A matter of priorities

[This article discusses abortion issues. If this offends you, please skip this one.]

In the Dominican Republic, there is a 16-year-old girl dying of acute leukemia. She has become the center of a horrible controversy. The doctors want to treat her, but she is 9 weeks pregnant. The treatment would likely terminate her pregnancy, which would violate the anti-abortion laws of that country.

The girl’s mother is frantic. She truly believes abortion is a sin, but she wants to save the life of her daughter. She’s trying to get the government to make an exception to allow her daughter to be treated.

According to Article 37 of the Dominican constitution, “the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death.” Besides being interpreted as a strict ban against abortion, it also abolished the death penalty in that country. Personally, I wonder why it doesn’t also protect the life of this teenager.

“Lilliam Fondeur, a women’s rights activist, complains that conservative politics is preventing necessary treatment to save the teenager’s life. ‘How can it be possible that so much time is being wasted? That the treatment hasn’t begun yet because they’re still meeting, trying to decide if she has the right to receive the treatment to save her life — that’s unacceptable,’ Fondeur said.” [Source]

So the question comes back to this, why is the life of the fetus more important than the life of the woman carrying it? Again and again we see legislation submitted (and sometimes passed) that has the same restrictions as the Article in the Dominican Constitution. What is the right to life of the woman?

My personal thought is that when a woman has her health threatened, either by disease or by complications due to the pregnancy itself, only she should have the final say in whether treatment is received or an abortion performed. These decisions are not made lightly by any mother-to-be.

Some women will choose themselves. Some women will choose their unborn child. Either choice they make is going to have people telling them they made the wrong choice.

My personal opinion is that neither choice is wrong. Offer advice if asked. Offer support when the decision is made, even if it is not the choice you would have made. Love the person and hate the decision if you must, but love the person.

About Susan

I am a woman of strong opinion. You can listen or not, but I expect everyone to play nice and respect everyone else's right to have their own opinions. I was never much of a diarist, and I plan for this to be less about my life and more about my observations and information sharing. So let's not call this a "blog," which is a word I find a bit repellent.
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