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.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/31/kansas.doctor.killed/art.tiller.kake.jpg caption="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. bob in Sewanee, Tennessee

    The far Right Wing seems to think it's important to bring unwanted children into the world; yet, they are totally opposed to supporting those children, feeding, nurturing and educating them once they're here. That is a far more terrible cruelty than preventing their births.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  2. kim

    I in no way condone the murder of this doctor. In some cases having a late term abortion seems like a the best option to some women. For people who have major fertily problems and there are those that will take a child even with disabilities. The problem with this doctor is that he used the mental status of the women to prove that the abortion was necessary. Many people are pro-choice but this doctor crossed the line between life and death. I feel very sorry for this woman who had to make the awful choice. I myself was faced with a child with disabilities. Not being able to know what exactly he would face was horrific. I never once thought about abortion and I have a beautiful, happy boy who happens to have disabilities. This is what God gave me, and I accepted him with my arms and my heart open.
    In this woman's case, the outcome would have been the same, so why put the baby through the pain? And yes they do feel pain by that point. Depression is not a good enough reason to end the life a baby.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  3. georgia

    Beth decided she didn't want a disabled child, so she got rid of it ..bottom line sounds like playing God to me. If the fetus wasn't viable outside the womb anyway, no one would have to kill it.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Caitlin from Wichita

    People need to stay out of other's people's business. This is a difficult decision for a woman to make no matter what the circumstances. This should not be a political or religious matter at all, because no one shares the same beliefs, values, or morals as anyone else. This is not an issue of birth control, or the decision that one no longer wants the baby–late term abortions are usually medically necessary.
    I don't buy this whole "holier than thou" attitude that anti-abortionists have toward pro-choicers. Everyone has difficult choices to make throughout their lives, and for some women, abortion is their difficulty. Let's not make it harder for these women.

    What happed to Dr. Tiller is horrific and is in no way justifiable.

    Intolerance is tearing this world apart.
    Let it be.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  5. blaster

    Abortion at any point in the pregnancy destroys a human life. Viability outside the womb has nothing to do with it. Choice has nothing to do with it. A woman has no more right to kill her baby than I have the right to kill my neighbor. You pro-abortionists are living a lie and hiding behind all your euphemisms such as "reproductive health rights", "privacy rights", etc. doesn't change the fact that abortion destroys children. Choice...what a tired cliche. It's murder.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  6. paul

    People always ask, "How's your baby", not "how's YOUR body". It's the baby's life, not the mother's. If it truly is because of the mother's life or the baby's life, then that's one thing, but don't kid yourselves, most of the time it's just a matter of conveniance.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  7. Mary Secor

    I have always felt that men should not be involved at all in the abortion debate...........are they going to take complete care of the new disabled baby OR any new baby? What is their right after the woman is pregnant... yes, they implanted the sperm, not very hard to do and they had a nice time doing it.. Now that they have done their work, do they have the right to say what is the next happening for the woman who may or may not wish to continue as "life support" ........... I have three wonderful, grown children who have been such a gift to me. However, I made my own choice to have them.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  8. Kate

    In 1992 we burried my stillborn son. We did not know about his catastrophic genetic abnormalites until I was 32 weeks pregnant. When in 1994 we learned that my next pregnancy would also result in a dead child, I knew I couldn't bear holding another dead baby in my arms. I was nearly 5 months pregnant before the existing tests could determine if the baby would live. So I opted to end the pregnancy. No woman makes this decision without heartbreak and tears. And no religious fundamentalist or politician should decide for me. These were the saddest days of my life and I cry for every other woman who has had to make the same terrible decisions.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  9. Nicole

    Just to add my voice to the chorus that late-term abortion is a horrible decision to have to make but we have to do everything we can to assure that women still have this decision to make. The only people who can make this decision are the parents and doctors involved and government (and well-meaning strangers) should have no say. If you oppose late-term abortions, that is fine. If you oppose all abortions, I think that you have a right to that opinion and the right to voice your opinion. But we have to allow women to make the choice for themselves and maintain access to contraception, Plan B, AND abortion.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  10. Mike

    Abortion is a very complex issue. Abortion at any stage is wrong. All pregnancies will produce a viable human being, if there are no medical complications, and therefore to terminate the pregnancy is to take the life of a human being. I don't see how anyone can argue with that. It is not protoplasm, it is a human being. Destroying that human being cheapens the very value of life.
    Babies that have medical issues have the same right to life that the constitution guarantees us all. Even if they are with us for just a little while they can be loved, feel love and have the respect that they deserve. When their lives are taken we all, all of us are diminished.
    Third trimester procedures are hideous because they take the life of a completely defenseless human being. Even their mother doesn't intervene to try and save their little lives. They are abandoned. We should all stand to protect the innocent, even though we are shouted down.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  11. Gary

    It's become quite clear that in today's society, many feel it's ok to end a human life just as long as there's a cord still attached to it.... Is it ok for a mother to drown her children in a bathtub?... of course not.. we are appauled at such behavior... but it's an ok "Choice" for an expecting mother to kill her child??? simply because it's still inside her body???? Would it be wrong to go ahead and deliver the baby and then mutilate it's little body on the table?... but it's ok to do the same thing in the womb?.... I have an adopted daughter and a new grandbaby... and I thank God every day for their lives... May God have mercy on us.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  12. Nicci

    Well, apparently the comments have begun to include ALL the gray areas that seem to encompass abortion instead of being restricted to this particular individuals experience in confronting her own late-term abortion.
    First, I would like to think that Judgement should be left up to whatever God or Higher Enitity a person is partial to worshipping (or none).
    Second, I would like to pose a question to the women: What if you were raped, and traumatized, had nighmares, and was disgusted by human touch only to discover that you had become pregnant with this person's child. Would you want to have a choice? Or be required by law to carry that child to term amidst your personal fears and trauma? And please think about ALL the repercussions of having said child would ensue (ex. Do you believe you would provide a loving environment for said child after the trauma that had occured? Would you mentally stable? Could you give that child up for adoption? Etc.)
    Third, there is an exception to every rule, opinion, moral, and theological idea that exists in this universe. If someone can find a justification, they will.
    We could go on and on about our personal opinions and what we think and would do, but eventually everyone should be allowed to weigh their options and make their own choice.

    Thank you for reading.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  13. Susan

    How is the procedure done?.......What is done with the body? The parts are being sold for research in this country.......the older the child the more money will be paid for the parts.........don't be fooled ladies.......and don't give your kids over to be killed for profit......

    June 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  14. Matt

    Condiser this. Suppose my child has terminal cancer. I would try everything I could medically to help save him from this even if my child's chances of dying were high and they were likely to die (that is, nonviable). What if my child even needed an organ transplant that put my life in danger? I have two options according to the philosophy of this article. On one hand, I could continue trying to save my wanted and loved child until his death occurred naturally. This way, I have no guilt of taking his life. On the other hand, again following the same philosophy, I could put hime out of his and my misery by opening his skull, suctioning out his brains, and letting him die with his blood on my hands. In the meantime, I will still say that he was wanted and loved, and besides, my life will go on unharmed. What is the difference between this and an 8 month baby that is labeled terminal? Is it so impossible to try to do everything you can outside the womb? Why does our world seem so lost?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  15. Americans for Justice

    Simply put...Abortion is the greatest crime of humanity. Ity is the only avenue through which the human race can successfully be set back in all areas on society.

    Everyone in this forum think of this for a few seconds: Every human that ever enters this world is born with a unique identity and set of abilities. Some develop this abilities to the extent that they make an impact on the entire human race, for example consider this very small list of great men and women, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Elvis Presley, Tiger Woods, Mohammed Ali, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr....the list goes on. Now imagine if for any reason any one of these men/women were aborted and not given the chance to contribute to humanity? What would happen? Imagine for example Albert Einstein was aborted...there goes E=MC^2. There goes the theory or relativity and quantum physics as well.

    Now on a more personal level, think of any sports celebrity, favorite entertainer, politician, military leader, academician, business mogul, religious leader etc and imagine if THEY were aborted. Would life as you now it now, be less interesting? The answer of a normal person is, YES.

    Finally, have you ever wondered why there is no cure to cancer, cerebral palsy, AIDS, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, or have you ever wondered why we haven't found life out there yet, or why no one is willing to mass produce cars that can go at least 50 mile per gallon?

    Well consider this, were they unfortunately aborted? Were their potential contributions denied the human race? It's a very real scenario. Until we see that abortion is essentially a crime against humanity and depriving the human race of solutions to our problems, we will be left with some of the most impossible situations on earth to resolve. And the ironical thing is that many of the people out there who support abortion are those who themselves or their loved ones will be in a health related situation, that could have benefited from the contribution of a potential child genius who was aborted years ago...

    June 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  16. Susan

    So killing off the metally challenged children are ok? Or is the issue simply that you don't want to take care of one of these children...
    Who will be next in society.....the elderly....or a certain race?......When the most innocent are not protected in society.....we are all open to being killed...

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  17. Shaun Ram

    Abortion has to be by choice. Most young mothers would not have planned to have a baby. Because of circumstance and ethical pressure, they deliver the baby only to face this situation as a burden for them self & there baby.
    These kids are always going to be treated as a burden in there life and always a reason for there problems.
    Rather than providing a pathetic life for the kids or have a kid to resort to the government for support it would be better they take a quick decision on what is right for them.
    Kids are too precious, have a kid only if you want to & are prepared for a baby, not because you have to.
    Take a minute to think of all the kids in this world who are not provided basic necessity for a living.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  18. Liz

    I've had two close people in my life have abortions in recent years. After these experiences I realized that you cannot say you are totally for or against abortion until you are in a situation where you have to choose. I say this because one of these people was a pro-life, conservative Catholic but once she was in the situation decided to terminate the pregnancy.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  19. Charlie Wilson

    We let people smoke cigarettes and drink booze. Giving people the means to have cancer or kill others is enabling murder!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  20. Skorpy

    If the baby was you, what would be your choice?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  21. Michael

    So let me see if I understand. Under Waddington's logic I could say: "I am depressed because I have kids. I think I'll kill them."


    Horrible birth defects? Severe brain damage? Life of the mother? Okay, I can buy that. "I'm depressed I am pregnant." Are you really making that argument??

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  22. V robot

    This is a decision that must be left to the mother.

    The government is so screwed up with special interest, I dont want these guys deciding anything for me or my family.

    There was a reason the founding fathers wanted a separation of church and state it is because of whack jobs like the guy that killed this doctor.

    We should also be allowed to exercise our rights, be it abortion or assisted suicide. If your dog was in agony and dying you can put the animal down yet we cant let our own family members die with dignity on their terms when they are suffering.

    If this is the land of the free, we should be free to make these decisions, they are hard enough to deal with and I know of no one that would take a decision like this lightly. When families are struggling with these issues it shouldnt be up for vote by congress or a Judge it should be the individual making that decision.

    I wish all of the people so dedicated to fighting abortion would put in half that effort making sure underprivileged, under educated and un-fed child received the basic necessities of life, instead of imposing their will on others. To me that is what we should be doing as Christians!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  23. thoconnor

    My daughter was born very premature. It's clear to me she's just as much a human as anyone else. If she had been in utero for the last 11 weeks of normal gestation, it would have been OK to kill her. Every time I saw her in the incubator I had a voice in the back of my mind telling me that due to the difference between being in utero or ex utero, she could be killed or it would be illegal to kill her. But, she is the same beautiful, wonderful human being in the incubator or in her mother. I cannot see it any other way. She is a human, and her rights need to be upheld, just as her mothers must. The Constitution does play a role in guaranteeing rights, and since my daugter is a human, she has those rights, and the goverment has a role in upholding those, irrespective of religion or morality.

    No matter how many times one says that it's a private family decision - no matter how many times! - those children are still dead. Period. End of story.

    (As an aside, I do know of at least one particular case where abortion is necessary - ectopic pregnancies - which are very sad, so I certainly don't condone carrying every pregnancy to term when it's clear it will kill the mother)

    June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  24. Fred Goepfert

    She mentioned a "defect".
    What was the nature of the defect, and how serious was it?
    Was the defect potentially fatal to the viable fetus, or was it simply a burden for the mother?
    We have a number of people, with severe birth defects, who have made important contributions to the human race, including a leading physicist.

    When it comes done to specifics, the late term abortion advocates
    suddenly, purposefully, get very fuzzy.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  25. Dona

    People need to think out of the box. Parents choose late term abortions because they find out, that all of a sudden their baby has abnormalities and they will not sustain life. I too, was a patient of Dr. Tiller at 35 weeks pregnant! Do you people think that all of a sudden, we woke up one day and decided this is not what we wanted? That we were too busy to 'take care of things' earlier on and it just got too late! The week we went, there were several other parents, going through the same heartache, finding out months into their pregnancy that their babies, had only a brain stem and no brain, spina bifida, duodenal artesia with hypoplastic left ventricle and chromosome abnormalities. People should not judge unless you've walked in the shoes of having to make a heartbreakingchoice.com – see the site!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  26. nancy r.

    as a labor and delivery nurse, i can tell you that in every instance i've seen of so-called 'late term abortion', it is for a reason similar to this woman's. babies are NOT just being killed for the heck of it. they have no chance for survival after birth. that's the truth the far right doesn't want you to hear, or worse, doesn't care about.
    these are painful, agonizing situations and are best left to the people who love these babies the most-their mothers.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  27. Cheryl F.

    I support a woman's right to choose, but I do not support late-term abortion at all. There are tests that can be done early on to determine nearly everything about both the baby and mother. I cannot buy into late-term abortion. sorry.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  28. JC

    Only in America can we kill a child in the womb and be within our "legal " rights, but if that same child is born and then killed it becomes an outrage! Huh?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  29. Barb

    We just recently came very close to having to make that horrible decision. I am the Grandmother,and the horror of just thinking of it was more than I could handle. I still would have suported my family,knowing that thier is a higher power involved. Lets all remember this is a decision that sometimes has to be made,for the health of everyone.Let that stay with the people involved. The killing of Doctor Tiller was horiffic.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  30. amy

    I hope we can all agree that this gunman was wrong in what he did. But isn't that imposing our religious belief on him?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  31. dave

    So if a woman is depressed, infanticide is justified? The proabortion position needs to address the obvious fact that at some point, a late term abortion becomes infanticide. Some of the writers with personal experience suggest that their fetus' were not viable. Would their position change if the fetus were viable and healthy?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  32. Erin Marckwardt, Waxahachie, TX

    Plain and simple, it's none of my business why a woman terminates her pregnancy. It's not for me or any judge to decide what is a good medical reason. If the child could be born and be viable outside the womb, then there would be no abortion. This is not the choice to just up and murder a child. This is a medical practice in the interests of both the child and the mother.

    I empathize with Lynda, and shame on all you narrow-minded people who say she had other options. If she'd had other options for this planned pregnancy to result in a living child, she would have chosen one of those options. Obviously it was either her or the child, and, for the good of her other born children, she needed to choose herself. I can't imagine how difficult a decision that had to be.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  33. Megha

    I fully support Lynda. First of all, if the child is not wanted- why should the mother be forced to have the child? It's not fair to the mother or the child. Besides, why should the child have to suffer when he/she will have some sort of defects. We are all very well aware about how our society views people with defects. I mean, come on- don't tell me you guys don't look twice once you see a crippled person- it's what we do. If something is out of the norm we are forced to talk about it and discuss it and some people hate it. Honestly, if the child won't be happy, the mother won't be happy, the family won't be happy- let them make their own decisions. After all you won't be living the child's life. The child will have to suffer, along with the family.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  34. Julie D.

    Thanks to Beth for sharing her story in the comments. It has made me stop and think about my opinions and feeling about late term abortions. It is a complicated and emotional issue that I struggle with.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  35. Ashley

    If it has a heartbeat, then it's living and only God should determine life or death. The abortion Dr. who was killed had a heartbeat too, and man should not have decided his fate.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  36. Anthony

    Why is the life of the mother more important than the life of her baby? Let’s assume two people are in a life boat, but the boat will sink unless one is thrown overboard. Is the stronger person justified in throwing the weaker out of the boat on the basis that his life was in danger? Would it somehow be a more compelling argument if the weaker person was injured or handicapped in some way?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  37. Wes

    Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with abortion, the thought or concept that there is some right or sense to killing a person because they perform an LEGAL act that someone else disagrees with is so utterly insane that it completely boggles the mind. That such a position is allegedly supported by, or on, on a religious basis is even more ridiculous. Certainly, no Christian person can rationally make that argument... and the fact that there most of these radical right-to-lifers hide behind a religious facade is just ugly and cowardly. There is no sense or reason to taking a life like this.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  38. Jason O.

    What's forgotten here is – it's LEGAL – the LAW allows it. This man was killed, and these women are demonized, for following the law. Say what you will about Dr. Tiller – but he was acquitted of the ridiculous charges against him.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  39. Jennifer

    Lynda's issue aside, how is a 9-month-old fetus any different than the life of a newborn child on day 1? Both are fully dependent on another human being for care, food, nurturing. Children are not our slaves. We don't own them inside or outside the womb. If a 1-day-old child was mistreated, Family Services would be there in a heartbeat. It's such a fine line; let's think about the bigger picture here, religion aside.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  40. John

    Waddington makes a good case. However, statiscally, only 2% of late-term abortions are performed because of the health or safety of the woman or fetus. 2%! And no, I don't feel depression is a good enough reason to end a pregnancy after 5 months.
    That stat comes from the Alan Guttmacher Institute survey of 1900 women in 1987 who received late-term abortions. In that same survey, 71% of late term abortions were from women who didn't recognize they were pregnant, and 24% indicated they just couldn't decide.
    Addmittedy, that survey is over 20 years old and I'd like to see more recent numbers. But the fact remains that late-term abortions are NOT performed just for those women or to those fetuses with health or safety issues.
    Also, for Waddingtion to compare a pregnant woman with a cancer patient is outrageous.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  41. Misha

    I do not happen to support abortion for any reason. I believe that a baby is a gift from God and who am I to end that life? However, it is not for me to judge another human being either. As the good book says, "he without sin, cast the first stone". I have enough to answer for on my own. One being an abortion I had in my early 20's. As Ana stated, it is ugly and traumatic. A day has hardly gone by in the past 18 years that I haven't thought about the life I ended.

    My biggest issue with abortion is the rights of the father. I am the mother of a son. Where is his right to his child? It is not "your" body we are talking about, but a child. If the father want's the baby, why shouldn't he have a say in the matter? I

    June 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  42. Bruce

    It was not that long ago that women were property and their only purpose was breeding. For the poor, the children provided needed labor, and for the wealthy inheritence. It did not matter whether the women died in child-birth for the offspring, especially if male, far outweight the value of the mother. Abortion empowered women, told men that they were not property and that their safety and security exceed the value of their breeding services. This is what the anti-choice people are still fighting. Tiller saved the lifes of countless women and for that his life should be honored.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  43. kww

    I support Lynda and agree with several other postings. Nobody is "pro-abortion". But birth control can fail, fetal abnormalities can happen, and life can change.

    I find it outrageous that Dr. Tiller was murdered and that Lynda is fearful for her safety. Abortion is LEGAL and has been for over 30 years.

    Organizations like Operation Rescue, people like Bill O' Reilly and Randall Terry who incite them to violence are just as much domestic terrorists as Scott Roeder himself. Freedom of speech does not include hate speech. It's akin to falsely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  44. Dexter

    I think we should separate the moral from the legal here. Personally, I would not go through or condone abortion, even early term. However, I do not think it is the government's right to determine how people should deal with a potentially grey moral issue.

    What if the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy? What if the child will come out with deformities and only have a few minutes to live outside the womb? These are probably not the majority of cases, but represent that grey area where morality is not crystal clear.

    I think the government should provide its citizens with the right to choose. I personally will choose not to have an abortion 99.99% of the time. But I have enough respect for other peoples' religion and circumstance to not mandate my way of thinking upon them.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  45. sed81650

    This is the saddest story. Both of the mothers in this attachment made different decisions but both went through horrific scenarios with the result of a baby that would never survive outside the womb. Either choice made was correct. This baby would not live without a skull or brain. Anyone who says one of these decisions is wrong is just nuts. The difference is that they had a choice. Both took different routes with the same result. Both are devastated. Do the negative commenters realize that a baby with no brain and skull cannot live?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  46. Mickey Dean

    so let me get this straight.

    a christian decides to shoot an abortion doctor but we have a problem with the Taliban.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  47. Liz

    The argument against late term abortion has nothing to do with what mental state the mother is in. Do you or do you not believe the baby is a living breathing being with rights? We shutter when we here news of some weirdo cutting a baby out of a mother's womb, killing the baby and the mother. Is the shock only for the mother or are we capable of morning for the living, breathing, incredibly miraculous baby who had grown and then senselessly died? There are homes for these babies. Do you not think they babies feel pain? Yes, there are circumstances that would make it terribly difficult to go through with the pregnancy but are we really talking about those specific situations or just woman who don't have support emotionally or financially to feel comfortable bringing a baby into this world. Adoption. There's the selfless option. How many lives died under this Dr.'s "care." And are you telling me these woman are all better off because of this decision. I don't buy what you are selling. Your mother chose life.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  48. Mary

    Dear Shanna and Sarah,

    If you had taken a few minutes and followed all the clicks to Lynda's full story, you would have learned that her child had no brain. Is that a severe enough abnormality for you to show her some compassion? As the mother of two healthy children, I cannot even imagine hearing such horrible news. My heart goes out to Lynda, who obviously mourns the loss of her child still.

    PS – Anderson, this was a bad way to tell this story. See how leaving out the details of this sad stary gave readers the wrong impression about Lynda?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  49. AnonymousForThis

    I too had a late term abortion done by Dr. Tiller. My baby was also one that was loved and wanted. The last thing we wanted was to lose her. However, at the point in time that we were learned our baby girl was suffering severe neurological deficiencies of all varities, had a severe seizure disorder, and would likely be born or become blind and deaf, it was way too late to have the procedure done in my state (and most states). We were referred to Dr. Tiller's office by a nationally recognized hospital and by our doctor. We met with MANY doctors to affirm that there was no chance, absolutely none, that our little girl would recover in any way. Every single doctor agreed there was no hope and suggested abortion as a loving choice we could make.

    So no Shanna and others, it is not a preventable event in most cases. My baby would not have lived a long life. My baby would not have been just "premature" and recovered. My baby would have lived a life of suffering. And, just so you know, EVERY one of the other mothers I met during my stay at the clinic had an equally horrible story. Every baby was wanted, every baby was loved, every parent made the decision that it was better not to allow their child to suffer. Please educate yourself and others before voting on this issue.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  50. Hibryd

    shanna – Try reading the attached articles and explanations before you comment. The baby would not have survived after the birth – they discovered that it had a severe problem. The mother had a choice between bringing it to term, giving birth, and watching it die, or having a late-term abortion.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
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