Making the Connection Between Abortion, Pregnancy, and Birth
By Rachel Walden — June 4, 2008
As Christine mentioned last week, the D.C. Abortion Fund and Our Bodies Ourselves sponsored a recent discussion on “Intentional Motherhood: Connecting Abortion, Pregnancy and Birth.” Speakers included OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian, Alexis Zepeda, board member, D.C. Abortion Fund, and Jill Morrison, senior counsel, National Women’s Law Center.
Jill has posted her remarks from the event at the Womenstake.org blog of the National Women’s Law Center. She describes the cases of Angela Carder, a woman dying of cancer at 25 weeks pregnant who was forced to undergo a court-order c-section, and Laura Pemberton, who was also forced to have a c-section after being removed from her home by police.
As Jill explains:
“The right to decide to terminate a pregnancy, and the right to decide how to be pregnant and how to give birth are merely points on the continuum of reproductive choice. If you start looking at the efforts of some doctors, some law enforcement officials and some judges to control women’s bodies, our unity of interests becomes painfully clear.”
Our thanks go to Jill for her participation and remarks on connecting abortion and birthing rights; go check out her blog post for more.
What’s the link here? There’s never been a deviation. Pro-choice is about medical autonomy. The right to continue a pregnancy is the same as the right to terminate it.
If she didn’t want a C-section, then she shouldn’t have had one. It is her doctor’s duty to advise her of all the risks involved–to herself and her fetus–and then let her make the decision. Exceptions can be made for patients who are not in their right minds.
DRF, Jill can certainly speak for herself, but if you go read her full post, she notes that one of the women who was forced to undergo a c-section is anti-choice – so the connection is not at all obvious to some.
I for one was very happy to see the connection between pro-choice groups and the alternative birth community. I consider myself a proud member of both, but I don’t think they’ve been linked very cohesively in the past.
There are more examples of women being forced to have c-sections than the ones the article mentions, btw.