Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two Approaches To Abortion With RU-486

You knew it was coming. You hoped it wasn't, but in a society as debauched as ours, it is hardly surprising.
[ABCNews] Angie Jackson says nothing is off-limits on Twitter, not even the details of her abortion [to] chronicle her experience taking RU-486, commonly known as the abortion pill, in an attempt to "demystify" abortion for other women.

Already the mother of a 4-year-old son with special needs, Jackson, who lives in Tampa, Fla., with her boyfriend, said that after a difficult and life-threatening first pregnancy her doctors advised her to not get pregnant again.

"I had made a decision when my son was born to try to not get pregnant again, and if that failed I'd planned that I would get an abortion if I needed one," Jackson said.



"It's not that bad. It's not killing a child." she says in her YouTube post.
I'm not sure what is mystifying about the abortion drug, unless it's the idea that it's either safe, painless, or doesn't kill a child. One has to be willfully ignorant to gloss over the basic science and purpose of RU-486.
Jackson adds, "I'm not trying to ignite a culture war, I'm just offering one person's personal experience and true story."
Here is where the story starts to unravel. Jackson's Twitter handle is "AntiTheistAngie" -- not atheist, anti-theist. She signs off her posts, "Hope everyone has a Godless day". People who are "not trying to ignite a culture war" don't throw grenades. I don't believe in little green men, but I don't spend much time and energy trying to debunk those who do.

It would be easy to be simply incensed, but I am actually moved to pity. How does a person get that far removed from reality; the conscience that dulled? According to the article, Jackson is a self-professed atheist who says she grew up in a fundamentalist cult and survived sexual abuse. Any one of those things would have long lasting and damaging effects; she has the trifecta. Jackson's stated goal is to "demystify" (and even encourage) abortion in other women, which is the real tragedy.

As long as we are "demystifying", here is a gripping counterpoint from Catholic blogger and one of our favorites, the Mom, at Shoved To Them. Her experience shows the grim reality of the abortion drug RU-486, but also the grace and healing that comes from knowing God and acknowledging the humanity of each and every person. This is both heart-wrenching and grace-filled at the same time.
I wanted to write about my own experience taking Mifeprex, the abortion drug known as RU-486. Our baby had died at some point during the previous week.

[...] Really, I just wanted them to give me the drugs and let me go home. I didn't want to spend 24 hours on the maternity ward listening to the cries of other people's healthy babies and wait for my own heartbreak to begin. I have been in labor a few times and thought it was reasonable to think that I would know when to come to the hospital. I was told I could bleed to death. I stayed.

Labor began for me about 3 hours after I took the first dosage. It was administered both orally and vaginally. Within the first hour, I understood why I couldn't have gone home. I began to pass blood clots. They came in steady succession as if on a string. They ranged in size from the size of a chicken's egg to as large as my fist. Every time I moved another clot would become loose and come out. I thought I was hemorrhaging; I thought I was going to bleed to death. It was horrific. I forgot why I was there for a while and just sat on the bed crying and shaking in fear that my 4 living children would grow up without me. I have no idea how much blood came out of my body. I stopped counting clots at 20. After 20, it just didn't seem to matter any more. I asked the nurse if my experience was normal and she assured me that this was what an RU-486 abortion looked like and that I was fine.

Our daughter's body was delivered four and a half hours after the first contraction. She was the size of my hand. She was smooth and shiny and pink with perfect fingers and toes. Heartbreakingly small and achingly perfect. Our midwife wiped her clean and laid her on a blanket before handing her to me. I have never seen such agony as I saw on my husband's face when he heard her whisper, "It's a girl." His face looked like it folded in on itself. Our baby was really and truly dead. Somehow it didn't seem real until we held her in our hands and looked at her through our tears.

It wasn't over yet. I still had to deliver the placenta. It took another two hours for it to let go and come out of me. The doctor who was supervising kept coming by to check and ask "Is it out yet?" in a strangely cold voice. I later learned from my midwife that she performed abortions herself and was deeply disturbed by our pain. She told our midwife to get us out of the hospital as quickly as possible because we were upsetting the staff, and that she didn't understand why we were crying over something which was little more than a tumor in medical terms.

I can not imagine being 14, at home, trying to hide this from my mother, and having this experience. My brain can't even get to that place of fear. A child, scared and alone, passing blood clot after blood clot, thinking you're bleeding to death, but afraid to tell in case you aren't. And then, delivering that impossibly small body. Perfect, lifeless, and undeniably human. What does a little girl do when her body hurts that much, and her mind fears that much, and her baby lies dead in her hand? How is this okay?

I am not sure what the answers are, but I do know that women deserve better than to be treated this way. Our bodies and our minds deserve better protection. People can chant and scream about the rights of women, but I know that women and girls have a right to something better than this. They have a right to something better than abortion.
Like she said: Women Deserve Better.

1 comment:

the Mom said...

Nod, You may quote me at any time. My heart breaks for this poor woman.

She is disingenuous when she says she didn't think it would be such a huge thing. Either she's stupid or she's lying. I suspect that she is getting exactly the attention she hoped to get. It's too bad she couldn't figure out how to get it without killing someone.

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