Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Call for information "safe" and "unsafe" defined

I've noticed that lately abortion advocates have stopped using the dichotomy "legal" versus "illegal" abortions and instead refer to "safe" or "unsafe".

I've found "unsafe" defined here: "According to the World Health Organization, unsafe abortion is the termination of a pregnancy carried out by someone without the skills or training to perform the procedure safely, or in an environment that does not meet minimal medical standards, or both."

I recall seeing something indicating that by definition, all legal abortions are "safe".

Does anybody have anything on this?

I thought about it after reviewing a blog post about Richard Mucie, the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who performed the fatal abortion on Nancy Ward in 1968.

After Roe, Mucie was able to get Nancy's abortion retroactively declared legal. I noted that this "leaves abortion advocates in a quandry: Was Nancy's abortion an inexcusable, tragic, back-alley abortion? Or was it just an example of how all surgery has risks? I've yet to get any answer."

And the new dichotomy of "safe" versus "unsafe" doesn't give a clear answer either. Mucie was a physician. He had an office. He's no different from any number of safe-n-legal practitioners getting the nod from abortion advocacy organizations. That would make Nancy's abortion "safe". Which strikes me as oxymoronic. If she's dead, how can it be "safe"?

To me, all abortion deaths are preventable and needless. To the abortion lobby, only some of them are. It used to be that the "illegal" deaths were preventable and needless, and the "legal" deaths can be attributed to "Shit happens." Does the new paradigm of "safe" versus "unsafe" change that?

(And, presumably, only "unsafe" abortion deaths are needless and tragic. "Safe" abortion deaths are just the price you pay to stamp out the dreaded fetus scourge.)

I still draw the line on what's "legal" and "illegal" based on the woman's perception at the time of the abortion. Did she think this was a perfectly safe, legal abortion? Or did she know she was taking her chances with a "back alley butcher"?

Though I might draw new categories: "presumed safe", "presumed risky", and "clearly high-risk", with abortions by reputable physicians or trained laypeople as "presumed safe", etc.


Kathy said...


It seems that this is an obvious attempt to obfuscate the real question. By no longer speaking of "legal" and "illegal" abortions, it becomes easy to say that every woman who dies at the hands of an abortionist is due to "unsafe" abortion, while every woman who does not die had a "safe" abortion.

See? in one fell swoop, all of what you do -- all the attention you draw to women who have died from abortions, legal or illegal, were because they were "unsafe" abortions, so all that needs to happen is to make abortions "safe" or "safer" and *poof* it disappears. The women who died from back-alley butchers are suddenly lumped in with the women who died at the hands of legal abortionists.

It would almost seem as if you've won the debate, by showing them that "legal" does not equate to "safe." Yet, of course, they cannot admit that you are right, so they change the terms of the debate. They probably recognize on some level what they are doing, but the average person will not. The typical man or woman on the street will hear "unsafe abortion" and assume "illegal", and hear "safe" and assume "legal." So they're playing the game of "heads, I win; tails, you lose." Sucks.

"Unsafe abortion" is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality around the world. Not having to classify these deaths as "unsafe legal" deaths or "unsafe illegal" deaths makes it easier. Just leave it for the ignorant guy or gal to assume that "unsafe" equals "illegal" and they win again.

Christina Dunigan said...

Yeah, it's definately a "Heads I win, tails you loose" for them. If she's dead, well it was from "unsafe abortion" and they need more power and less oversight so they can promote "safe abortion". And if she survives, why fight "safe abortion"? Do you want women to DIE?!?!?!