Saturday, October 18, 2008

Got a Uterus? Protect It!

My most-enduring memory of this entire presidential campaign will be McCain's snarky quotes when he sneered "health of the mother."

Because all of us who are "PRO-ABORTION" use the "health of the mother" as a convenient excuse to defend a woman's right to choose. We don't really care about the health of the mother, heaven forbid; we are just using it as an excuse to advance our left-wing agenda.

Already mortified by McCain's sheer disregard for women, I came across this poignant post in a blog about parenthood, pregnancy, and infertility. And it started me thinking about the many moms I have known (or read about) who have experienced life-threatening conditions during pregnancy. Many of them have given birth to premature babies, many of whom survived and some who died. Others, though, had late-term miscarriages or in some cases made the choice no mother should ever have to face, to terminate the pregnancy because of their health being in danger. Still others discovered that their babies would not be viable at birth and made the agonizing decision to end the pregnancy rather than carry the heart-breaking pregnancy to term.

I also thought of my own experience, when I went into premature labor at 24 weeks. Because my membranes had ruptured, the baby had to be born immediately or my life would have been put at risk. The choice my OB gave me was this: I could have a vaginal delivery and the baby would die, or I could have a c-section and he would have a 50% chance of survival, and all future births would have to be c-sections.

In my situation, pregnant with a desperately wanted baby, and also being a glass-half-full sort of person, I leapt at the 50% chance to save my baby. But what if I had been too scared to take that risk? What if I had been given full disclosure and my doctor had told me that he would also have at least a 50% chance of major disabilities, and a vastly higher chance of minor disabilities? I know no "micropreemies" who were entirely unscathed from being born that early. At that critical decision point, I was not aware of this fact.

What if I had decided I wasn't up to the task of raising a possibly disabled child? What if I was too terrified of what could happen and decided it wasn't worth the risk? What if I had decided that 4 months of who-knows-what-kind-of hell and pain my child might endure in the NICU was too much for any baby to bear? What if the doctors knew for a fact that my baby would not live after birth?

If John McCain and Sarah Palin have their way, I would no longer have the choice. If a pregnant mom had severe preeclampsia or toxemia and her life was in danger, and if her partner made the agonizing decision to save the mother's life even at the cost of the baby's, he or she would no longer have that choice.

That is what McCain's sneering "life of the mother" means to me. And that is why no woman and no man who loves a woman should vote for McCain-Palin.

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