Risks too high to reverse abortion
Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 13, 2011 14:02
Choosing whether or not to have an abortion is one of the most difficult decisions a woman can face and requires deep thought and consideration.
Resurrection Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in Chicago, has taken the permanency away from the decision by introducing a new procedure that allows a woman to change her mind part way through an abortion.
However, there are certain medical uncertainties and ethical questions surrounding the procedure and until these problems are solved we do not approve of this practice.
When possible, abortions are performed during the first trimester of pregnancy because the fetus is less developed so the procedure poses less health risks.
In the second trimester an abortion can be legally performed but it is more complicated than a first-trimester abortion. It's a two- or three-day procedure where a type of seaweed called laminaria is inserted to help soften and dilate the cervix. Upon returning the next day, the fetus can be aborted if the cervix is ready, if not more laminaria can be inserted.
The new reversal allows the woman to have the laminaria removed so that, in theory, the cervix will close on its own and the abortion procedure will be stopped.
This sounds simple enough, but the issue is much more complex.
For one, medical professionals aren't sure this procedure is entirely safe.
In 2009, New York University conducted a study on abortion reversals like those performed at Resurrection. Of the four abortion reversals, two resulted in preterm births and the babies did not survive.
Because this medical center is Catholic-run, it's clear what their motives are. Resurrection will not perform abortions, only reverse them.
But it's not just their beliefs that come into play here; several of the women who have had their abortions reversed have come to the conclusion because of "sidewalk counselors" who try to dissuade women from having abortions.
The fact that women are letting complete strangers have such a significant influence on a decision that will impact the rest of their life doesn't seem proper.
Women choose to have abortions because they are not financially, emotionally or physically capable of having a baby — they're doing it out of necessity.
Although everyone has the right to express their opinion, we don't believe anti-abortion opinions should be expressed publically to women who are in such a vulnerable state.
It's extremely intrusive to the women who wish to have the procedure done privately.
Right now, the circumstances surrounding Resurrection's abortion reversals raise some red flags.
When it comes to abortion, we're concerned most about the emotional and physical health of the woman involved, not her compliance with the Ten Commandments.
This procedure could bring on a whole slew of problems for the fetus or the mother, as the NYU study showed.
We don't believe Resurrection or any other medical establishment should be performing abortion reversals until the medical consequences are better understood.
We also think that "street counselors" shouldn't be approaching women who are considering abortion or are mid-way through the decision; let her do what she wants with her body and her life.