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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.

[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. Peter

    Hi... I'm a man. I've never experienced an abortion directly. I've had friends who've had them. I watched them as they made this decision. This wasn't a simple choice for them. They agonized for weeks. I fully supported them and never judged. They made the choice. They're ok with it. They all have children now.

    As a man, I will never have to make that decision. But, I unequivocably, without question support a woman's right to make choices about her own body.

    If men were the ones having abortions it would be a constitutional right.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  2. Bill Edmunds

    I was firmly pro-choice until May of 2001. My wife was 2.5 months pregnant and we went for our first ultrasound. We saw my son for the first time: he had arms, legs, hands, fingers... everything. He reacted to the nurse's probing. I asked the nurse if it was legal to abort at this stage and she said "yes." Right there, in an instant, I became pro life. There was absolutely no denying that this was a living thing.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  3. Dennis

    A late term partial birth abortion for a fetus that is badly malformed or not at all viable, or because going on to a live birth would cause the demise of the mother is very understandable. But as Anderson said, 80% are elective which strongly suggests that many are simply an unwanted child. I heard Tiller described as a gentle person. I wonder if that is how a viable, normal fetus would feel as it has it's skull crushed with forceps or it spine penetrated and the spinal column severed. Perhaps Tiller's death could be described as a retroactive abortion. Maby he should have never been born, perhaps he should have been aborted. Who is to say who should live and who should be aborted? Perhaps we need to widen and expand abortion rights and options to include retroactive abortions?

    June 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  4. Nicole

    And really quick..

    I see a lot of you think that these babies should have rights because they can live outside the womb. How exactly are they going to live outside the womb? Attached to devices and electrical outlets? Fed by feeding tubes (if not forever, in the begining), containing not just an unnatural formula, but drugs galore? These babies couldn't live outside the womb for more than a day with out modern medicine...unfortunately, it's called the circle of life and natural selection. We are keeping babies alive that shouldn't naturally be alive in the first place. I know this is slightly off center here, but the facts are the facts. Thank god I have not had to make those decisions thus far! If mothers are allowed to make the choice to keep their offspring alive with modern medicine, they should be able to make the choice to keep themselves alive with modern medicine as well...therefore not allowing a pregnancy to go full term.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Cindy

    I am pro choice; always have been. I've never believed that abortion should be used as a method of birth control, but I grew up in the 60s watching girls I knew having babies before they were physically or emotionally ready to be parents. As far as late term abortions, personally I think that the only person qualiified to decide are the parents and their physician. It's no one else's business-even mine.

    Let me put a face on this for you-

    My sister-in-law had to undergo a procedure which could be termed a late term abortion. She was six months pregnant when they were informated that their baby had a birth defect to her heart which could not be repaired and would cause the baby to die within hours of her birth.

    This is a decision I hope none of you ever has to make-their choice was to continue carrying the baby knowing it would continue to develop (and perhaps suffer more at her death) or to induce the labor at six months. Either way birth equaled a death sentance for that child.

    Our entire family was heartbroken not only about the child; but for the terrible decision they had to make-that I doubt even Soloman would have quailed to make.

    Ultimate they decided to induce early. Their daughter arrived and died within hours. They had enough time to hold her, name her and tell her how very much they loved her before she passed.

    Please tell me how in any way forcing this familiy to carry to term would have been best for anyone? The child, the mother who would endure another 3 months of prenancy KNOWING her baby would die upon birth, the helplessness everyone would have felt watching the prenancy progress?

    I find the murder of Dr. Tiller an outrage-and frankly (as an independent I usually find Keither Oberman over the edge) for once I completely agree with the folks at MSNBC when they say that the people who target abortion clinics and medical personnel who perform or assist with abortions and counsel on reproductive rights terrorist -but frankly I believe they are.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  6. barb

    to all the men who have posted here, when you can get pregnant, you can join the conversation.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  7. SJ

    Interesting take on the " mental health of the mother." What about the mental health of the father?? Father's rights are completely trampled over in the abortion debate. The mother can terminate the pregnancy with no say from the father even if he wants to raise it. Or she can continue the pregnancy despite the father not wanting a child. The mother can relinquish her parental rights by putting the baby up for adoption, but the father has so similar capacity and must pay for the child until adulthood. The mother being depressed is grounds for late-term abortion regardless of the father's desire to have a child, but a father's depression does not similarly trump the mother's desire to have the child even at the expense of the father's mental health. Or to abort it despite the effect on the father.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  8. Joyce

    Wow... do I feel for all these women who have had to make such a choice, as I was faced with such a choice as well. My husband and I absolutely had a wanted and loved pregnancy, but on routine ultrasound we were told our beloved child was a boy, and by the way, had an encephalocoele, and we should "start over."

    While we never in our wildest dreams ever thought we would even entertain abortion, being both doctors, we've seen what a neurologically devastated child suffers through and wouldn't wish that upon anyone... So, over the next few weeks we hardly slept, and agonized over the decision. Our family and friends (many physicians as well) were so loving and supportive; all lovingly advised us to terminate.

    Our OB helped us find a practitioner that performed later-term abortions... But, in the end, we just couldn't bring ourselves to go through with it, and did the best to mentally prepare ourselves for the handicapped child that would change our lives. How blessed and merciful God was to us; while he does indeed have an encephalocoele, it was repaired at ten months and he is thriving in school and while we may be biased, those more objective than us think he is quite advanced...

    I'm not sure what I'm trying to say except that this is not a decision that I imagine any woman takes lightly... what may make it even harder is to realize how little doctor's actually know sometimes. We give our best prediction and recommendation, but how often are doctors surprised at a good or bad outcome? Not a day goes by do I not look upon my son and wonder how I could have come so close to "starting over" and my heart is filled with thankfulness...

    June 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  9. Kechiro

    I support Lydia, and I think Dr. Tiller's death is a tragedy. No one should have to suffer by giving birth to a dead child (my grandmother was forced to carry a dead baby to term because late term abortion was not an option in 1959 California). For some pregnancies, a late-term abortion is the best choice, but only a doctor and patient can truly determine that. It's none of my business, in the end, and it's no one else's either. Not the government, not a religious community, nobody.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  10. Teresa

    If the fetus is threatening the life of the mother than I believe it is not wrong to go on with the abortion. There are so many cases such as some listed above where the baby literally had no chance of living – without a head .. or with serious complications that they probably wouldn't even survive childbirth. I understand that you are stopping life to the unborn child... but in some cases it's the only choice.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  11. Carol

    To those who say late term abortions are cruel and should be against the law, my response is that allowing a child to live with horrible disabilities is more cruel. A child in our family circle was born so severely retarded that even at the age of 12, she can not talk or communicate in ANY way. Nobody has any way of knowing if she is hungry, thirsty, in pain, etc. Thousands of dollars have been spent on therapy, with no improvement whatsoever. She is frequently covered in bruises because she beats her head with her fist and thrashes around violently. She will never be potty trained and if not constantly watched, will actually eat her excrement (not unusual in cases like that). It is difficult to take her on outings with the family, because she can seem content one moment, and the next start screaming and thrashing around. Screaming fits like that can last for hours. She is expected to have a normal lifespan and her care will ultimately cost society hundred of thousands of dollars, probably millions. Imagine what the stress of caring for a child like that does to the rest of the family. I would encourage people who demonstrate against late term abortion to spend time with children like her and ask themselves if they would really like to live as she does. I know I would not.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  12. S

    Anyone – What is the standard for 'viablility' outside the womb? A day? Two weeks? Three years? What is the standard for an 'impaired life'? There is none. It's incredibly selfish to say that just because it's happening inside your body that you are allowed to end another's life. BTW – we were told by several doctors that our daughter would be dead in the womb by 20 weeks or born with severe life-limiting disabilities, due to a genetic issue. We were told to abort – that is was the 'humane' thing to do. We'd be saving this child from a miserable life. We have a beautiful 4-year old daughter now, with a minor genetic issue. The doctors (at least half a dozen) were all wrong).

    June 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  13. SD

    Can someone who is anti abortion provide any evidence that 80 percent of late abortions are related to mothers just not wanting the child or is depressed. Or is this number just coming from that one quote that Anderson used in the show. It seems to me the press has done a terrible job in reporting the service that Dr. Tiller provides to women who are facing excruciatingly tough decisions.

    The fact that only two doctors are left that perform this service for women is a travesty. Late term detection of fetal anomalies is something that is probably going to continue being an issue for many more years. The fact that women wont have the option to abort the pregnancy is absurd and puts womens health at risk.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  14. Marilyn

    Kitty,
    I in no means mean to classify Lynda in a hurtful way. Those situations are tragic, but had she carried the child to term, who is to say that they would not have been able to hold the child during it's few minutes or hours of life. Medical practioners are mindful of the sensitive nature of the appearance of those children and see to it that caps/blankets are provided and the dignity of the child is protected. To fail to celebrate that life that is lost is adding to the grieving process. I have known mothers and fathers who have gone thru similar circumstances and have born the child, named and buried the child resulting in much less trauma and distress to the entire family. To me, there is no reason to take a life, even one we think has no value.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  15. Kitty

    Seriously, people. Lynda's baby had no brain and no skull and would not have lived. This was not a situation where she simply didn't want to deal with a disabled child. No matter what she did, late-term abortion or delivery, the end result would have been a dead baby. Can you imagine the grief associated with this situation? To classify her as someone who made a rash decision is untrue and unfair. Lynda, and many other women like her, had to make a heartbreaking decision and to say she made it rashly is just cruel.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  16. Jennifer

    I went through the same thing as so many others have done. I'm a Republican, Christian and finally a mother. I wanted my baby more than life itself. My pregnancy was planned and wanted. Dr. Tiller saved my life...when life no longer mattered.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  17. Julie

    I have to say that a late term abortion is a seriously sick procedure. I can't understand why and who would even do such a thing. But beyond all that, why do tax payers have to pick up the tab. President Obama voted everytime for paritial birth abortion, and the first thing he did when he got into office was start the federal government into buying abortions for everyone. Planned parenthood backed him only to know full well that he would keep their wallets big and fat. So Tiller lived fat, dumb and happy on government money. And who lately doesn't like that. A generation that would kill it's young, is seriously sick.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  18. Joe

    First off, the whole abortion issue/debate is not something that should ever be argued from any other point of view other than Philosophy of Ethics; otherwise it would be no different than a psychologist and the Pope arguing over a mathematics equation...that is something the mathematicians should debate.
    So any political, psychological, medical, religious, etc. arguments should be thrown out, and stick to the issue based purely on Ethics & Right Reason via Philosophy.

    The question comes down to a few things. One, is a fetus or unborn child a person? If you use the proper logic via philosophy, you will find that we are all persons from conception...it's the old "what comes first the chicken or egg?" question, and the answer is simply 'the chicken'...the egg is a potential chicken, whereas the chicken is an actual chicken, and since Actuality preceeds Potentiality, likewise we are actual persons not potential persons after conception...we are only potential persons just prior to the sperm penetrating the egg. Science or medicine can not answer this and to do so based on either would be drawing an arbitrary line in the sand that keeps changing as science and medicine progress. On that note, all unborn persons should have "rights to life" legislation to protect them, against murder.

    However, using the "Principle of Double Effect" there are times when it is morally permissible to have an abortion. If it is a situal where having the unborn person could likely kill the mother, then it is morally permissable & not unethical. However, psychological effects are no so clear. If it's because the baby is making the mother suicidal, then that does not hold up, as long as the mother can be treated and monitored. If it's a matter that the child will have defects, retardation, etc., then that does not hold up at all, and abortion would be considered not morally permissible...that is pretty much what Hitler was trying to do..create a utopian society by weeding out...just because someone/even an unborn person (who does not yet under the law, but yet should someday if we evolve, have rights to be alive) has a defect, they are still persons with a right to life. A persons right to life should always superseed another persons right to freewill to do what is most convenient for them.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  19. Karen

    As a teen mother, 17 when I had my daughter. Everyone told me to get an aborton or give up my child. I would do neither. Just because I was a younger mother does not make me a bad mother or an in-experienced mother. Whether you are 17 or 45 having your first child, we would all be newbie mothers. I personally would not have an abortion unless my health or my baby's health is in danger. I feel it is the women's choice. I am educated and my only child is a teacher, married with 2 children. I would have missed all that, just to listen to somebody telling me what is right in their own mind and based on their own beliefs. It is none of anybody's business. Pro-Choice all the way. But I do have a problem when women use it as a form of birth control. Now thats another storey. These men that make these laws. We need women in all areas of government all over the world. Then only then will the world live in peace.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  20. Melinda

    Wow, there's so much vehemence, anger, judgment and insistence here, and so very little compassion or real desire to understand all facets of the issue. So many seem to have made up their minds without all, or in some cases even very many, of the facts. For those of you who've had to make this terribly hard decision, I am so sorry.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  21. Curious

    I see everyone talking about a person's "rights". That being said I wonder when a person begins to have "rights"? I would think that a baby that could survive outside the mother's womb should have the "right to life" as much as anyone. So are they saying that only the mother has rights? If that's the case do these folks think they should have the right to end their child's life anytime they wish.... say if they are 10 years old and one day they get tired of putting up with them?

    Very curious indeed...

    June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  22. D.P.

    My wife and I went to see Dr.Tiller in 1991.During a routine sonogram It was discovered that my daughters head did not form at all.It ended at the top of the spinal column.No brain,no soul.While seeing Dr.Tiller we were hassled unmercifully.People tried to follow us back to our hotel.Who knows what they were capable of.I armed myself with a metal rod I found in the hotel garbage because we were frightened of these lunatics.This was a baby we wanted,yet it was also a threat to my wife's life.The termination was performed with a needle through my wife's stomach We were counseled by the good doctor,and then we got to hold our daughter in our arms and we cried.She had no head whatsoever. She was NOT VIABLE.We named her Katie and held a service for her.No one can imagine what my wife went through until they've been there themselves.It was a horrible time.I had to literally lose people in traffic trying to follow us,which I did.It was surreal.If these protesters knew the full story of what we were really going through,maybe they would not have done what they did,scaring us to death at such a trying time in our lives.Our hearts go out to Dr.Tiller's family.He was a very good and decent man.We would rather not reveal our names at this time.We hope you will understand.
    D.P. Hollywood Fla.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  23. Sue

    The people who are saying the writer got pregnant accidentally and aborted out of convenience didn't read the article. The writer got pregnant deliberately, wanted the baby very much, but she was suffering from depression and feeling suicidal. It's not up to strangers to make glib remarks about whether a suicidal woman is in a position to be a mother. This woman knows herself, feared for her life, and knew that to leave her husband to raise a baby by himself was not in the best interests of anyone. She has children now, and was able to have them when she knew she could give them the care they need.

    Anti-abortionists think they are taking the moral high road by "defending" fetuses, but where is their compassion for the mothers, fathers and siblings whose lives will be destroyed by the birth of an unwanted baby? Mothers, fathers and siblings are living beings with feelings and lives. No one but the family will miss a child who isn't born. It's no one's business but the families'.

    Anti-abortionists should turn their anger toward more productive uses, like defending unwanted, handicapped and abused children. These children (many of whom were born because of pressure from the anti-abortion lobby) will suffer daily for the rest of their lives, and society will suffer for having them among us until a whole lot of people make an effort to help them. So help them. They are living, breathing and suffering among us today. They are not abstractions. They are real. Get angry about their fate and help them.

    Anti-abortionists claim adoption is an alternative to abortion. So why are so many children living in abusive families or foster homes (which can sometimes be the same thing)? Show your compassion where it will do some good. Adopt the children you think "someone else should" adopt. YOU should. You caused them to enter this world of misery.

    If you are so filled with love for children, adopt an unwanted child and give him a loving home. You think it's easy for a mother who chooses to abort to instead fit the child into her life, so it shouldn't be too inconvenient for an anti-abortionist to adopt an unwanted child, either.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  24. Craig

    susan, just wanted to let you know that the bill of rights does not guarantee the right to privacy regarding the right to abortion. that is found under the "penumbra" of the 14th amendment, which is legalese for saying the judges who decided roe v. wade couldnt rationalize their opinion under the prior privacy rights law so they needed to expand the "penumbra" of the 14th amendment to justify their decision. the bill of rights privacy clauses are found in the 4th and 5th amendments, regarding searches and seizures and criminal proceedings.

    another thought: why is it always "anti-abortion" rather than "pro-life"?

    June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  25. bob

    It should be a heart breaking decision. A woman should be depressed after having an abortion. She has just committed murder.

    For those that make the arguement that a woman has the right to privacy, so she is allowed to kill the baby that is inside her body. Does the baby not have a right to privacy?

    For those that say the government shouldn't be allowed to tell me what to do with my body. I'm not asking the government to tell you what to do with your body. I'm asking the government to restrict what you do to the fetus' body.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  26. ms. mary

    I for one strongly disagree with these late term abortions. I was 24 weeks pregnant when I gave birth to my first child. He died a couple of hours after birth because he was pre mature. Anyway. I had complications in my pregnancy and the doctor said I could get very sick if I didn't give birth quickly. I stayed in the hospital for almost three weeks with IV's hooked up to me. I wanted to a least give my child a chance, even though I knew it could harm me and my child wouldn't survive. So I gave birth to him and he died......I wasn't going to choose to end his life because of my health. I made it and now have an 8 year old daughter. I'd rather for the baby to die in my arms than to kill it coming half way out. Come on......He was a blessing, still.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  27. Rich

    I alway find it interesting when someone says the fetus inside of a woman is no one else's business. Hmmm... what if you were that person – and for nine months you were.

    First of all I'd like to say that Dr. Tiller's killer is quite the opposite of a typical pro-life individual; he is depraved or should be committed for life if he pleads not guilty with a sanity defense. From what I've heard, he is a sick, sick man. He is not pro-life. Someone who is pro-life cannot commit such a heinous act – it is ridiculous.

    With the millions of children lost through abortion it is no wonder that our older population continues to increase dramatically in proportion to the younger generations. A lot of that is due to abortion. I regret the fact that we have chosen as a nation to put ourselves in this postion – consider where we are with Social Security and Medicare. Having lost tens of millions of taxpayers is hurting (if you think you're hurting now, just wait a few years) and will require future generations to pay higher portions of their income into Social Security – and abortion is part of this problem.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  28. Nicole

    I couldn't agree more with you, Sarah, that is precisely what I was going to say. But just wait, that may be next; women being given the "choice" to commit infanticide if it suits them. So shameful.

    And I would LOVE to see CNN interview Gianna Jessen, who was a survivor of abortion and lived to tell the tale. How about showing that perspective for once?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  29. Ken

    Abortion is a touchy subject, murder is imoral as common sense should prevail and the Murder of that doctor was wrong.If an abortion is necessary due to medical reasons to save the mothers life or if the pregnancy was caused through incest or rape then I feel it should be allowed. Abortion should not be used as a means of birth control. There are many mothers who are unable to bear a child or become or get pregnant who would love to adopt a child from an unwanted pregnancy. There needs to be better counceling and suport provided for women who want to abort an unwanted pregnancy. No one has the right to commit murder. Abortion rights are just another manipulation of the Constitution but common sense should allow you see right from wrong.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  30. Sarah

    As per usual, CNN highlights and sympathizes with the liberal view.

    Stop and think for a second about allowing a woman and a doctor to terminate a viable child/fetus based on "mental health." If we allow this, why should we not allow a woman to terminate a 1 year old based on "mental health?" Neither a 1 year old child nor a 8 month old fetus/child have self awareness, yet both are viable and capable of surviving if their lives aren't cut short.

    The "mental health" standard is effectively no standard at all. Especially in light of the fact that increased hormones and anxiety almost always occur during pregnancy.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  31. Penny

    I read these comments and conclude that 1) ignorant people who write about birth control, mistakes made and getting pregnant, etc. obviously represent people who are ignorant, uneducated because they don't take the time to read (there is a letter to Obama on why she had a late term abortion) and a scary thought that some of these people maybe working on laws in the government, health administration, influencing other uneducated, ignorant people 2) it is important that the government stay out of our personal lives – many decisions made are financial base and not about people (thus the insurance company not paying for it because it was not deemed necessary by the waiver committee). 3) to all – choose love, forgive, peace within as we are ultimately one.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  32. Mike

    Although there are some serious ethical issues at play, none of them are addressed by the negative commenters on here. These folks are mindless automatons that can't be bothered to read what they’re commenting on nor do they understand empathy. They are a breed of egotistical mimics that should be ignored until they grow up and learn critical thinking skills and reasoning. The women who went through this procedure were well aware of the implications of what they were doing and I have no doubt seriously weighed the ethics of doing so. I firmly believe their tested ethical fortitude is more pure and righteous then those who have never been tried. It is only the untested that see things as black and white (hence all the pro-life men).

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  33. kt

    First of all, He was no Christian. Thall shalt not murder, obey that or you are not a Christian. Simple as that. You can call yourself whatever you want, but that does not make it so.

    Arguments about cancer versus abortion do not hold up. Cancer involves self, abortion involves more than self. The beauty of "motherhood" is selflessness........ Its plain to see in this society today, it is all about self.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  34. Maureen

    I am a mother of a disabled child who was born with many problems(-CP water on the brain, autitistic, no kidney function.), that by any means should have killed him. My life since the day he was born revolved around him. This was my purpose in life for that period of time. I did it with joy,put my career on hold, and loved my two other children that were born perfect. I was told to never have anymore. I had my career. My two girls went into medicine and my son is a grown man who is what he is and brings us all joy. I am proud to say I did what was asked of me. Who am I to say his life was not important to him and others and above all God.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  35. M.P.

    Those of you who take a anti-abortin stand obviously have not read the letter she sent to Mr. Obama or have never had to face a similiar situation. As a grandparent who watched his daughter anguish over removing her premature new-born son from life-support because he had no kidneys, under-developed lungs, a defective heart, and no chance of living off life-support. I can tell you that an abortion would have been far less traumatic for her and the family. There are valid reasons why a woman can and should elect to to have an abortion. If we use the logic of the anti-abortionists, setting an arbitrary limitation is tantamount to murder of the woman if she is past that arbitrary limit and she dies during childbirth because she wasn't allowed an abortion. Who gets punished for that murder? How many anti-abortionists are willing to step forward and be punished for that murder? Until someone personally faces the trauma of a pregnancy gone bed, they can not realistically know what their reactions will be. Pre-natal defects often extend into adulthood and require substantial effort and resources that most families do not have. Who will pay those costs? The anti-abortionists? No they would rather have every citizen be responsible for providing social services, which are woefully underfunded, to pay for that care. So I say to anti-abortionists...get out of your fantasy world and start looking at reality. Life is not black and white and not every choice, or decision, is simple.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  36. Charlie

    It would be a terrible decision to make but in most cases it is used as a method of birth control and that is wrong, so maybe when you get old and weak and are a burden to someone will you be happy to hear them say, Well he or she will not again be normal so lets go ahead and terminate.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  37. kellyp

    Government is not making the decision to impose its will on these women.

    People that live down the street from you as well as your neighbors have decided that they want to intrude onto personal life choices and have to their elected officials that certain activities that they don't approve of need to be stopped. Those elected officials then tell government employees what to do.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  38. michelle

    If my mom had listened to the doctors and aborted me, I would not be here today. The doctors told my mom that I would not be a normal baby and would be too little to survive.
    She refused an abortion and I was a healthy normal baby.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  39. Pete

    I fully agree that late term abortions should come with conditions and if we are talking about a fully viable child and a mother who is not facing risks to her own health, legislate away. But that is not what pro-lifers seem to want.

    Tell you what, lifers, you care for that baby that has a 15% chance of making it past 6 months, while dragging the parents through an emotional and financial roller coaster. You roll the dice on your daughter who has about a 50% chance of making it through her delivery alive.

    Someone who terminates a late pregnancy without due cause is somewhere around the people who throw newborns in the river on the monster scale. But there are a LOT of good reasons why people terminate a late pregnancy. 80% are just late deciders? I have a hard time believing that.

    Let's say we do legislate that you can't abort late term without any medical justification – the problem is, if you go down the road of which justifications are good enough you are legislating what is and is not sound medicine – and that's not good. Doctors need to make those decisions, not senators.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  40. Charles

    Human death is human death. When it's caused willingly by another human outside the realm of war, it's called "murder". What's really at question is "when is a human considered a human – and more than just a mass of bone and tissue?" As a Christian, I believe we should always embrace the opportunity to create life – to let God giveth and taketh. Belief in our Savior gives "Moms" the same courage to give birth as it gives soldiers (often men, often Dads) as they go to battle. Someone may die in the process. As a Christian, it saddens me that we need laws to define such a thing, but our society operates with a separation of Church and State mentality (unless war is involved, of course! note the double standard!), so it's not up to Christianity or any other religion to dictate and define this. God gave us the ingenuity to help ourselves AND destroy ourselves, and I suppose each "Mom" must choose within the limits of the law whether to help our destroy. Choose wisely, Mom.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  41. Krista

    I would also like to add this: Protesters protest until a baby is born...after that child is born where are they? They don't come to your home and help you with bills, changing diapers, medical care, emotional grief, or funeral arrangements for those babies so sick they die right after birth...Nope, they don't care what happens as long as that baby is born. Maybe if they spent more time caring about the babies that are born alive and healthy and in need instead of standing there holding a stupid medically incorrect sign the world would be a better place.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  42. Wally

    Susan said, "But in fact, this protest and other issue is really about imposition of one person’s religion or morality on another."

    If I were to take a sharp object and scratch the paint along the side of your brand new car you would be outraged, as would others who witnessed the event. Is that because you are religious? Probably not, but it is because earthlings have an innate sense of right and wrong hard-wired in them.

    If the conscience of those involved in the process of abortion troubles them, they are experiencing their own conscience testifying against them, that what they have done is wrong.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  43. Brandy

    At the end of the day, every one has to live with their own decisions.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  44. TCN

    It's pro-life not anti-choice. Please don't use twisted word of politic to justify something that’s not justifiable. As a free nation we do have a choice: a choice to have sex and accept the consequence. Do I have the choice to murder someone? This society protects a dog from being killed, but then murders its own kind in the name of "choice." It's typical of this liberal society to squander the word responsibility. It's an "anti-choice" when your choice is the intrinsic evil of killing a helpless innocent human being.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  45. Lynn

    Are we making the assumption that having a baby is safe and without complications to the mother or child? Without a doubt if the choice came for me that it was my child or me and neither may survive I would believe I would take dying with a pieceful soul knowing I did not murder a living being. I would hope that would be the decision I made in that situation. I would expect depression and other complications if I did a late term pregnancy. I could never live with that choice to do an abortion. You can blame that on religion, but I will have a peaceful mind with my decision, how about those that choose to have the abortion, it doesn't sound very peaceful. If this was a life saving intervention I would hope it was called something other than abortion. Because right now it's still called ABORTION. The minute I was pregnant that baby was a baby. The miscarriages I had are babies I loved and miss. This is such a "me" society. Having a baby is not just about you- it's about the baby. I would rather have a child born that dies naturally than to allow someone to kill it. I'm not sure what part of someone "killing" your baby is being overlooked. Oh yeah, it's about you, not that baby. I never had any test to detect defects on my babies because we said we'd deal with things if the baby lived one second, one minute or a lifetime. I am not pro choice and never have been. I think that's about morales. I don't believe in the death penalty either. Blaming pro choice on religion is an easy way out to justify your decision. There are so many others that would love a child, even a disabled child. Money should not be the decision to spare a babies life or not. I have no idea what's ahead for my children and what expenses will come. That's the decision of being a parent, in my view.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  46. cypressgreen

    Liz-
    There are homes for these babies??!! What?? We're talking about severely disabled children who probably won't live.
    Wikipedia says: In the United States, more than 150,000 children with special needs are waiting for permanent homes.

    Did you adopt one? Would you adopt a baby with half a brain for the few months it may survive, spend all your time at the hospital, quit work and pay millions in medical bills?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  47. Bert Clanton

    I don't believe that aborting a fetus is murdering a baby. But I support the right of anyone to believe that aborting a fetus is murdering a baby. I support the right of anyone to try to persuade people by peaceful means that aborting a fetus is murdering a baby. What I don't support is trying to make that one opinion the law of the land, imposing it on people who think that it's dead wrong. As a believer that abortion is not murder, I don't try to force anyone to have an abortion. Instead, I'm willing to let every woman consult her own conscience in the matter. I recommend that course of action to people who disagree with me.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  48. Shannon

    Well, if we are going to terminate fetuses at all just because there is either a birth defect or people just don't want them, then what's stopping us from killing your average convict...murderer, rapist, etc? They have something "wrong" with them, right? It drives them to do what they do. We are all living, breathing, humans........no matter how old or how young. Why is it that in some states, you can be tried for double homicide if you kill a woman and her unborn fetus dies. Yet, in that same state, abortion is legal....and it's a willful,"legal," killing. Everything seems acceptable in today's society. We fine tune laws according to our own needs and wants. If we laid it all out and looked at it objectively, we would see that killing a fetus is no different than killing a 2 year old, 22 year old, or 82 year old.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  49. Zane

    In our country today you hear a lot about freedom to choose, freedom to make your own decisions, freedom to do what's right for you and your body. I am anti-abortion, always have been and always will be. Late term abortion is murder just as abortion is in earlier terms. Late term abortion/partial birth abortion is a sick thing to even contemplate. Why do you think that pro-choice groups don't want doctors to show their potential abortion patients videos of the abortion procedure? If people really knew what they were doing then they most likely wouldn't do it! What our problem is, as a nation, is we like to deal with the consequences or our actions by taking the easy way out. Abortion is an easy way out for a woman to continue her life without having to take care of and raise a baby. Her freedom to choose should have been before the pregnancy, to choose not to have sex. Don't come back with those who are raped and involved in incest, that is such a minute percentage of the total abortions in the U.S. it isn't even worth arguing over in the abortion debate (not discounting the hurt and pain they go through). Abortion is just wrong, it is my fundamental belief that the fetus is a living being, and if you watched a video of it you would see that their is a life. This life deserves a chance to live. Sometimes the consequences of our actions are life altering. Don't take the easy way out, sometimes what we think is easiest turns our to be far worse. Most women who have had abortions suffer life-long from depression and worse. I hate that this man was killed. I don't advocate what was done in the slightest and think the person who did it is just as sick as the doctor for having commited the abortions in the first place. Just another example of someone taking the easy way out and not thinking about the consequences of their actions.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  50. truth

    People, lets be reasonable. Let me give you all an example. When an appleseed is planted in the ground it has all the potential of becoming a apple tree. Once you plant it in the ground, you don't wait three – six months to dig the seed up because you determine it is not going to be viable. If that was the case nothing would have the chance to grow.

    When a sperm penetrates an egg and begins to form it is viable, period. Just because a doctor tells a woman that her child will have a incurable disease does not give that woman the right to take that child's life. What the problem is is this: women (and the men who made them) do not want that child to interfere with their life and life's plans! They feel that the child will be too much of a burden on them to raise and care for. I know that sounds terrible, and it is, but it is the naked truth.

    It is that father and mother's responsibility to have the child they laid down and made and to take care of it to the best of their abilities. These aborted children did not ask to be here. This is why women and men need to think twice before bringing childen into the world. It's time out for excuses – whether personal or medical – and take responsibility for your actions!!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
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