Overlooked in the Abortion Issue

by Jeff Kane

The contentious maelstrom around abortions routinely neglects an important aspect, the well-being of those who are pregnant.

I was trained at Los Angeles County Hospital in the mid-1960s. In those days, if you decided to terminate your pregnancy and were well-off, your family flew you to Japan or Sweden. If you were poor, you sought a local abortionist.

Abortion being thoroughly illegal then, there were no professional standards. Abortionists didn’t need a degree, experience, or, for that matter, scruples. They did their work with whatever came to hand–kitchen implements, harsh chemicals, even turkey quills. More often than not, their patients/victims developed bleeding, perforation, and infection. When I was on my Ob-Gyn rotation, we daily saw an average of eight to ten women with these complications. Many were as young as twelve, often hurriedly dropped off at the ER by frightened boyfriends or parties unknown. On the average, one died every day.

Imagine that: your daughter, who still keeps dolls in her bedroom, getting secretly pregnant, mutilated by a backstreet criminal, and shamefully dying alone. If abortion once again is declared illegal we’ll return to those days. As always, the wealthy will find little difficulty terminating pregnancies and the less affluent will risk death while their impregnaters suffer no risk at all.

To say to these young women, “You should have thought of that before…” strikes me not only as inhumanly callous, but actually supportive of the taking of a human life.

Article originally published on Dr Kane’s blog at http://healthcareasthoughpeoplematter.blogspot.com/