Below is my letter. Feel free to take anything you want from it. But whatever you do, let your voice be heard.
I am writing to you because you voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Many opposing the act cited a false urgency for it, concluding that only 1.3% of abortions are late-term and most occur because of fetal anomalies. I believe the flaw in this reasoning is that late-term abortions, even in the case of fetal anomalies, are safe to the mother.
In 2009, the NIH conducted a study entitled, “Psychological impact on women after second and third trimester termination of pregnancy due to fetal anomalies versus women after preterm birth – a 14-month follow up study.”
At the 14-month mark, post-traumatic stress and clinician-rated depressive symptoms were diagnosed in 16.7% of women who opted for abortions, even though fetal anomalies motivated their decision (compared to 0% of women with healthy births and 7.1% of women who chose to give birth despite anomalies).
According to the CDC, in 2014, there were 8,484 abortions performed in the third trimester in the United States. That means that at least 1,417 women that year were diagnosed with mental health diseases as a result of a third trimester termination of pregnancy (TOP).The study concludes that late-term TOP, even in the case of fetal anomalies can “lead to severe psychiatric morbidity with a lasting psychological impact.”
This study addresses the psychological results of successful late-term TOP practices. There are no reliable long-term clinical studies addressing the psychological impacts of failed TOP attempts that require additional measures to terminate the life of a viable baby. To consider if experiencing a failed TOP attempt that requires additional measures to terminate would increase the psychological impact, we are left with common sense. And I think we could commonly agree that knowing your baby was born alive would magnify the guilt and regret that leads to these mental disorders resulting from TOP.
I am one of the millions of Americans who believe babies’ rights should be protected, and I will always vote for Senators who share those beliefs. Nevertheless, I understand your priority is protecting women’s rights.
Banning this act does not protect women’s rights. It takes away their right to hold medical professionals accountable. The only thing it protects is doctors from having to keep the oath that 98% of graduating medical students take, which includes "I will never intentionally do or administer anything to the overall harm of my patients."
In conclusion, it isn’t the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act that shames women. Pretending women who experience born-alive abortions won’t be affected shames women.
Please stop the pretending,