Saturday, May 29, 2010

Will Mississippi become the first abortion-free state?

Jill Stanek posted about a fundraising letter begging for money to keep Mississippi's last abortion mill open. The subject was "Urgent: Mississippi clinic threatened".

I think the "threat" is the threat of bankruptcy.

While looking up abortion rates in Mississippi, I found this interesting map showing what percentage of babies in each county get aborted. Clearly, the further a woman is from the abortion center, the less likely she is to snuff her baby.

Here is a summary of info. CDC info says Mississippi reported fewer than 3,000 abortions in 2006, and tied for #44 of 48 reporting areas in abortion rate (meaning that fewer than three reporting areas had lower abortion rates). Guttmacher Institute reports just over 3,000 abortions, but ranks Mississippi #49 out of 51 for abortion rate. But that was when there were still 2 abortion mills. Only 6% of pregnant Mississippi women choose to kill their unborn babies.

There is, however, no shortage of pregnancy help centers in Mississippi. Pregnancy Centers Online lists nine. Rhama International lists 28. (Likely some are listed on both sites.)

So evidently there's all this alarm, trying to maintain a presence in a state where the women, by and large, just aren't interested in abortion. They're being given the choice they want. What's the big problem?


OperationCounterstrike said...

RE: "Clearly, the further a woman is from the abortion center, the less likely she is to snuff her baby."

You could be mixing up cause and effect. Maybe the mechanism is, the more demand there is for abortion in or near a particular county, the more likely the clinic is to locate there.

OperationCounterstrike said...

Or there could be a third factor involved. What statisticians call a "confounding factor". For instance, we have known for some time that african-american women get abortions more frequently than others. Maybe the docs who founded the clinic decided, wisely, to found it in a county with lots of african-americans living in and near that county.

OperationCounterstrike said...

I'm curious. Why have you not blogged on the NYTIMES article about mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound laws?

Unsurprisingly, they don't make much difference.

In one of the few studies of the issue — there have been none in the United States — two abortion clinics in British Columbia found that 73 percent of patients wanted to see an image if offered the chance. Eighty-four percent of the 254 women who viewed sonograms said it did not make the experience more difficult, and none reversed her decision. END QUOTE

But when they do make a difference, it's not always the difference the right-to-lifers want.

In some instances, the ultrasounds have affected women in ways not intended by anti-abortion strategists. Because human features may barely be detectable during much of the first trimester, when 9 of 10 abortions are performed, some women find viewing the images reassuring.

“It just looked like a little egg, and I couldn’t see arms or legs or a face,” said Tiesha, 27, who chose to view her 8-week-old embryo before aborting it at the Birmingham clinic. “It was really the picture of the ultrasound that made me feel it was O.K.” END QUOTE

Christina Dunigan said...

If the patient isn't seeing the features that are indeed present in embryos or fetuses at that age, then this tells us that the clinic staff are failing to point them out. And I would say that this is the main reason women going to prolife centers have different experiences than women going to abortion centers. The prolife center is trying to humanize the fetus, to show the arms and legs and face and heart, so that the woman will bond and reject abortion. The abortion center is trying to reassure the woman that there's nothing of value in her uterus, so they'll not take any trouble to find and identify limbs and face and heart.

Thanks for pointing out to us what we've always known -- that abortion staff deliberately mislead women.

Kathy said...

MS used to have several abortion clinics; the only one open now is in Jackson, the capital city. Many women are closer to another state's abortion mill than the one in Jackson. Pro-life MS Friends of mine who go to Memphis abortion mills recently noted that the first several women they talked to outside the clinic were from MS. Since it appears the numbers are based on abortions performed in MS only, as opposed to all abortions performed on Mississippians whether in or out of state, it is not an accurate representation of Mississippians who abort.

Some of the alarm might be due to the Personhood Amendment which will be appearing on the ballot soon.

army_wife said...

Gee, how convenient. Getting around showing an accurate ultrasound image by showing an image which is not being obtained properly. When a child is big enough to see on an ultrasound at all, then it does not "look like an egg" with no identifiable features. The thing about ultrasound is that it is cross-sectional anatomy, not a picture like a camera would make (unless you're going 3D or 4D, which I would bet money an abortion clinic would NOT do as it looks even better than traditional ultrasound). If you could take a cross-sectional picture of my body as an adult, you could give a picture that "looked like an egg" and had no identifiable human features.

Sounds like the sonographer in the clinic is either a. incompetent, or b. purposely making the child look inhuman to get around the mother's propensity to bond with a child she can see.

My money's on B.

Chantal said...

Interesting they are using Canada for an example. Canada's abortion statistiques are not known to be reliable.

If I remember correctly. BC's were not even included in the latest abortion statistics. I think the latest ones are 10 years old. I'll try to find the links to these. BC is not a province which can be relied on for abortion research!!

There is NO law on abortion, NO law to regulate, NO law to report (it is voluntary reporting).

Quebec wanted to put a law that abortion centers adhere to medical surgical standard, and poor-choicers raised a fuss. The bill was thrown out.

Here are some links from prowomanprolife discussing this issue. (AUG 2009)

For the record, I am a Canadian.

OperationCounterstrike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OperationCounterstrike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OperationCounterstrike said...

You folks appear never to have seen typical ultrasounds of first-trimester pregnancies. You are writing about those beautiful, hi-res, 4-D pix of junior sucking his thumb or whatever, that you see on the internet. Those gorgeous pix are measured by ultra-hi-tech million-dollar-plus instruments. They are not at all typical.

Ordinary sonograms measured by ordinary instruments in ordinary clinics typically look like a few smears of light on a screen. In the first trimester, the features are too small, and the instrument's resolution is too low to make them out, except in rare cases, no matter how good the technicians are and no matter how well they do their jobs.

Welcome to the real world.

Christina Dunigan said...

What we need is the Feminists for Life style Women's Right to Redress law, that allows the woman to sue the living snot out of any abortionist or abortion facility that fails to give her relevant information prior to the abortion.

I think that's the big problem with most of the informed consent measures that get passed. The abortionists just follow the letter but not the spirit. "The mean antichoicers want to make you feel guilty and ashamed, so there's this mandated stuff I have to offer you that's here purely to be cruel and heartless to you during your time of stress. Do you want to look at it?" Well, DUH. Of course not!

On the other hand, if you put the power in the woman's hands, the abortionist is totally screwed unless the patient is a hardcore abortion advocate. He HAS to give her information that might sway her decision, just as my oral surgeon gave his patients information that his experience had taught him would sway our decisions.

Young Christian Woman said...

It can be hard for some people to make out ultrasound images. I am extremely prolife, but when I have seen ultrasound images of my children, at 20 weeks I had trouble seeing anything but the head and spine, and at the early ones I couldn't make out much at all. My husband, though, can tell what is being shown very well. If someone told me my baby was a blob, and I wanted to believe it, the ultrasound images would seem like just that. Fortunately, I am educated, and I also don't think a child's life should be dependent on what he/she looks like anyway (though I certainly support any effort to humanize the unborn in the eyes of their parents and/or society).

army_wife said...

OC, wrong again. I have seen several early ultrasounds. With each of my three children, I had early ultrasounds for the purpose of verifying my due date. If the ultrasound tech is proficient at her job and not trying desparately to hide the truth from the mother, the features of the child can be clearly seen. I clearly saw a tiny face, moving arms and legs, the curve of a tiny spine. I'm sure if you look around online you can find examples of early ultrasounds.

army_wife said...

And by the way, these were NOT 3D/4D ultrasounds. They were your regular, run-of-the-mill, common OB's office equipment variety. The pictures were clearer than "a few smears of light". Technology has advanced some since ultrasound was first invented, you know. The resolution wasn't THAT bad.

Chantal said...

Hmm OC,

I have a profile of both of my kids, you can tell from the profile, which child is which. I could tell with my son that he had his Dad's chin. The profiles, just the side if the face, were taken a in the early second trimester. My son, I have pictures from the first trimester. I'll have to double check. And NO these were not 3d and 4D ultrasounds.

OperationCounterstrike said...

Chantal, 2nd trimester is a totally different game. MUCH bigger fetus. So much bigger that the difference in degree amounts to a difference in kind.

ArmyWife, yes you can find detailed sonograms on the net which were taken with ordinary equipment. BUT, the people who post those pix get them by carefully reviewing hours of ultrasonography, frame by frame, looking for the occasional flash of detail.

I have seen hundreds of first-trimester sonograms, and almost all of them look like smears of light on a screen, from which you estimate the size of the fetus ("crown-to-rump length"). Sometimes you can see something big like a spinal column, but even that is unusual in the first trimester. Facial features, eyes, nose, etc, almost never.

Christina Dunigan said...

The fact that you can't see the features doesn't mean they're not there. Geneticist Jerome Lejeune (who discovered the trisomy that causes Down syndrome) postulated that cultures have stories of Tom Thumb because we realize that we were all complete in miniature at one point in our lives.

OperationCounterstrike said...

I think cultures have stories of Tom Thumb because it's easy to imagine exciting adventures for the storyteller to make him have. If you run out of ideas, just look around the room and imagine Tom Thumb having to handle or deal with ordinary objects you see. Bingo, there's a story to tell the kids before bed.

army_wife said...

The tiny faces and limbs I saw were not a momentary flash of detail. I was able to watch my children at a very early age moving their limbs and their whole bodies around for as long as the ultrasound tech kept the transducer there (minutes not seconds or milliseconds). First trimester.

Katie said...

Funny, I had a 2d and 3d ultrasound at 8 weeks with my first son (to rule out another ectopic pregnancy) and he most certainly did not look like an "egg," even on the 2d u/s. He looked like a bean with little nubs for arms and legs. Not surprising that abortionists will do whatever it takes to make the baby look as worthless as possible. Do a 2d with an old, shitty machine, make sure it's a bad angle, and say "Oh see, it's just a blob, it's okay to kill it!" A good tech on a good machine who's not trying to convince you to off your baby will normally be able to get a good image.