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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:05 am 
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Vantine wrote:
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91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation. 78% were at under 10 weeks...


So, we are talking about a small number of cases. I would not presume to tell the women getting the 9% of abortions after 13 weeks that I know what's best for them.


This x a million!

The only thing reducing the limit will do is increase the number of backstreet (home, illegal) abortions and endanger women's lives.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:56 am 
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interrobang?! wrote:
Well... bully for them! That's nice you have a relative well known in the field of obstetrics. It's also utterly forking meaningless.


My point was merely in response to the comment that 'glad my chums aren't in charge...' that here's an example of a person who does have some influence over the UK abortion debate (previously medical director of 2nd largest abortion provider, has given evidence to parliamentary select committee, has written in the press about the issue & has carried out plenty of abortions etc), whose viewpoint is based on medical experience & not on political or religious dogma, who is in favour of small reduction in the time limit.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
You're not pro-choice if you think someone shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion. It sounds like you need to reconsider either your stance or the label you choose for it.


Who are you to tell me what I can & cannot call myself?

See this is the problem; dare to express a point of view that doesn't chime with the moral absolutists at either end of the spectrum in the abortion debate & immediately you're shouted down as either a misogynist or a baby killer.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Why would you consider yourself pro-choice if you want to put restrictions on when someone can make that choice?

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:01 pm 
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I didn't see anyone shouting you down. Perhaps you could explain who is supposed to benefit from this reduction? Needless to say, the plural of personal experience isn't data.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:53 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:
Jigglypuff wrote:
You're not pro-choice if you think someone shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion. It sounds like you need to reconsider either your stance or the label you choose for it.


Who are you to tell me what I can & cannot call myself?

See this is the problem; dare to express a point of view that doesn't chime with the moral absolutists at either end of the spectrum in the abortion debate & immediately you're shouted down as either a misogynist or a baby killer.

Tone policing is not really debating. No one is shouting you down - they are disagreeing with you. What do you think should be done for the women who seek an abortion after 20 weeks given that it's rare? Would you suggest that a woman who is carrying a fetus which has genetic abnormalities which result is death during or immediately after birth continue her pregnancy for 20+ weeks? Some of these fetuses are missing major organs or have other catastrophic issues.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:45 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:
Jigglypuff wrote:
You're not pro-choice if you think someone shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion. It sounds like you need to reconsider either your stance or the label you choose for it.


Who are you to tell me what I can & cannot call myself?

A person who believes that words actually mean things? You can call yourself whatever you want, I guess, but it doesn't mean you're not wrong. Should somebody who believes that abortion should be completely illegal be allowed to call himself pro-choice just because he wants to? OMG, who are you to tell him what he can and cannot call himself?!

JimXVX wrote:
See this is the problem; dare to express a point of view that doesn't chime with the moral absolutists at either end of the spectrum in the abortion debate & immediately you're shouted down as either a misogynist or a baby killer.

You need a thicker skin if you think you're being shouted down when someone disagrees with you.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:23 pm 
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We have no legal limit in Canada, only .4% of abortions take place after 20 weeks, and I've never found a case that wasn't for severe medical necessity. Canada's not perfect, since access to abortion is terrible, but no one is going around getting an abortion the week before they are due just cause. Its not something doctors or women do and its pretty shocking people think so little of both groups that they'd get a late term abortion on a whim.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:03 pm 
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The shouting down thing was not a specific reference to this thread (although you have to admit that anyone expressing a view contrary to the majority on this forum tends to get fairly terse treatment), more a comment about the general nature of the abortion debate.

Vantine wrote:
What do you think should be done for the women who seek an abortion after 20 weeks given that it's rare? Would you suggest that a woman who is carrying a fetus which has genetic abnormalities which result is death during or immediately after birth continue her pregnancy for 20+ weeks? Some of these fetuses are missing major organs or have other catastrophic issues.


Of course in this situation the woman should be entitled to take whatever action she deems best - the legal limit has zero bearing on cases like this.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:09 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:
The shouting down thing was not a specific reference to this thread (although you have to admit that anyone expressing a view contrary to the majority on this forum tends to get fairly terse treatment), more a comment about the general nature of the abortion debate.

Vantine wrote:
What do you think should be done for the women who seek an abortion after 20 weeks given that it's rare? Would you suggest that a woman who is carrying a fetus which has genetic abnormalities which result is death during or immediately after birth continue her pregnancy for 20+ weeks? Some of these fetuses are missing major organs or have other catastrophic issues.


Of course in this situation the woman should be entitled to take whatever action she deems best - the legal limit has zero bearing on cases like this.

Right, but as has been amply pointed out to you, so-called late term (past 20 weeks) abortions happen incredibly infrequently and are almost always wanted pregnancies that are either dangerous to the woman or catastrophically abnormally formed fetuses.

So if the abortions that are happening are ones that would legally happen anyway, what is the purpose of a limit other than to test the waters on further limits?

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
What do you think should be done for the women who seek an abortion after 20 weeks given that it's rare? Would you suggest that a woman who is carrying a fetus which has genetic abnormalities which result is death during or immediately after birth continue her pregnancy for 20+ weeks? Some of these fetuses are missing major organs or have other catastrophic issues.


JimXVX wrote:
Of course in this situation the woman should be entitled to take whatever action she deems best - the legal limit has zero bearing on cases like this.


But it does. The legal limit is where it is because of cases like this. If the legal limit was 20 weeks and a woman found out that she was carrying a foetus with genetic abnormalities at say, 20 and a half weeks, she takes a few days to think about what to do and then what? It'd be an illegal backstreet abortion or continue carrying / birthing (is that the right word?) the child when it becomes "viable". What about a woman who doesn't discover she's pregnant until after 20 weeks but absolutely doesn't want the baby? Do you think she should have to carry it until it becomes viable outside the womb? What about, say, a rape case where it takes someone over 20 weeks to process what's happened & seek out an abortion?

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:37 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
So if the abortions that are happening are ones that would legally happen anyway, what is the purpose of a limit other than to test the waters on further limits?

Call me cynical, but you have to wonder whether they're deliberately mentioning 12 weeks to make 20 sound more reasonable. "See, even 99% of pro-choice people buy it"! It has also been pointed out that Hunt has a background in PR (see this article in the Independent).


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:35 pm 
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Chipmunk wrote:
j-dub wrote:
So if the abortions that are happening are ones that would legally happen anyway, what is the purpose of a limit other than to test the waters on further limits?

Call me cynical, but you have to wonder whether they're deliberately mentioning 12 weeks to make 20 sound more reasonable. "See, even 99% of pro-choice people buy it"! It has also been pointed out that Hunt has a background in PR (see this article in the Independent).

I don't know about the UK but in the USA, abortion foes have found it much easier to pass "reasonable" limits on abortion than to outright ban it.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Chipmunk wrote:
j-dub wrote:
So if the abortions that are happening are ones that would legally happen anyway, what is the purpose of a limit other than to test the waters on further limits?

Call me cynical, but you have to wonder whether they're deliberately mentioning 12 weeks to make 20 sound more reasonable. "See, even 99% of pro-choice people buy it"! It has also been pointed out that Hunt has a background in PR (see this article in the Independent).

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, because the 12 week thing is so god-damned preposterous.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:29 am 
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jojo wrote:
JimXVX wrote:
Of course in this situation the woman should be entitled to take whatever action she deems best - the legal limit has zero bearing on cases like this.


But it does. The legal limit is where it is because of cases like this. If the legal limit was 20 weeks and a woman found out that she was carrying a foetus with genetic abnormalities at say, 20 and a half weeks, she takes a few days to think about what to do and then what? It'd be an illegal backstreet abortion or continue carrying / birthing (is that the right word?) the child when it becomes "viable". What about a woman who doesn't discover she's pregnant until after 20 weeks but absolutely doesn't want the baby? Do you think she should have to carry it until it becomes viable outside the womb? What about, say, a rape case where it takes someone over 20 weeks to process what's happened & seek out an abortion?


No I'm sorry but that's wrong.

Under the original provisions of the 1967 Abortion Act the time limit was indeed absolute (& was 28 weeks at that stage), regardless of circumstance. Under revisions made to the law in the 1990 Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act the usual time limit does not apply to cases where continuing with a pregnancy would pose a mental or physical risk to the mother's health and/or there's a risk of some form of serious foetal abnormality.

In other words in all the examples you've cited an abortion would be entirely legal in the UK & the time limit does indeed have zero bearing.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:58 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
We have no legal limit in Canada, only .4% of abortions take place after 20 weeks, and I've never found a case that wasn't for severe medical necessity. Canada's not perfect, since access to abortion is terrible, but no one is going around getting an abortion the week before they are due just cause.


j-dub wrote:
Right, but as has been amply pointed out to you, so-called late term (past 20 weeks) abortions happen incredibly infrequently and are almost always wanted pregnancies that are either dangerous to the woman or catastrophically abnormally formed fetuses.

So if the abortions that are happening are ones that would legally happen anyway, what is the purpose of a limit other than to test the waters on further limits?



Shy Mox illustrates why legal limits are not purposeful in the first place - we already have tons of data on who is getting later abortions and we already know it happens in fairly extreme circumstances that the government (more or less representing the people) already deems acceptable (whether they should be in charge of that assessment or not nowithstanding). Imposing legal limits doesn't change that.

So it seems like it boils down to this:
1) Imposing time limits in the first place makes the public more accepting of further time limits because we're just moving the mark slightly - it is on its face a simple encroachment against women's right to reproductive choice for the purpose of making further encroachments more palatable.
2) Imposing time limits causes further heartache to women and their families who are seeking later abortions because it may involve going through legal hurdles (proving one meets the criteria of exceptions) and it necessarily involves greater expense and difficulty finding a provider (and for most women in the US, it means having to travel out of state). Both of these things move the abortion even later than it would have been, creating increased medical danger, psychological stress, and financial barriers.

So the question is: How does it benefit women and their families and further the cause of reproductive freedom for time limits to be imposed? If it doesn't do either of those things (and in fact there is sufficient evidence of going in the opposite direction on both), then anyone who calls themselves pro-choice should be loudly protesting.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:53 am 
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i actually understand the kneejerk reaction people have to abortions without a legal time limit. it seems horrifying that a woman could just go in at any stage of her pregnancy and have a legal abortion. as a currently late third trimester pregnant woman, the idea is just devastating. so the first reaction is to say, "we better set some limits on that, because having an abortion at 35 weeks is just monstrous." right?

except people don't actually DO that. a woman DOESN'T go through almost an entire pregnancy and then decide at the end to just terminate "because". like everyone has been pointing out, the numbers are there, and very very clear. it's not happening.

the idea that there's this risk of "frivolous" late term abortions is just false. it doesn't exist.

furthermore, if you call yourself pro-coice at all, you must be in favor of women being able to terminate at some stage, right? if it's not okay for a woman to terminate in the third trimester for a reason you deem "not good enough," does that mean that all women, regardless of their stage of pregnancy, should have a "good reason" to terminate? if you terminate at 12 weeks because you just don't want a baby, how is that significantly different from deciding later on that you just don't want a baby? placing legal time limits on terminations suggests that there are "right" and "wrong" reasons for choosing to get an abortion, and only opens the doors for other people to start deciding what those "good enough" reasons are.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:34 pm 
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A little background, I have slowly gone from more pro-life to pro-choice over the last 25 years or so. I think one of the big problems with the pro-choice / pro-life debate is that people on each side are so black-and-white about this issue when it is just not a black-and-white thing. Convincing other people that your side is right takes more than just "it's about women" versus "it's about unborn babies." I think it's ridiculous to be telling people if they are pro-choice then they must do/believe X,Y,Z. I don't think we need a third label for people that fall somewhere in the middle - they should be able to identify to whatever side they feel more closely represents what they believe.

I don't know exactly how I feel about limits and I can see how there can be some issues with that. However, arguments about "it's so rare" don't hold for me. So is infanticide, but it happens. To me there is a difference between infanticide and terminating a pregnancy at, say, 39 weeks - but it is not as different as terminating at 12 weeks to me. At some point, I think the rights of the fetus do come into question. Maybe that is exactly at birth when it is no longer a fetus and an actual baby and no longer inside the mother's body, but I am not 100% sure on that. Looking back onto my own pregnancy and birth, it made me stronger in the pro-choice category. Being pregnant was something I really wanted, but I was having trouble wrapping my head around how horrible it would be to be pregnant when you didn't want to be and not have a choice. At the same time, I don't think I should have been allowed to terminate a healthy fetus at 39 weeks. I wouldn't have been able to anyway, I gave birth before 37 weeks. I kind of get the slippery slope argument, but I just don't think it is enough.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:21 pm 
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I think since it's a moral issue that different people have wildly different points of view about, the law should make room for individual religious beliefs to be acted upon. My religion not only allows, but demands, abortion in certain cases, up until the time of actual birth (and arguably, many people believe in infanticide in the sense that they believe it's ethical to withhold treatment from severely disabled newborns - this is also generally legal). So while lots of people make arguments for time limits based on their own morally fuzzy distinctions between a 12-week fetus and a 35-week-fetus or whatever, those time limits would be direct limitations on my religious freedom for the sake of privileging their religious/moral point of view. I find that unacceptable. Until the baby is actually born, I think we have a hard time making a philosophical case for privileging its "rights" over that of the woman carrying it.

I personally would be okay with some women making a "frivolous" choice to abort in the third trimester, especially if it meant that women who really need an abortion then would have to deal with less red tape and other restrictions. It's not my job to police women's choices, but I do feel it's my job to be in solidarity with the greater cause of championing women's freedom to make reproductive choices for ourselves, according to our own consciences.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:58 pm 
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but really, does it happen? does anyone know if there are legal abortions occurring well after viability for no reason other than, "i want to"? it seems unlikely that in a context where abortions are legally and reasonably available without limit that there would be no resources or supports offered to a healthy woman carrying a healthy fetus, who had decided she no longer wanted to be pregnant.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:08 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
but really, does it happen? does anyone know if there are legal abortions occurring well after viability for no reason other than, "i want to"? it seems unlikely that in a context where abortions are legally and reasonably available without limit that there would be no resources or supports offered to a healthy woman carrying a healthy fetus, who had decided she no longer wanted to be pregnant.


Maybe someone more familiar with the Canadian system would know, since you don't have a legal limit? I think there are very few countries where it's even possible to ask the question.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
littlebird wrote:
but really, does it happen? does anyone know if there are legal abortions occurring well after viability for no reason other than, "i want to"? it seems unlikely that in a context where abortions are legally and reasonably available without limit that there would be no resources or supports offered to a healthy woman carrying a healthy fetus, who had decided she no longer wanted to be pregnant.


Maybe someone more familiar with the Canadian system would know, since you don't have a legal limit? I think there are very few countries where it's even possible to ask the question.


i am not familiar with the system at all. a quick googling doesn't get me much either. apparently elective abortions are actually not available after 24 weeks though. so i guess there needs to be a medical reason to access an abortion after that stage?

i hope someone else more knowledgeable can chime in.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:38 pm 
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I'm afraid I have to agree with the Health Minister here: there's no way an abortion should last more than 12 weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:06 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
Ariann wrote:
littlebird wrote:
but really, does it happen? does anyone know if there are legal abortions occurring well after viability for no reason other than, "i want to"? it seems unlikely that in a context where abortions are legally and reasonably available without limit that there would be no resources or supports offered to a healthy woman carrying a healthy fetus, who had decided she no longer wanted to be pregnant.


Maybe someone more familiar with the Canadian system would know, since you don't have a legal limit? I think there are very few countries where it's even possible to ask the question.


i am not familiar with the system at all. a quick googling doesn't get me much either. apparently elective abortions are actually not available after 24 weeks though. so i guess there needs to be a medical reason to access an abortion after that stage?

i hope someone else more knowledgeable can chime in.


Here in Newfoundland you can only get an abortion between 10-12 weeks, in some places like PEI or Nunavut there are no providers at all. There isn't a LEGAL limit, but there is a limit to how many doctors we have that can provide late term abortions at all. Apparently if a woman needs a late term abortion due to medical necessity, she'll probably have to go to the US since there's so few doctors here who are able to provide it.

Which also needs to be said about the nature of late term abortions, its invasive and painful and more risky than early abortions. Even if there were women who would want to do it "just because", a doctor wouldn't want to put a patient through that unless it was necessary and its a very different procedure for which many doctors aren't trained or comfortable doing.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Which also needs to be said about the nature of late term abortions, its invasive and painful and more risky than early abortions. Even if there were women who would want to do it "just because", a doctor wouldn't want to put a patient through that unless it was necessary and its a very different procedure for which many doctors aren't trained or comfortable doing.


That's exactly what I was thinking. There's no legislation about removing your gallbladder, yet no one is going around getting frivolous elective gallbladder removals. If you are considering a late term abortion, it's heavy surgery, there will necessarily be discussions with a medical team, weighing risks and benefits, signing informed consent forms and whatnot (unless it's an immediately life threatening situation, I suppose). It's not a process you go through on a lark and without a good reason.


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