Saturday, October 20, 2012

We Need Abortion Information to be Safe, Legal & Accessible.


Originally posted at AbortionGang.

In the past, anti-choice activists were clear with their message: abortion is murder and must be made illegal, full stop. When this method proved to be a failure, they started coming up with new methods that they are using to ban abortion piece by piece.
One such method is to claim that abortion is dangerous to a woman physically or mentally, and therefore there need to be regulations put on it. These regulations include waiting periods, forced ultrasounds, wider clinic hallways, forcing doctors to have privileges at a nearby hospital (even if they’re completely trained and capable of doing their job without said privileges) and more. Anti-choicers push these regulations forward in the name of women’s health and safety.
But the truth is, these regulations make abortion MORE dangerous. These regulations hurt women because they push women towards do-it-yourself abortions, online pills and over the border pharmacists. A recent New York Times piece stated that women are leaving the United States to buy pills in Mexico that can cause abortions (usually within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy). These pills are sold by unlicensed, untrained pharmacy workers who cannot provide the proper instructions on how to take the pills. As the article says,
“Like many Progreso pharmacy workers, Mr. Acosta does not hold a pharmacy degree or a license but is allowed under Mexican law to dispense Cytotec [a pill that can induce an abortion]. Asked about the proper dosage, he reluctantly suggested that patients take one pill every two hours — 18 tablets in all.
According to the World Health Organization, the recommended dosage of misoprostol, if used alone for an abortion, should be four tablets (800 micrograms) every three hours for a total of three doses, or 12 tablets.”
This lack of information about how to use the pills can lead to dangerous situations (indeed, ANY drug taken in a way that isn’t recommended can lead to adverse effects, not just abortion-related drugs). Some women take too few, and fail to abort the pregnancy. Some women take too many pills, which leads to excessive bleeding and trips to the emergency room. Either way, it’s not a good situation for the women involved. But they choose it. Why? One woman in the article stated she chose to self-administer the pills because she was trying to avoid the invasive and expensive regulations anti-choicers put on to abortion in the USA.
Now, we must clarify one thing. It is not the abortion pill that is dangerous; the pill, if used correctly, is completely safe. The danger and risk is associated with having a pharmacist unable to instruct women in how to take these pills properly. Anti-choicers hope that if no one knows how to perform an abortion, or how many pills to take, women will stop aborting. But this is not true–women continue to obtain abortions even in countries where it is illegal or access is restricted.
There are some pro-choice organizations that are out there working to combat the lack of information on the abortion pill. One such group is Women on Waves, which travels to countries where abortion is illegal and provides information and access to safe abortion methods. Women on Waves believes that women are capable of self-administering their own abortion using misoprostal and mifepristone, when they are educated in the proper usage. Any woman with internet access can actually go to the Women on Waves website and learn the proper method to take the pills.
When faced with the idea that women will seek “back-alley” or “DIY” abortions when legal abortion is too difficult to access, anti-choicers have two common responses: they either refuse to believe this will happen, or they believe it and do not care. While I have little hope for militant antis who blame women for injuries related to self-induced abortions, I am hopeful that hearing that women resort to DIY abortions might change the views of the antis who refused to believe this would happen. Perhaps when faced with this reality, they will see that women need abortion, and information about abortion, to be legal, safe, and accessible.

5 comments:

  1. Proper information among consumers is very essential. I just hope people especially women, should educate themselves first before engaging into this controversial thing in order to be safe from harm and possible health risks.

    -SJWC.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are right.

    As horrific as it is for any woman to kill her child via a "safe, legal, and accessible" abortion, it is even more horrific for her to do so while also injuring herself. Because at that point, we have 2 casualties, verses just one.

    But note -- in the realm of the multiplying of evils, we are still in the terrain of evil. Reducing the 2nd evil in no way diminishes the first.

    I noticed that in your statement of the trio of words popularized by Bill Clinton's call for abortion to be "safe, legal, and RARE" (while he actually only pursued the first 2); you have outdone him in completely losing even a stated goal of making abortion rarer. Rather, your collective posts seem to be intent on making it as common as is possible, via every legal means.

    Do you have any interest whatsover in actually reducing the number of abortions in our country?

    There are a multitude of positive ways that Christians have consistently offered:
    - raising our culture's morality to re-value sex among married people and reducing the allure of sex outside of marriage
    - heightening the value of heroic adoption, where every seemingly unwanted child becomes a truly wanted one -- even if by a different family
    - keeping rather than removing an appropriate stigma on abortion -- as the premature elimination of human life
    - making abortion more expensive, yet significantly reducing birth costs, subsidizing child-raising costs, and expanding maternal leave benefits. (thus evening the financial playing field, so that cost is no longer an influence which leans women toward abortion).
    - offering the best of education to girls in schools, churches, and community centers: which reveals to them the miraculous ability of their bodies to offer and sustain the next generation of life; to prepare for such a time; and to await it with great expectation and glory; and to reclaim the value of their virginity to be a wedding gift (for boys as well); and to re-value the awesome responsibility and privilege of mothering. Also, to be quite aware of the developmental stages of babies in the womb, so they are aware of when the heart begins beating, when the baby begins eating from the Mother's food, when the thumbsucking starts, when pain is felt, when the brain is developing, and how early viability is sustainable. This would be great education, don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abortion is common. There is no reason to make abortion rare, because it is not a bad thing. We should work to make unplanned pregnancy rare.

      Many of the methods you mention haven't worked, and are actually painful to many people (ie "heroic adoption silences women who are in pain after giving up their child). There is no "appropriate stigma" on abortion- again, all you're doing is hurting people. Not very Christ like at all.

      Your focus on "teaching girls" shows that you haven't moved onto successful methods at all, and you don't hold males accountable. I hope you can change this.

      Delete
  3. Virtually all of the methods I've advocated here ARE working in truly Christian environments. They and the others are opposed by Hollywood values and pro-choice institutions that do not consider biblical values. You are at least honest when you admit no genuine desire to limit abortions (unlike Clinton) while revealing your amorality by projecting a falsehood that there is nothing wrong with abortion. (Of course that was a naked, unsupported assertion with no persuasive value.)

    How can one argue that a woman might be "in pain" after giving up a child for adoption and meanwhile presume that women are not in pain for destroying their young in their womb? You cannot honestly be unaware of the tens of thousands of women who have experienced deep emotional anguish for having pursued abortions?

    My references to "teaching girls" were in the context of your comments about a supposed full range of education services - presumably TO GIRLS - which incidentally did not include any legitimate "Christian" eduction. So, your critique is invalid.

    Additionally, I made specific mention of "boys as well" -- and I DO hold males accountable. I hold the males largely accountable actually for pursuing sex with girls/women outside of marriage, as typically they take the lead. And for having taken the lead culturally in sexually objectifying women and being generally the leaders in promoting high sexuality among non-married people in every media venue.

    However, when it comes to abortion -- the killing of the unwanted developing child -- THAT decision is always made finally by the woman. For any man who puts pressure on a woman to abort -- he shares and/or bears that blame. Except, I think you already asserted that abortion is never a "bad" thing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if you get to make up what a "truly Christian environment" is, then how could I possible disagree with you?

      The majority of women feel relief after an abortion, and there is no connection between abortion and mental illness. Nevertheless, I am strongly in support of pro-choice organizations that work with women on the whole range of feelings (from relief to regret, from happiness to sadness) they feel after an abortion.

      Seeing how I never mentioned girls in my post, I'm not sure where you got the idea I was talking about educating girls, specifically or otherwise. You included boys as an afterthought, without any mention to what they could do- except use their virginity as a wedding gift. So I reiterate my point; you don't hold males accountable.

      Abortion isn't bad, but coercing someone to abort is bad.

      Delete