This I believe.
In 1972 I was the Chief OB-GYN Resident at a university hospital in a large city. This was before Roe vs. Wade. We took care of many complications from illegal abortions on a daily basis. Every morning we had several “miscarriages” from the ER that needed D&C’s to finish the miscarriage and stop the bleeding. We always went past the X-ray department to see if there were any “foreign bodies” left inside the uterus that we needed to get out during the D & C. The most common objects used for these illegal abortions were cords from a light or swizzle sticks from a well known bar in the neighborhood.
Sometimes the complications were more serious. One patient got an infection and almost died from “gas gangrene” of the uterus in spite of a complete hysterectomy and hemodialysis for kidney failure. Another patient told us she had an illegal abortion for $200 in a nearby suburb. After 10 minutes into the case, the abortionist stopped and ran out of the room. He returned and told the patient to go straight to the university hospital. He returned her $200. At first we could not find anything wrong. We did a D&C and could not find a hole in the uterus. We decided to do a laparoscope to look into the abdomen to see if anything was wrong inside the abdomen. The large intestine had been pulled open and fecal material was loose all over the abdomen. She ended up with a hysterectomy and a colostomy and lived.
In 1972 abortions became legal in New York. Many young women got off the planes in New York and were spotted by men who escorted them to abortion clinics in New York City. Some of these abortions were started by a needle into the uterus through the abdomen injecting a poisonous chemical. They were told to get right back on the next plane and head home. They arrived in our ER with infections and in advanced stages of labor. Some of these premature babies were born alive but very sick. We did not know whether to try to resuscitate them or let them go.
In 1973, abortions became legal all over the U.S. They became much safer. All the residents were expected to do their share of the D & C’s for abortions. I refused to do any. I was raised Catholic and did not like the idea of pulling out small arms and legs in pieces.
Do I believe in abortion? I don’t know. What I do believe in is birth control.
One of the greatest shames of our country is that we feel the need to get abortions. When I was 38 and had four children of my own, I knew I did not want more. I used 3 different kinds of birth control until I could get my tubes tied. I used an IUD, diaphragm and condoms simultaneously. My four children are all grown now. I am so proud of them. None of them got pregnant or got anyone pregnant until they were well able to take care of children emotionally and financially
Planned Parenthood provides many types of birth control. This organization has prevented more abortions than any church or abstinence group in our country. It seems to me to be hypocritical to be against abortion and not allow birth control. The reproductive urge is so great that sooner or later most people will have sex and they should be prepared to prevent bad consequences. If you want to stop abortions, we have to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Think what our society would be like if every baby was wanted and cherished. Elimination of the need for abortion by the correct, universal, and consistent use of modern birth control methods is the way to achieve this goal.
This I believe.
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