Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Which Abortion Deaths Matter?

On October 7, 1963, 21-year-old Ann Keenan died at Wyandotte General Hospital near Detroit. Her cause of death is identified on her death certificate as as "Subarachnoid hemorrhage (a brain bleed) following septic (massively infected) criminal recent abortion with septic thromboembolism pneumonia (an clot getting into her lungs and causing septic pneumonia) and hepatitis with focal necrosis (spots of dead tissue) of liver."
 
Ann Keenan was the sister of candidate Mitt Romney's brother-in-law, Loren Keenan. KeenanMeme.jpgDuring the 2012 Presidential election, Obama supporters dug into the past, and the story of Ann's tragic death went viral. The meme was that Romney's current pro-life would "let [her] die again." His change of stand to one of opposition to abortion was painted as opportunistic and based entirely on polling, not personal conviction. Romney's opponents, clearly, can not grasp that a mature adult can come to very different conclusions than he might have as a 16-year-old boy.

The coverage was pretty thorough, including quotes from Ann's friends and relatives. Much was also made of the fact that her parents had requested that memorial funds be given to Planned Parenthood. Little was made of the fact that abortion deaths were becoming more and more rare, thanks to things like blood transfusions and antibiotics.

Exactly who perpetrated the fatal abortion doesn't seem to pique the interest of those who want to hang her death around her distant-relative-by-marriage's neck. 

What I find particularly fascinating is that amid the obsession over Ann Keenan (obsession likely to arise again should Romney aim again for the White House) there is a blithe obliviousness of "safe and legal" abortion deaths.  In fact, one politician -- Margo Davidson, a Democrat and Pennsylvania State Representative -- lost her support from Planned Parenthood after going public about how her cousin, Semika Shaw, died a wretched death after an abortion by notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. This is going beyond merely ignoring safe-n-legal abortion deaths and into the realm of punishing the survivors.

Is it really women's deaths that bother abortion-rights activists so much, or is it something else?

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Such is the nature of shame.