Legal Abortion – A Blow for Women’s Health

Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Well, today is the 38th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision!

When I think about what life was like over 38 years ago – before abortion was legal in this country – I can’t help to think about this nut ball doctor up in Philadelphia who a few days ago was indicted on several counts of MURDER for basically performing “illegal” abortions.  Now, I have not had the time to look closely at the indictment and, frankly, I’ve never heard of this guy but the only thing I thought of when I heard the news was that what he was doing was just how it worked in the old days.  We had all these sleazy illegal abortionists with unqualified staff, using unsterilized instruments and offering no counseling.  As a result, women throughout the country were being harmed physically and, worse, dying.  This guy up in Philadelphia is just an old “abortionist.”   Unfortunately, it’s someone like that who makes the headline and that, of course, gives the legitimate doctors a bad rap by association.

In the grand scheme of things, I can see how certain anti-abortion folks are so totally fixated on “saving” that fetus.  It’s just their thing and I am not qualified to psychoanalyze their thinking.  But while these folks are seemingly mesmerized by the quest to “save babies” do they not see what might happen if abortion were made illegal again in this country?  Do they not see what happened up in Philadelphia recently?  Do they have absolutely no compassion for the real, live, breathing woman?   I mean, they’re not all totally myopic, are they?

I think I know the answer that the pro-lifers will give me, I’ve certainly heard enough of the rhetoric over the years.  But, at least at this time, 38 years later, I can breathe a sigh of relief that in 1973 the Supreme Court in 1973 was brave and smart enough to realize what they were doing.  They struck a blow for woman’s health and that’s what I choose to celebrate today.

15 thoughts on “Legal Abortion – A Blow for Women’s Health

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  1. Norma McCormic aka Jane Roe said that her case was the biggest mistake of her life and many women are still dying at the hands of qualified physicians! I am against the murder of innocent babies and I support pregnancy support centers.

    1. But, Robin, Norma is just one woman. Yes, she was the name on the case but she is just one woman. Also, I dont know where you get your facts but the number of deaths from legal abortions is unbelievably low. Indeed, more women die from childbirth than abortion.

      I understand and support your right to oppose abortion, but I urge you when you make an argument to look at facts. How “many” women are dying from legal abortions each year?

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I respect it.

  2. I do not have any intrest in debate. Abortion is murder. Life starts at conception and ends at natural death, more clinics will be shut down and i will do everything i can to assist those closures. I know that people who are pro choice are equal in their passion to keep them open and i admire anyone who fights for their beliefs but I will continue to pray for the end of abortion till the day I die.

    1. Of course you have no interest in debating because you are very narrow minded and are afraid that you do not have the intellectual capacity to defend your position, except to say that abortion is “murder.” Sad….very sad….

  3. Abortion is evil and kills. Women who have engaged in this act come out not being d same person. One of the worst crime one can commit is to kil sombody psycholgically. Abortion does this on women. Let us reconsider our positions.

    1. Anonymous (I dont blame you by the way for being anonymous because you are obviously a simple minded person): Prove that a woman who has an abortion ultimately is “not the same person”. I suspect you will not answer, so I wish you well…

  4. Im not afraid of not coming off as intelegent, I know I am. What bothers me is someone who has an icy heart. Abortion ends the life of a human and thats just a fact. Debating that seems very stupid. And you started the name calling which is what people who support baby killing do.

    1. Robin: I could not resist calling you simple minded because you popped up onto this page, said abortion is bad or murder or whatever, then you said you would not debate it. Why not? What are you afraid of?

      How about this: women who have abortions KNOW they are killing something. They KNOW that they are ending some form of life. What you are saying is not a shock. And, you know what? Women STILL have abortions.

      By the way: how many children have you adopted? I suspect you also will disappear when you realize how hypocritical it is to tell women to carry a child and put it up for adoption when you haven’t adopted one of those children. And you will just wallow in your narrow, ignorant world…..

  5. I have had an abortion and it broke my heart so I think the icy heart comment is rather a nasty and narrow minded one. To think that women who go through this don’t care about what they are doing is ridiculous.

    I don’t thin abortion is ever the “right thing” to do but sometimes it is the best thing to do given your other options.

    Whether legal or illegal it will continue to happen. At least where and whilst it is legal, it is being done in a way that is safer for the mother and the embryo / foetus. At least women can make plans more quickly and have the procedure earlier. At least there is counselling to support it.

    The world isn’t black and white… I thought anyone over 10 years old knew that.

  6. Although I agree this is a very emotional topic, I think it is necessary to be able to have facts and reasons behind the emotions. I am not known to be unintelligent, but feel free to make your own conclusions. I truly believe a debate is a way to share facts, as well as beliefs. But when it begins to unravel with name-calling and the parties involved choose not to listen with care to each other, it simply becomes an argument. That said, please check these out. (And remember, find out the truth for yourselves don’t just take my word on it.)

    Eurice Agbaaga, who had come to the U.S. from Ghana to “find a better life,” underwent an abortion by Dr. Abram Zelikman on January 7, 1989. She went to his Brooklyn clinic where a friend of her’s worked, and was told by Zelikman that she was between 11 and 12 weeks pregnant. After the procedure, the clinic’s receptionist became alarmed at Eurice’s bleeding and asked that the doctor, who had already left the clinic, come back and examine her. The nurse eventually called an ambulance for Eurice, who was still bleeding, unconscious, and in shock. She was performing CPR on Eurice when the paramedics arrived, and they were able to restore her breathing. Doctors at Long Island College Hospital performed surgery, but Eurice did not come out of her coma. She was placed on life support, but on January 15, 1989 at the age of 26, she died leaving one child behind.
    The heavy bleeding was found to be from a perforated uterus and a severed abdominal artery, and her fetus was determined to have been at least 19 weeks old. The state health commissioner suspended Zelikman’s license when an investigation showed that he had allowed the receptionist to give Eurice and other abortion patients anesthesia, that he failed to perform medical tests prior to abortions, and that he had left Eurice in the facility with no medical supervision. (“She dies after B’klyn abortion,” New York Daily News, January 16, 1989; “Abortion Leaves Woman, 26, Brain Dead,” New York Post, January 10, 1989; “Axelrod Suspends License of Brooklyn Doctor Who Performs Abortion,” Associated Press, February 3, 1989)

    Gloria Aponate This 20-year-old woman underwent a second-trimester abortion at the office of Dr. Hanan Rotem in Stamford, Connecticut on April 29, 1986 at 3:45 p.m. By that evening, she was dead at an area hospital. This married mother of one, bled to death from a perforation of her uterus. [State of Connecticut, Certificate of Death #385; “Doctor Reprimanded For Abortion Death,” Associated Press, November 22, 1989.]

    17-year-old Wilma underwent an abortion by Milan Vuitch in Washington D.C. on June 19, 1974. After being overdosed with an anesthetic drug, Wilma lapsed into a coma. Dr. Vuitch then left her unattended at the abortion clinic for 12 hours before transferring her to a hospital. She died the next day of complications from the anesthesia. Tragically, in 1980, another woman, 32-year-old Georgianna English, died from anesthesia after an abortion performed by Vuitch. (Superior Court, District of Columbia Civil Action No. 75-1156; “Unlicensed Clinic Performed Abortions in D.C. for 8 Years,” The Washington Post, April 29, 1984, p B1; “Abortion patient awarded $80,000,” The Washington Times, April 19, 1984; District of Columbia Death Certificate # 80-0000237)

    Diana Lopez On the morning of February 28, 2002, this 25-year-old woman went to her local Los Angeles Planned Parenthood clinic to have an 18-week abortion. Immediately following the D&E procedure, she began bleeding very heavily. She was taken by ambulance to USC Women’s and Children’s Hospital where an emergency hysterectomy was performed to stop the hemorrhaging that was caused by a tear in her cervix. Unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful. Diana was pronounced dead exactly three hours after her abortion began at the Kingston Avenue clinic. She is survived by a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. (Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, Autopsy Report # 2002-01721)

    Nichole Williams, age 22 and the mother of three, went to Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis for a first-trimester abortion on April 25, 1997. Reproductive Health is run by Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, and the abortion was performed by Dr. Robert Crist, who is their medical director. Before the abortion was completed, Dr. Crist noticed that Nichole was having breathing difficulties. He finished the procedure and instructed staff to call for an ambulance. She was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital where she would die later that day. Nichole was the third woman to die after having an abortion by Dr. Crist. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Abortion-Related Death Spurs Activists Pleas,” April 27, 1997; Miscellaneous, April 26, 1997; “Woman’s Death After Abortion Under Scrutiny,” April 29, 1997; “Abortion Doctor Much Despised, Much Praised,” April 29, 1997; “Drug Was Fatal In ’88 Abortion,” April 30, 1997)

    The November 15, 1984 edition of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology contains an article entitled, “Postabortal pelvic infection associated with Chlamydia trachomatis and the influence of humoral immunity”. The article notes that, “pelvic infection is a common and serious complication of induced abortion and has been reported in up to 30% of all cases.” The following risks are associated with such a condition: “future infertility, chronic abdominal pain, or ectopic pregnancy”.

    The April 20, 1984 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly reports that between 1970 and 1981, the time period in which abortion was legalized, the frequency of ectopic pregnancies increased by 300%.

    The May 15, 1983 edition of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology contains an article entitled, “The relationship between induced abortion and outcome of subsequent pregnancies”. The article contains the following conclusion: “Complications such as bleeding in the first and third trimesters, abnormal presentations and premature rupture of the membranes, abruptio placentae, fetal distress, low birth weight, short gestation, and major malformations occurred more often among women with a history of two or more induced abortions.” The article also identified a “twofold to threefold increased risk of spontaneous abortion for women with two or more previous induced abortions”.

    To get a better understanding of the severity of the abortion procedure, consider the following testimony from Abortion Practice, written by Dr. Warren Hern, a leading late-term abortionist.

    A high level of operator skill is at least as important in abortion as it is in any surgical endeavor. Abortion is a blind procedure that proceeds by touch, awareness of the nuances of sensations provided by instruments, honesty, and caution…abortion, almost more than any other operation, demands experience to develop skill…Well trained, highly experienced, and reputable gynecologists found, to their dismay, that when abortions became legal and they began performing them, the complication rates were frequently quite high. Certain competence in other aspects of pelvic surgery does not in itself assure competence in abortion.

    Dr. Hern quotes in the same section from Dr. William Rashbaum who doesn’t consider that he became “competent” as an abortionist until performing “somewhere around 12,000 procedures”.

    In an April 9, 1995 article, Dr. Hern tells the New York Times, “As a society, I think we’ve been in denial about the risks of abortion both because of ideology, and because of economics. There are a lot of respectable doctors doing a lousy job.” Dr. Hern admits that even with the best care, 5 to 10 percent of first trimester abortions are incomplete, leaving behind tissue or even the entire fetal sac.

    As such, uterine damage, complications in future pregnancy, breast cancer and death are all risk factors associated with legal abortion.

    A wide range of peer-reviewed, medical studies have indicated that a woman who aborts her first pregnancy during the first-trimester is at least 30% more likely to contract breast cancer by the time she is 40 than had she carried her pregnancy to term.1 Since breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women today, one which kills 40,000 women annually, the connection between abortion and breast cancer should not be ignored.

    To find the links that didn’t seem to come through these, please visit…


    1. Hello, my name is Jherrika Williams I am 16 years old and ,The youngest of Nichole Williams(who you mentioned) three kids. I am old enough to understand what really happend, and clear things up. I am tired of people bashing my mother saying she is a murderer! My mother had a rare condition called amniotic fluid embolus. Doctors told her if she had the child she would not make it and the baby might not either. During her procedure knowing the warnings, Dr. Crist “accidentally” ruptured her amniotic sac, which was toxic to my mother. Another thing that does not help the on hand nurse faked her I’d, and was not certified for nursing. It took the ambulance 15min to arrive! and one of the EMT put a breathing tube down her windpipe backwards. and instead of trying to rush her to the hospital they stayed at the clinic for 20 min before being enroute to the hospital which was 5 min away! and it took the EMT 3 min to get my mother in the OR! where she was pronounced dead 30 min later. I am tired of people bashing/insulting my mother on the internet, so I am going to post this on every single website that mentions my mothers name
      – Jherrika Williams

  7. Ambrosia: A very impressive post and a sad one. It is indeed unfortunate that some women have died from legal abortion although, as one who worked in the field for years, I can tell you that those doctors were some real “sleazeballs,” which, of course, we have in all fields. But how do you respond to the FACT that hundreds of women died or were harmed from illegal abortions?

    And speaking of facts, I would love to talk to you, engage in a civil dialogue, but do you know that the references you cited were from organizations that oppose abortion? If we are going to talk, I think we need to agree to not cite politicallly motivated “studies”, okay? They’re just not credible….

  8. Right on, theobromophile!First, being a woman is deaefntily NOT a prerequisite for recognizing and appreciating the rights of women. I am very male, yet very committed to the core femenist ideology, unlike my wife. I encouraged her to keep her to hyphenate her last name after we married, which she did grudgingly, but later dropped her maiden name. I hate letters addressed to “Mr. & Mrs. male photog.” Why must her identity be subsumed in mine? (but I digress.)I am completely pro-life (or anti-choice, depending on your persuasion). In fact, I am so pro-life that I changed my stance on the death penalty. I didn’t feel that I could be pro-life and pro-death at the same time. (but, again, I digress).I think that, perhaps, Jesus was the first femenist. Women played a culturally uncharacteristic role in his ministry. He first revealed his divinity to the Samaritan woman at the well. And his first appearance after the resurrection was also to a women.

    1. Hmmm, a pro-life feminist, huh? Very interesting Tim. And while I appreciate that you are against the death penalty, would you mind sharing with us the reason/s you are against abortion? Thanks!

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