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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » State abortion laws

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Author Topic: State abortion laws
Kaydee
Activist
Member # 41683

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I got this link from a twitter post (at least I think so) and I was looking at the mandated counseling section. Some states have it mandated to talk about fetal pain. Now is that used to ease the woman like by telling them the fetus doesn't feel much pain, or to scare them out of abortion by telling them that it does? or a combination of the both?

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- Kaydee

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. - Albert Einstein

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atm1
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Generally, laws dictating what must be said to women before abortions are not based in medical or psychological fact--they are inserted by pro-life lawmakers. This isn't always true, but often is (such as with requiring women to look at ultrasounds).

Now, I'd have to read the exact laws to know, but odds are high that they have to say something to the effect of "We don't know if fetuses feel pain at this stage of pregnancy." Such laws may only apply to later term abortions, too, since I'd find it really hard to believe that people think an 8 week old fetus has actually developed a functioning nervous system.

It's really hard to know without looking at the laws, but I really do doubt that many of them are designed to support women choosing abortion.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Mandated counseling, in all the states where it is present, has ALWAYS come from anti-choice lobbies, just to be very clear. So, no, what goes on in those sessions is absolutely about trying to talk omen who wants abortions out of them, often with very loose facts or absolute fallacies.

For instance, when it comes to fetal pain, this page gives a really excellent rundown on this subject (and is extensively sourced), and what I'd highlight from that is this, which is what we know per medical science right now:

quote:
In fetal development, most major organs exist in rudimentary form by about 8 to 9 weeks. It takes several months for these organs to grow in size, complexity, and organization to the point they can function. For example, the myelin sheath—the insulating cover on nerve pathways that is required for efficient conduction of pain signals—does not begin forming around nervous system cells (neurons) in the spinal cord until about 24 weeks, and not till after birth in most of the cerebral cortex.[6],[7],[8] Although sporadic brain waves can be detected by about 21 weeks gestation, genuine continuous brain waves do not begin until about 28 weeks,[9] indicating that the nerve circuits needed to carry pain impulses to the brain are not connected till then.


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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kaydee
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I had a feeling this was geared towards discouraging everything, however I had to ask because it makes much more sense to me for it to be the opposite. I mean choice of abortion is a right to women in the US, & because of that it should be something that we should provide an education on not deny. I guess I was really hoping to hear that the mandated counseling was going to be more of something that would help women realize why or why not abortion may or may not be a good choice for them. Just another slap in the face. But thanks for filling me in.

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- Kaydee

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. - Albert Einstein

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Sure.

Do know that when a woman goes to an abortion clinic, she is usually offered counseling, asked about her feelings about the procedure and her choice. if she says she feels good about it, and doesn't need to discuss anything, then that's accepted as it is. No one *needs* to be told why abortion would or would not be a good choice for them, after all, if they say they know it's the choice they want and is best for them, just like no one who went to see an obstetrician about sustaining a pregnancy they wanted would need counseling to talk about if that is or isn't a good choice for them in general, if you follow me. Abortion, just like pre-natal care, is healthcare, so unless someone says they have specific emotional needs, or isn't certain, it's the provider and their staff's job to primarily address physical health concerns and to talk about health issues per the procedure in terms of assuring consent.

If she were to say she felt conflicted, then she'd be invited to talk through that with someone to be sure she's making a choice she really wants to and feels is her best choice. If it turned out she felt very much on the fence, or felt uncertain about what she wanted to do, standard clinic protocol is then to suggest it's not a good day for her to have an abortion done. To provide a woman with an abortion, she needs to be giving full consent, just like with any other elective medical procedure.

Someone who is very uncertain might be offered options counseling right at that clinic (I just did an options session with someone at one of the clinics I do outreach for last week), or would be provided referrals for that elsewhere if a given provider didn't offer that.

And this stuff isn't anything new, so mandated counseling was not a response to women who wanted counseling with abortion not getting it. It was about trying to scare women out of abortion, alas. Another slap in the face, indeed.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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