For Tom – About Abortion

Uncanny coincidences.  Earlier today I had visited the gravesite of my infant son, and I realized, while I was reflecting over my son’s grave, that I must correct my words about abortion which I had written during the past week on a local journalist’s blog. I knew that, when the timing was right, I would correct my words about abortion on that same journalist’s blog. Then, out of the blue this evening, the evening of the day I had visited my son’s grave, another poster on that journalist’s blog posted comments not totally related to the topic of the blog, which seem to say to me, “Now.  Now is the time for you to amend your words about abortion. Below are that other poster’s comments, as well as my own comments in response to his words.

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Other poster:  “jay since you and your ilk love regulations why don’t you support regulating the abortion industry? Seems unfettered abortion is one the lefts pet projects…”

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My response: “Your remarks are well taken. Today, I visited the gravesite of my second husband of 27 years and beside him, the gravesite of my first child of my first marriage of 6 years. My son was born a week shy of 6 months and weighed 2 lbs. and 4 ozs. at birth in 1965. He died 24 hours later in March of 1965 because he was too premature to live. His not fully developed lungs probably were the reason. When I visited his grave today, I knew that I needed to alter my remarks regarding abortion that I had posted here several days ago.

I had written that the physician of the pregnant woman should determine when the fetus was not able to live separated from the womb, and I had also stated that abortions should not be performed once the fetus was able to live independently separated from the womb. Yet, my first child, my infant son, was born too early to live for more than 24 hours after he was born. I saw him immediately after his birth, and I can still see his unique face in my mind today. The idea that a baby of his size in the womb could be aborted is wrong to me, whether the child is able to live indefinitely outside the womb or not. The doctor had told me that if my son could remain in my body for just two more weeks that he would have had a chance to live. She had tried valiantly to keep him inside me, but my body would not respond to the drugs so my baby was born too premature to live for more than 24 hours. But live he did, with much fortitude, for 24 hours. Today, with intervention he might have been able to have had a long life.

Now, on reflection, I realize that the ‘cut off’ point for abortion must be before 5 1/2 months – except in rare cases of unusual circumstances. This is a tough, hard issue. A woman cannot find out if she is giving birth to a Downs Syndrome child until the fetus is 4 and 1/2 months in utero.  Some women, myself included, would have found it very difficult to have raised a Downs Syndrome child. Government regulations regarding abortion should not make choices that are so private and personal for every woman and her partner. Yet, there is a point in which abortion is morally wrong because the fetus has become a child in the womb, as had my infant son. We buried him with a priest in NYC in 1965. My first husband and lifelong friend died in 2006. My second husband died in 2007, three weeks after I had started pursuing having my infant son exhumed and reburied in Georgia. His father’s ashes had been spread in Washington state. My second husband had graciously said to me that he would drive me to NYC to bring my first born to Georgia once I had worked out the legalities of my son’s reinterrment in Georgia. Then, my husband unexpectantly died of a stroke 3 weeks later. Two months after my second husband had died, my first child was reinterred in another funeral service and laid to rest permanently beside his step-father, with a place between the two of them for me. This would have pleased my first husband and friend. My son is as much a child to me as if he had lived a full life. In fact, I believe that in the spiritual realm of existence, my infant son has been my second child’s, his half-sibling’s, guardian angel for decades.

When I visited my infant son’s grave today, I promised him that I would correct my statement of the last week regarding the “cut off” time for performing abortion related, then, simplistically to viability to live outside the womb. I now believe that that “cut off” time must be before 5 1/2 months except in rare, unusual circumstances, and as early in the pregnancy as is possible. There must be further debate on this issue which is so complex. But here for this evening is my promise to you, my son. You did live for 24 hours, courageously. That will never be forgotten.

Rest in Peace, Tom.”

 

 

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