Today it was unseasonably warm. I think the temperature reached 80. A few times a year, usually during the change of seasons, I walk outside and have to think for a minute what season we are in and which one we are headed into. I had that moment of confusion today because it was so warm and the leaves have not changed color. For a very brief moment I had to wonder if summer was ahead of me or behind me.
Recently in this election I have had that same sensation with regard to the two main parties. I read this article over at Andrew Sullivan and for a moment was very confused. He writes about Sarah Palin’s decision to have amniocentesis and her decision to fly when her water had broken.
“So far, I’ve learned nothing from my readers that resolves the conundrum of a fervently pro-life woman risking the life of her child even in a small way by an amniocentesis.”
He goes on to say:
I have no idea if the stress caused by expecting a child with DS is greater than the demonstrated risk of an amnio to an unborn child. But I do think it’s worth asking Palin herself to elucidate her reasons, and how she balanced those reasons against her pro-life principles. Is that deferent enough?
My initial response was that it is none of our business why she chose to have amnio or why she chose to fly when she was leaking amniotic fluid. I then had that sensation that the Republicans and Democrats had switched sides and no one changed shirts.
Andrew Sullivan is a conservative and for a moment I thought he was a liberal. My mistake. As a conservative of course he would question her decision to have amnio given her pro-life beliefs. I have read so much of this claptrap from the liberal blogs that I just assumed he was one of them. Not that it makes it ok to question her motives or her decisions.
Just because someone is pro-life does not mean that they don’t want to be informed and prepared for the birth of a child with special needs. I believe that abortion should remain legal but that doesn’t mean that I would ever entertain the idea that I would have one, under any circumstance. It isn’t my place to tell another woman how to live her life.
I’m sure that given Sarah Palin’s and her husband’s age she was screened with specific tests that indicated the likelihood of her having a child with downs. I’m sure of it since I have had those tests numerous times in all my pregnancies. What she and her husband chose to do with that knowledge is none of our business. She didn’t abort the child. What else matters? And if she had aborted him because he had downs what business is it of ours? If she had aborted him it would have illustrated what a horrible decision it is to make and that no one makes it lightly and it also illustrates that all kinds of women, and men, find that when faced with a challenge that was inconceivable are suddenly making decisions they never thought they would. Shit happens and our character is revealed or not in those moments. Some women would have chosen an abortion, even pro-life women have been known to have abortions.
Having amnio does increase her risk of spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. The risks are small but are there nonetheless. She may not have been explained the risks or she may have been told the risks were really negligable. I don’t know. I do know having a baby is not easy. Hormones really do make a mess of ones ability think clearly at times. I’m not giving her an out but there are so many possible reasons for why she had an amnio that it really isn’t worth speculating. She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation however.