Monday, April 23, 2007

New Brunswick Abortion Rights...

Anyone who believes that abortion rights are safe in Canada should really read this article. Heather Mallick talks about the state of abortion rights in New Brunswick and how they are being slowly chipped away.

Since almost no New Brunswick hospitals perform abortions anyway, women must discover their pregnancy very early, find a local doctor who'll refer them (difficult), and travel to a city to find another doctor to sign for them (expensive), and then book the operation (sometimes cancelled and impossible to rebook).

She must then go to the Morgentaler Clinic and pay for her abortion. Anti-abortionists bought the house next to the Fredericton clinic, where they try to lure women to change their minds, terrifying them with misleading photographs and false information.

When she escapes these people, she will get her abortion and then make her way home, often shamed and traumatized for what is a perfectly simple procedure elsewhere in Canada (except in P.E.I., where abortions are unavailable).

This is terrible and I urge you all to fill out the petition that I posted earlier here and send it in. You will most likely be hearing more about New Brunswick's abortion rights very soon as there is an upcoming court case that will be challenging their current laws.

The Morgentaler Clinic has sued the provincial government, and its court case will begin May 16. At the moment, the young premier's lawyers are arguing that since Henry Morgentaler is not a woman, he should have no standing in the case. It's difficult to find a local woman willing to go to court, so Dr. Morgentaler, 84-year-old former prisoner of both the Nazis and the Canadian government, has stepped forward once again.

Wow. This man is amazing! (perhaps I should see if I can get an interview and feature him in one of our upcoming 'Men we Love' features). What this 'difficulty' in finding a local woman who will be willing to stand up for her abortion rights as well as, the difficulty that women face in finding an abortion provider really points out is the ways in which we need to reconfigure the public discourse around abortion. I like Ms. Magazine's 'We had Abortions' list as well as, these t-shirts that you can get that proudly say 'I had an abortion'. Its about time that we stopped looking at abortion as a terrible or shameful thing and start seeing it for what it is - a routine medical procedure.

This article also made me question the role of men in both the pro-life and pro-choice movements, something that I've had many discussions about with both male and female, pro-life and pro-choice friends. It was particularly brought home for me in that this legal fight is between two men: the New Brunswick Premier and Mortengaler. I would say this is quite representative of the ways in which women's reproductive choices have been debated and legislated throughout history.

So, I'm going to play the pot-stirrer and try to spark this debate. Should men be allowed to have an opinion about abortion rights given that they will never have to face having an abortion themselves? Here's a quote from Mallick's article to generate some debate:

A Frederictonian in the audience, who introduced himself to me later as Eric Wright, stood and addressed himself to anti-choice males: "If you guys are so opposed to abortions, don't have one."

I had to laugh. It really is that simple. It's not your business.


Emily Harrison said...

Just a few thoughts to get this discussion going in the right direction.

If your mother had chosen that so-called “simple medical procedure,” you wouldn’t be alive today.

Everyone that’s pro-abortion has already been born and knows it can’t happen to them. Maybe we should wait to the children can talk and let them decide, if we are really pro-choice.

Shantel Garcia said...

I remember growing up I would talk about abortion like it was no big thing. I would get into debates with my mom on how it was O.K. My state of mind was who cares, if you want it done more power to you. I never thought of it as a life changing experience but boy was I wrong.

I was with my boyfriend for two months when I found out I was pregnant. I was only 18 and had just graduated from high school. I wasn't even late I had no reason to even think I was pregnant, I just had a voice tell me "Take a test." When I took the test I came up positive, when I told my boyfriend he was happy so that made feel more at ease with everything that I knew was going to be happening. When I told my mom she and my whole family were disappointed in me, but it was done and what could we do. I had already told everyone my choice (At that time it was to keep it.) About a month later I just started thinking about everything all at once and I got scared I started to realize I couldn't do it I could not see myself having a baby with this guy, first of all he was a 24 year old drop out never had a job and he lived with his grandma to top things off he was in a gang. I didn't want that kind of life for me or my baby. So I broke up with him. After I broke up with him that's when I started thinking about abortion, I thought of it as I didn't want to give him a reason to keep coming around.

My stepmother was the first person I told about what I was considering. I told her because I knew she would understand, she her self had had two abortions prior. She encouraged it, so I made up my mind to go through with it later that night I told my mom about my decision she begged me not to, she said I could have the baby and she would raise it for me, but I didn't pay attention to her I told her no, she finally gave in and said fine. The next day I went to my doctor to get a referral then the following day I called the clinic to set my appointment. Friday March 9, 2001. On that exact day I was two months. I remember that day as if it were yesterday, I woke up and got ready, my mom and me left to the clinic. I remember walking in the waiting room and just seeing all these young girls just like me. I thought to myself just stay strong I can do this. When they called me to go to the back I stood up and my body felt as if I were wearing 40 pound weights, but I went back I filled out the papers. The people there were really nice they made me feel comfortable but I couldn't help but wonder what they were really thinking about me. They took me to a little room where I undressed and they gave me a sonogram I watched I just saw a little dot, but to me it was everything that dot was my life my creation. After I changed in a gown I sat there for a while alone and I remember telling myself I cant do this I said it out loud to myself. I couldn't stop thinking about this baby all the what if's. I was about to let my baby down in so many ways possible, As a mother your job is to protect your child make sure its safe and feels loved. I denied all of that responsibility.

When they took me into the O.R. I took a deep breath and went to sleep. When I woke up I was in the recovery, I just felt so empty inside one minute I had a life living inside me and 20 min later there's nothing. I just started crying so hysterically. The nurse came up to me and said "why are you crying you got what you wanted, now be quiet you're going to worry the other girls." I got my self under control got dressed and walked out into the waiting room as soon as I got out of there I just started screaming and crying what did I do. My mom was crying with me telling me why did I do it. I had to be carried into the car. I cried all the way home I in my life have never felt so much pain like that day.

As of course you all may know at the clinic they tell you you can go to work the same day or even the next day. Ya right. They explained about the bleeding and slight cramping but oh man I was unable to walk for two weeks. The cramping they said should last for about 3 days, each day the cramps got worse and worse to the point where I was in fetal position the medicine didn't even work. My mom called the emergency hot line twice in one night and each time they told her it was normal. It had already been two weeks since the abortion and I was still in such pain, my mom took me to the emergency, they thought it might be infection so they gave me exams but it was nothing so they gave me a urine test, my mom and me were sitting waiting for the doctor to come back in, when she came in the room she looked at me and said, "I just gave you a pregnancy test and your test came back positive." What ended up happening was the doctor did the abortion he just didn't clean me out right, so I still had the baby inside me. So all that cramping I had was the contractions of my body trying to reject the baby since it was already dead. When the doctor told me all of this I felt as if I deserved it. I know I did. So that same day I went back to the clinic and I had to have the whole procedure done all over again.

Its been 4 months now, and it still hurts like it was yesterday. What made it harder for me was after everything was done with everybody acted as if nothing had ever happened. I had no one to talk to who could really understand. I still don't. I still have that emptiness in my heart and in my eyes.

To anyone who is considering abortion talk about it with someone first, because you have no idea what your getting yourself into mentally and emotionally. When I think back to that day when I was sitting in the room alone, I wish I had the strength to walk out.
Shantel Garcia

Anonymous said...

I am writing this story to help someone out there who is in my shoes. I recently had an abortion June 2, 2001 at about 3:45pm and I will regret it for the rest of my life. To make it so bad, I really had no reason to do it other than being selfish and stupid.

I am 21 years old, and I am married to a wonderful man and we have two beautiful children. However on this third baby I made the deadly decision to abort. I feel that my husband is at fault because he didn't even stop me. He knew that I was going to the Abortion clinic and he went to church and didn't even stop me. We are in debt and we have no money and it is so hard affording the two children that we already have but I believe that the Lord would have made a way out of no way if I would have just given him the authority in my life. I was seven weeks pregnant at the time and I regret being so stupid to abort. I wish that I would have just kept the baby and gave birth. The week prior to having the abortion God sent me so many signs to keep the baby. This girl at my job said to me that "Don't you know God will send somebody in your life to help your situation? You just got to have faith to believe!" I wish that I did. And what was even spookier, when I got off from work that Friday, I unlocked the door of my car and went to sit in the drivers seat and a picture of my daughter who was born 2 years ago was sitting in the seat. The picture was her just after delivery, 10 minutes old in the hospital warmer getting examined by a nurse still full of vernix and blood. I don't even know how it got there. I picked it up and shoved it in my purse and later that night I went to church and had a nice time and I still got up early Saturday morning and went to the murdering clinic and killed my poor baby. I had no real reason to do it other than being stupid. I have a place to live, a husband, a job, a car, and a little bit of money and what more I needed The Lord would have provided. I was just dumb and stupid and afraid of starting over. I felt that my son was 4 and my daughter was almost 2, so why start over, plus I got a boy and a girl what more do I really need.

Then I thought about the times when I didn't have enough money to buy my children shoes or the things they needed for a while and the time when we were two months behind in our mortgage and the time when we absolutely no money whatsoever in sight, I knew that it is a sin to abort but I felt that it is also a sin to bring children in the world and can't provide for them and make them suffer. However that is beside the point and no excuse for what I did, I love that baby and I wish that I had not did what I did and I want everybody who reads my story to know that abortion is not fun, it is sinful, painful, and mind tormenting. Be extra careful not to get pregnant if you don't want to be a parent. Abortion is not something you do and then forget about, it stays with you, and it is not birth control. I have sympathy for those who found themselves in a bad situation, no home, no job, no real man or significant support for the baby, and no emotional stability to handle the baby, but for my case I had absolutely no reason to abort. I don't live in a nice fancy house, but I live in one, I don't drive a fancy car but I got one, I don't have much money either but I have some, I don't even have a decent full time job but God has been providing this long.

Women and Men, (men are not excluded) please don't make the same mistake that I did. Love your baby, and protect it. Men, be a men and stand up for your baby! Talk her out of abortion and do what you have to do to change her mind. Stand by her and love her the best way that you can so that when that baby arrives you can give it what it needs to live. It is your responsibility to make sure she is happy about that little person that you helped to create. it is not fair for you to say "It is you body, do what ever you want." You are saying the worst thing that you could ever say!!!! Talk it out and do your best to change her mind. The baby is apart of you too!!! It is yours!!!! In some cases all us soon to be "murderers" need is your support to change our minds. Women do what you have to do not to get pregnant if you do not want to adopt! Love your baby and don't murder it. Please!!!!! Believe in God and believe in yourselves and you will be the best parents ever. Please learn something from my stupid mistake.

K.S. said...

I recently had an abortion on January 25, 2001. I am 22 years old, and married. I do not wish to say much, but that was the WORST decision I have ever made. I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me. It hurts all the time to know that I murdered my first born. I was 3 months pregnant at the time. I often wonder what it was and what it could have been. I often wish I could take my own life to be with it. It hurts me so bad.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to all the stories in your site! I too am a birthmom and an abortion survivor. I had an abortion after I was going through a divorce. I had started a relationship with a man (who is now my husband) and I got pregnant (I had Norplant). My ex-husband had me snowed into believing he could take my son from me if I slipped up at all so I was scared and thought abortion was the best bet. Boy was I wrong! My current husband took me…we tried to be upbeat the whole time (we drove 2hrs to get there). It was a cold and depressing environment. The nursing staff was rude and ushered me and about 9 other women in the room. We waited in the "holding tank" for about an hr and a half the other women were crying some were sick to their stomachs . No one checked on us we just sat there and watched the clock. I finally got in the room and I was crying. One nurse out of 4 held my hand and asked me if I thought this was the right choice for me. The Dr. who was a woman told me to hush my crying up it would mess up the Anesthesia. I woke up afterwards and I asked one of the women beside me how she felt and the nurse told me to be quite and to wait and see how I felt. They let me go about an hr later and gave me instructions to go home with no pain meds. I had to bring my own pads, they didn't provide this. It was horrible I cried the whole way home I ended up with an infection and had to go see my doctor afterwards. Luckily I recovered physically enough to have 2 more children. I used to be pro-choice but after my experience I would never encourage any one to think that death is a better choice for their unborn child then to give it life. Death is permanent and there is no looking back. I still cry I still wish there had been someone to talk to who didn't think abortion was the answer. My husband and I never talk about it. I guess we just can't deal with it yet. It's been 7yrs. I deal better with my adoption my better than my abortion. People still say its simple procedure. I wonder if they have had one?