I've seen some very strong points made about whether the woman should be taken off life support. Having thought a lot about this yesterday, I came to two conclusions.
First, I'm opposed to her being taken off life support simply because it was her 'wish' in this case because, the article (if I read it correctly) did not say one thing about her being taken off of life support if she happened to be pregnant at the time. If that had been some kind of provision in her will or written wishes, I would not have as big of a problem. No, I would not support the choice. But I would respect it, as it was hers to make. I do think that it's callous that someone says 'It was her wish to be taken off of life support and we should do that just because it was her wish' and then seemingly not even thinking about the life (possible life) of the fetus. Had her will or wishes stated that 'even if I'm found to be pregnant, take me off of life support' that would be a different matter. Do I believe that the sate has the right to decide what happens with a woman's body(said woman because of the issue of abortion, but I don't believe the state should have the right to say what anybody does with their body, within reason that is)? No I don't. I believe that choice should be up to the individual.
Second, I'm opposed to most abortions with a few extenuating circumstances that I mentioned before. I do believe that if a child is so deformed and or will be so mentally handicapped that there won't be much quality of life, then yes, sometimes an abortion is more humane than a life of suffering. But in that case, where is the line drawn? When does it become a case of someone not wanting to 'deal with' a less than perfect child? I have two perspectives, one is that my grandmother had a still born. The child was severely deformed in the fact that it had a head significantly larger than the rest of its underdeveloped body. If that child had survived, it wouldn't have been long for the world nor would my grandparents have known any kind of joy. The child would have been severely mentally and physically handicapped and would have more than likely never been able to leave a hospital. They were not wealthy and so it would have taken everything they had and more to give the child any kind of comfort. All that child would have known was suffering. My grandmother always said that the child being still born (while it grieved her) was merciful. In a case like that, I do believe that an abortion would have been the appropriate thing to do. However, my own mother was advised by the first doctor she saw to have an abortion. He didn't want to deal with a possible at risk patient. My mother was over weight at the time. She went to another doctor and thirty - three years later, here I sit. My mother was twenty - six and lived to the age of fifty - seven.
The question of when is an abortion appropriate has been swirling around in my head. While I do believe that some severely mentally and physically handicapped fetuses should be aborted. I do not believe that every fetus just because there might be a mental defect should be. There are the high functioning mentally handicapped that lead more or less normal lives, needing little interaction or only a bit of help from a family member. There are mentally ill individuals that lead absolutely normal lives under the care of a doctor and the right medication therapy. So, I have to ask, where is the line drawn at mental or physical impairment being grounds for abortion?
There is one last question that I have. And this is one that I feel is most pertinent. Is there a way or a test that can be performed to find out if the fetus will have some kind of mental or physical handicap? Is there a way for the doctors to know pretty much for sure if the fetus could ever have a normal quality of life? It was deprived of oxygen and there was probably damage done. Possibly severe damage. So, I would like to know, is there a test?