02 Oct Safe Abortion? Now That’s an Oxymoron
Safe Abortion? Now That’s an Oxymoron
Dear Friend of the Family,
Pro-choice organizations are routinely presenting a false sense of safety in portraying legal abortions as “safe abortions.” Planned Parenthood International, Marie Stopes International (MSI) and other organizations report that 68,000 women die annually from “unsafe abortions” – which they define as any abortion that is unhygienic, is carried out by untrained practitioners, uses inappropriate methods or is performed where healthcare systems cannot provide adequate care. “Unsafe abortions” are purported to occur mainly in undeveloped nations.
The “Global Safe Abortion Conference 2007” sponsored by MSI later this month will feature the themes of access to “safe abortion” as a human right and the impact of “unsafe abortion” worldwide.
The premise of “safe and legal abortions” is largely myth. A bortions performed in legal venues in developed nations too frequently result in complications and injury and sometimes in death. The reporting of death due to “safe and legal” abortions is under-reported by government agencies and the media. When death is associated with abortion, it is usually attributed to organ failure and other causes.
Dr. Gunta Lazdane, European regional adviser to the World Health Organization on reproductive health and research, said that legal abortions are not safe: “Up to 20 percent of maternal deaths are due to abortion; even in those situations where abortion is legal there is a question whether ‘safe’ abortion is safe.”
Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School, told the South Dakota Task Force on Abortion that approximately 10 percent of women undergoing induced abortion will suffer immediate complications. One-fifth of those complications are considered life-threatening. Rates of complications increase with greater gestational age of the pregnancy, she said. Abortion is an invasive procedure, and the doctors at abortion clinics are not considered to rank anywhere near the top of the medical profession.
Since the legalization of abortion in various nations of the world, abortion clinics have been under-regulated and many thousands of women have suffered from any of dozens of complications. Several legal abortion practitioners have been imprisoned over abortion deaths and injuries. In the U.S., the number of ectopic pregnancies increased four-fold since legalization of abortion in 1973. Government-funded abortions have resulted in higher rates of health complications than privately-financed abortions. Furthermore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration associated the deaths of eight women with the abortion drug mifepristone. One in five post-abortive women suffered from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder. The risk of both breast and cervical cancer increases significantly among women who have undergone abortions. In addition, legal abortion clinics have been described as unsanitary, lacking in trained medical personnel and incapable of adequately responding to patient complications.
Post-abortive women are often subject to risks of physical and psychological harm long after the abortion.
The problems associated with legal abortion cited above are not anecdotal. They represent a very real portrayal of the abortion industry. In fact, just last month, another abortion death occurred — in Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, the Boston Globe has yet to file an actual news story on this tragedy. A New Jersey abortion clinic was recently subjected to a state inspection for the first time in five years, resulting in the discovery of numerous violations and the closure of the clinic. The Alternatives clinic in Atlantic City was cited for multiple health violations in a 116-page report issued by the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services. Some of the key violations spelled out in the report include the presence of blood under operating tables, expired drugs and rusty IV poles. These violations are consistent with many other similar reports through the years.
Among the lessons applicable are these. Human life is worth defending from conception through natural death. And we have got to spread the word about the dangers of so-called “safe and legal” abortion because far too many women are being maimed and too many women are dying. Spread the word about the dangers of abortion. Younger women and teens are particularly vulnerable to abortion risks.
Please consult UFI’s “ Fact Sheet on Legal Abortions ” and pass this link on to your family members and friends. Thank you.
Next week, I will address the under-reporting of abortion complications and deaths.
Carol Soelberg, President
United Families International
“[W]e were seeing a tremendous amount of complications. We were maiming at least one woman a month.”
Carol Everett, former owner of Texas abortion clinics
“As the host of eight documentaries on the subject of abortion, I have met many other women who carry these deep psychological scars. In fact, I have met so many that I now believe that there are only two kinds of women who have had abortions: those who have hit the emotional wall and those who will.”
Jane Chastain, columnist and radio host