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Can we talk about Abortion like Adults yet?

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Democrats are as firmly in support of abortion rights as the GOP is in opposition. | AP Photo
Democrats are as firmly in support of abortion rights as the GOP is in opposition. | AP Photo
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It's no secret the conservative branch of Republicans, and maybe most of them, want to define abortion as murder for everyone, and a new poll shows 15 GOP Senate candidates would deny abortions -- not just coverage, but the procedure itself, regardless of whose paying - even in cases of rape.   This is not just an affront to women and those who care about them and advise them, but to our entire judicial system, when it comes to defining rape, since, in essence it says that the police, the prosecutors, the judges and juries at trials (including the men, who, surprisingly, are often more harsh on rapists then women), etc. can't be trusted.  Apparently, papa GOP knows better than all of them.


But, this article is about abortion.   It's time to dispel some "loose statements" instead of "loose women."


Abortion is NOT, or at least not usually, murder. 


A fertilized human egg is not a human BEING.


Neither is a zygote, or an embryo. 


If you're keeping score, all of these are the official status of a pregnancy before 8 weeks.  An early stage fetus is not a human BEING either.  You need a functioning nervous system to be considered a human BEING. 


No?  There is, really, not hypothetically, a man walking around today with an artificial heart (and no pulse).  Is he not human?  Now, suppose we could replace his brain with a computer (I'll be generous and even let him keep his brain stem for respiration and heart rate, and other low-level autonomic functions).  Is such a "person" truly human?  Not LOOKS human, or even simulates human behavior - there are clever robots now that can do that, but I hope no one here thinks they are human.   So then, it is our unique brains, by good measure, the largest and most energy-demanding of the animal kingdom, that makes us truly human.

What about abortions after "viability" - currently about 5.3 months or 24 weeks, but that is misleading, as there are lots of terrible lifelong complications from fetuses brought into the world so soon, even after major medical intervention.  Well, first of all:

  • 88-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation (AGI/CDC).
  • In 2008, 7.3% of all abortions were performed at 14-20 weeks' gestation; 1.3% were performed at --21 weeks' gestation (CDC).
  • Percentage of 2008 Reported Abortions by Weeks of Gestation* (CDC):

6 wks

7 wks

8 wks

9 wks

10 wks

11 wks

12 wks

13 wks

14-15 wks

16-17 wks

18-20 wks

21 wks













So, this is a vanishing small amount of abortions.  And, in fact, they are done in only the rarest circumstances, when a mother's life, or the fetus' life is in danger (I know; the conservative answer to that is "So what?  It's God's will."  Yeah, and all modern medicine and sanitation is against God's will too, so let's live like the beasts and see how things go...90% of us would be dead in 6 months to a year).
Any other argument about "life begins at conception" is a religious argument, and I have no patience for childhood fables. 

Grow the F*&k up.

If you want to still prevent the handful of late stage abortions, make the morning-after pill easily available.  Make abortion clinics prevalent and well-funded.  Make counseling before and after available too, if you want, but don't make it so it interferes with a woman's right to choose.  Regrets of what might-have-been are part of the HUMAN condition, not exclusive to women (I too, sometimes regret not having children, yet no partner-abortion involved).  They come to women whose lives are derailed by an unwanted pregnancy as well as to those who have abortions.  These are problems of the adult world and have to be dealt with by each woman as they come.   This is what's called being adult.

Unlike most so-called conservatives, I don't believe government should intrude into our private sex lives, which is what this anti-abortion/anti-contraceptive and soon-to-be, fully-blown anti-woman crusade is.  In reality, the extreme Right-Wing is not much different than the Taliban.   The dress code is different, for now, but when you hear statements from GOP politicians about some women that "rape so easy" you have to wonder for how long.   The Burka and hijab can be as much about self-protection in lands where women have little or no rights, as about oppression.   Is this what we want for America, the supposed Land of the Free?

The Land of Magical Thinking, on the other hand, includes no Rape that God didn't intend, no fertilized egg that shouldn't develop to term, and no choice that women make on their own.   It is, in the end, a theocracy, defined by old men in a declining country with declining potency to make it any better, and who can think of nothing else but to oppress women of child-bearing age they can't have.   Let's get real.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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