Thoughts on Partial Birth Abortion


If I were to write a concise summary of the state of our nation today, I would only say “confusion.” It, too, isn’t fully clear why we have arrived to 2007 in this state. I would only say it is very clear to me that my first step on that yellow brick road leading here had much to do with partial-birth abortion rights. Thus, a woman’s right to chose. As many of you know, the right of privacy is not directly mentioned in the Constitution.

The Courts have held, however, that there were “zones of privacy” created by various guarantees in the Bill of Rights. The 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision agreed that a Texas criminal statute violated Roe’s (a pseudonym) right of privacy. Few decisions created as much furor at the time, much like now. Yet, confusion ended for me on that issue not very long after that important decision. I had recently moved from Texas in a very fragile condition yet fully expecting a new beginning in California. It was 1977, and my faith was fully in place that I had work to do one day.

There wasn’t a minuscule amount of doubt that it would be done. No confusion. A twist of fate due to a drunk driver coming out of nowhere crashing into me and complicating my life further with serious head injury was now on its way behind me. Sunny California was the land of promise. Suddenly, after nearly dying then surviving the explosion of a massive blood clot about the size of a large peach in my brain, I discovered I was pregnant. Dr Kemp Clark had explained that things didn’t look good due to x-rays given prior to their knowledge of my pregnancy. “No problem,: I said. My faith was firmly fixed. Yet, after I arrived in California and earthly memory began returning. I realized that I was pregnant by someone that had taken advantage of me on my sick bed shortly after surgery.

Prior to my surgery, I had come close to detesting that man, though my hatred had left. It was clear that I had to separate from a person who would do such a thing, but it wasn’t readily apparent what to do concerning the pregnancy. Soon, I decided that morally, I could not kill according to God’s law. Therefore, abortion was not an option. The next step was pre-natal care. I rushed to USC General Hospital to my new neurosurgeon. I had been referred to him, and assumed that General Hospital, as seen on soap operas, also had a good clinic for poor expectant mothers. They did, but doctors next informed me that a small blood-clot was still in my brain, and several weak blood vessels were found also. They explained that during the last trimester (3 months) of pregnancy, an extra blood volume accumulated in the body for the life of the baby.

Medical Clinic Building

Medical Clinic Building

That extra blood volume would surely kill me by breaking the weak blood vessels. Second and third opinions all said the exact same thing. I wouldn’t live to bring a child to life; I was in shock. That was not the new beginning I had eagerly anticipated. God had not focused on any abortion, and I had expected smooth sailing after God became Lord of my life. However, I had just discovered that there really was a God, so I decided to do the right thing by obeying, “Thou shall not kill.”

Then and only then would God be with me, I thus determined. All medical staff, family, friends, associates, clergy, etc. were informed that I would not kill no matter what. My phone rand incessantly with calls to convince me otherwise. Some were highly educated and skilled in debate. Some had studied the bible and or Torah, and other writings for decades. I had to contend with and debate various denominational points of view all against my decision, though for different reasons.

I slept peacefully with my decision to obey and not kill, though I still suffered excruciating physical pain in my head. Nothing moved me until my little girl just out of first grade, who had apparently overheard our debates, had a few questions for me. She said, “Mama, do you really believe it’s wrong to kill a person?” I said, “Yes, darling. It’s definitely wrong to take the life of a human being according to God’s law. I cannot make that choice to kill.” “Then, why are you killing my Mama?” she tearfully replied to me. Chills rolled continuously up and down not just my spine, but my entire body. Without my contemplating further any of my previous reasons, I called USC’s abortion clinic to make an appointment. To make a very long story short, I later arrived at that clinic only to be informed that is was also too dangerous for me to have an abortion.

It would also surely kill me. Between a rock and a hard place, I prayed for God’s perfect will. “How could I not try to save my life for my little girl? Not only that, I had work assigned to me at some point in the future. God had said, I ‘shall’ do it.” The fifth month arrived with only a few weeks before that extra blood volume was due to burst blood vessels in my brain. The baby was nearing six months in my womb and was apparently alive. The movements were brisk. It was terribly difficult for me – such a painful decision. The clock kept ticking. Near the end of the fifth month, however, my prayers were answered. A doctor with a select celebrity clientele had become interested in my case. I was sick and broke as the Ten Commandments, but he found a way to finally get me admitted into a prominent hospital for an abortion.

The procedure could not be performed normally and would be excruciatingly painful due to other medical complications. Anesthesia could not be administered. I agreed nonetheless. My life was spared, obviously – unfortunately, not my only son’s life. The doctor wasn’t happy, yet is was necessary to have a Partial-Birth Abortion. Though I’d recently had a craniotomy to extract the blood clot, subdural hematoma, in my brain by using a high speed drill to saw through my skull, and pushing metals under the bone very skillfully, it proved life giving, though I remained in pain. My son’s procedure proved life giving to me, not him, and he wasn’t in pain from anything anymore, unlike me. I made necessary funeral arrangements sadly dealing with my only son’s life for mine.

Yet, I rationalized it as the brutality suffered by a fully alive Jesus Christ to pay for the sins of the world, for those who chose to accept Him. Since I had recently had a death experience, I knew that death wasn’t painful, at least for those going to heaven. Surely, an innocent baby would go to heaven, if he had a soul already, were the types of things I pondered. I wasn’t sure. Yet, I knew for sure he’d rather be in heaven than on earth amidst wickedness I’d seen. African American males were disproportionately imprisoned more than others as I had witnessed when my oldest brother was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

These kind of facts were serving to bring me comfort along with trusting God’s will. I had also planned to send my daughter to a Catholic private school like my first school, and I knew I’d somehow send my son also. He would have been shown and taught God’s important works left for the church like preparing a world to meet their maker at any time, helping the poor, taking care of the sick, elderly, kids and other works of charity. Surely, my son would become handsome like his father or attractive like I was considered. However, I knew about young boys sexually molested by priests and was relieved I no longer had to worry about that possibility. He wouldn’t be killed in a senseless war like my good friend, Linda’s smart handsome brother in Viet Nam, or be maimed for life without proper veteran benefits like my sister, Sam’s friend, John Henry.

My son’s pain had been perhaps only a few seconds. Not too long before, Martin Luther King Jr. had given a rousing “I Have a Dream” speech saying that he may not get there with us, but that we’s live in a nation where we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. Yes, for an African American son I would bring into this world, it was showing no signs of happening in America during his childhood, or teenage years, but a change was coming one day after a war. This I knew.

Unexpectedly, as a newly single mom, I’d become disabled and suspected I’d struggle in the mean time to take care of my children and get them educated in a slowly changing nation. I had never heard of welfare, since I had worked babysitting and tutoring from a pre-teen to counseling just a few days before my recent craniotomy. The mother and father who raised me had worked on their jobs twenty and thirty years respectively without missing a day’s work. They also, though Baptist, abounded in charitable works.

A value system had been passed on to me that didn’t prepare me to be dependant among the living judging from my shock of homelessness among nearly worshipped millionaire stars and TV ministries, then I had to make the decision related to a son’s or fetus’ life or death verdict leading to making funeral arrangements. Chills, yes, but my confusion ended.

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Posted by on Apr 30 2007. Filed under Opinions and Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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