NO ZIPPERS, NO VELCRO
There are persistent claims made, by anti-choice protagonists, that the dilation and extraction (D&E) procedure is not necessary because a woman could have a Caesarean section ("CS.")
They decry the "rending of flesh" which may occur in a D&E, yet totally ignore that the fetus is generally dismembered when the CS abortion procedure is used.
Of course it goes without saying that those who would deny women their human right of choice do not care one whit about the rending of a women's flesh.
One would think that they believe women's abdomens and uteri have zippers or velcro fastening.
Well, we don't.
Rather, most of us have intact skin and we're very fond of it. This very important organ does a lot more than keep our insides from spilling out. Its excretory function is so great that it is referred to as our third kidney.
Just beneath the epithelium (that's the outermost layer that you can see and touch) lies a supportive connective tissue filled with cells whose function is to quickly fight any introduction of bacteria or other material that might threaten the body. These cells may also release chemicals into the blood that summon aid from our lymphatic and blood-forming tissues. Plenty of nerves and blood vessels live here too.
Beneath this is the smooth muscle of the abdomen (the "crunch" muscles) which are of great import in containing and maintaining the functions of the intestinal tract. Here also is more of the ubiquitous connective tissue which surrounds, protects and isolates organs and organ systems effectively compartmentalizing areas to prevent the spread of invasive diseases. Just consider all that you have heard regarding the "super bugs" and note that our medical science has no antibiotics that will destroy them.
The uterus is located in the abdominal cavity along with some other important organs. Whatever you may have read or heard, it is not just a bag to hold a fetus. It is a fantastic vessel, firmly attached at its lower aspect to the vagina via the cervix. Its inner surfaces maintain an elaborate construct, called the placenta, which protects and nourishes the developing fetus.
The maternal blood supply to this organ is awesome. Exchange of nutrients, oxygen and metabolic waste between maternal blood and fetal blood occurs through "smart" membranes. The developing embryo sets up this elaborate life-support system.
The uterus exists to grow and, at term, expel a fetus. Obviously one does not find babies in a uterus because babies are air breathers and would asphyxiate.
Surrounding the inner surfaces of the uterus are three layers of smooth muscle which run in different directions. This allows for the expression of a fetus at term or when labor is induced, as it may be when a D&E procedure is employed.
As one who has dissected, or been present at, hundreds of dissections of female cadavers, I have never seen a zipper or velcro fastening anywhere.
Women are human beings. We are not a separate, disposable specie that anyone may slice into at will. We have the constitutional right to determine our own reproductive activity.
It is sadistic thinkers who would advocate cutting open women's bodies, and slicing through a fantastic organ like the uterus when there is a normal, natural channel to abort a fetus. That there are those, professing to be religious, who would force this on us by law is egregious beyond the pale.
Each of us, with the advice of our physician, makes the call. We can choose, if the situation demands, to have a Cesarean, or we can choose to have a dilation and extraction, BUT it MUST remain OUR CHOICE.
Copyright 1998 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
G e n d e r G a p p e r s T M
Also see NARAL for more information on these issues.
Celebrating 25 years since Roe v. Wade.
You can find NARAL's links to other sites here.
See here for a brief biography of GenderGappers author
Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D.
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PLEASE NOTE: A Caesarean section may be and is used in child birth for medical or other reasons. The woman's pelvic structure or other factors may make this mandatory or she may prefer this birth procedure.