8.20.2009

thoughts from an abortion provider

A while back, James sent me this excellent post, written by an abortion provider in the US. Her name has been withheld because of potential violence to herself and her family.

I have only one quibble with the doctor's statement. She writes, "The decision to have an abortion is an agonizing decision, that few women choose lightly." I don't agree with this, at least not the way the sentence implies. While no woman looks lightly on an unwanted pregnancy, the decision to terminate a pregnancy can be very clear cut, easily the best of the few available options.

In other words, it's the pregnancy that's agonizing, not the termination. The abortion itself may be a huge relief. If you work in the reproductive rights field, or read and watch women speaking about their own abortions, that's the word you'll hear again and again: relief.

I was glad to come across this post; it deserves to be shared. An excerpt:
Did you know that half of the abortions done in this country are done because of birth control failure?

. . . .

Did you know that 1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method? This is true - domestic violence.

Women who have abortions come from all walks of life. This is not a phenomenon of only the inner city. Many are educated, and most of them are just plain middle class people.

The 1st trimester and early 2nd trimester abortions are most frequently done as elective abortions for unwanted pregnancies. I don't like to do elective terminations after 22 weeks because of the viability issue. Late 2nd trimester pregnancies are very different.

Virtually all of the late 2nd trimester abortions I do are for fetal anomalies, fetal deaths, and for maternal health reasons. These poor souls really wanted their babies. They are in deep mourning because of the loss of their children. They come in deep grief, many times feeling guilty because they are "killing" their loved and wanted children. They worry if the baby will feel the abortion, and they don't want their child to suffer.

. . . .

I would be the happiest person in the world to never do another abortion again. So why do I do them? Because pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies are willing to risk just about anything, including almost killing themselves, in order to try to end unwanted pregnancies.

I remember reading some statistics comparing abortions in the U.S. and Mexico, before they were legal there. About the same number of abortions were done in each country, just over 1 million abortions a year. In the U.S. about 10 women died as a result of legal abortion. In Mexico, about 10,000 women per year died as a result of illegal abortions. 10,000 women who were mothers, sisters, daughters, wives. Not pre-viable fetuses.

Read it here. Needless to say, best experienced comment-free.

2 comments:

M@ said...

1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method

I had never heard this before, and it is simply stunning. I would have expected something like five or ten percent, and would have felt that was criminally high. One in three... good lord.

I'm going to finish the article but I'm sure I don't need to read the comments.

L-girl said...

I had never heard this before, and it is simply stunning.

It is stunning. Add to that: a pregnant woman is ten times as likely to be abused by a partner as a woman who is not pregnant.