“Tell the abortionist you don’t want the abortion. They will stop” Protester D, yelling at that door outside the clinic today.
Sometimes, the protesters tell the truth. Yes, D is 100% correct. If a client goes into the abortion clinic and decides that they DO NOT want to have an abortion, the doctors will not force them to have one. The doctor’s won’t force them to do ANYTHING that the client doesn’t want to do. The clinic has counseling for clients, and part of that counseling is making sure that the clients wants to have an abortion. It is vital to establish that the clients want to do this from their own free will, rather than because someone is “forcing” them or coercing them to have the abortion. I thought after D said this, “Well, what doctor would do a procedure against someone’s will? What doctor with any ethics would force someone to go through a surgery?”
Then I thought of Ireland.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, a suicidal rape victim was denied an abortion, which caused her to go on a hunger strike. Then she was forced to have a Caesarean section to deliver a premature baby at 25 weeks (Here is The Guardian article).
I want to draw your attention to that last sentence. She was FORCED to have a Caesarean section by doctors, who bound by Irish law which states that abortion is illegal, had to put the life of the fetus over the wishes of the mother.
According to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (which is supposed to allow for an abortion if the mother’s “life is at risk”), a suicidal rape victim didn’t rise to the level of her life being at risk.
I wonder if they strapped her down? I wonder if she struggled? I wonder if she screamed?
I wonder what the doctor’s felt like? I wonder if they felt forced as well?
In Ireland there is no access and no choice in this regard, for either patient or doctor. Their hands are tied by the law of the state. We are lucky here. If a patient says “no”, the doctor won’t continue forward with the procedure.
My question is this: Does D want the state to force a suicidal rape victim to stay pregnant in the United States with little to no options? Does D want the state to force doctors to perform procedures on patients against their will and medical knowledge?
There are women in the California prison system that have been sterilized without their consent.
Does D want this concept applied to all aspects of healthcare?
I can’t answer that question for her, but I can for myself. Laws that tie the hands of doctors and strip autonomous decision making from patients are bad laws and should not be. Laws that prevent the best and least invasive medical care for patients are bad laws. Laws that force doctors to act against their medical knowledge and experience are bad laws.
Currently, we have access and options for reproductive healthcare, but that window is slowly being shut by TRAP laws around the country. Do we really want what Ireland has? I think not.