A Question for the Pro-Choicers

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-05-2008
A Question for the Pro-Choicers
138
Mon, 09-22-2008 - 12:35pm

After lurking on these debates for a while, I've come to the conclusion that there would be little I could say or do to change anyone's mind, however I AM interested to know some more information of Pro-Choicers reasons for their beliefs.

So, after reading a lot of the posts, I've noticed that there have been a lot of pro-choicers who bring up the issue of women's health, and the subsequent termination of the pregnancy (i.e., baby is potentially putting mamma's health at risk by her carrying it to full term).

My issue is not with this. I am a pro-lifer, and were I to conceive an ectopic pregnancy, I would sadly have to abort it because there is very little chance the baby would survive, and I most likely not survive as well. This view is supported by my religion, so these are not the circumstances I am talking about.

We all know that there a lot of abortions happening all the time. I'm not gonna pretend I know the numbers, but I'm gonna throw the idea out there that a lot of these abortions happen to viable pregnancies because of other concerns of the mother (assuming that the risks of carrying the fetus to term would be no more than an average pregnancy for an average woman).

So my question is this: If people are speaking of the woman in question, who decides to abort her average pregnancy for whatever reason (there are multitudes of reasons she might, I'm not even gonna try to throw in some examples) and saying that "it is her right, after all, her health could be endangered", what about all the risks of abortion itself?

Here is a link I found, that lists quite a few possible complications from abortion:
http://www.deveber.org/text/whealth.html
I'm sure there is more out there, I just thought that this could be a place to start.

The complications preceding from an aborted fetus COULD far outweigh the risks of carrying the child full term. In fact, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that a lot of the complications women have with their pregnancies could be avoided if they'd never had an abortion to begin with! (Incompetent cervix, pre-term birth, higher risks of ectopic pregnancies, to name just a few). This is of course an assumption on my part. Of course there will be always risks in pregnancy, but I almost wonder if women really are aware of all the risks when they do have one?

depression, possible suicide, infertility, cerebral palsy in your future children, cervical cancers, actual death... wow, these factors may be the woman's individual right to choose, but it is a strain on our health care system nonetheless. When your current and future children are at risk as well, abortion goes far beyond simply impacting the woman's health. It affects her partner, kids, and her country. So yes, she has a choice, but should it be so easy and socially acceptable given all the risks? People have been having babies in far greater numbers to abortions in the past societies leading up to this one, and it's gotten us to where we are today. Do we have an issue here or don't we?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 5:30pm

"Umm, I think such a statement should be backed by statistics for real debate purposes."

Absolutely. There were 11.7 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2007.

http://www.surgery.org/press/news-release.php?iid=491

Since there are so many different procedures included under the heading of "plastic surgery," I had to choose one specific procedure to get exact numbers. I chose the most popular one, breast augmentation. This website:

http://www.center4research.org/implantfacts.html

notes that of women who received breast augmentation in 2003, the half or well over half of them (depending on whether silicone or saline was used) suffered complications that either required additional surgery or removal.

"I fail to see how it is relevant to this debate."

Simple. You asked why a procedure that has inherent risks should be easy to get or acceptable by society, and I answered that plastic surgery is much more common, much more risky, and much more socially acceptable. As such, your argument that abortion should be unique in this regard (possibly leading to its illegality) is not valid unless you're also arguing that cosmetic procures should be banned as well.

So, to compare these numbers to abortion statistics and risk analysis (because I would only be answering half of your question if I didn't):

The Guttmacher Institute notes 1.21 million abortions performed in 2005. It also notes a rate of 0.3% in complications requiring hospitalizations. I realize that this statistic doesn't cover all the potential, non-hospitalization complications that could arise, but since the statistics I'm comparing in breast augmentation are all about repeat surgeries, I feel the comparison is fair.

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

"Sorry, I thought it was common knowledge that abortions are performed in greater numbers today rather than, say, 500 years ago when people had larger families."

Well, you'll either be really glad you made this argument with me, or really unhappy. I am a scholar of Tudor English history, which (as you know, or if you don't you should) just happens to be 500 years ago. I can say from my own research and experience that you would have an extremely hard time making the claim that abortions were far less common then. The bit about larger families is quite suspect as well, considering it depends greatly on your location in the world and your status. Poor people might not have had as many children because of poor health and nutrition negatively affecting fertility, on top of not being able to feed a large family. I haven't seriously studied any kind of census data, but I can say that infant and child mortality were very common, as well as miscarriage.

"Infanticide was probably more common than it is today, but I didn't think people had as reliable access to abortions as today."

Again, I can't say for sure. It makes sense, as infant death was so common it would be very easy to cover it up. Although abortions were a well-established concept by this point (having been invented over 10,000 years ago), they weren't nearly as safe then as they are now.

"Also most cultures had some sort of religious belief that would have condemned abortion."

How many religions support abortion these days? This argument is also not unique to the early modern period.

It is worth noting that there was no effort prior to the 19th Century to distinguish abortion from miscarriage, which should tell you that prior to that there wasn't much of a distinction to most people.

"I think numbers would be hard to find in this case, but I can look."

I do want you to look. You ask me to provide evidence and I did so I'm not going to let you off the hook, even though I don't know that you'd ever be able to find that information. Laurence Stone's "The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800" might be a good start.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2008
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:04pm


MONTANA MOM !

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:08pm

"Also large families were easier to support as people lived off the land"

That very much depends on what location you're talking about, and was certainly not the case for the vast majority of people. In order to be able to live off the land, you must own land be a tenant farmer on a substantial portion of it. In Europe (where most of my studies lay), land was at a premium by the High Middle Ages, to say nothing of 500 years ago. Land ownership was one of the reasons for the popularity of the Crusades- lots of noble younger brothers who got screwed by primogeniture.

What if you weren't noble, or a rich merchant? Well, then you were probably a tenant farmer or a servant. You worked the land, and gave a portion of your proceeds to the person who owned the land. You made barely enough to survive, and not anywhere near enough to support a large family.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:09pm
I big fat puffy heart you, Holly :)


 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2008
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:10pm

I cannot imagine losing a child that I have already been with and grown to love, I am so very sorry.


And I've read your post and I want to answer and chat with you, but my work day is over and I have to go pick up the little one from day care.


MONTANA MOM !

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:11pm

"We don't say that a loose woman was asking to be raped, because "no means no", afterall."

Surprisingly, it wasn't all that long ago that women were losing rape cases on the basis that they shouldn't have been there, or they shouldn't have worn that dress, etc.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:17pm

Um, I find it rather insulting that you think most pro-choicers would have an abortion 'just because' we can.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 6:27pm

"It is hard for me to understand why a woman would have a late term abortion, just because she decides she doesn't want it."

How many women do this, exactly? Would you care to provide statistics?

"Until you've gone thru a loss like me and many other women, you really have no idea how much love you can have for a little life inside you."

I disagree. I have a four-month-old baby and I know exactly how strongly I felt for her while I was pregnant with her.

"And I hope all of you pro-choicers will really think about things before you might go in and have an abortion "just because you can"."

Wow, you really are painting all of us with a really broad brush. First you make the inference that none of us knows what it's like to be pregnant and be lovingly expecting a baby (which is wrong, considering many of us are pregnant or have children). Second, you make the assumption that most or all of us would have an abortion simply because we could.

Are you going to stay long enough to learn that we're not all the same, or is this just a drive-by?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2008
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 9:58pm

Hi :)

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2008
Fri, 09-26-2008 - 10:31pm

~It's not fair for me to judge the decision made by any woman, it is respecting their privacy right?~


Yes, and also respecting their right to make decisions about their own bodies.


~we have no right to put our noses in other people's business~


Again, I agree.


 

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