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June 2nd, 2009
02:54 PM ET

AC360° Q&A: A personal perspective on late-term abortion

Editor's Note: Dr. George Tiller, whose Kansas women's clinic frequently took center stage in the U.S. debate over abortion, was shot and killed while serving as an usher at his Wichita church Sunday morning. Since his murder, much attention has been devoted to late-term abortions. AC360° guest Lynda Waddington had a late-term abortion and spoke with Anderson over the phone for an exclusive interview about her experience.

Dr. George Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians that performed late-term abortions.

Dr. George Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians that performed late-term abortions.

Anderson Cooper: Lynda, first of all, what's your reaction to the murder of Dr. Tiller?

Lynda Waddington: My gut reaction is just sadness. To think that someone who had helped me in such a horrible time in my life, an event that most likely saved my own life could be gunned down and killed for that is just surreal and profound.

Cooper: And the reason we're talking to you on the phone is that you didn't want to appear on camera. You're allowing us to use your name but you're fearful about appearing on camera. Why? Have you received threats in the past?

Waddington: Correct. I have. Nothing recently, but emotions are running very high, I think, on both ends of the spectrum after Dr. Tiller's death. And I have young children at home.

Cooper: As you know, the argument against, you know, late abortions is that it's tantamount to murder of a fetus that could be viable outside the womb. You say it's clearly just not that simple. Explain.

Waddington: I think those who are anti-abortion have been very successful in painting the picture of who I am and who other women are who have late abortions. And it kind of ticks me off because it's not accurate. I mean, supposedly I'm just a person who woke up one day and had a back pain or a leg cramp and decided to have an abortion. And that definitely wasn't the case. This was a pregnancy that was planned. A pregnancy that was wanted and loved. And it was tantamount to having a loved one on life support and making that decision whether to end the life support or not.

Cooper: You wrote a letter last summer to then candidate Barack Obama. And you took issue with his position on late-term abortions which at that time he said that states should be able to restrict or prohibit those procedures as long as there's an exception for the health of the mother. Why do you think he's wrong? Why should it be more than just the health of the mother?

Waddington: No, I don't think that statement is necessarily wrong. As much as I wonder who gets to decide what those health concerns are. I mean, there are some people who believe that pregnancy, if God wills it, should be a death sentence for women. There are other people who believe that defects like I experienced should be allowable to terminate a pregnancy. But there are other people, you know, who want to cut that line off that depression. Women are suicidal. I don't think that's a decision government should ever be making, ever.

Cooper: That is the argument you hear probably most often from even some people who support abortions in general that if it's just the mental health of the mother, the depression of the mother, then that's not legitimate enough reason. And you say that's not true. That's inappropriate.

Waddington: I do believe that's inappropriate. I think that's a decision that the mother and the doctor and the family should be able to make on their own. We wouldn't look at someone suffering from cancer and say that you're too depressed to make your decisions regarding your family and your life. Why do we put that on women?

Read Lynda Waddington's open letter to Barack Obama while he was campaigning for the presidency last year. In it she describes her experience and why she needed a late-term abortion.


Filed under: 360° Interview • 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. kris

    Through my volunteer work I know of 2 women with this same problem pregnancy. Each decided to carry this 'wanted' child as long as possible, knowing it would not live beyond birth. They named them, kissed them good bye (putting closure to it) and celebrate their precious life every year on their birthday. No regrets. No pain for anyone. Just a lot of love.

    June 3, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  2. PhillyLady

    Please all of you people persecuting Lynda Waddington take a look at this picture. You like to have all of your partial bith pics to show the horrors. This is what her and my child looked like. Anencephaly, is not curable...there is no therapy for it. Bottom line will die as soon as it is no longer connected to the Mother. Personally, the option of a C-Section was given to me, the hospital staff stated that we could then take pictures with our dead malformed baby and hold her. I'm sorry that is simply sick to me. In my head I don't want to have that in my head as my baby.....the one I had so many hopes and dreams for.

    June 3, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  3. David

    Matt,

    who rote, "In 2006 the data showed that only 1.4% of abortions were at or after 21 weeks. Most of these “late term abortions” do have some type of health related reason."

    If there are 1,000,000 abortions a year, then by this figure 14,000 were after 21 weeks. If most of these were for "health related reasons" and I'll give you 95 percent, than that means 700 were for "other" reasons. Now, one innocent life lost is enough for me, but what say you about seven hundred Matt, is this an accurate representation or more false advertising?

    June 3, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  4. David

    Julia,

    who wrote, "It is not about murder and is about religion…One person’s “baby” is another person’s mass of cells that doesn’t mean anything more to them than a skin tag"

    Have you ever spoken to an embryologist?

    You seem to carry the argument that science and religion are diametrically opposed. This could not be further from the truth in regards to the Catholic Church. She has always sought, and will continue to pursue the truth in all matters.

    The "mass of cells" you describe has a heartbeat at a mere six weeks. By the 13th week, the baby has its own set of fingerprints and begins to urinate. Could an intelligent individual continue to assert that this would be akin to a "skin tag"?

    http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-images-13-weeks

    June 3, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  5. David

    My Child, My Gift by Madeline P. Nugent

    addresses the issue head on

    http://www.mychildmygift.com/termination_pregnancy_prenatal_diagnosis.htm

    June 3, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  6. Brigit

    Geta, if you think that it's so noble to raise special needs kids, why aren't you adopting a few?

    It's easy to be self-righteous, judgmental & condescending towards others without knowing them or knowing anything about the difficulties in their lives.

    It's really hard to put your money where your big mouth is & do something to help orphaned children, special needs kids or single parents struggling to raise their kids.

    June 3, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  7. Jason

    Julia above wrote, "Might sound rough but until a person is born (which requires a woman to carry the person in her womb and birth the person) into the world, the “baby” or mass of cells doesn’t have any rights...many religions don’t believe a person becomes a person until the person has lived outside the womb for a year."

    Wow, is this ignorance or sheer denial? I'm neither pro-abortion nor anti. But the above statement is egregiously warped and seriously concerning. Where did you get this idea? Who told you this nonsense?

    If you actually follow your idea, all babies born via c-sections can be declared non-persons and therefore ok to kill them. Now if you say once the "person" is out, whatever the method, he has a right to life, then a 5month old fetus is also a person.

    Is this because our nation has such a poor education filled with cultural garbage that we have people like this in this nation? Please get some basic philosophy books and learn to reason logically and critically on your own.

    This is sad. If abortions are performed with Julia's idea, I strongly oppose any and all forms of abortions because it's based on such a stupidest idea.

    June 3, 2009 at 3:02 am |
  8. Dana from Boston

    Before commenting, it might be good to click the follow-up links and actually read about why this woman made the decision to abort...her baby would have been unviable (as in dead) outside the womb and its death may well have been more drawn-out, painful, and expensive if she had carried to term. As for special-needs children, it's not only a matter of the parents raising the child, it's a matter of quality-of-life. Living with a disability is more difficult than raising a child with one – and not all people are equipped to care for one with adequate attention and resources. Special needs children often need far more financial support than other children, and if a family cannot afford the proper care, the quality of life further decreases.

    So basically, my point is this: do your homework before opening your mouth!

    June 3, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  9. b. hurley

    Anderson, tonight you said you try to show all parts of an issue. We heard from a woman who chose a late term abortion and from another woman who chose not to terminate her pregnancy. Both women made the correct choice for themselves. This brings us to the real issue. ....CHOICE.....The true issue is that in this democracy these women had the freedom to make an informed choice. Isn't freedom what America is suppose to be all about. In my opinion the murder of this doctor is a hate crime against all women

    June 3, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  10. Kim

    I regret that I lost my first pregnacy at 10 weeks, but I do not regret that my life was saved by ending the ectopic pregnancy.

    For Lynda's anencephaly case, where the baby did not have a brain or skull, she makes clear at the end of the letter, meeting the woman who did bear her child to term, that both options are painful. Let the woman choose the option that will make her as whole as anyone who has lost their baby can ever be.

    June 3, 2009 at 1:53 am |
  11. g

    several persons have made the comment "why not have a c-section'. That is what I wanted- I would be unconscious and my baby would suffer the least amount. I also thought that perhaps I could donate organs, I so desperately wanted something good to come out of the situation. Unfortunately with the Trisomy 13 organ donation would not be possible. What I found out is that earlier in pregnancy the uterus is much thicker and so a traditional c-section is impossible. The cut would have to be vertical- much riskier at the time and any later pregnancies would be extremely risky. I don't know at what point the uterus thins enough to make a c-section an option for any type of delivery but for me it was not an option.

    June 3, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  12. Betsey H. Powell

    This is not a controversial issue. Everybody agrees that a premeditated murder was committed. Who was killed is irrelevant under the law. Anyone who thinks the murder is somehow justified is really missing the whole point of our laws.

    June 3, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  13. Cindy

    I was told that my little girl, Sarah, had anencephaly when i was 19 weeks pregnant. My physician told me he would not follow me through my pregnancy and I was advised to terminate my "nonviable pregnancy", they wouldn't even call her a fetus. I terminated the pregnancy and that was the worst decision I could have made. I do not feel it should have been my choice to end Sarah's life and that it should be a natural birth and death. I was very depressed for a long time. It was a terrible decision for me. I wish doctors had been more compassionate. She was perfectly formed, except for her birth defect. 10 fingers and toes, 2 eyes,ears a nose and mouth, perfect and a beautiful life.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  14. Patrice Pickering

    You had a young woman on the program tonight who chose not to have an abortion. This is the kind of personal story you should spend more time on. Creation of a life is a miracle. God, our creator, is responsible for this. Men are the ones who chose to do wrong. It was not right for the abortion doctor to be killed. THe man who killed him did wrong. But, it is not right for doctors to kill babies that are a miracle of God's creation.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  15. jean jean

    If they can show "waterboarding " on TV, why can't they show a late term abortion? I bet if people saw what happens to the " half born" baby, they would be horrified.

    Didn't Hitler start killing the disabled people first. So disabled people are worthless?

    I do not condone the killing of abortionist. My father-in-law used to
    be one, until his conscience got the best of him.

    sorry, it's late at night and I can't find spell check. Thank you for listening.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:38 pm |
  16. tracy herz

    Hoorah for Anderson Cooper. He was right to have Diane Elder on the show to tell of the choice she made to have her baby die a natural death. This is clearly the right thing to do, even if it was not a convenient or easy choice. My two sons were both born after I was 38, with no tests. I do not feel sorry for Dr. Tiller's death, nor do I think he was a good person, doing a good job. His life's work was as horrible as the work of his killer, and it's a shame that pro-life crazies are crazy. Not everyone who is pro-life is crazy, living a fringe life, and the poised Diane Elder showed that tonight.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  17. Matt

    The Pro-Life movement has made it sound like late term abortions are performed at every hospital on an hourly schedule….They have done this because they have lost the battle on abortion. I love those pictures they use in there protests…what’s sad is people get pulled into there fold due to false advertising. The facts are “In 1997, the Guttmacher Institute estimated the number of abortions in the U.S. past 24 weeks to be 0.08%,…In 2006 the data showed that only 1.4% of abortions were at or after 21 weeks. Most of these “late term abortions” do have some type of health related reason.

    These are facts….When you lose the big battle, you attack where you can get a win, and try to expand your influence from there. While I respect everyobodies right to an opinion, I don’t respect people using false info to try to turn people to there views.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  18. nicole

    "June 2nd, 2009 4:42 pm ET

    I have 6 young children. Each one of them have molded and changed my life for the best. I can not imagine not having one of them around. If they were sick and I would give my life for theirs in a second. Abortion is murder no matter how you look at it. Give these unborn children a chance. The technology we have today is amazing. Just look what your $200.00 cell phone can do. Now think of what the millions of dollars of equipment in a hospital can do. If the child dies after birth, at least you tried to save the child. You never gave up on him/her. In 20 years people are going to look at abortion the way people look at what Hitler did. God have mercy on us."

    Ok...one of my many points. JUST because technology is there to keep something alive, SHOULD it be kept alive?? Natural selection people, natural selection. 20 years ago, my grandpa was kept alive with someone else's heart and over 40 medications. In the process of this, he went into a depression and eventually quit his meds because although alive, he was unable to actually live and do the things that made him happy. There are people all over the place that are alive in some form...but are simply surviving. Take a look at one of those 6 kids you have, and watch them run and play....and then imagine them unable to do the things they do that make them them. Or rather don't, because I bet that thought would be too painful. Just because scientists create a nuclear bomb doesn't mean we should ever use it....I think it goes the same for a lot of other "new technologies" and modern medicine. And a woman gave birth to those 6 kids, not you...it was her choice to have them, and it should be her choice not to. It's very easy to say "I would give my life for them", but until you are in that situation, you have no idea how you would react.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  19. karen

    I have a beautiful 14 month old daughter that I would gladly lay down my life for if hers were in danger, but I have also had an abortion. Death is a part of life. I respect life, I don't even like killing insects. I support the Children's Christian Fund and the Humane Society. Child abuse, torture and neglect make me sick to my stomach. Yes, abortion kills a potential child. But at the stage at which most abortions are performed, truly it is not a big deal (and I say this coming from someone who values and respects the life that lives on this planet). Women have abortions for many reasons, but the main one is that they are pro-life. No one wakes up one day, and says "Gee, what should I do today. How about having an abortion? That sounds like fun!" Women are inherently pro-life, protecting and nurturing children is something that comes naturally to a lot of women (not all). To me, having an abortion doesn't contradict that statement. Abortion is akin to euthanasia (defined as "the action of killing an individual for reasons considered to be merciful"). I think people need to grasp the bigger picture of life on this planet, and realize that the termination of a fetus, while not favorable is a natural part of the cycle of life.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  20. Rachel Rountree / Texas

    the true story the women shared was both sad and beautiful, allowing the child to be born and put in God's hands,

    June 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  21. Novena

    I believe that going through with a pregnancy knowing that my baby may not or will not survive brings more dignity than having it ripped from my womb. What about stillborn babies? They died in utero and were birthed-with dignity-by their loving mothers. If the unborn baby will not live, then let nature take it's course.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  22. Kim

    People are using this blog to share their views regarding abortion. I am pro-life, killing that doctor was wrong. There are radicals in every phase of life. I can see where someone would abort a baby that had no brain. Abortion is wrong, and should be outlawed. If someone has to have a late term abortion because of an extreme medical reason (not because the baby is going to be handicapped), there should be guidelines drawn up, and it should not be called abortion, and it should be done humanely. Not the way that they do late-term abortions now. Sometimes God gives us something that we don’t want, but it turns out to be a great, lovely blessing. That is my opinion. We are all entitled to one. Sometimes that is the problem. I think that our legal system is behind the downfall of our country. We should also take better care of our youngest and our oldest. But then we would be close to perfect! I am sorry for you that do not know Christ. I love you, and so does our Lord.

    I would also like to say that abortion is not the answer to our problems. (This does not include the people who went through the nightmare of a non-viable child.) A lot talk about how bad kids have it these days, abortion is not the answer. Women are raped and incest is committed, abortion is not the answer. You know that. It is so much bigger than that. All of these things are an atrocity, including abortion. Don’t commit murder to solve the problems of the world. Just like this man should not have killed this doctor. Murder does not solve anything. I further confirm that late-term abortions that are medically necessary (not because of handicaps) should not be called abortions, and they should not be done partial-birth. I wonder why there are so many families out there who want to adopt, but don’t have the money. It seems to take forever to adopt a baby. A lot of people go out of the country to adopt, because it is somehow easier? The system needs to be changed. Murder does not need to be committed. Let’s save and care for our littlest ones and our elderly. We as human beings do need to be regulated, not just let’s do whatever we feel like. It’s my body, and I have a right to murder the life inside of it. That makes no sense. I am also not responsible for adopting your baby, just because it was unplanned or has a handicap and you don’t want it. I am sorry for the people who were harrassed at the abortion clinic and had a non-viable child. Maybe there is something positive that you can eventually do for this cause to open people’s eyes? God Bless.

    June 2, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  23. LCR

    To Joel (June 2nd, 2009 5:10 pm ET),

    Your analogy of Dr. Tiller's untimely death to Darwin's theory of evolution is incorrect. Dr. Tiller has already reproduced offspring, passing his genes on. Therefore, he has not been "selected out of the gene pool". Go back to science class.

    June 2, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  24. Doing mental gymnastics

    Let me see if I understand this. We can't have socialized medicine because it would be wrong to allow the government to interfere with the decisions made between a doctor and a patient, unless it's something like a comment above where the baby had spinal bifida and there should be a law against it? What interesting logic...
    (By the way, how many guys are against this, really? Isn't the first question about an unwanted/unmarried pregnancy "What are you going to do about it?" a lot of the time?)

    June 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  25. Leah

    I have never been pregnant, and I don't plan on even losing my virginity anytime soon. Especially because I am about to start college in the fall. But don't ignore what I am going to say because I'm too young or haven't had the experience of being pregnant or having to deal with a family member that had an abortion.

    Before I started reading the article, the letter, or any of the comments, I had more of a pro-life type of view. I wasn't really decided on what side to take yet, but I was already starting to lean towards pro-life. After reading all of this, I just have to let you know: I am now pro-choice as long as the abortion isn't used instead of birth control.

    Reading. It's a very important thing to do. You can't just read an article that says that a woman wanted to have a planned baby really badly, did get pregnant with one, but sadly had to abort because the baby was pretty much dead already and then turn around and say that she's an idiot and should have used birth control or that she killed a baby that was going to survive! That is just wrong! I have read comments about the ethicality of the issue. By responding with false accusations or comments, you yourself are being unethical!

    Also, I have kept as much of an open mind to these comments as possible. Yes, I do believe that the "fetuses should have rights" argument stands. I do not at all disagree you. But can a fetus have rights when it is already dead? Lynda Waddington's child was dead, a person cannot live without a brain.

    People have been saying that she should have let it be born and die on it's own. There was even at least one comment on here that said that the baby was grown enough to feel pain. I didn't know what "Anencephaly" was, so I decided to find out, like Chris, Ohio and Marita did. I saw a picture of a child that had it. It was horrifying. I couldn't keep looking at it, so I covered up the picture with my hand so that I could finish reading enough to understand what it was. Turns out, this is a case where you can't say that they feel pain because anencephalic children do not feel pain. They also die, almost immediately if not, according to the amount I read before I was forced to leave the page.

    People say that a terminally ill person, or fetus, should be allowed to live for as long as they can. Yet, euthanasia of a pet is morally acceptable. I grew up with two dogs. Both were euthanized due to terminal illnesses. I feel sad and I still miss them years later, but I feel that my parents did the right thing. I was young both times (9 and 11ish), and I loved my dogs. They were like my furry big sisters! But I understood that they were in a lot of pain, and that would be the dominant part of what remained of their lives. I also knew that the pain would only get worse, so to me, euthanasia was the best thing for them. There was no way around it. Try as I may when I was only nine to "invent" a cure for Tupper's skin cancer, she would have died a slow, painfully unnecessary, death. When Houkie was dying, I knew that there was no way to help her but through euthanasia. All I wanted then was to be there with her, because I couldn't remember a time without her. But I couldn't because the pain returned despite the medication that my parents had to take her to the vet then and there to be euthanized. And I was at school.

    You might say, "There's a difference. They were only dogs, and they had a life already. These are unborn babies." To you I say just this: There is no difference. When someone (or some pet) that you love is suffering and dying from something that can't be treated no way no how, you just want to get rid of their pain. Sometimes, the only way is euthanasia/abortion. Sometimes abortion IS better than letting the baby keep suffering or forcing the mother to give birth to an already dead or dying baby and possibly dying herself.

    Think it over! One day, you might be in this situation yourself! What will your decision be then?

    June 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  26. JC

    Geta,

    "Why does a nearly term baby with any deformatiy have to die before labor begins? If a baby is so forgone that sticking scissors in its brain is the only choice, then why can’t the child be born and nature takes its course? Aborting a baby because it isn’t perfect isn’t hard. That’s easy. What is hard is having and raising a special needs child."

    We aren't talking about special needs babies here. We are talking about babies who are headless or babies that don't have spinal cords or babies who are missing most of their brains. These babies are going to die at birth or soon after. It is morally wrong to force their grieving mothers to carry them to term.

    June 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  27. Geta

    Why does a nearly term baby with any deformatiy have to die before labor begins? If a baby is so forgone that sticking scissors in its brain is the only choice, then why can't the child be born and nature takes its course? Aborting a baby because it isn't perfect isn't hard. That's easy. What is hard is having and raising a special needs child.

    June 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  28. JC

    Mary,

    "However, I disagree with aborting babies because “they’re going to die anyway”. If they are going to die anyway let God do his work and let them go peacefully and not at the hand of humans."

    You lack both compassion and decency. You would insist that a distraught and grieving mother carry a dying baby inside for months, so it can suffer and die naturally. It is amazing how religion can corrupt the mind. It is better to allow a baby to die instantly using abortion than to let it suffer for hours, days or weeks before dying. Why inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on both the baby and its grieving parents?

    June 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  29. Marie

    Oh-oh...I meant to say, "war is ok?" as a question, not a statement. I stand corrected; not that anyone paid that much attention.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  30. Steve Lantz

    To say that abortion has always been around, as a justification for its legality is absurd. In that case, legalize the murder of adults and allow women to kill living children, outside the womb, when the women are depressed. Maybe up to 18 years? There are over 1 million abortions per year in the US. Lynda's tragic case will now be held up as an example for the pro-choice crowd, when it is not anywhere near the norm. Were there anywhere near 1 million abortions when it was not legal to kill the child inside the womb? I seriously doubt it. We need to create a culture of life that values ALL life. The unborn and the born. Those with disabilities and those in orphanages. Even the lives of those in our prison system. Until American life is valued for all, as our Founders declared, there will continue to be those voiceless minorities whose lives will be held at the whim of the powerful ones.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  31. Julia

    It is not about murder and is about religion...One person's "baby" is another person's mass of cells that doesn't mean anything more to them than a skin tag. Might sound rough but until a person is born (which requires a woman to carry the person in her womb and birth the person) into the world, the "baby" or mass of cells doesn't have any rights. Religions differ on when a person is a person, many religions don't believe a person becomes a person until the person has lived outside the womb for a year. Many "babies" or masses of cells die in petrie dishes waiting to be inserted into women's wombs, do we call doctors that practice in-vitro fertilization murderers? Many women conceive but the embryo does not attach to the lining of the womb so it passes out of the woman – does the woman get charged with murder for this occurrence?

    June 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  32. Kaitlin

    Many women in this horrible position have to ask themselves- what is more humane for a child that has no chance of life? Is it to stop the heart while the fetus is safe and warm inside a loving mother, or force it to suffer for minutes, seconds, or hours, with needles shoved into its arms, hooked up to a respirator, and trapped in a plastic box alone and suffering, with no chance of long-term life.

    NO ONE who faces that choice should be judged by anyone, and anyone who thinks they have the right to do so should be ashamed for trying to punish these poor women and their families more than they have already suffered. Lydia, and many many women like her, choose to limit the suffering of a living thing. Are you doing the same? Whether you think that living thing is a person or a fetus, these women show incredible strength and compassion through their own private pain.

    Shame on those of you trying to add to their suffering. Leave them alone and thank your lucky stars every day that you haven't had to walk in their shoes. Heaven knows you might find that black and white start looking pretty gray.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  33. Lilibeth

    Hi Anderson, for the benefit of those who don’t know all the facts surrounding Ms. Waddington’s abortion, would it be possible for you (and maybe Dr. Gupta or another doctor) to discuss anencephaly (what it is, how soon it can be diagnosed or seen in the ultrasound, etc.)? Maybe even show pictures of what it looks like (of course, warn them that they may be graphic). It seems to me that a lot of people are making judgments without knowing all the facts. I would then be interested in asking viewers: If you were in Ms. Waddington’s shoes, what would you do?

    Lilibeth
    Edmonds, Washington

    June 2, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  34. Mildred Rubio

    Growing up in a big family 9 children plus 2 adopted, and while the family I grew up with is not perfect. Still we are truly blessed to have parents who did not abort us. Abortion may be legal but will always be immoral. No amount of legalizations will make it right. I never condone the killing of Dr. Tiller, the person who took his life should be put to justice and at same time Dr' Tiller got his own justice, I think this doctor has played God for a long time, he absolutely has no right to snuff out the life of innocent human beings because he felt they were not perfect, the same thing with these women who decides to terminate their pregnancies. My sister's friend who is a doctor too got pregnant and being already at the prime age, her doctors checked the baby and they said the baby will be abnormal. Her husband also wants the pregnancy terminated after the results. But she prayed hard and decided to keep the baby and turned out the baby was perfect. Healthy or not, who are we to judge and put a timeline for this baby's fate. It is only us humans who put things in categories. Before God we are all created beautiful in his sight.

    What is wrong with you people who screen these comments!!! What is wrong with my article????? you do not publish it here???? Are you afraid of truth??????? Just a thought, if you did publish it then sorry.. If not.... why?????

    June 2, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  35. Maria

    Are late-term abortions ever performed on healthy fetuses or only on severely deformed ones? In the cases where the mother's life is in danger, wouldn't a C-section be performed where both mother and baby would have a chance at life?

    June 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  36. jean

    I think it is funny how all people opposed to this story didn't read or understand the story, think their story is the same...but they did the right thing, believes god is going to produce a brain for this child once it was born because.....I assume that because you all assume if she carried the baby all the way it would have lived. Read the damn story and understand it she didn't abort because she didn't want a disabled child it didn't have a whole brain to live on its own with. Oh and you miracle story bs of how you carried your baby to term against your doctors orders doesn't move anyone at all!
    You are not understanding the situations these people are going through. You are not willing to adopt every unwanted baby. You never talk about babies that are born unwanted and then beat to death or thrown from cars cause that is way more humane than an abortion. You know what is the one thing that gets me about people who argue against abortion is they have to use made up facts and mislabeled pictures to make a point. I have seen what you think a first trimester baby looks like and when you see you pictures and models against the real thing you understand that the only way you people make any point is with scare tactics!

    June 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  37. Gita

    Lynda's story is moving and made me cry. I'm amazed by the growing number of stupid comments from religious freaks against abortion. In this country stupidity is growing exponentially now. It looks scary.

    First of all(leaving emotional aspect aside) strictly speaking from pure logical,rational & scientifc perspective, any system(including science & religion and all others in between the two) should take into account the general & special cases(all possible scenarios). This requires lot of intellect and i don't expect some conservative nut cases, who argue blindly and take in a literal sense "ignorance is bliss", to possess any of these intellectual powers.

    Just based on this one statement, a woman has the right to terminate or carry to term her pregnancy. I don't think any sensible woman(with atleast some brain cells left) considers abortion as a comic to fiddle with.

    All religious nut cases, here is a question for you: Since you don't have logical/scientific(&also spiritual) thinking, am giving you information: 30% of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortions.Meaning even the woman may not notice/realize. Half of which is due to severe chromosomal abnormalities. If life begins at conception, who kills the foetus at this very very very early developmental stages of the embryo? The fetus itself or God? Think twice before you open your mouth.

    "Americans for justice" don't quote Einstein & his theory without knowing Physics. Your idea of "great men" needs to be defined first!
    Einstein sought peace all his life. Edward Teller was directly/indirectly responsible for many deaths. His actions were running contrary to his ideas of a "disinterested scientist". So don't put Einstein on the same pedestal as Teller or Mohammad Ali or Winston Churchill. It looks ridiculous & shows ignorance.

    If Einstein had not come up with E=mc**2, two other guys(namely Hendrik Lorentz, & Henri Poincare) were close and definitely one would have arrived at it. The greatness of Einstein lies not in Special Theory of Relativity(E=mc**2 is a part of this theory) but in General Theory of Relativity. Quantum physics and relativity run in opposite directions. They don't meet. It's like abortion & anti-abortion groups. Just joking! Actually people who do research in Relativity and those in Quantum are freinds at personal level. They only argue at research level. They don't shoot each others out as was done in Dr Teller's case. Hope his soul rest in peace with the thout that there are many women backing him and what services he offered.

    Einstein(thought more about Quantum than his own thoery) and Bohr(Guru of Quantum Interpretation) tried to convince the other without any success untill their death.

    In the medical field there is no cure for "most" of the diseases. Because they don't look at the cause. If you look only at the effect(symptoms), you can only treat the disease. In order to find a cure, the mind/research needs to be focused on the "why/cause".

    A woman & her family, doctor should take the decisions for the betterment of the mother,family and the baby. Because at the end of the day, its the woman who has to manage her baby(dead/newborn) and face whatever the consequences may be.

    Lynda chose the right one(in my view). Let God decide/judge our actions. When people start juding others, they act as if they are Gods and they contradict their own religious/spiritual beliefs. Live happily & let others live happily. Science & religion are inter-related but the drawback is no religious/spiritual person can prove the existence of God(feeling God is different from seeing God, i see Him in all forms but haven't seen Him yet); similarly no scientific person can disprove the existence of God.

    Religious people who do blind worship without thinking: You know why it is called "self-realization?" Think over it.

    Finally think it this way. A glass that is half full/half empty scenario. Those who want to see it half empty are entitled to do so;same way those who want to see it half full are also entitled to their perception. As long as one is happy with one's perception, it shouldn't matter to the rest. A true religious/spiritual person should never force his beliefs on anyone else. One can give advice/opinions/views but its upto the other person to take it or leave it. One should be prepared to accept that.

    Einstein: Science without religion is lame; Religion without Science is blind.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  38. Sally Mae

    Wow...joe pretty much summed it up better than anybody else on here. What a well thought out answer. He didn't use hate speech, but pure fact and rationale. Way to go joe!!! Dr. Tiller did not deserve to die.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  39. Lisa in CA

    In reading these various comments, it is interesting to note that people read what they wanted to read in Ms. Waddington's article. For those who are pro-choice, they sympathized with the agonizing decision she and her family made; those who are pro-life felt she killed her fetus because the pregnancy was a nuissance.

    And that is my main issue with the pro-life movement - they are quick to judge and condemn without knowledge of the facts and very non-committal with the support (financially and emotionally) once the fetus is born.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  40. dan

    For those that end a pregnancy with no complications, it's murder.
    For those that end a pregnancy with complications, it's still murder.
    To end a human life by the hands of another is murder.

    Don't believe everything a doctor tells you, there have always been miracles they could not explain. Their jobs are to save lives, not to murder people. Just because they say there is a chance the mother or baby is in danger, does not mean that the life of the baby or mother should be killed.

    If your baby will truly not survive outside of the womb, don't stop showing your love to that baby, and carry him/her peacefully until they depart this world. You will understand after that. God will bless you.

    Even though he murdered, it is very sad that Dr. Tiller was murdered.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  41. izell

    it is wrong and un-ethical. not to far from the definition of murder. should be banned and deemed illegal in this country

    June 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  42. Steve

    Many of the posts here – on both sides of the debate – paint the issue as black and white. It's a little more complex than that. But here are some thoughts for consideration.
    – Some posts state that pro-life proponents try to "force their religion" on women. This isn't simply a religious issue. Our Declaration of Independence states that all Americans "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Shouldn't the most vulnerable in our society, a viable, 22 month old fetus be granted these same rights?
    – This is one of the hot button issues in our country, yet the media refuses to report the details of abortion procedures for late-term abortions. Here is a description of 2 forms of abortion used in late-term pregnancies (source: MCCL.org):
    • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Sharp-edged instruments are used to grasp, twist and tear the baby’s body into pieces, which are then removed from the womb.
    • Saline instillation: Salt water is injected into the womb through the mother’s abdomen. The unborn baby swallows this fluid, is poisoned and dies in a process that sometimes takes 24 hours. The toxic saline solution causes severe burns over the unborn child’s entire body.
    Certainly there are situations in which the mother's life is at risk, and must be protected. We need a culture that values life, and cooperatively works toward and end to "pro-choice vs. anti-choice" rhetoric.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  43. Sara; Everett, WA

    All of these arguments from both sides are moot. I've read them all.
    Look at history. Abortion has been around (in one form or another) for thousands of years. Sometimes it was legal, sometimes it wasn't. But it was (and is) always a sticky subject. The same arguments have been fought throughout history. Humanity never changes.
    So, what we have to do here is take a look at America's history at a time before abortion was legal. What happened? Well, abortions didn't stop, thats for sure, they just went underground. And what happened to those women and babies? Often, they both died.
    What this debate is actually about is this: no matter how much people might want it to stop, abortion will not go away. What you are choosing between is having the baby die in a medical procedure, or having both of them die in a chop shop.
    I understand both sides of the debate. I really do. But, in the end, you have to think of the consequences of what you are abdicating for. By all means, keep fighting for what you believe in, both sides. We are nothing without beliefs, myself included. Just realize the consequences of what you are doing.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  44. Mary

    This is my third and final comment – after reading several other comments and thinking about how much I love my precious baby boy it occured to me that I would die a million deaths if it meant that my child would be spared in any situation and would grow up happy and healthy. Could I have made this decision while my baby was in utero and my life was in danger? I don't know...but I feel that it is morally wrong to purposfully end one life to spare another. I agree with the comment above in that if a person murdered a pregnant woman they would be tried for double homicide so what gives any human the right to take a life in any situation?

    June 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  45. Annie

    Lynda's experience is one of those situations where abortion may be medically necessary. Anencephaly is a tragic malformation of the baby and there is no hope of survival. So I don't understand why she felt she had to write to President Obama about it, because it falls under the classification of medically necessary. There was no hope for that infant.

    But If she walks up to people and tells them, "I had a late term abortion" and then walks away without explaining it... Well, what is the motivation for that behavior anyway? Is she deliberately looking for negative attention? That seems a little bizarre if you ask me.

    I do understand that it's difficult – if not impossible – to get the fanatics to understand the fine points. I'm pro-life, but the case with Terri Schaivo was maddening because the girl was brain-dead. In fact, she was without a brain. And the autopsy confirmed it, but the fanatics wouldn't believe a word of it. They jumped to all kinds of conclusions and didn't even bother to read all the background of that case. The Schaivo case happened in our local area, so we knew all the fine points of the problem because our local news media was very thorough.

    But the national news published the highlights, and it seemed to me they deliberately stirred the pot of controversy. So people from all over, who knew very little about it, came HERE to demonstrate and carry on. I will never support a few "Christian" ministries again because of how they went off half-cocked and didn't bother to investigate the facts of the case.

    Maybe this is why Lynda is defensive: because there are some people who don't want to understand and never will understand that Lynda's pregnancy was one of those borderline cases. She didn't do anything morally wrong, but she'll never convince the fanatics of that.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  46. Katherine

    This isn't about respecting another's way of life or imposing one's 'religious' view(s) on another. It's not about a governments right to meddle in our personal lives or even (and this may make some angry) empowering women. Whether you're a liberal or independent, an Agnostic, Muslim, or Scientologist, the focal question that needs to be answered is... "Is this murder?" If a consensus can be found on the answer to this question, there will be peace. Neither side should demean the proposition at hand by claiming it a 'religious' or 'political' agenda. Lessons from history demand our solemn consideration that as precedence is set in law, our answer to this question will determine our answers and actions for questions to come. So, pro-lifer's and pro-choice, I want to know what you think. Is this murder?

    June 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  47. Brian Pierce

    This is not a religious issue. I am an atheist who generally wants government out of our lives both economically and socially, but there is no sound rationale for the law to distinguish between a pre-birth baby and a post-birth baby.

    To be consistent with other laws relating to a right to life, a fetus should be protected once it has a functioning heard and brain. The only reasonable exception is when the mother is likely to be killed by the fetus, since abortion is then an act of self-defense.

    Lynda's logic is distorted by emotion: by her reasoning, a parent could kill a child of any age if that child's existence were deemed by mother and doctor to potentially result in suicidal depression.

    Legalized abortion of healthy fetuses in otherwise civil societies is, arguably, the single most tragic and barbaric practice in the history of mankind. In terms of numbers, it trumps scores of other human atrocities combined. Hard not to be a "one issue" voter on this one...

    June 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  48. jake

    Does the baby have a right to be born? Did this spirit decide to have this particular body? What right does anyone have to decide wether someone lives or dies? Are people playing god when they decide who lives or dies? I think only God can decide these matters. When we take these decisions as our own, we will face the judgements for our choices when we face God after this life.
    The only choice we really have is wether to create life or not to create life. After it is created, it's a little late to be thinking about destroying it.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  49. LA

    Way to say it Kitty.

    I had to decided weither to save my life or kill myself and my unborn child. I have 2 kids that needed a mom. I was pregnant with our third and had to terminate. I did not have a late term abortion, I was only 8 weeks pregnant and had to mis-carry. They had to give me a shot to mis-carry. I had a corneal eptopic pregnancy. For those idiots who do not know what that is, the egg attached so high in the uterus that if it continued to grow, my uterus would have ruptured killing me and the fetus immediately. My fetus had a heartbeat and shape. I heard it and saw it on the screen beating, my little bean, the nubs of the arms and feet, the head. That was over a year ago and I am still depressed about what I had to do. I had no other option like so many people on this bored said about giving birth or die trying. I had 2 other kids at home who needed their mom. I was not going to kill myself and leave my other 2 children motherless. I made a choice and I have to live with it, I know it was right because everytime I look at my kids I realize, that I made the right choice.

    Women like me who have to have a miscarriage/abortion or whatever you want to call it, struggle our whole lives with this. I am still not over it, nor will I never be.

    Lynda's baby had no head and skull. It didn't have a brain to know anything, see, hear, listen, it was a dead fetus. No soul, no life, no matter what god or religon you preach too, there was nothing there. All it was doing was draining the life out of her.

    My heart goes out to M.P. and all other mothers who have to struggle day in and day out with their decisions. When it is medically necessary to have one to save the mothers life, then who are you to judge them. NO ONE!!!

    The government should allow sex education in school, offer free condoms in the counslers office and off the Plan B pill.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
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