Saturday, December 27, 2008

1985: Bleeding, infection, death

Arnetta Hardaway was 18 years old when she had a safe, legal mid-trimester abortion performed by Dr. George Tucker in Atlanta on December 23, 1985. Arnetta continued to bleed, and developed infection, after her abortion. On December 27, she died from her complications.

In deference to SoMG, who can't abide when I simply let my readers draw their own conclusions: I really doubt that Arnetta's sitting around in the afterlife, gloating that her abortion was legal. She's just as dead as the woman whose abortion wasn't legal. And I doubt that the legal status of her abortion is any comfort to her family and friends. Though it is crystal clear that the legal status of her abortion was a great boon to the guy who did it, since he didn't get arrested for killing her.

I think I'm beginning to see the decided advantage of safe, legal abortion! And it's not to women and their families.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.


Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a safe abortion. The baby dies and sometimes the mother.

If abortion was illegal she probably would have been alive today.

Christina Dunigan said...

Well, we can look at all the factors, such as whether or not this particular woman would likely have sought out an abortion had it been illegal, and who she'd have found to do it if she was more determined than most to go through with it. But the odds are that she'd not have gotten pregnant in the first place without the "safety net" of "safe and legal" abortion lowering the perceived personal cost of having sex in an untenable situation.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christina said...

301 women died of pregnancy complications in 1985. They are just as dead as Arnetta, and the guys who killed them didn't go to prison, either


A man who gets a consenting woman pregnant should be convicted of murder if she dies during pregnancy and childbirth?

Christina Dunigan said...

1 troll just can't catch on that he or she isn't welcome if he or she has nothing unspamlike to contribute.

Anonymous said...

301 deaths during pregnancy isn't very many. I suppose some of the children lived even though the mother died.

In the state of Victoria I've heard that there are about 20,000 deaths each year through abortion.

Christina Dunigan said...

SH, each of those deaths is a very big deal to the families involved. A recent study concluded that while the bulk of them were not preventable, some of them were. The study found that "Twenty-seven deaths (28%) were deemed preventable (17 by actions of health care personnel and 10 by actions of non-health care personnel)."

The death rate for c-sections is higher than for vaginal deliveries, but it's also more likely that in a c-section, the mother might have a health condition that makes it even riskier not to perform the c-section. (My friend, for example, would go into lupus crisis in late pregnancy, requiring emergency c-sections.) Some mothers elect for c-sections to give the baby a better chance of survival if the child might not survive the trauma of a vaginal delivery.

I think we've reached the point in maternal mortality where, like with airline crashes, we're down to the point of individual preventablitliy studies on each death.

Though I would recommend getting women into the health care screening early on, and perhaps do more education on the importance of good overall health for mothers.