, and JUSTICE SOUTER delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and III, concluding that consideration of the fundamental constitutional question resolved by Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 , principles of institutional integrity, and the rule of stare decisis require that Roe’s essential holding be retained and reaffirmed as to each of its three parts: (1) a recognition of a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion before fetal viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the State, whose pre-viability interests are not strong enough to support an abortion prohibition or the imposition of substantial obstacles to the woman’s effective right to elect the procedure; (2) a confirmation of the State’s power to restrict abortions after viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies endangering a woman’s life or health; and (3) the principle that the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child. Pp. 844-869.

I will say that reading the case laws was very entertaining and I would suggest that you also read the full caselaw for a full picture into what went into the respective decisions. Hopefully I have captured the important aspects of the two cases. Based on my basic knowledge of commercial law 101 (which I will admit I completed many moons ago), I know a verdict in one case should be applicable to all future cases in which the principles are the same. Thus I have reached the conclusion that based on the current law in the land abortions are legal until a certain  point in the pregnancy with exceptions relating to abortions necessary in order to preserve the life of the expecting mother and that each state has the right to impose restrictions on the person’s access to abortions in as far as such restrictions do not impose on a person’s liberty as determined by Roe v Wade. In the case that the state does impose such restriction the people have a remedy in which they can challenge such restrictions and if they go against the judgement in Roe v Wade such restrictions will not be constitutional. So far everything seems plain and simple. So why all this animosity towards abortions? At this point I realized that my limitation in terms of never having been involved in an abortion are clouding my judgement. I need to expand my horizons and talk to people that are front and center in this discussion. I contacted several parties to discuss this matter further so I can have an appreciation of the situation on the ground. I contacted groups and individuals on each side of the argument.

The results of my surveys were interesting. Firstly, I was pleasantly surprised by the pro-life groups. They seemed more interested in discussing their views than the pro-choice side of things. I say this because I only got responses from the pro-life organizations. I guess, when I look at the facts and circumstances the pro-life movement has the uphill battle and I guess they are more willing to talk to anyone who will hear them out in a hope that something will happen. I can respect that, from both sides. The responses I received from the pro-life camp were interesting. Majority of the organizations I found seem to have some form of religious influence. I am an atheist and I not believe that religious views should be considered when determining the law of the land. We are all not religious in one form or another (i.e. I do not believe in all gods whereas a religious person does not believe in all gods except for one) yet we all pay taxes as such legislation should not be based on religious views, something that is protected by the constitution. To my surprise, the pro-lifers acknowledged the separation of church and state, and from their responses it is evident that even though their views are based on religion their argument is not. Instead their argument is on the sanctity of life and that this life starts at conception. They even quoted several biological books in as support for this assertion as well as providing me with a link to a secular pro-life organization.

I saw a cartoon strip once in which someone asks a group of people if they are against abortion and everyone raises their hand; in the next panel the same person asks the same group who is willing to adopt and no one raises their hand. I have seen similar musings which purport the same concept: pro-life organizations are only interested in the “saving” the unborn fetus but not care about the other aspects of pregnancy or raising a child. This is one of the aspects about abortion that make it such that the decision is not a simple to-abort or not-to-abort. To present this argument I clearly stated the areas that a new mother would need…individually! I was not going to give them a generic statement so they could give me a generic answer; in addition, I wanted to spell everything out to make communication as clear as possible. So, I asked: Do you provide help to expecting mothers in terms of healthcare during pregnancy, healthcare during labor, and life after the baby is born. The answer was an emphatic yes to each question. Lies I thought, but they provided a link to an organization they work with that provides such assistance. I reached out to this organization and they confirmed that they provide the following services to pregnant women at NO COST:

  • Pregnancy test
  • Ultrasound
  • Prenatal care
  • Parenting classes
  • Material aid (diapers, clothes, formula, etc.)
  • Housing
  • Adoption

All these things cost money so where do they get that money from? According to the organization’s spokesperson 90% of their funding comes from donors while 10 percent comes from states that allocate a portion of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds to help pregnancy centers offset material costs of diapers, wipes, and pregnancy tests (this is the case in eleven states); and states that sell specialty “Choose Life” license plates, with the proceeds going to pregnancy help organizations. No federal funds are provided directly to such organizations.

Not knowing how accurate the above information is, on face value it appears as though adequate help is provided to expecting mothers that are not in a financial position to see a pregnancy to term or raise a child.

So far the pro-life argument seems compelling. So, I was wondering whether there was a situation in which they will be able to say ok, in this case an abortion is justified. I went for the most morally grey aspect, a woman that gets pregnant from rape.  BOOM I thought, they have to concede to this one right? No; their response was something I did not expect, “Many women who carry their pregnancies to term after rape feel empowered by that decision in the sense that they feel better than the rapist because they refused to act violently against another innocent human being.” This is the last place I thought I would see the word “empowering”. I asked the woman that was sitting next to me what her thoughts were on this statement. She did not like it one bit…but she had a story: So, her friend was in a similar situation (unfortunately) and she and her husband decided to keep the baby. The child does not know they are the result of rape and thinks their mother’s husband is their biological father (no judgement from me on whether to tell the child or not). The organization also provided a link to a video interview of a woman who also kept the baby resulting from a rape (because it is on the internet it must be true…right?). Two things stood out to me from the interview:

  1. The police basically told her not to hold her breath on a conviction (really?!? We as a society need to improve our rape investigation techniques)
  2. The is nothing wrong with her baby’s life regardless of how that life was conceived.

The second statement really resonated with me.

Adoption is one of the major solutions offered to individuals who are not ready to be parents. I asked about the uncertainty related to adoption i.e. not all kids are adopted and adoptive parents (and foster parents) can be abusive. Their response was quite philosophical, not sure if that was their intent, but it got me. They said: There are no guarantees in life but abortions ends all possibilities for that child. Wow…I believe that as long probability is not 0 (definitely not succeeded in your plans in life) or 1 (definitely being adopted by an abusive family) then go for it with all your might (as long as it does not infringe on someone else’s rights). My life is a living testimony of overcoming odds.

At this point, my questions have been addressed with absolute finesse; color me impressed. I, however, had saved my coup de grace for last: A woman’s right to have an abortion is protected by the constitution. Do you have any plans on affecting an amendment to the constitution? I purposefully was vague in my question to see how they will react. They were on point, they pointed out Roe v. Wade and noted how the decision in that case was flawed and, as is, went against the spirit of the constitution and was a violation of human rights. This argument was stemming from their argument that a zygote is human and thus has the same rights as anyone as it relates to the Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Looking into these documents they use vague terms such as “personhood”, “human family”, or “everyone”. From a brief search I could not find how these terms were defined as it relates to the documents in question so it is hard for me to say whether a zygote falls into the above definitions. I did find cases where the UN decided that rights to an abortion are human rights, however, in the cases I found the developing fetus either threatened the life of the mother or the fetus was viable. Which discounts the verdicts as it relates to this matter.

To recap: I am trying to determine the government (and us the people) stance on abortion from a practical stand point and take out the emotion behind the decision. The first consideration to make is what does the constitution say about abortion. From the above, it is clear that the constitution defends the woman’s right to an abortion. As such, the government does not have a legal leg to stand on with regards to preventing abortions. The next question will thus be who will foot the bill.

Me? Well, as I started this process I did not know where I stand. In the end, from my own perspective I cannot agree with abortion. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive, and reproduce. In other words, your DNA is what makes you you. Upon fertilization (zygote) the genetic make-up of the person-to-be is set. There may be mutations or variations due to environmental exposures, but the zygote and the future person are genetically identically in all material respects. Thus, for me to discount a zygote is not appropriate. Adoption is the better option and there are organizations that will help the expecting mother with all her needs at no cost until birth, so really what is the excuse? There is so much potential in each life and in the words of Amit Ray: Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty. As such I cannot deny someone their right to life. If I do get a woman pregnant, I will try and save the baby. I only use “try” because as a man I have no rights in the matter. With regards to pregnancies that result from rape, I will defer to the woman in this instance, I do not think there is a right answer here. I do support abortions in situations where the child is not viable or the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. With that being said, I do not feel that strongly about the matter that I will be involved in the pro-life movement. To put this in perspective, I will support the pro-choice movement before I support the pro-life movement because the right to an abortion is protected by the constitution.

 I do appreciate that only pro-life folks responded to me but I doubt the pro-choice folks would have an argument that could convince me that a zygote is not a “person”. Ultimately, they do not need to convince because the law is on their side

Naturally the next step is to ask: who will pay for all of this? Planned parenthood is much broader than just abortion. From the discussions I have seen on planned parenthood thus far, abortion seems to be the main focus. Now that we have determined that abortion is legal I plan to discuss who should pay for all this and in so doing I will be looking at all aspects of planned parenthood.

[1] For this exception to apply, prior written advice of two licensed physicians is necessary.

[2] For this exception to apply, a formal rape charge must have been filed with the police.

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