A site called RH Reality Check, which purports to cover issues of “Reproductive & Sexual Health and Justice,” published a blog Tuesday in which they asked a question I’m sure has been weighing on all our minds: “Why is self-abortion care a crime?”
If it sounds dangerous to you — a woman to attempting a procedure on herself that can be risky even when done by an experienced doctor — don’t worry, that’s a normal reaction. Here’s what the National Abortion Federation, a pro-abortion organization, has to say on the subject:
Trying to end a pregnancy by self-aborting can be very dangerous to your life, health and ability to have children in the future. You may injure yourself or die if you attempt to self-abort.
The authors of the RH Reality Check blog seem to disagree with this assessment. Or maybe they just want to see what happens when people try to give themselves abortions. But far be it from me to question their motives. In any case they say this:
We have to ask then – is the outcry when women choose to self-induce truly driven by the need to protect the health and safety of the woman? Or is this another example of over-regulation because of the politics of abortion?
Oh, wait, look, they’re questioning my motives for opposing self-abortion! So I guess it’s fair now for me to question theirs for advocating it.
So here’s a question: how concerned are you really with the health of women if you’re publicly encouraging them to not worry about that pesky “licensed medical professional” business? Appendectomies are legal to perform, too, but only if you’re what we over here in Saneville call a “doctor.”
This article goes on and on about how hard it is for some women to find a place to get an abortion. Here’s a crazy idea for an alternative that’s safer than a do-it-yourself abortion: adoption! I know, I know, it sounds nuts, this idea of being pregnant until you go into labor and then having the baby. But desperate times call for desperate measures, am I right?
I’m having trouble finding statistics that address how much safer it is to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth than to attempt to give yourself an unsupervised abortion in your apartment at 24 weeks gestation and dump the baby in a trash can. Childbirth is certainly safer for the baby! But I’m going to do something I rarely do and agree with the National Abortion Federation: self-abortion is unsafe.
The 2008 film Revolutionary Road (SPOILER ALERT!) ends with Kate Winslet’s character performing an instillation abortion on herself so that she can be free to move to Paris with her husband and live a more carefree, exciting life than the suburban one currently boring and depressing her. She hemorrhages and dies. I don’t think the film was trying to make a pro-life argument – quite the opposite — but it nevertheless illustrates a universal truth: what we think might liberate us can also destroy us.
In other words, pro-abortion advocates might love the idea of women having the utter, unfettered freedom of D.I.Y. abortions, but to quote the country music songs, freedom isn’t free. It comes at a price, and that price might be a woman’s life.
Comparing even a medically-induced abortion to a miscarriage is inaccurate and dishonest; the body terminating a pregnancy naturally is different from the body reacting to drugs. The Wikipedia entry on “Self-induced abortion” references an earlier article on misoprostol, a drug commonly used to induce abortion, by Susan Yanow, one of the authors of the RH Reality Check blog:
Although proponents of this method deem it to be safer than those using insertion of objects or chemicals into the uterus, they also note that failure to effect an abortion by this method can lead to the child being born with serious birth defects. Furthermore, the drug causes a drastic drop in blood pressure, and women may haemmorhage as a result of misusing the drug for the purpose of abortion.
These are the people who have screamed themselves hoarse for decades about wanting abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. It’s a lie. They only care that it’s legal. They routinely defend abortion doctors with pitiful records of harming women, and now they’re telling women they don’t need a doctor at all. Rarity is also not one of their chief concerns. If it were, they might be open to encouraging abstinence — the only method of birth control that works 100% of the time — instead of sexual libertinism.
What they really want is for abortion to be profitable, publicly funded, and unrestricted, even at the expense of women’s health.
The authors spend several paragraphs lamenting the plight of women who might feel no other option than to give themselves an abortion, but this is what they have to say about a 24-week old fetus:
The woman disposed of the fetus in what was probably the only way she could think of: wrapped in plastic bags and placed in the trash receptacle of her apartment building.
Note the tone of sympathy for the poor woman who threw her baby in the garbage. Note there is none reserved for the baby.
Bringing us to another point specific to abortion in the second trimester and beyond: an abortion kills a fetus, often painfully. How much more painful might that death be if it’s caused by an inexperienced woman with crude equipment operating on herself? It is unpleasant to think about, but it’s a valid question, one which I doubt has crossed the minds of the authors.
By the way, this particular late-term self-abortion took place in New York City, which the authors go on to admit is crawling with abortionists. The article is very careful not to guess at the woman’s reasons for making her “choice” to abort at home. That would be speculative and judgmental! But they have no problem speculating that us wacko pro-lifers oppose self-abortion not because it’s unsafe, but because it gives us another political victory.
Advocacy of self-abortion is irresponsible and proves that pro-aborts lie when they claim they are driven solely by concern for women and their health.
By the way, the woman who dumped her 24-week-old fetus in the trash was charged with a misdemeanor. In some states, she wouldn’t have been charged with a crime at all. A thinking, feeling human being hears that and thinks “tragedy.” But to the good folks at RH Reality Check, the only tragedy is the misdemeanor charge.
She may not have understood it before she did it (although I imagine she understood quite well once she saw her fully-formed baby), but what that woman did, besides put her own life at risk, was commit murder. Fortunately for her, she lived through it, and got away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Her child was not so lucky.