Alabama’s new comprehensive pro-life legislation has received significant attention from various Democratic presidential hopefuls. Among them was Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who tweeted on May 9th, “A woman has enough to deal with when it comes to her health care without also having to worry about male politicians telling her what she ought to do with her body. Georgia’s abortion ban is a cruel attack on women’s autonomy and freedom — one that we must continue to resist.”
The argument that banning abortion “is a cruel attack on women’s autonomy and freedom” has been repeated ad-nauseam by pro-abortion politicians and the media so loudly and for so long that pro-lifers may feel at a loss as to how to respond. After all, what can you say when someone labels you ‘anti-woman’? The central assumption of this argument is that abortion represents an unqualified good, period. Case closed. But is it, really?
We know that abortion damages women physically, and that the risks increase exponentially the further along that she is. In fact, starting in the second trimester, a woman’s risk of death from an abortion increases by 38% each additional week. Complications depend on the type of abortion and can include: cervical laceration, uncontrolled bleeding, uterine perforation, injury to the bowel or bladder, retained fetal body parts or placenta causing life-threatening infection, cervical or uterine scarring leading to future fertility problems, weakening of the cervix leading to future preterm labor, uterine rupture, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (life-threatening, multi-body system bleeding and clotting).
Furthermore, we know that some doctors become abortion providers because they can’t hack it in other specialties of medicine, as in the case of Dr. Steven Chase Brigham, who became an abortion provider after he failed at running a smoking cessation clinic. Combine incompetent medical care with decreased oversight and regulation — like this Philadelphia abortion facility which continues to operate, despite having failed 13 of its last 23 inspections — and an already risky procedure means one 911 call after the other. After the other. After the other. All across our country.
We know that abortion damages women emotionally. As the National Abortion Federation’s own textbook acknowledges, risk factors for psychological distress after an abortion include:
1) commitment and attachment to the pregnancy
2) perceived coercion to have the abortion
3) significant ambivalence about the abortion decision
4) putting great effort into keeping the abortion a secret for fear of stigma
5) pre-existing experience of trauma
6) past or present sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
7) unresolved past losses and perception of abortion as a loss
8) intense guilt and shame before the abortion
9) an existing emotional disorder or mental illness prior to the abortion
10) appraisal of abortion as extremely stressful before it occurs
11) expecting depression, severe grief
If Mayor Buttigieg and the other presidential hopefuls are truly concerned about women, they should acknowledge that abortion is not risk-free. Physically and emotionally, abortion is no panacea. Women deserve better.
Source: Paul M, Lichtenberg S, Borgatta L, et al. Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care. Surrey, UK: WileyBlackwell; 2009.
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