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. Ester

    I think the real issue here is how woman are viewed. For all the people who say that women are having these late term abortions due to having second thoughts and doubts have issues with women. No one ever questions the man on what he could have done to prevent a pregnancy. It is always on the woman. While you can say it takes two to tango it is usally the woman alone with a child. If a child is not going to be viable if brought to term then why should we add the stress and risk the mother's health to bring a child into a world that is not going to have a good quality of life or a life while here? Why is it that people are making out these women to be these serial baby killers? I want my 14 month daughter to be able to grow up with not only the choices I had but better ones. If it means talking to kids at a young age about sex education in schools and providing condoms to high school students then so be it. But before you condem a procedure that is providing a service to women's health then you better be ready to come up with alternatives that are benefitial to both mother and child.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  2. Alana

    How sad. I cannot imagine what Lynda must have gone through to decide to give up her child; my heart goes out to her.

    First, this is not a case of the mother not wanting her child or accidentally getting pregnant. She felt like she had few options and did what she probably believed was best for her living children. Also, I doubt few people have late-term abortions because they are tired of being pregnant or got pregnant on accident. Most of these people probably got an abortion in the first trimester.

    Second, making abortion illegal will not stop people from having abortions and will unfairly victimize mothers who have to make a difficult decision. It takes two to make a baby and men are almost always off the hook. In the case of people accidentally getting pregnant, there would be fewer unwanted pregnancies and thus abortions if everyone took responsibility for themselves. In any case, those needing an abortion for whatever reason will find a way to do it – probably by going abroad and receiving substandard care. We may be paying for abortions now but we will be paying for the care of unwanted children, higher crime, and repairing the damage of poorly performed abortions abroad if it is made illegal.

    Finally, as a personal note, I feel very uncomfortable thinking that some person (usually a man) in DC or wherever can dictate what I can and cannot do with my body without any understanding of the situation.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  3. 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.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  4. Kirsten

    Um, Beth, just so you know, most doctors will perform amnio and tell you that you should abort a Down's baby, children who lead perfectly fine lives, especially according to them! I definitely wonder what kinds of "quality of life" issues your child would have had. If it helps you to sleep at night thinking you "saved" some poor slob from a miserable life, whatever works for you. And I'm not saying it isn't hard to hear of challenges like this. All I'm saying is that if doctors will recommend aborting a Down's baby, God knows they're not pro-life...and they're certainly not living up to their doctoral motto of "Do NO Harm."

    Late-term abortion, for any reason, is murder. End of story.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  5. jane

    Who are we to decide life or death. Stateically all abortions are more so elective than medically indicated. If the If it where the other way around the argument would not be as intense as it is now. If you find out your child has a defect and you decide to terminate it are you not in effect selective breeding. I can see the value in those pregnancy where there is no chance of fetal survival outside of the womb, but these are the smallest portions of abortions. All others are for the benifit of the woman and not the child.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  6. Sue

    I have had two children and I can't imagine anyone aborting a healthy child. As far as a fetus with medical issues, I personally have two friends who were told their child had a great chance of dying in the womb and one was advised to abort. Both chose to take the small chance they had and both children are now toddlers, defying all odds. The difference however in Lynda's story is that the odds weren't just against her child's survival.There were no odds – their tragic fate was sealed. If there is any chance the child can survive, then the child deserves that chance. That being said, if government forces that choice on a family, government should shoulder the financial burden this will cause on a family with a sick infant. The emotional strain is enough. In a situation such as Lynda's, as when the mother's health is threatened, I feel it's the family's choice. Lynda – I would not call myself 'pro-choice', in fact I lean more toward 'pro-life', however your situation was far outside the boundaries of restraint I personally feel should be placed on this type of decision due to the condition of your child. You should never be forced to make any decision other than what you felt was best for you and your family. Anything other than that is just an inhuman as aborting a late-stage fetus who does have a chance of life outside the womb. Please know there are those of us who understand you have suffered greatly and anyone who can't see that are simply insensitive.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  7. Roman

    It's difficult for me to get into an abortion debate because the only people willing to reason seem to be those who fall on the pro-choice side. Pro-lifers seem to take the stance that the louder you are the more right you are. 1. If abortion is murder, so what? Guess what, our legal code gives us the right to defend ourselves and sometimes that unborn baby, viable or not, will quite simply destroy anothers life. If you simply don't care about ruining others lives, which it's clear some pro-lifers do not, I have an interesting solution. All pro-lifers have to register as such and when an unwanted baby comes due a lottery is held. Whoever is drawn has to take the kid. Have a feeling there'll be less pro-lifers out there. 2. Why the fuss over babies that would not have survived? Really, what's the point there? Or does that data just not get inputted past our own sterotype that it's all these irresponsible hussies having all these abortions and no one likes them! Get real folks or at least put some effort into your arguement and research it a bit. I don't think it's asking too much to put some genuine compassion for everyone involved as well as reason into your arguements.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  8. Bart

    Reading this "discussion," it's obvious how deaf some folks (hardcore pro-lifers) are. Folks: this was a seriously mal-formed baby with zero chance of a meaningful existence on this earth; the mother made a very deliberate, difficult, some would say courageous decision; the physician provided a noble service to a woman–and a child–in need; now, he is mocked in death. It's sick.

    I am a pediatrician, by the way. Also a Republican, as if that matters. Ultimately, this issue is politicized, not inherently political.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  9. spookiewriter

    Those who claim to be "right to life" really need to change that to "right to birth".
    I often wonder if these folks are open to taking in every child who otherwise be aborted.
    If these high-minded folks think that no pregnancy need be aborted because "there are always options", then they should adopt every single one of these births.
    Oh, and they get no financial support from the government.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  10. Buck

    Here is the sick irony in the church. You cannot use birth control, but when you don't, you may get pregnant, which for some people is a very non-desirable position to be in, and is a position which cannot be changed even in the best interests for both the mother and the baby. In the end the decision made by the mother is one that is of in the best interests of the baby and the mother. If the mother is young and cannot raise a child with any sort of quality of life, then that is her decision, or if the baby has severe health problems, then why go through the emotionally heartbreaking process of giving birth, and then watching the baby die, or have to survive through the worst kind of adversity.

    The only system that could ever work is pro-choice, because there only one person who is in a position to make the best choice, and that is th emother... How can we possibly allow politicians or christian rights groups to make these decisions for us. They have an agenda, so how can they make impartial decisions for the individual? Leave these people alone, my guess is that they are going through a hard enough time as it is without having to battle through the placard waving ignorants at the clinic door. It makes me wonder how far we can fall before people become educated to the wonderfully neat idea of a life without organised religion.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  11. John Smith

    Most abortions are done on minorties and middle class women with Family incomes less than $60,000. Planned parenthood was started by a racist who wanted to control minority populations and guess what it's working. 40% of all abortions are by black women 20% by hispanic. I am pro choice but think abortion is evil ugly and disgusting. Rich white women love to make it into choice and impowerment which is a lot of nonsense. I think we should work together to reduce abortions to a few thousands a year and not 1,3 million. All pro choicers should look at a fetus at 12 weeks and tell me this is not human life. By the way I am not religious this has nothing to do with religion. I feel sorry for abortion doctors, could you imagine spending everyday killing babies. If it was my job to abort dog or cat fetuses I would want to kill myself for destroying life to make money. How sick is that. Dr Tiller looked like the sadest person that I have ever seen and I bet most abortion doctors are depressed or really cold like the doctor Democratic Liberal News (CNN) had on last night. No reasonable person is happy that Dr Tiller was killed but he should not be glorified like some hero. He is no hero, he destroyed life to earn a living. I would rather dumpster dive or beg for food than to kill animal or human life to earn a living. Have you ever noticed that most pro choicers are angry, you have to be to advocate the termination of life. Even if you call yourself and atheist or agnostic every human being knows in his or her heart there is something more that us whether you want to call it GOD or whatever, whatever it is at a subconsious level we know we shouldn't kill.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  12. hydra

    To the woman who said "I dont' think the government should tell us what we can do. Then they'll be telling us what to wear". Of course the government does already tell us what to do in many areas of our "personal" life and space. Helmets for motorcycle riders, car seatbelts mandatory, car seats for each child until a certain age; occupancy ordinances for your home, having pets registered and vaccinated, etc. So that point is rather weak. The government makes laws and we follow them or pay the consequence. And abortion is now legal in every state so no one's religion is stopping you from getting one if you need to.
    Clearly Lynda's baby was seriously deformed and, in these instances, many times nature makes the choice for us and the child is miscarried. But sometimes nature makes mistakes and the mother and father, if he's in the picture, can follow their conscience and do what is right for them. If Lynda cares, she has the support of many ,many people who would have done the same thing.
    Having said that, I do suspect that many pregnancies are aborted for convenience, or because of "ooops" sexual activity,
    and a broad spectrum of reasons all supported by the law.
    However, laws can't change how people feel about abortion and when given a chance will voice their opinion. And those doctors who choose not to perform abortions certainly should have that right to opt out. And those people opposed to it and choose to protest in front of clinics known to provide abortions have a right to do so under the law.
    Whoever killed this fine doctor is deranged and, as pointed out by others, committed the very crime he accused the doctor of.
    Legal or not, abortion will always be a hot button issue with passionate debate on both sides. Personally, I don't think we're in any danger of the law being overturned in the forseeable future, if ever. It must remain legal to spare women from the dark ages of back alley procedures which put them at terrible risk. Abortion is not a pleasant reality, but it's a necessity.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  13. MD

    I think much of this debate is an issue of semantics. I do NOT support abortion, because I value life from conception. I do recognize that others have a different opinion, which I respect. Like most political matters, I think we should leave it to the vote of the people and respect whatever the majority decides.

    The interesting thing is that I had a procedure that some might consider a late-term abortion. At 17 weeks pregnant with my second child, we discovered she had a fatal chromosomal disorder and would most likely not survive the pregnancy and definitely wouldn't live more than a few minutes after delivery. When my health grew complicated (and cancer became a serious risk), I was induced at 20 weeks. I was encouraged to receive an "abortion" – which is just a standard D&C (a procedure typically used to remove miscarried fetuses) modified for further developed babies. However, I personally felt strange about that and requested an induction and traditional delivery. In the end, that saved my life, as I nearly bled to death from the induction medication used for both procedures.

    Some people might say I had an abortion. I don't think so. I wanted that baby so bad. We took pictures of her (something you can't do with a technical abortion), and we talk of her often. I miss her terribly, but have learned to respect her unique identity. She was never meant for this earth, but I'm thrilled to have given her just under a minute of life, as she took a few shallow breaths before passing.

    If anything, my "abortion" made me value life even more than before, if that's possible. Now, I'm pregnant with a third, healthy baby and ecstatic. I can't even imagine choosing to terminate a pregnancy for personal reasons (aside from grave health risks to mother or baby). Knowing how much I love all my children and have loved them from the moment of conception, and knowing the strong desire infertile couples have to give homes to unwanted pregnancies, I just don't see why abortion is such a common choice when there are other, more positive options and outcomes.

    Ending a fatal pregnancy is not abortion. Choosing to end a baby's life because it's not practical or convenient is an abortion, because it brings an abrupt end to something that will eventually be a living, breathing, deserving child. It is a mother's right to choose, but I might suggest that anyone who isn't willing to at least see a pregnancy through and then make child placement options is not a true mother.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  14. Stefanie, Texas

    It's really sad that people don't understand the reasons for late-term abortion. The majority of these children were wanted children, but something went terribly wrong. To act like these women are just being selfish and don't want to take care of their kids is disparaging.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  15. Richard

    We adopted my daughter from a woman who had an affair and would have had an abortion but she was too far along. My daughter is beautiful and healthy and 7 years old now. Had it not been for the government invading this woman’s privacy and personal right to abort an unwanted pregnancy my daughter would have been killed over 7 years ago.

    Adoption is an alternate option which needs to be made more available. It is easier and cheaper to have an abortion than it is to adopt. It took us 5 years to receive the gift of our first and only child. We began the adoption process again two years ago and we are no where close to receiving another gift. We are not asking for any specific type or age and we are going through two private adoption agency’s as well as DHS. My wife and I are Caucasian and our daughter is African American.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  16. MK Morrill

    For those parent & families with an unborn baby that is destined to die before or shortly after birth, there is another alternative to late term abortion or carrying a terminal pregnancy with silent grief that is becoming more available throughout our country. Perinatal hospices support families with a terminal prenatal diagnosis. Even a pregnancy this difficult can be a beautiful, profoundly meaningful, and healing time in their lives. http://www.perinatalhospice.org

    Be sure and follow the news links The stories of those families who obtained the support of perinatal hospice are amazing and uplifting. It is so wonderful this choice is becoming more widely available with each passing year.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  17. Dave

    "Who is the goverment to tell us what is right and wrong?" The government tells us every day what is right or wrong. What is taught to our children in schools. Where we can and can't smoke. Must wear a helmet when on a bike. Must wear seatbelts. Can't decide for yourself who to rent your apartment to. When you can turn left with an arrow or not. How hot coffee can be. The list is endless.
    If it is considered a double homicide to kill a pregnant woman, how can it not be murder to kill a late term baby...or any baby for that matter.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  18. Shannon

    I personally know someone whom has had a partial birth abortion. This was her choice and due to severe health reasons of the child. Someone above described the partial birth as cutting the child's spinal cord.... I think there are some major miscommunications how most of these procedures are done. The mother is injected with certain drugs that stop the fetus's heart before the birthing process is complete. These are hard and emotional choices for couples and I don't believe as Americans we have the right to block the choice of individuals. Partial birth abortion as a regular way to handle unwanted children NO... Individual choices due to the health reasons of the fetus or danger to the mother... this is called compassion not murder.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Richard

    Here is a question for the extremists out there. Let's say that a single mother with a 2 year-old infant was pregnant. She was informed by several doctors that her fetus had no-chance of survival and that if she did not end her pregnancy that she would die as well. What should she do? It is not only her life at stake, which would be enough for many of the people commenting here, but also the life of her 2 year-old child that would be affected. Is she selfish if she makes a choice that will guarantee the care of her living child (in addition to her own life)? I think the key in this very difficult debate is coming to common ground onthe more extreme fact scenarios and then an intelligent debate over the other scenarios can ensue. A defense to the crime of murder in most states is self defense. Therefore, even in the case of killing another viable, living & breathing human being, there are exceptions in the law.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Joel

    It's just the natural conclusion of Darwinism–survival of the fittest. Tiller wasn't the fittest. And if Darwinism is correct, then you have no moral or ethical ground to stand on anyway...because there isn't one. He's been naturally selected out of the gene pool.

    So for those who take offense and religion and pro-lifers, you can't take your own evolutionary medicine. If there is no God, it's all a game of meaningless chance anyway.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  21. Joe

    We don't have a right to eliminate those who may be inconvenient to us. I know of many women who've had abortions and the reasons they did it had nothing to do with health (not to say health is never a factor). It was for such reasons as: they didn't want the responsibility of the child, they were often pressured by their parents, pressured by the father, career considerations, economic considerations...etc. Nobody should be judged and eliminated because they are "unwanted". What sort of societal standard is that? We all were in the womb at one point and we all deserve to have a chance to lead a life.....no matter what kind of life.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Isabel, Brazil

    The decision of abortion is something that must be responsible and necessary. Problems with the child or the mother is justifiable for an abortion, but abortion can not be a solution to unwanted pregnancy. Today, with so many resources contraceptives, this is unacceptable.

    The woman or the child with problems should have access to abortion, on time. They should be supported!
    This is not about religion or law

    I'm still amazed how someone against abortion and on behalf of life, kills a person.

    Great interview! Congratulations!

    June 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  23. B

    Lynda's writes regarding her depression as a reason to abort: "I think that’s a decision that the mother and the doctor and the family should be able to make on their own." Lynda, isn't the baby part of that discussion then as "family?" And yet, the most vulnerable member of society has absolutely no rights or voice. She communicates to those who are alive and mentally/physically challenged that they are worthless--and that is not true, they are precious! You are precious, too, Lynda. I just don't think you are right.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  24. localyokel

    Abortion is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights?!?!? Right to Privacy???
    Where exactly in the BIll of Rights does it say anything about Privacy? Much less abortion. Please read the material before you reference it.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  25. Renee

    The baby didn't have a skull or brain. How is that viable? I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions, but, read all the information available before you spout off at the mouth about this woman killing her "special needs child." Being born with no skull or brain is far cry from special needs or having an incurable disease.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  26. butterfly2004

    There are people out there that use abortion as a means of birth control whether its late term or not. For that reason alone it is wrong and should not be used in that manner. It is for health reasons either for the mother or child then I can understand, but to have an abortion in the last months of pregnancy because a mother changed her mind is murder especially if the fetus can live outside the womb. From reports, I understand there were only 3 doctors in the US that performed this procedure. That fact alone speaks volumes on how unethical the procedure is. Those that are using radical methods and violance are wrong. Aside from my opinion and others, I wonder what God thinks of this matter. I mean here is a man who clearly is a believer. He was serving in the house of the Lord, but his occupation was to abort babies in late term. I wonder how God feels on this specific issue. I am not going to say this man is going to hell, because I am human and can only see one side; and at this point I do not care about what other people think because we all have done something worthy of going to hell. I wonder what He thinks about the people standing outside the clinics and the methods they use which completly defeats the purpose of raising awarness or changing a womans mind, because their tactics are horrible and scary!! But I believe God has more compassion and understanding than I or anyone else could have. Only He knows the full story.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  27. Angela

    Everyone who believes that the woman of this story is a monster: Google "anencephaly", which is the condition her baby had. Be sure to get a good look at some images and at the fatality rate. Then get back to us.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  28. Doug from Allentown

    The main argument against this is that, if you allow for late term abortions during extremem situations, you will open the door for the woman with trivial reasons.

    There are those who believe in abortion on demand, funded by taxpayers, regardless of age, without parental or spoussal notification, and regardless of how far along.

    There are those of us that belive no abortions ever. Not in the case of rape, incest, mother's health issues, or fetus unviability. They take it to also disaprove of post-contraception pills like the day after pill.

    Most of us fall in the middle somewhere. Most of us would seriously decry a woman who gets an abortion in the third trimester for anything but the most extreme of scenarios.

    The extreme right says that allowing late term abortions will cause the famed "slippery slope" situation. Those extremeists on the left deny this. The truth is in the middle somewhere.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  29. michelle

    As a woman, I feel that number one, if you don't have a uterus, you don't have a say. Period. And, for all you right wing nut jobs out there, why don't you adopt some of the children that are born severely handicapped, and devote every waking hour to taking care of them? I don't feel it is my job to judge anyone. And before you talk sanctity of life, why is it that is is wrong to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, even in the earliest stages, but it is cool to euthanize innocent feeling, thinking animals for no reason other than there are no homes for all of them? Or raise animals just to eat, when they experience pain and fear? Please....before you start talking about the sancitity of life, take care of the kids, adults, and animals that are already here and need help. Stop worrying about what others do and take care of your own life-it is none of your business what your neighbors do.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  30. Chris

    Please leave religion, personal privacy, etc aside, these shape our beliefs but arent the central issue. The argument should solely focus on if unborn fetuses are induividuals or not.
    If they are, Dec of Ind. gives them the rights to Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness

    I am really sad to see shows like 360 constantly looking for the exception (Lynda) rather than the rule... As he said, most late terms are elective, why doesn't he interview someone who elected to abort a healthy fetus just before birth ...that is the majority of these cases.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  31. Jim

    Suppose that a women is four months pregnant and her husband discovers that she has uterine cancer. The doctor informs them that if the woman doesn't have an abortion and remove the uterus, that the mother will die of cancer. How many of the pro-life male readers who believe that all abortions are murder would let their wives or loved ones die to save the fetus? I suspect that most would opt for the abortion. Sometime people are put in awful situations and have to make excruciating decisions that have life-and-death consequences. Give them the right to decide.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  32. khfdez

    "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"
    Yes, we would.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  33. Anna

    Abortion of fetus is taking lives away, but those with critical medical problems are more complicate, there should be organization that will take care of those babies' lives and medical care after they are born, also this organization decides whether or not the mother should have an anbortion. Otherwise arguing is just talk.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  34. Diana

    AC 360 – Is it possible to follow up this story and actually show some visual aid examples of this condition known in medicine as Anencephaly in order for the viewer to see and understand what kind of decisions await physicians and patients. It would also be very helpful to have a physician on hand to explain the background as to how this condition can come about and what happens upon birth with this condition. Last, it would be also helpful to know of other conditions that would be considered late-term and have visual aids and medical understanding on those possibilities. The more we know the more we can each think to ourselves, what if this happened to me or a loved one. Note to Lynda Waddington; you are a very brave person to come out and discuss what was already a personal and traumatic decision in your life.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  35. Robert Rodriguez

    Shame on you people. Do you know how many people are told their baby won't be "viable" and go through with it anyway. Glad my mother did. Give the baby a chance at least. Doctors are not perfect, they don't know everything. Let God decide if the baby is viable, not someone who makes a living killing babies.

    I wonder how many times this fine "doctor" found a baby to be perfectly viable and said to the mother, "you know this baby could make it, are you sure?" Probably none, only thing he ever said after an ultrasound was "cash or charge". And I sure some of the women replied, "put it on my tab."

    June 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  36. Mildred Rubio


    Abortion may be legal but it will always be immoral

    June 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  37. Brigit

    What is it that makes people so hateful, judgmental & self-righteous?
    What gives anybody the right to make decisions for the lives of others & impose their morality on the bodies of women they don't even know, who's lives they know nothing about?

    What is compassionate or righteous about denying a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy of a deformed fetus that could endanger the life of the mother? "Oh, lady, you have a ticking time bomb in your uterus but all you can do is wait for it to blow...you may or may not survive. Oh well, too bad for you & your family."

    Why is it that all these anti-abortionists spend all their time & energy trying to control the lives of others, to force their morality on the bodies of people they don't even know but don't bother to do a single damn thing to help all the unwanted children in our society? Why don't they bother to help the single mothers struggling everyday?

    June 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  38. Susan

    If it's a medical crisis, why wouldn't that precipitate a c-section instead of an abortion? If the baby is destined to die, let it happen naturally and with anesthesia instead of suffering the pain of a late term abortion.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  39. Fredco

    I'm pro choice bbut the late term abortion issue doesn't sit well with me. If the mother's health is truly at risk (physically or mentally) then it should be decided by her and her doctor and family. But I know that those cases are probably not the majority. If someone has stats that aren't biased as to how often the mothers health is the issue and what % of the time its for "other" reasons please post them.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  40. Doug from Allentown

    I generally consider myself pro-life, but in the case of extreme defects and mother's life issues, I could be convinced that this should be an option.

    Don't kid yourself though. This is a nasty procedure.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  41. mike rife

    Before anything else, let's define the terms. "Murder" is a legal term. What Dr Teller did may qualify as a killing - the taking of a life - but it is not murder, no matter how much the radical right wants to label it as such.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  42. CW

    Recently, a comprehensive global study found that abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion was illegal than when it was legal. We can conclude that outlawing the practice does little to deter women from seeking to end their pregnancies. Consequently, the safety of abortions parallels its legality. Laws that prohibit actions are in place to discourage that action. In many cases, no amount of laws or restrictions will obliterate its practice. Unplanned pregnancies happen globally, and there will always be a market for abortion.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  43. RK

    For all of you who are "sick to your stomachs", upset/mortified about later term abortions; for one second put your self in others shoes. God forbid but what if you found out your unborn child has a serious illness and can potentially die after birth or your unborn child will have a horrible quality of life or after birth you and your child could die. Now would you not want the choice of helping your self and help avoid the heart ach, pain and suffering of and UNBORN child? As a woman we have been given a gift of creating new life and if we as woman feel the life that might be put on this earth will be compromised we should have the choice to give birth or not to give birth to them. We Americans are so selfish at times and I know 100% if any woman was in this situation they would like to have a choice and personally the woman who don’t understand the other woman in these situations make me sick to my stomach. Most of you are not or do not want to get the point that these woman aren’t doing this later term abortion b/c they just want to or feel like it they have a very legitimate reasons. And if none of this matters then just know it’s none of your business what other woman do with their body, their choice etc…

    June 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  44. Christine

    In October of 1989 I was pregnant with a much loved, wanted and planned child. I was happily married and this was to be our first baby. "Baby Zem" (either Zachary or Emily) was diagnosed at 23 weeks gestation with massive anomalies. By ultrasound, techs and radiologists at Lutheran General in Illinois worked over 2 hours desperately searching for where the umbilical cord connected to the baby. Our baby had no kidneys or bladder, and her spine was severely deformed. We were told the baby could not survive outside the womb as it would be unable to eliminate it's own waste.

    I am ethically against abortion and politically pro choice. While still a virgin in college, I dragged all my sexually active friends to the gynecologist and got them on birth control. I never, ever planned or dreamed of having an abortion, let alone a late term abortion.

    We got two other opinions and finally found a hospital in Chicago that would perform the abortion we had now decided to undergo. I was given medications to open the cervix and to cause the placenta to separate from the uterus. I was told the baby would slowly be deprived of oxygen, but expire peacefully. It is the hardest thing I've ever done. If you haven't faced such an event, it is not possible to understand the agony.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  45. Lisa G

    This is a sad circumstance, and unfortunately not many people are reading the article or the responses listed by women who had to make such a heart breaking decision. It's sad when religion blinds compassion for our fellow human beings.

    Unfortunately no one will ever agree. I'll not even try.

    But the Government should never be able to control a woman's own body, our country is based on freedom, after all. If they take away the rights to our own bodies, I guess they might as well go for communism or a harsh dictatorship and take the rest of our rights away while they're at it. The government does not own me and never will.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  46. Cyndi

    I think I can speak for every women who has had to make this horrific decision to end a late term pregnancy, it haunts you everyday ! I was faced with this decision and I still stick by my decision to terminate. We already had 4 children ~ which were all planned! We found out our last baby had serious issues and would never be able to function on his own! With 4 kids to care for already and with doctors telling us the baby's life would be one of living on a breathing tube we made the best decision for our family. This is an independent choice and really no one elses business! How does what my family has to decide and struggle through effect anyone else! People can judge all they want it really has no affect on me or my family ~ I usually just smile and tell them I hope they never have to make a hard decision regarding a loved one and go on with my day with no regrets! That is not to say I don't miss our baby everyday! I do wonder if he is happy where he is now and I find peace knowing that we will be reunited one day!

    What has happened to this loving man is tragic and my thoughts are with his family.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  47. Richard, Cherokee, California

    Thank you Lynda for sharing your story with Barack Obama and with CNN and all of us. I realize that Dr. Tiller never in his life had an abortion – early or late term. All this health care provider did was empower women to follow through on the decisions the women themselves made. Not easy decisions, no. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But decisions the women themselves made.

    I do believe that is what the pro-lifers actually hate ... empowered women. Pro Life = Anti Women. I am so sorry you and your family lived through this nightmare. I am glad Dr. Tiller was there for you. Thank you somuch for coming forward.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  48. Mike W.

    If I had to label myself I would say that I'm pro-choice. As several people have mentioned, just about all of us can agree that ideally abortion would not even be necessary with adequate education, birth control, abstinence, etc. No one wants abortions, but I feel there may be times when a woman or a couple may decide that it's the best course of action for them in the first trimester.

    The hysteria of late-term abortions is ridiculous. Perfectly healthy third trimester fetuses are not being systematically terminated on a whim. It just doesn't happen...period. The cases were it does happen are due to extreme medical/developmental issues with the mother or the fetus. I know that some of you at least acknowledge that much, but still oppose it generally with the opinion that if the is even a 1% chance that the baby will survive delivery, then it should be given that chance regardless of the consequences for the mother. I don't agree with rolling the dice with a mother's life, and never will.

    Lastly...the term "murder" gets thrown around casually by many abortion-rights opponents. I suppose from your viewpoint it is, and I would at least respect that if you respect for life appliied *beyond* the womb.

    How many of you are to be found protesting outside of prisons prior to executions? How many of you protest wars? Is it only innocent life you claim to cherish? Some (not all) innocent people are executed all over the world every day. Innocent people (including pregnant women, children, etc.) die in wars every day, and always have.

    The Catholic Church, is at least consistent. They cherish life, period. I don't necessarily agree with them on everything, but I respect their consistency.

    Me? I'm pro-death penalty, understand that some times war is a unfortunate reality that can't be escaped, and respect our troops. I'm also pro-choice.

    Most of you seem to pick and choose who has a right to live. You say life begins at conception, yet you seem comfortable with the notion that the right to life expires the minute you leave the womb. After that all bets are off, eh?

    June 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  49. Logic 101

    I think we should all be honest.
    If abortion isn't murder what is it?
    What is capital punishment?
    What is war?
    This country doesn't have a problem murdering, it has a problem being honest- defining its terms and examining the qualitative exceptions to those definitions.
    Of course there are reasons to necessitate murder, socially acceptable reasons that allow for a different word to use when the action is still murder. Ironically the ends justified the means in the minds of/ for both "murders" in this case.
    This is not a "religious" argument when zoomed out. It is a paradox of the humanities and the pursuit of our meaning in life. Tiller's Killer obviously thought he was a modern John Brown.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  50. 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 is not only illegal but 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.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
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