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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 12/12/2010

Care that women need

By Jennifer Blasdell, Silver Spring

The protesters targeting LeRoy Carhart in Germantown [Metro, Dec. 7] are misleading the public about the kind of care he provides to families in heartbreaking situations.

Very real circumstances force women to make the difficult decision to have a late-term abortion. For example, in one case a woman diagnosed with breast cancer was advised that continuing her pregnancy would pose a significant threat to her health. Another woman with diabetes discovered months into her pregnancy that the fetus she was carrying suffered from several major anomalies and had no chance of survival. Her doctor determined that abortion was less
risky than labor. In addition to protecting her health, access to abortion protected this woman's ability to have children in the future.

The protesters oppose giving women in tragic situations any options, even if those situations threaten their health or deny them the possibility of having children in the future. I am confident Marylanders will stand behind Dr. Carhart and the compassionate care he provides to women.

The writer is executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland.

By Jennifer Blasdell, Silver Spring  | December 12, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Montgomery County, health care, religion  
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Right on! The only reason they are protesting is based on distorted perceptions of Christianity, which is a terrible and indefensible position from which to begin any constructive discussion about abortion--all the more reason to never, ever let anyone but the pregnant woman and her doctor have anything to do with the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Dr. Carhart is a hero.

Posted by: laugh_riot | December 12, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Response to NARAL's letter to the Washington Post about Carhart

It's easy to cherry-pick the situations where a late or late-term abortion might be genuinely warranted to save the life of the mother; and it is worth noting that Maryland Right to Life does not object to these truly rare instances. However, saving the life of the mother accounts for only about 2% of all abortions beyond the 5th month of pregnancy, and another 11 - 17% (depending on the study) due to imperfections in the unborn child.

I would like NARAL to tell us about the remaining 81-plus%, and attempt to justify those abortions. In citing the few "heartbreaking cases" - and they are heartbreaking, no doubt - NARAL postulates that later abortions should be permitted for these reasons.

Is NARAL just as comfortable with late abortions of perfectly normal, and viable, infants, for the mere sake of convenience? If NARAL chooses to cherry-pick for the sake of garnering support and acceptance for the "heartbreaking" cases, they are ignoring the optional, on-demand late (and especially gruesome) abortions that Carhart performs, and hoping that we will, too.

So, while few of us on either side of the fence can argue that a woman should be denied an abortion where it is truly a case of her certain death should she continue the pregnancy, make no mistake, those cases are exceedingly few and far between. Everything else is simply death on demand, and we all know it, Christian or not.

Susan Centineo, President
Frederick County Right to Life

Posted by: susancentineo | December 12, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: andrearainay | December 13, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

"So, while few of us on either side of the fence can argue that a woman should be denied an abortion where it is truly a case of her certain death should she continue the pregnancy, make no mistake, those cases are exceedingly few and far between. "

According to your post, 20% are due to health reasons. 80% were for other reasons. What are some of those other reasons? Can you provide the study?

"Is NARAL just as comfortable with late abortions of perfectly normal, and viable, infants, for the mere sake of convenience?"

Can you show how you know this choice is "merely convenient"?

Posted by: Greent | December 13, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Dear Susan Centineo,

A year ago, my baby (note: I used the word baby, not fetus) was diagnosed with several lethal birth defects, including a brain that stopped developing around 6 weeks, severe hydrocephalus, and a heart that was twisted, malformed, and missing a chamber. His chromosomes were all NORMAL. At 18 weeks, my water broke, guaranteeing he would never live. I bled for 10 more weeks while doctors told me that my life "wasn't at enough risk," but that I could lose my ability to have more children depending on the damage all the bleeding was causing to my uterus, I may have needed a hysterectomy if I started bleeding anymore.

I was denied an abortion by our local hospitals because we don't have insurance coverage for "elective abortions" if we "elected" for this to happen to our son. His problems were not merely "imperfections"--they would cause him to suffocate at birth and his skull would be collapsed during birth to allow him passage through the birth canal. This is serious pain! For a baby!! Much less pain than a simple shot to the umbilical cord to simply stop his heart--yes, that is terribly gruesome *sarcasm*.

Because of people like you and the restrictions you place on women like me, who obviously just have inconveniences growing inside of us that we were too lazy to take care of before *more sarcasm*, I had to watch my baby suffocate for 3 hours and 18 minutes while he turned purple and blue and his heart eventually stopped beating.

Before he was born, I had to endure comments from well-meaning people, asking me when I was due, since I was obviously pregnant, which would cause me to break down and cry, because I was FORCED to carry a baby for 10 weeks while I knew he was just going to die and leave me with not a chance of having another one.

If you can ever tell me why I was subjected to such cruel and unusual punishment simply because my son wasn't going to live, I'd love to hear it. But you can't, because there is no reason, other than people like you want to control my life. You don't know my family, you didn't care about the pain my son went through, and you forced him to die a terrible death.

While these cases may be few, thank God, they are none the less important to protect the option to terminate the pregnancy. There are fates worse than death.

Posted by: DarkFemFatale | December 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: millerbrittney14 | December 14, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Compassion that women need

In response to Jennifer Blasdell, director of NARAL, false claims for the "need" for Dr. Carhart to perform late term abortions at a stand alone facility I would like to point out that in the rather rare circumstances when a pregnancy created a medical condition that endangered a woman's life, she could always decide to terminate a pregnancy.

There is a lot of money to be made in the abortion business and Dr. Carhart is running his business for profit. Many abortions are paid for in cash and there is a lucrative market in selling fetal organs and tissues. Dr. Carhart cannot perform these abortions in his Nebraska facility because the new Nebraska fetal pain law prohibited him from performing these abortions there.

The compassionate care that a woman needs is the education and support to help her have the child she is pregnant with.
It is an indisputable fact that a human being is created at conception. In a late term abortion, a baby who would, in other circumstances, be treated as premature is instead chosen to be killed. This is wrong.

Posted by: DoloresGebus | December 15, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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