Friday, March 8, 2013

Bei Bei Shuai does Unthinkable?

The headline I read was "Mom does unthinkable to unborn baby".  In a country that is in a huge fight over the legality of abortion I am somewhat shocked that anyone is outraged, let alone making this woman a criminal.
Bei Bei Shuai is a Chinese Immigrant.  She was recently divorced, became pregnant by a lover, who later abandoned her.  She was depressed and attempted suicide at 31 weeks gestation, intending to kill herself and her baby.  Her daughter was delivered via emergency c-section at 33 weeks and died a few days later.  
I realize the prosecution will make the following points to the jury, but this is my blog and if I want to vent I can.
   Does she speak fluent English?
  Does she have any means to provide for her baby as a single mom?
   Does she have a support group?
How  much did her culture play into her decision?
 Did the gender of the baby affect her decision?
Abortion is far more common in China, it is viewed as a latent effect of their population control laws.  gender selective abortions seem to be the norm, tens of thousands of female babies go 'missing' every year.  A woman who comes from a cultural where abortion is just part of society and places little value on females, is depressed and alone.  She attempts suicide and that is unthinkable?
 She needs to serve time in a psychiatric facility, not prison.

Women in our country, where abortion is still an issue, may have an elective abortion as late as 28 weeks.  Women in our country that speak the native language, have jobs, support groups, and even husbands!! still chose to have abortions.
And yet this woman does the unthinkable?

From Mia …

I'm in an ideal situation to have a baby and I'm choosing to have an abortion. Here's my story... My husband and I were married four months ago. I'm 22 and he's 30. I'm ten weeks pregnant. It was not planned. My husband already has twin daughters who just turned two. I always thought it was pretty cut and dried: if you're unmarried its okay to have an abortion -- if you're happily married, it's not even a consideration. I never expected to become pregnant so soon though. When the doctor told me, I was in shock. I felt so trapped. All I could think is that my life was over. I finally told my husband I didn't want this baby and to my absolute surprise, he agreed with me. He said he knew I wasn't happy. We hadn't even adjusted to being married ... this unwanted pregnancy was hurting our relationship. Not an ideal environment to bring a baby into. After we actually made the decision, I felt more relieved than I have ever felt in my life. It's another chance at freedom. We made an appointment at a clinic, and started talking about all the things we will do now that we are child-free again.
--Sept. 2010
 Mia had an abortion because she didn't want to be inconvenienced.  This is unthinkable, she wasn't desperate or depressed like Bei Bei Shuai.  She just placed no value on that little beating heart.

From Lisa …

I'm 32 years old, with an 8 and 10 year old. When I found out I was pregnant a few days ago, I felt much like I did when I took that first pregnancy test 10 years ago -- scared and filled with dread. This year I'd begun working part time when the kids were in school and I love it. This is the first time since my first child was born that I felt like even a piece of my life was about what I wanted to do, what I enjoyed.
I knew right away I didn't want another baby. I'd looked so forward to being in my early 40's and being young enough to enjoy a life without kids at home. My husband felt the same way. I did not want to go back to caring for an infant all over again. Emotionally, I didn't feel I had it in me. I feel like I've emptied myself on the two I have.
I think the abortion was a lot like labor, but over in a few minutes, not hours. When it was done, I felt relieved. I also felt so thankful to the women who fought so that abortion would be safe and legal.
-- August 1999
Just another selfish woman placing no value on this baby.  Neither woman has any idea what they have lost.
Bei Bei Shuai lives in Indiana, a state with very conservative abortion laws  and so while the charges brought against her are congruent with the abortion laws of the state it is outrageous to accuse this woman of doing the unthinkable while at the same time fighting to relax laws regulating abortion. 
If a baby dies as the result of a depressed woman's suicide attempt it is evil, but if a baby dies as the result of an informed woman's abortion its 'her right' and perfectly acceptable. 
Anyone else bothered by the hypocrisy of this country?

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