Mind Your Own Business! (WARNING: Portions are graphic)

Fresh blood has a coppery scent that sticks in your memory like thick red syrup. My father was a doctor and I often went with him to the emergency room where he treated everything from sick babies to high school drunks, but that night was nothing I had ever seen before. I walked into an emergency room soaked with blood. The metallic smell was overwhelming, but did not compare with the blood that seemed to cover everything. My dad disappeared behind operating room doors, as I stood transfixed. There was fresh blood on the rear bumper of the ambulance, on a nearby gurney and all over the floor. Fresh blood soaked towels hung from the rails of the stretcher as hospital staff dotted with blood worked furiously to remove the red nightmare. I found out later that the blood belonged to a woman who was a victim of an illegal abortion. That scene was almost forty years ago, but it is fresh as the day I saw it.

Today no one speaks of the danger women once faced with criminal abortion and even though abortion is legal in the United States, still happens now. Rather than face their judgmental families, many young women resort to clandestine abortion unaware of the dangers they face. Because of the large blood vessels on either side of the cervix, a perforation can kill a woman within an hour or it may take several days of horrible pain before she exanguinates—bleeds to death. Victims may also bleed out because of an incomplete abortion, again taking several days to die wracked by wrenching cramps and pain.

 

Septic shock because of infection can kill in less than 24 hours as infection overwhelms the body. Those surviving the initial phase of septicemia become jaundiced (turn yellow) and the abscessed uterus begins to expel pus. Complications from blood poisoning (septicemia) can cause severe pain and often leads to kidney to fail. Pelvis abscesses may also cause the intestines to shutdown. Laceration of the cervix causes severe pelvic bleeding, cramping and usually bring several days of unspeakable suffering before death results. These back-alley procedures can even interfere with cardiac rhythms, cause congestive heart failure where the patient literally dies foaming at the mouth.

 

Before abortion became legal in the United states, the descriptions above was nothing out of the ordinary for doctors across the nation who were brought such cases usually long after it was too late to help.

Abortion Today

The lowest abortion rates in the world—less than 10 per 1,000 women of reproductive age—are in Europe, where abortion is legal and available.[1] The highest rates of abortion occur in countries that severely restrict abortion like Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil.[2] In the United States where religion is strong, abortion remains high compared to other industrialized countries.

 

Still, abortion deaths in the United States dropped to eight a year compared with nearly a thousand in 1950.[3] Abortion was a leading cause of maternal mortality in pre-Roe America, and it remains so today in many developing countries in which abortion is illegal. Worldwide, about 220,000 children lose their mothers each year because of abortion related deaths.[4]

 

In Uganda and the Philippines, the desired family size has fallen sharply since the 1980's.[5] In both countries, modern contraceptive use remains low, leading to high rates of unintended pregnancy. As a result, both countries’ abortion rates have surpassed that of the United States, despite each having strict abortion bans combined with strong religious and cultural traditions condemning the procedure. Banned in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria and Peru, homemade abortions and illegal procedures in these countries often end depriving living children of their mothers.[6] Legislating morality has a losing track record that is more than likely to continue as religionist up their attempts to change the law.

 

Reality

 

Experts and well-read clergy know if outlawed tomorrow, it would have little to no effect on women seeking abortions; however, the maternal mortality rate would rise dramatically. Bans on abortion worldwide proved to be a death sentence for women as self-induced abortion, nonsterile abortions and botched abortions by people without medical expertise continue unabated. The flow of customers will not stop and everyone knows it, but it is a political football that has as much meaning as talking to a rock.

 

Republicans could have killed the abortion law several years ago when they controlled both the House and the Senate. It did not happen because they know as well as the Democrats, that nothing will change except the death toll and that is not good for politics. Besides, it makes one less totem to misguide the public about its importance.

 

Abortion: They Protest Too Much

 

Incendiary comments by outspoken Evangelical Christian pro-life figureheads portray abortion as an “evil” perpetuated by the nonChristian left. In response, The Center for Reason, a private research group, undertook a study to test the premise: “Christians have less abortions than nonChristians.” The results absolutely disprove the premise.

 

The Statistics

 

Of those receiving abortions in the United States, 70% are Christians. Forty-three percent of women receiving abortion are Protestants and twenty-seven% are Catholics.[7] One out of six abortion patients describes herself as born-again or an evangelical Christian. More than one third of born-again adults (33%) say that abortion is a morally acceptable behavior. Those declaring no faith make up 22% of abortion patients and are only 16% of the population.[8]

 

Women with one or more children account for nearly 60% of abortions in the United States. In addition, married women obtain seventeen percent of all abortions.[9] Forty-six percent of women having abortions did not use contraception during the month they became pregnant. This group includes impulse sex,” meaning that person did not expect sexual intercourse. More than four-fifths of pregnancies to teenagers remain and account for more than one in five unintended pregnancies nationwide.[10] Large portions of this number came from religious backgrounds opposed to teaching contraception.[11]

 

Half of the roughly 1.2 million U.S. women who have abortions each year are 25 or older.[12] Employed women account for nearly 70% of abortions in the United States and women whose household incomes are $50,000 or more obtain 11% of abortions.[13] About half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy, and at current rates, more than one-third will have an abortion by age 45.[14]

 

Abortion splits the United States at the voting box, but research shows that evangelicals are just as likely to seek abortions and that many are two and three time visitors. Many Christians who wind up at an abortion clinic end there precisely because of religion. Rather than face the religious judgment of family and friends, many women opt for the abortion clinic. Ironically, almost a third (30%) of all U.S. abortions takes place in the states of the Old Confederacy, the most religious portion of the country.[15]

 

Clearly, life situations, financial considerations or even inconvenience can trump religion when it comes to abortion. As the statistics show, despite the shrillness of the debate, it is clear Christians use abortion services more than any other group in the country.

 

Pro-Birth; Anti-Life

 

It is the right of every American to stand on their beliefs and as long as they cause no harm to others, they are free to protest, march and state their concerns. In fact, it is their duty to make their positions known if they expect to affect change, but a close look at the pro-life movement reveals the movement focuses almost exclusively on preventing abortion.

 

Under the thoroughly misleading and deceptive appellation, "pro-life" anti-abortion zealots behave as if they actually give a damn about people when in actuality their concern is little more than a superficial facade. Other than imposing their values on others, their faux concern is selective and discerning when it comes to breathing human beings.

 

Life is Life

Thousands of convicts reside on death row, but there is no "pro-life" group making headlines by protesting the death penalty. If the sanctity of life drives the anti-abortion posse then despite inmates’ criminality no one can deny that prisoners also possess a life, no matter how despicable it may be. Yet, the concern for those lives barely registers with "pro-life" activists.

 

With the advent of DNA testing, the number of exonerated inmates on death row continues to grow, which is an embarrassment, not because the wrong person went to prison, rather due to the thought that no one knows how many innocent convicts died for crimes they did not commit. Again, except for a few states, no one is calling for a moratorium on executions even though the wrong person could die.

 

Excluding US soldiers, continuous warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq kills thousands of innocent bystanders regularly, yet, concern for the women and children killed by US bombs and artillery is nonexistent. There are other examples, but it is clear the pro-life movement is as disingenuous as it is duplicitous.

 

When it comes to abortion, pro-life is a misnomer. A more accurate term is "pro-birth" or "anti-assistance" as after a child is born all interest in that life disappears along with the concerned citizens, especially when it comes to supporting that child as life happens to it. Birth is the primary goal of the "pro-life" movement with a secondary goal of avoiding paying for often-necessary assistance for the mother and child.

 

History

Few are aware of abortion’s sordid history in the United States or how social strata often made the difference in who lived and who died. Illegality of abortion disproportionately affected poor American women and their families. Abortion came under no law in the United States until modern times when the procedure became illegal. Making abortion illegal did not end the practice. Instead, criminalizing abortion put many women at risk when in desperation they sought out the services of illegal abortionists and died as a result. This side of abortion receives little mention or the high number of deaths fueled formulation of the bill.

 

In the 1950’s and 1960's, estimates claim that each year 200,000 to 1.2 million women had illegal abortions under unsafe conditions.[16] The number of illegal abortions performed each year in the United States varies, but the large death toll from these procedures stood by itself. Despite improvements in the safety of abortion, as recently as 1965, illegal abortion still accounted for an estimated 201 deaths—17% of all officially reported pregnancy-related deaths that year. Officially assigned to other causes to protect women and their families, epidemiologists believe the death toll was likely much higher.[17],[18]

 

A woman could obtain a legal abortion by getting the approval of a hospital committee established to review abortion requests, but it was an option available only to the rich and well connected. Less affluent women had few alternatives apart from dangerous and illegal abortion.[19] According to a study of abortions performed at a large New York City hospital from 1950 to 1960, the incidence of abortion was much higher among patients with private doctors than among women without their own doctor.[20] Low-income women found themselves admitted to the hospital for post abortion care following an illegal abortion.[21]

 

The toll of illegal abortion on the lives of women and their families finally made decriminalization a moral imperative. Few of today’s activists for either side of the debate are familiar of the role the American clergy played in helping to bring together a program covered with controversy. Before Roe vs. Wade ever received consideration, advice from theologians, doctors, scientists, jurists and philosophers came into consideration.

 

Adoption

 

Adoption reveals the shallowness of pro-life protests that tend toward punitive and antilife stances displayed by an unwillingness to provide care for the mothers or child, helping make them the “welfare” cases they so despise. Their stance is clearly pro-birth, proved by their lack of concern for life once it enters the world. For so much concern for the birth of children, it would seem there would be an endless line waiting to adopt the unfortunate, but such is not the case.

 

Every year more than 75% of adoptable children in the United States remain unadopted. The primary reason is that those adopting want white children under a year old. That leaves Hispanic and Black children sitting in orphanages until they turn 18 and become wards of the state, which many don’t want to use their tax dollars to support. When people line up to adopt children from Russia, China and other countries, it says a lot about the people in this country where there are over 600,000 adoptable children.

 

Vindictive

 

The so-called morality of the pro-life movement continues to give Christianity a bad name as lying about scientific research is rampant, using outdated studies is also another worn tactic and setting up fake abortion centers and then using the information collected to harass the woman is nothing new.

 

New laws put into effect in Kansas and Oklahoma reveal the mean spirit and cruelty of Republican legislators playing to the Religious Right with state laws that require doctors to reveal the name of any woman undergoing an abortion so the name publishes in a local newspaper or on-line, which is an egregious invasion of privacy and in violation the doctor patient relationship as well as HIPAA regulations. In Oklahoma, abortion patients are required to listen to the fetal heartbeat before receiving an abortion. Kansas allows members of the woman's family to stop the procedure through a protest procedure, which if dragged out long enough makes an abortion moot.

 

Nebraska is trying to muscle in on the cruelty game by making it legal to kill abortion providers as an act of self-defense under the tortured reasoning that adults are de facto guardians of the unborn who are unable to speak for themselves. The proposal, first tried in the South Dakota legislature where congressmen quickly withdrew the act after public opinion turned negative. A Georgia legislator introduced an act requiring all miscarriages to be reported and investigated to determine if the occurrence was spontaneous or induced abortion. Already women are protesting by sending pictures of used tampons to the legislator.

 

The ideas keep becoming more absurd and ridiculous as Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin introduced legislation that would require women to file police reports when they miscarry, since fetuses are Georgia citizens and their deaths are potential crimes. In protest, women around the country are send Representative Franklin pictures of their used tampons.

 

We are already the laughing stock of the world especially when it comes to religion. Legislating against abortion has always failed as the needs of the one, outweigh the needs of the many (pro-lifers). Women that feel trapped into having a child will find a way to stop the birth even if it means using the back-alley abortionist or doing it themselves. Desperation causes unusual acts when alternatives are blocked.

 

I have already taken up too much space on a topic that does not warrant it. The cost of rearing a child, helping support a mother to continue their life is not on the radar for these hypocrites because it costs money. There is also a racial element to it, but I do not have time for that either, but it can be found under “full quiver” theology that questions the fecundity of its adherents. So much more, so much more!

 

Seventy-seven percent of antiabortion leaders are men; 100% of them will never be pregnant.—Planned Parenthood advertisement



[1] An Overview of Abortion in the United States, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) and the Guttmacher Institute, January 2008

[1] An Overview of Abortion in the United States, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) and the Guttmacher Institute, January 2008

[2] Boonstra, 2006

[3] Bartlett et al., 2004 (1988–1997 data)

[4] Singh, 2006; WHO 2007; Grimes 2006

[5] Guttmacher Institute, Improving reproductive health in the Philippines, Research In Brief, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2003, No. 1; Singh S et al., The incidence of abortion in Uganda, International Family Planning Perspectives, 2005, 31(4):183–191; and Singh S et al., Estimating the level of abortion in the Philippines and Bangladesh, International Family Planning Perspectives, 1997, 23(3):100–107.

[6] David T, Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005, pp. 129–130 and Strauss LT et al., Abortion surveillance—United States, 2001, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries, 2004, 53(SS09): 1–32.

[8] The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2008 & Women Who Have Abortions, National Abortion Federation

[9]The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2008 & Women Who Have Abortions, National Abortion Federation

[10] An Overview of Abortion in the United States, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) and the Guttmacher Institute, January 2008

[11] Abortion Recovery International, Abortion Facts - United States, March 31, 2005

[12] Who has abortions? Not just desperate teens, Associated Press, David Crary, January 20, 2008

[13] Abortion in the U.S., Guttmacher, 1993.

[14] Abortion Facts - United States, AbortionRecovery.org, 2007

[15] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007

[16] Tietze C and Lewit S, 1969, op. cit. (see reference 11).

[17] AGI, 1990, op. cit. (see reference 18), p. 3.

[18] Tietze C and Lewit S, 1969, op. cit. (see reference 11).

[19] Tietze C, The effect of legalization of abortion on population growth and public health, Family Planning Perspectives, 1975, 7(3):123–127.

[20] Hall RE, Therapeutic abortion, sterilization and contraception, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1965, 31(4):518–532.

[21] Burnhill MS, Estimating the number of patients hospitalized after an induced abortion by demographic analysis of hospitalized abortion patients, in: Hasegawa T et al., eds., Fertility and Sterility, Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress, Tokyo and Kyoto, October 17–25, 1971, Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica, 1973, pp. 389–392.

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Comment by Donald R Barbera on May 29, 2012 at 5:49pm
TNT--Bringing the sorry history to light is difficult with the corporate media. I talk about it in my just released book. Even evangelical leaders of the honest variety say that there is virtually no difference between the behavior of Christians and non-Christians. In reality, what we have in this country is a population of "Situational Christians," meaning that when it suits them they proclaim there Christianity, but when it comes to worldly pleasures or forbidden necessities they quickly drop their theistic moralism and do what they have to do. This is the short version about Christians and abortion, the church once sanctioned abortion up until the "quickening." I don't remember the exact number of weeks, but it seems like it 18 weeks for males and 22 weeks for females. How they knew the difference, I don't know yet. To know that the church once sanctioned abortion means that one would need to crack a book, perhaps, several.
Comment by TNT666 on May 23, 2012 at 7:29am

Thank you!

Comment by Loren Miller on March 3, 2011 at 6:12am
Bloody brilliant!  A chapter-and-verse call-out of the BS spread by the pro-birthers (an appropriate moniker, one I've used frequently).
Comment by Donald R Barbera on March 3, 2011 at 4:35am
I mAy have the the PDF still, otherwise I will update it. Thanks! This is part of a book I'm finishing and I need my links to be current.
Comment by Jack Matirko on March 2, 2011 at 10:15pm

Your citation on footnote 7 is throwing a 404, and the actual report ... can't find it.

 

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2814096.pdf has some similar data, but it's a bit old.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on February 28, 2011 at 6:54pm
They also use bleach! Most of the stuff is so cuastic that it will eat away flesh, but that's the thing the pro-birth movement does not understand, abortion is not something these woman want but having a baby is even worse. They are desparate and when that happens people do strange things.
Comment by Christopher Baughman on February 28, 2011 at 6:13pm
We would also have to worry about the spread of misinformation leading to a massive return of women trying herbal based abortions. I remember having once read in a disreputable source that women should use pennyroyal tea to force a miscarriage. Before I realized it was disreputable I almost recommended it to a girl who was pregnant, however I choose to read up on it first. Pennyroyal is highly toxic to humans, and women have died while using it. Not that you'll find a shortage of idiots jumping to defend it because they view it as an herbal remedy. Makes you wonder if there is some group that defends the usage of hemlock as an herbal remedy.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on February 27, 2011 at 10:51pm

Minute, you can write for the encyclopedia of religion and its wonderful impact. Good stuff. That is a fine example of how atheists ought to focus on the many multifarious aspects of religion. Get past the infantile arguments over niceties of theology and uncover the putrid underbelly of the beast. Expedite the progress of mankind as we attempt to attain equality and rational ethics.

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