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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Abortion Rights?

"Pro-life is like saying 'I know what's best for you',
pro-choice says 'you know what's best for you'..."

I think that, after having a child of my own, my views on Canada’s abortion laws have changed… drastically.

Back in 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a woman had the right to terminate her pregnancy at any stage; for good reasons, bad reasons, or any reason at all. I knew this before, but I guess I really never thought about it in depth. After all, I was only 9 years old when the law was passed!

Early on in my pregnancy I took the standard DNA tests which can identify fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome (trisomy 21) and other genetic conditions called trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. This was the first time in my life that I ever had to consider the implications of an abortion. If your tests come back positive, you meet with a genetics specialist to run further tests and if you are still at risk they tell you your options… one of which being to terminate your pregnancy. By the time you are given this choice, you are half way through your pregnancy. We never had to make this decision as our tests came back with very low risk, but the whole while we were waiting for the results it was all I could think about… my brain would not stop playing the “what if’s” game.

Recently, a story in the news caught my eye. A woman was denied her rights to an abortion at 30 weeks pregnant by the same hospital I delivered at. 30 weeks! Do the math. At 30 weeks, your fetus is viable; so viable, in fact, I even have trouble referring to the child as a fetus at this point! Why would someone even consider terminating at 30 weeks!?! In fact, after being denied by this hospital she was denied at another and finally found a place willing to do it at 35 weeks! Why? How? Well in this case, while it is not clear what the situation was for sure, it seems that severe abnormalities were discovered that would diminish the life of the child and such… but that doesn’t really matter…


Because what has come to light here is that ABORTIONS are LEGAL at ANY TIME for ANY REASON! Think about that for a minute…. Now, if you’re like me, wipe the tears from your eyes.

I am not judging this woman for her choice. I was not in her shoes and I do not know the details of her situation. Generally speaking, she should have had the DNA results much earlier in her pregnancy. Maybe she did and couldn’t make a decision. Maybe she didn’t because our medical system, while free, is slow. Perhaps this was just one of those things no one will ever be able to explain… and I can’t imagine what she had to go through, mentally, to prepare herself for this.

But, while I am not judging her one bit, I am now in full support of a review on abortion guidelines! Just to be clear, I am not in any way saying that abortions should be illegal. Accidents happen and for the better of everyone involved sometimes abortion is a choice you simply need to make. But, at some point, I feel that it should be reserved for serious congenital abnormalities or “exceptional circumstances” with proper guidance and evaluation by a team of experts.

And to think, I can’t even come to terms with letting go of my frozen embryos right now…