Women need compassion, not condemnation

“Who are these people,” demanded a recent writer (Feb. 9 edition of The News), who allow “a baby to be killed up to the day before it is BORN” and cheer legislation permitting this!

Several years ago, I sat through several days of testimony in a federal case challenging a law seeking to restrict access to late-term abortions to learn the answer to this writer’s question.

Attorneys challenging this legislation called women to testify who were opposed to abortion and were under the care of physicians who supported their views. Yet every one of these women chose to have abortions late in their pregnancies.

One was a woman who, late in her pregnancy, discovered her fetus had no brain. She sobbed as she described why she decided to terminate a pregnancy she had so desperately wanted.

Another witness testified she was in her early teens when she was molested by her father. Tormented with shame, fear and confusion, she described how she took elaborate measures to conceal her pregnancy for several months.

Testimony from experts made clear that women don’t intentionally opt for late-term abortions because of the medical challenges they present. Those challenges suggest why such abortions often occur when something terrible and unexpected is discovered late in a pregnancy. This may also explain why such abortions represent only a tiny fraction of all abortions.

After hearing these women describe the tragic options they faced, I concluded they need our compassion, rather than condemnation, no matter what choice they make.

Their testimony also caused me to ask, “Who are these men who seek to deny women privacy from government intrusion while seeking medical care these men could never possibly need for themselves?” Care sought by women often suffering pain so personal and severe that they can only share it with their physician.