Saturday, January 24, 2009

Searches: Tietze and more

  • Christopher Tietze was an abortion advocate and researcher. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Despite his rather cold-blooded enthusiasm for abortion, he was smart, honest, and forthright.

  • "Back alley abortion" is a term that describes how doctors prior to legalization let their abortion patients into their practices: through the back alley, rather than through the front door. Which was kind of stupid, since that would only raise suspicions.

  • "What does the freedom of choice act actually say? Have you ever heard the advice not to look at what somebody says, but at what the person does? Ditto for judges and politicians. Roe vs. Wade, for example, places responsibility for the abortion decision squarely on the physician, who is supposed to determine if in his best medical judgment, abortion is the best course of treatment for the patient. In practice, of course, abortion is nearly 100% self-referred, with the doctor just acting as a technician who carries out the act. If you doubt this, check out the brouhaha from abortion advocacy groups whenever states pass laws requiring an actual consultation with a physician prior to an abortion.

    If you read the text of FOCA, it looks innocuous, to the point where some abortion advocates try to claim that it would prevent women from coerced abortions or from being given false information in order to get them to consent to abortions for eugenic reasons, or to protect a doctor who fears a lawsuit from a woman with medical issues. But if you look at how things actually work in practice, FOCA is another matter entirely.

  • Legal abortion in the third trimester turns out to be determined more by what the doctor is willing to do, and how much willingness there is to enforce what's on the books, than by what the law actually says.

  • Failed abortion is when the baby survives. It's not all that rare. In fact, the abortion is more likely to spare the baby than to kill the mother. This is probably part of why a live birth from an abortion is the "dreaded complication". That, and how likely it is the abortionist will get sued.

  • Uterine scarring can be caused by abortion.

  • Abortion videos: I've gathered the best abortion videos I can find right here.

  • Correlation laws abortion rates: Can somebody provide some more in-depth analysis? I've seen plenty. But the main point is that there certainly is a much stronger correlation between prolife laws and low abortion rates than there is between prochoice efforts at "prevention" and low abortion rates. Which Christopher Tietze (see above) told us long ago. As did prochoice researcher Kristin Luker. If you reduce the perceived "costs" of sexual risk-taking, either by flooding society with contraceptives or by making abortion readily available, people will have sex far more often in untenable situations, thus increasing unintended pregnancies. It's not rocket science. It's the basic law of unintended consequences.

  • Abortion methods 1950s: Planned Parenthood held a conference in 1955, noting that most illegal abortions were being done by physicians, no doubt using the same methods they'd have used in a legal practice. This would most often be dilation and curettage or a D&C. Oddly enough, the fall in abortion deaths slowed, then reversed, during the 1950s. The only thing I can think to attribute this to is a change in doctors' attitudes toward abortions: they became champions of abortion, abandoning the traditional dedication to "do no harm". But that's just my hunch.

  • Coathanger abortions is the term used to describe highly-risky self-induced abortions. They can probably be much better understood as a mental-health problem among women with a tendency to self-mutilate, rather than as some rational response to an unplanned pregnancy. Teas and "self-help" kits are more consistent with a rational decision to kill the baby at home than reaming oneself out with a rusty piece of metal, which is clearly something no rational person would engage in.

  • Self-induced deaths: The ones I could find are here. I classify as "coathanger" abortions any abortion that used a household object, even a smooth, easily sterilized one like a knitting needle. whereas "self-help" abortions are those in which the woman used materials intended for medical use or touted as appropriate for abortion by activists. Though my sample is far too tiny to draw definitive conclusions from, it does present some evidence that women had more sense than to just ream themselves out with whatever nasty, dirty, sharp piece of junk they could get their hands on.

  • Starting to smell after medical abortion: Any foul-smelling discharge after an abortion should be assessed by a physician immediately. This is just as true after a chemical abortion. Chanelle Bryant, Holly Patterson, Cherish Roe, Wanda Roe, Oriane Shevin, and Vivian Tran all die from infection after chemically-induced abortions, all in the past few years.

  • What does Obama say about abortion? He's expressed great enthusiasm for the practice, to the point of even supporting doctors who decide to finish the job if the baby survives the attempt:

  • FOCA babies left to die after post viability abortions: You don't need FOCA for that.

  • Abortion with versed: Abortionists like to administer versed because it causes amnesia; the woman can be screaming in agony, pleading for her baby's life, or otherwise wracked with pain or anguish, and she'll have no memory of it. Personally I find this to be appalling. How is deliberately allowing a patient to suffer horrible pain, and justifying it on the grounds that she won't remember it, any different from slipping her a date rape drug and figuring it's okay to have sex with her because she won't remember it?

    Jennifer H. was given versed during her fatal abortion, as was Adelle Roe.

  • Trisomy 18 abortion rates: Though some doctors recommend screening for Trisomy 18 along with other problems, all I've been unable to find the rate of abortions. Be Not Afraid is a resource for women and families seeking to avoid abortion after an unfavorable prenatal diagnosis. You can read the story of Grace, whose parents were treated with bewildered contempt for wanting to give her a chance to know what it was to be held and loved for two precious months; Mari Rae, who had been living in her family's love for 17 months as of the time her mother wrote her story; Trenton, whose family was given guidance in making birth choices, not just pushed toward abortion, and who passed peacefully in the womb shortly before his due date; and Valeria, whose family was given much loving support and who got to know her family's loving caresses for her short life.

    And here is Eliot's story:

  • Punctured uterus: can happen in abortion. Ingrid Thomas, Sandra Chmiel, Maureen Espinoza, Kathleen Gilbert, Faith Roe, Gloria Small, Shirley Payne, Geneva Calton, Jane Doe of Newark, Moris Helen Herron, Amanda Roe, Julie Roe, Nadine Roe, Diane Smith, and Katherine Strong are among those who died from somebody poking a hole in their wombs during safe, legal abortions.

  • Dr. Daniel Holschauer was disciplined by the medical board for stalking a patient for sex after performing an abortion on her. Days after the abortion, he showed up at her place of employment and had unprotected intercourse with her. He was a real pill; read the whole article.

  • Miami abortion clinics: I've got some choice ones here, if you'll pardon the expression.

  • Hyperemesis abortion: There is help. You can avoid an abortion. Contact Ashli.

  • Percentage of 3 trimester abortions performed in the US: The way it's phrased, this person is looking for what percent of the world's 3rd trimester abortions are performed in the US. I can't even begin to answer that. If they're looking to know what percentage of abortions in the US are third trimester, I can at least hazard a guess, based on the CDC's 2005 Abortion Surveillance Summary. Their Table 16 shows the breakdown of abortions by gestational age. They are very careful to look at abortions after 20 weeks without breaking it down any further, so as to deny researchers access to data on third-trimester abortions. There were 8,445 reported abortions to kill babies of more than 20 weeks gestational age. Remember that the report excludes states that don't report, such as California (a major abortion state). And if you doubt that this is a deliberate attempt to squelch information, rather than just a matter of not going into that sort of detail, consider how daintily they break down abortions done up to 8 weeks. They can't claim there's a great public health need for such a breakdown, and no public health need for a breakdown of later abortions. After all, their own researchers say that every two weeks after the 16th, the risk of death doubles. So surely a breakdown of abortions after 16 weeks, at 2-week intervals, would be more important from a public health standpoint.

    At any rate, 1.3% of abortions are done at 21+ weeks. Which, again, doesn't sound like many until you reflect that this is still more than eight thousand babies a year.

    Supposedly only about 100 abortions a year are done in the third trimester, but The American Journal of Public Health noted 86 third-trimester abortions in Georgia in just two years. If there are 43 third-trimester abortions a year performed in Georgia alone (which reported only 5% of the nation's abortions), it's hardly possible that fully 43% of third-trimester abortions are performed in Georgia. Though Georgia's percentage of abortions after 21 weeks is 3.5%, above the 1.3% national average, it's hardly the leader in late abortions. New York, in fact, is the leader:

    So Georgia performs roughly 12% of all reported abortion past 20 weeks. It's reasonable to figure that they probably perform a similar percentage of abortions past 24 weeks as well. If 43 abortions is 12% of abortions, there are about 358 third-trimester abortions annually nationwide, not 100. And this has to be low, because the last time the CDC counted, there were about 400-500 Reported live births following abortions. It's hard to believe that there are more accidental live births during post-viability abortions than there are post-viability abortions being performed.

  • Songs about abortion are here. A really cheerful bunch of ditties.

    Compare songs about abortion to songs about birth, such as There Goes My Life (which I can't embed, sorry). How many of us went through those same feelings? Tough I think we know these feelings as well:


  • Michael J. New: the researcher who very adeptly picked apart the New York Times's slipshod reporting on the effects of parental involvement laws on teen pregnancy and abortion rates.


    That's all for now!

    Kathy said...

    Regarding the Trisomy 18 abortion rates, I've got the abstract of a paper that finds the rate for Down Syndrome to be about 92% of all diagnosed cases. I would assume that Trisomy 18 would be about the same or even higher, although the condition is less common, so it might not have high enough numbers to be studied in the way that Down Syndrome can. The only reason I would think it would be lower would be that Trisomy 18 is more likely to end in spontaneous miscarriage or stillbirth than Down's, so they die naturally too early for them to be murdered.

    When you click on the link I've inserted above, if it says something like "cookie session expired", you can find it either by going to and searching for "Termination rates after prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, spina bifida, anencephaly, and Turner and Klinefelter syndromes: a systematic literature review", which is the title of the paper; or you can go to my bookmarks on delicious ( and then type in "abortion" for the tag. When sorted by "most recent" it's the 3rd one down.

    Christina Dunigan said...