Friday, June 06, 2008

Roe v. Wade

By Libby

In case anyone needs to be reminded why Roe v. Wade was enacted in the first place, Avedon flags this testimonial from a medical care provider.
There I saw and treated almost every complication of illegal abortion that one could conjure, done either by the patient herself or by an abortionist - often unknowing, unskilled and probably uncaring. Yet the patient never told us who did the work, or where and under what conditions it was performed. She was in dire need of our help to complete the process or, as frequently was the case, to correct what damage might have been done.

The patient also did not explain why she had attempted the abortion, and we did not ask. This was a decision she made for herself, and the reasons were hers alone. Yet this much was clear: The woman had put herself at total risk, and literally did not know whether she would live or die.

This, too, was clear: Her desperate need to terminate a pregnancy was the driving force behind the selection of any method available.

The familiar symbol of illegal abortion is the infamous "coat hanger" - which may be the symbol, but is in no way a myth. In my years in New York, several women arrived with a hanger still in place. Whoever put it in - perhaps the patient herself - found it trapped in the cervix and could not remove it.
Much more at Avedon's link, including a moving family memory.

For myself, having grown up not far outside of metro NYC, I can recall the stories, which occurred regularly, of women found dead in dark alleys from botched abortions. It was to save those lives that Roe came to be and if the culture warriors succeed in abolishing that already heartwrenching choice, we'll see them again.

If you're too young to remember those times, trust me on this. It was worse to see women die of desperation than it is to see pregnancies terminated.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, Libby and about time this subject came up again. As other rights and liberties are stolen, there is little reason to believe that this one, the right of a woman to choose, will survive. Not with the currently implanted court, anyway.

On the other hand, I continue to be amazed at the number of abortions that are required in light of the availability of birth control and birth control information to everyone.

6:41:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Ah, but the thing is the culture warriors with their abstinence only plots had diminished the access to both, particularly in the population that needs it the most.

7:02:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Of course the pompous p***cks won't be moved by that argument. "she should have thought of that before having intercourse" is the most frequent bit of self-righteous snobbery.

There really isn't any way to change the minds of the religion addicts.

11:02:00 AM  

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