I'm still a bit angry. I got a snotty comment from an abortion advocate sneering that I'm not lamenting childbirth deaths. After all, they are deaths from a "reproductive choice".
You know, I have yet to encounter an abortion advocate who fails at some point to dredge up childbirth mortality, usually with some smug, snide remark about how much more dangerous childbirth is than abortion.
Earth to abortion apologists: Even if your claim was true (which is unlikely and certainly unproven) -- it's irrelevant.
Could you imagine the public outcry if, in the wake of an airline crash, the FAA and the airline industry insisted that there was no need for an investigation and no need to take corrective measures on the grounds that, "Well, flying is still safer than driving!" We'd never stand for it. No matter how much safer airline travel is than driving, we still hold airlines to strict safety standards. No matter how much safer airline travel is than driving, we still investigate crashes. No matter how much safer airline travel is than driving, we still remain ever alert for ways to reduce risks and make it safer.
The comparative safety of an alternative method of transportation simply isn't relevant. We ask the question, "What caused this tragedy? What can we do to prevent this from happening again?" The question of how many of those airline passengers might have died had they driven instead is never asked, because it's not relevant.
But let a woman die from a legal abortion, and abortion apologists come out of the woodwork simpering, "Well, women die in childbirth all the time! Why not worry about them!" To which I say -- Then do so!
By all means, yes, let's address childbirth mortality. And let's start by acknowledging that legalizing abortion had nothing to do with the dramatic reduction of childbirth mortality in the 20th Century. The biggest heroes in the fight against needless maternal and chid mortality are sewer workers and the guys who keep clean water running to your kitchen and bathroom taps, followed cloesly by the chain of workers, from farmer to grocer, that bring fresh milk, meat, and produce from farm to you. The idea that abortion advocacy had anything to do with it is galling, and belittles the people whose thankless drudge work makes our lives clean and healthy.
That said: Let's go ahead and address the remaining childbirth mortality factors. Let's make better prenatal care available. Let's educate women about the importance of good nutrition before and during pregnancy. Let's develop protocols for referring high-risk women to specialists. Let's improve all aspects of obstetric care, for the better health and safety of mothers and babies. But let's not for a minute forget that none of this will change a thing about abortion practice.
The fact remains that there is no amount of addressing childbirth safety that will change how abortions are performed. No matter what we do about how prenatal care is provided, or what equipment is available in delivery rooms, and so forth, none of this will change what goes on in abortion clinics, just as putting airbags in cars doesn't make airline travel safer.
If abortion apologists are serious about their often chanted mantra of "safe and legal," they'd do something to address "safe" other than obsessing with "legal." They'd investigate abortion mishaps the way the FAA investigates air travel mishaps. They'd make recommendations about preventing further mishaps. They would, in short, take abortion safety as seriously as they take abortion legality.
And if they really cared about childbirth mortality, they'd address it instead of simply sneering about it.
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