Thursday, September 25, 2008

Search: Abortions for health reasons

First of all, they're rare. A Planned Parenthood study of why women have abortions found that a total of 7% of all aborting women reported choosing abortion because of concerns for their own health, or concerns that the baby had health or disability issues. Even later abortions are rarely done for health reasons.

Keep in mind, first of all, that these are women's self-reported reasons, not reasons that were verified by a physician's diagnosis:

Women who felt that their fetus's health had been compromised cited concerns such as a lack of prenatal care, the risk of birth defects due to advanced maternal age, a history of miscarriages, maternal cocaine use and fetal exposure to prescription medications. Concerns about personal health included chronic and life-threatening conditions such as depression, advanced maternal age and toxemia.

There is no breakdown of maternal health concerns versus fetal indications, and no breakdown of whether a physician had recommended an abortion or the woman had just chosen to check "health" on the survey box because she was thinking, "I'm too old for this."

You can really break "health of the mother" abortions down into three categories:

1. The woman self-refers for reasons that can range from trivial to the wretched nightmare of hyperemesis gravidarum. I've never seen any evidence that abortion facilities do any screening of these women to verify their perceptions that abortion would ease their health concerns.

2. The woman is referred by a doctor who is either ignorant, lying, or lazy. She might have actual health problems that he either doesn't want to deal with or doesn't know how to deal with. She might have social issues, or a prenatal diagnosis, that the doctor thinks calls for an abortion, and he'll say whatever it takes to get her to consent.

3. The woman actually has one of those rare pregnancies that actually is a danger to her life.

If there's interest in the topic, I'll expand this post. Right now it's late and I'm not feeling up to it.


Anonymous said...

you dont have to explain the post. i am just amazed that a woman can get an abortion becouse she is depressed or has "social " issues. a baby is a blessing and if treated as such depression and social issues disappear. i know i am that person. i still have some depression but my daughter or things that are going around my daughter jerk me out of it and i get on with my life. if i wasnt a mom i am pretty sure that i wont have made close to 70,000 last year. i just want to succeed to be my daughters apple of her eye. as i tell her i fell in love with her from the moment i heard her heartbeat in me. i hear ya, its late and i dont want to go father eithor.

Christina Dunigan said...

Considering depression is a counterindication for abortion, it's really absurd that they justify doing them on those grounds. It's like saying that somebody has diabetes, so we should feed him chocolate mousse and a milkshake.

Unknown said...

Interesting post!

Keep posting,