Thursday, January 06, 2005

Coathanger Abortion: Powerful image, but how true to life?

One of the strongest images in the abortion-advocacy arsenal is that of the desperate woman who, unable to arrange a legal abortion, harms or even kills herself in an attempt to do the abortion herself. There is no denying that some pregnant women attempt, and even die from, grotesque attacks on their own reproductive organs. But is this phenomenon really a sociological problem, caused by lack of "access" to legal abortion? Or is there something else going on?

Research and experience in the US and abroad, before and after legalization, indicates that the vast majority of abortion-minded women readily come to accept the pregnancy and welcome the baby if thwarted in their initial attempt to procure an abortion. What these women need isn't abortion -- it's an opportunity to get past the initial panic, a chance to resolve their real problems and issues, time to process in their hearts and minds the monumental reality of their pregnancies.

Which means that "prochoice" organizations and legislators are placing the ideology of hard-core abortion advocates over the real needs and wishes of the very women they're purporting to serve.

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