Places where Abortion is illegal...

Check out this interesting and sad article on abortions in South America… its a lot of death and suffering… all due to an inflexible catholic/religious attitude mostly.

BBC Abortion Article

Peru is reasonably small... you can imagine the number of deaths in Brazil and other South American countries.

I would think this would be because the doctors there aren’t very good?
In America, how bad was the death rate from illegal abortions?

The poor can’t afford a real doctor… illegal practices means the good doctors will charge extra since they face arrest and prosecution.

:frowning: :mad:

Isn’t it possible that the same statement be said about the non-use of contraceptives?

Of course… but who has more education peasant women or priests ? Nevermind that the catholic church has been against contraceptives and preaches that sex is for reproduction.

Is very easy to blame the poor and ignorant for their condition… when in fact they have very little say in their own poverty and low education.

Illegal abortions aren’t necessarily provided by actual doctors. I would suspect that having a doctor doing it is the exception rather than the norm in many places. They are certainly quite often done by people using very crude methods and probably unable to handle any kind of complication, like it used to be the case in our countries in the past. The curreting could be done with knitting needles, septic or not, and could be complete or not, leading to lethal infections, etc…

Beside, even if they’re provided by actual doctors, since an illegal abortion is clandestine, they don’t have access to the medical equipment they could eventually need.

So, I doubt that the death rate is related with the ability of the local doctors. I know nothing about abortion or medical care, but I somehow suspect that this isn’t a very difficult medical act. And anyway, I don’t think that doctors in south-america are really significantly less qualified than doctors in develloped countries.

Finally, I suspect that the death rate for illegal abortions in the US (assuming that such statistics are available, and I strongly doubt it) could be a valid comparison. Since abortion is legal in the US, illegal abortions would be peculiar cases, like late pregnancies, with probably a higher risk.

I’m going to have to ask for a cite for that.

That certainly wasn’t the case in America, in the years prior to Roe v Wade. Planned Parenthood’s own director, Dr. Mary Calderone, [candidly admitted that the vast majority of abortions were being performed by fully licensed physicians. She herself proclaimed,

In fact, legalization caused the number of maternal deaths from abortion to increase rather than decrease. As cited in the link which I provided above, there were approximately 55 deaths due to illegal abortion per year from 1963 to 1969. In 1970, after the initial wave of laws legalizing abortions, this number nearly doubled at 109. And those are just the maternal deaths! The number of fetal deaths skyrocketed, to say the least.

Further information can be found [url=“”]here](

Sorry about the coding mess. The proper links can be found here:

Mary Calderone admits that illegal abortions were performed mainly by licensed physicians, and statistics showed that maternal deaths increased af ter legalizations.

Further information can be found here.

So you’re using 40 year old abortion stats from the US to draw conclusions about present day third world countries?

I guess if that’s the best you’ve got, then you’ve got to go with it.

It’s also worth noting that your source claims both that, “…it’s safe to say deaths from illegal abortions were rarely covered up,” and that deaths from legal abortion are undereported.

Deaths from illegal activites were rarely covered up, but deaths from legal ones were.

I hope it makes you wonder.

vanilla asked how bad the death rate in America was from abortions. I answered that question. Note that I made zero claims about how this necessarily applies to Third World countries.

However, it does show that we shouldn’t assume that the maternal death rate in Third World countries is simply because abortions are performed by back alley butchers – or that these problems would be significantly lessened by legalizing abortion.

As I said, I was specifically addressing the issue of the death rate in America, as per vanilla’s inquiry.

Besides, I don’t see you demanding similar evidence from the pro-legalization side. Sadly, this is an all-too-common tactic, whenever the abortion issue is raised. In my years of debating this issue on the SDMB, I’ve often pointed out how pro-choicers are quick to demand firm evidence from the pro-life side, while being quick to accept unsubstantiated claims from the pro-choice arena. I suspect that Bob Cos and beagledave would agree, as I know they’ve seen this quite frequently as well.

And what is so extraordinary about that? If a physician is engaged in an illegal activity, he would naturally be motivated to cover up the fact. Instead of proclaiming that the woman died from an illegal abortion, he can state that she died from an internal infection, or some other such disguise. A doctor who performs a legal procedure has no need for such subterfuge, except in cases of extreme negligence.

Re-read please.

It’s also worth noting that your source claims both that, “…it’s safe to say deaths from illegal abortions were rarely covered up,” and that deaths from legal abortion are undereported.

What you said obviously would seem to be the case. However, your source implies otherwise.

I suspect that if abortion were made illegal in America, very few abortions would be performed by physicians because the anti-abortion zealots would be tracking them like dogs, looking for a chance to jail them. In short, if abortion becomes illegal in America, the stats would probably get VERY nasty, VERY fast.

if abortion becomes illegal, we can put up signs saying, “Welcome to America under the Catholics and the fundies – that pile of dead women over there is THEIR doing.”

And you can bet your ass we will.

*Originally posted by SimonX *
**Re-read please.

It’s also worth noting that your source claims both that, “…it’s safe to say deaths from illegal abortions were rarely covered up,” and that deaths from legal abortion are undereported.

What you said obviously would seem to be the case. However, your source implies otherwise. **[/QUOTE

Point taken, as I had misread your response and thereby jumped the gun.

Dr. Beckwith’s point, however, is that prior to Roe v Wade, the woman would have gone to a physician other than the one who performed the abortion, whereas after Roe v Wade, there is little reason to do so. The objection which I voiced therefore does not stand, and Beckwith’s point does.

With that in mind, it is entirely reasonable that the statistics prior to Roe v Wade were accurate, as the physicians treating the women would have had little motive to cover up the actual cause of death. After Roe v Wade, the physicians would more typically be the ones who actually conducted the abortion, and would therefore have greater reason to cover up the true reasons for maternal death.

Which is not born out by actual historical experience. Abortion was ALREADY illegal before Roe v Wade, and did not have widespread support. There is therefore no empirical evidence to support the scenario which you are painting.

I take your point, JThunder, but I don’t think you’re taking into account the decades of intense polarization that has occurred since Roe v. Wade. When abortion was illegal in the U.S. there had been no groups that regularly picketed abortion clinics, harassed pregnant women entering clinics that provided abortion services and actually murdered doctors who performed abortions.

We have that now, and I don’t think this crew (the activist wing of the anti-abortionists) would allow doctors to get away with perfroming extra-legal abortions when they’re willing to go to jail themselves at present to prevent doctors from performing legal ones.

So I do think I have a very strong logical basis for my opinion.

Does it hurt when you flip-flop and spin that quickly? :confused: