Quantcast

«

»

Apr 24 2014

Secular Pro-Life’s Abortion Quackery

This was a piece I offered to do for The True Pooka, for those who are unaware? True Pooka and Lilandra have both been dealing with the nature of Secular Pro-Life and actively  engaging in analysing their beliefs. So far from my contact? I think their entire argument is purely philosophical and exists purely in the idealised world of academia. Bereft of real world experience and rationalisations, secular pro-life lacks any real spine except a forceful conviction that philosophy sans real world application is valid and possibly the notion that babies are cute, how can you not want one?

They have a site called Abortion Safety. And while they claimed to offer something new to the dialogue of pro-life, my contact with them has sadly left a bitter taste in my mouth of the usual half truths and outright lies associated with pro-life. The final contact was them pushing a Daily Mail article and derision of women who have Breast Implants.

The notion that women who have abortions are shallow while women who raise children are sainted nuns (Okay, maybe not nuns) is part of this push.

But in particular is the medical quackery being pushed. So let’s look at what’s wrong with their “safety” page.

As in all medical procedures, there are risks involving abortion

Physical Risks
Medical Abortion

Early in a pregnancy, certain drugs can be taken to cause an abortion. No surgery is required, but multiple visits to a health care provider are needed. Medical abortion may involve mifepristone, methotrexate, misoprostol pills, and/or vaginal misoprostol.

  • Incomplete abortion
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to the uterus
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea

Interesting!

My handbook of Emergency Medical Obs/Gynae (Incidentally? Working in Obs/Gynae at the moment) lists

  • Hemorrhage. 0.1%
  • Incomplete abortion (followed by Curretage or Suction/Evacuation)
  • Uterine or pelvic infection
  • Ongoing intrauteine pregnancy, requiring a surgical abortion for completion
  • Undiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy

Cramping, Nausea, Vomitting, Fever, Chills and Diarrhoea are all due to the effect of the drug. That’s how it works. These are hormonal drugs that have some systemic effects. It causes uterine contractions which will cause cramping. Increased abdominal pressure causes nausea, vomitting and diarrhoea. Any inflammation causes fever and chills especially when associated with infections.

Since 2001 World Wide we have seen 10 deaths due to infections in first world nations. Changes of administration from vaginal to buccal (cheek) has reduced infection rate. A course of doxycycline can be given for further prophylaxis.

In the case of an incomplete abortion, the patient is likely to need a surgical abortion to remove remaining parts of the embryo’s body and prevent a serious infection.

If the patient decides to continue the pregnancy after beginning to take medication for an abortion, the baby may be at risk of birth defects.

True in both cases, but in the second case I have to point out that this isn’t a downside to medical abortion so much as an issue with human nature. We cannot counter act decisions that are clearly not sensible. You are allowed as patients to make such.

Contact your health provider if, after a medication abortion, you experience severe abdominal or back pain, bleeding that is heavier than a normal period, foul-smelling discharge, and/or a fever above 100.4°F.

So the thing is it’s portrayed a rare complication as common. These are all rare. The biggest side effect of medical abortion is not mentioned.

Pain.

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortions are done in different ways depending on the age of the fetus. The two most common methods are vacuum aspiration in the first trimester, and dilation & evacuation (D&E) in the second trimester.

Oh! No later term abortions here? Interesting.

Vacuum aspiration is done with local anesthesia or no anesthesia. The abortion provider rinses the vagina with an antiseptic solution, dilates the cervix, and passes a cannula into the uterus. The other end of the cannula is connected to a pump that applies suction. (In very early abortions, suction may be applied using a syringe.) The suction breaks up the embryo and removes the body parts from the uterus. The provider may insert a curette (a metal loop) to clean the walls of the uterus of any remaining tissue.

Roughly correct.

Risks and side effects of vacuum aspiration include:

  • Incomplete abortion – In some cases the embryo is not removed completely, which may cause bleeding and/or an infection.
  • Infection – An infection may occur if bacteria from the vagina or the cervix get into the uterus after an abortion.
  • Damage to the uterus – The wall of the uterus may be perforated, or the cervix may be torn. Other organs, such as the bowel or bladder, may be damaged in the process. If this happens, further surgery will be needed.
  • Death – There is a very low risk of maternal death from this type of abortion.
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding

Okay this is roughly true, but what it doesn’t mention is that bleeding is going to be found in most surgical procedures. Even getting your teeth cleaned would cause bleeding.

It mentions perforations? Those are usually the cause of death. They are now rare in S/E surgeries due to a special rubber nozzle that was created specifically to deform rather than penetrate. These are very rare. How rare?

Child Birth is riskier than Surgical Abortion. Child Birth has a higher fatality rate. Surgical Abortions are a safe method of termination particularly if a medical abortion is not possible.

Dilation & evacuation (D&E) is a two-day procedure, common in the second trimester. First, the abortion provider performs an ultrasound to determine the size of the uterus and number of weeks of pregnancy. Because the fetus is larger, the cervix needs to be more dilated than in a first-trimester. A cervical dilator is inserted in the cervix 24 hours before the abortion. The following day, the patient is typically given pain medicine and a sedative. The abortion provider uses forceps or other grasping instruments to remove the fetus in pieces. A vacuum is used to remove fluid and floating tissue. Finally, the provider uses a metal loop, called curette, to scrape the walls of the uterus.

Abortion risks increase as the age of the fetus increases. Risks and side effects of D&E include:

  • Incomplete abortion – In some cases the embryo is not removed completely, which may cause bleeding and/or an infection. Incomplete abortion may also cause blood clots.
  • Infection – An infection may occur if bacteria from the vagina or the cervix get into the uterus after an abortion.
  • Damage to the uterus – The wall of the uterus may be perforated, or the cervix may be torn. Other organs, such as the bowel or bladder, may be damaged in the process. If this happens, further surgery will be needed.
  • Death – There is a very low risk of maternal death from this type of abortion.
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting.
  • Cramps

Irregular bleeding/Spotting occurs for a few weeks after and generally clears up after a single cycle.

But again this has a high safety profile. These are risks that COULD happen. That’s like me suggesting the risk of voting includes Leopard Attack. You could stay in or you could vote and be attacked by a leopard.

Which is why risk statistics are important. These are rare issues, and would be more common in a pro-life world (TW – Non-Medical Abortion)

Psychological/Emotional Risks

Abortion may also expose you to psychological risks. A spirited debate exists as to whether or not these psychological reactions deserve classification as a syndrome. Regardless of the label used, it is true that some women experience guilt, depression, loss, and other issues after an abortion.

Certain factors increase your risk of abortion-related psychological problems. These include:

  • Young age

Because in younger children people still push the notion of pro-life shaming young girls for picking a future and a career over a potential baby.

  • Ambivalence about the abortion decision

Wait what? Being stressed about the abortion is a psychological issue as is being ambivalent?

  • Pressure from others to abort

There are some cases where this occurs.

  • Prior mental illness

Yes, but that is because any pregnancy is stressful.

  • Abortion in later stages of pregnancy

Late term abortions are usually in foetuses that were wanted but extenuating circumstances dictated that the abortion was done for medical reasons.

  • Lack of social support

Which is something pro-life  are trying to push BTW.

  • One or more prior abortions

Yes and again this is due to the dialogue judging and telling women who have had abortions that they are evil and bad. A lot of the issues are social judgement of women who have had abortions.

Alternatives to Abortion

These are again rather naive.

Abortion is not the only option in a crisis pregnancy. Here are some other possibilities.

This is where the dialogue changes from “iffy” to “bad”.

  • Joint parenting: If the father of your child is supportive, or if another supportive partner has come into your life, you may wish to raise the child together. Joint parenting can take place with or without marriage, but married households tend to be more stable.

Wait what?

So the alternative to abortion is to raise the child in a relationship with your partner. How is this an alternative to abortion? That’s like saying that the alternative to having a child is abortion.

Not just Pro-Life but pro-marriage too. This is just condescending, like women are going to abortion clinics only to find out that they could have raised the child in the first place.

Which has precious little to do with the fact that the majority of foetuses being aborted are due to economic reasons and if you are poor already and in a relationship, then “have a baby” is a poor piece of advice.

  • Single parenting: Over the past few decades, single parenting has become more common and more socially acceptable. While single parenthood is not always easy, a strong network of family and friends can help make it work.

It will be magical! Money will rain down from the skies and taking care of a baby is super easy! It’s just like playing with a doll! And everyone will totally go out of their way to help you! Who needs money, education or a career!

  • Closed adoption: In a closed adoption, the baby is placed for adoption with another family and cannot contact you until he or she becomes an adult.

Yes! Have a baby and give it up to a another family. Sure it’s an alternative. Not a great alternative to abortion since it requires 9 months of pregnancy and the associated healthcare issues and loss of earning.

Not to mention the stigma. Giving up your baby for adoption is just as stigmatised in many parts of the world.

  • Open adoption: In an open adoption, you and your baby remain in contact after the adoption placement through regularly scheduled visits.

Which is fine if someone near you  wants to adopt.

  • Semi-open adoption: In a semi-open adoption, there is less contact than in a fully open adoption. For instance, the adoptive family may agree to send you photos of the child.

Okay another variant of the above.

  • Intra-family adoption: The child is adopted by a member of your family, such as a sibling or cousin, allowing you to watch the child grow up.

Sure, this is common in Indian families due to our extended nature. I have a cousin being brought up by her distant family like this.

But all of these assumes the mother wants to undergo 9 months of pregnancy.

Only you can know which of these alternatives is best for your circumstances. It may be helpful to discuss your options with a professional or peer counselor.

All of these assume that the mother has this fantastic support system or can afford to take time off for being pregnant.

And this ignores the elephant in the room. What if the mother simply does not want another child due to any reason (Take your pick – Choice, Family Planning, Finances). Why should she endure any of these issues? What if she is underage where these would increase the risk of her having a fatal complication? What if she has a health issue? What if she got pregnant due to rape or incest?

Abortion is a nuanced issue because the reasons to have and not have a baby are myriad and personal. The site then provides a list of pro-life counselling centres. I will not run them here.

Instead, I offer you a primer I wrote for my clinic. The Corkscrew – The Idiot’s Guide to Safe Sex. It’s been embellished a bit for the Internet, but it’s a more fun and open guide to sex, safety and abortions.

15 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    kestra

    First thing that struck me: the consistent use of language referring to the “body parts” or “pieces” of the embryo or fetus. This is deliberately invoking the gross-out bloody images used by clinic protestors (I’m sorry, “sidewalk counselors”) and other anti-abortion protestors. It is inflammatory.

    Second thing: they make adoption sound like a pretty easy and simple process, don’t they? Closed adoption, open adoption, semi-open adoption, you’ve got choices! Pick your preferred option, deliver the infant, and problem solved! Totally glossing over the on-going serious issues with the adoption industry in the US and other countries, not the least of which is fairly blatant cash-for-child deals. Lots of adoptees have birth-certificates that are altered to include only the adoptive parents, not the biological ones. Adult adoptees have had to sue their state government for access to their un-”corrected” documents, and sometimes can’t get access to them even then. The internet is swarming with stories of birth-mothers who were promised an open adoption only to be systematically cut out of the child’s life when that relationship became too onerous for the adoptive parents, often only a few years after the birth.

  2. 2
    anne mariehovgaard

    Cramping, Nausea, Vomitting, Fever, Chills and Diarrhoea are all due to the effect of the drug.

    Except for the fever, that sounds like menstruation to me…

  3. 3
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    The notion that women who have abortions are shallow while women who raise children are sainted nuns (Okay, maybe not nuns) is part of this push.

    Hey, what if you do both?

    Yeah, bleeding. Surprise surprise. You’re removing some tissue that tapped into your bloodstream and afterwards there’s bleeding? No shit Sherlock.

    The most telling thing is that they never mention that there are risks to pregnancy (let’s just talk about puking 24/7 for three months, shall we? Or the pains of labour and childbirth…) or well-known high pyschological risks for adoption.
    Nonononono, the only thing with risks is abortion…

  4. 4
    Jonah Rauguth

    Many people think that abortion is safe process but in no way is it safe at all. It’s not the body’s natural process. Pregnancy and giving birth is a natural process. The effects of an abortion are from the body trying to heal itself from the baby being ripped out of them. Abortion can lead to both physical and psychological effects. A zygote is a living human cell which means the baby is living from the point of conception. If a woman cares about her health she should have the baby and give it up for adoption if she doesn’t want her child. And the risk of your own health isn’t worth the abortion. Every life is precious.

  5. 5
    smrnda

    “A zygote is a living human cell”

    So is any human cell, at least for a while. This is why we can remove blood from one person, store it, and then later put it in someone else. Though in a sense ‘alive’ I don’t think one can jump from ‘alive’ to ‘fully human.’

    ” Pregnancy and giving birth is a natural process.”

    Naturalistic fallacy. Pregnancy and childbirth are risky and difficult natural processes. Natural does not mean good. Cancer is ‘natural.’ Teeth rotting out of your mouth is ‘natural.’ Getting sunburned (for those of us not well-suited to sunny climates) is ‘natural’ so in those cases, we go against nature. It is natural for a person to reject an organ that as been surgically implanted to save their life by replacing a non-functioning organ. The whole ‘natural is good unnatural is bad’ is a simplistic fallacy that crumbles with the least scrutiny. Are you anti-vaccination a well I wonder? Anti-GMO? Are you against drugs taken for psychiatric illnesses because these things are ‘unnatural?’ I mean, for me, hallucinations, delusions and mania episodes and seizures are ‘natural’ but with unnatural drugs, I am able to function.

    Jonah, are you suggesting that women are too stupid to get the facts on the risks involved in abortion? Every action we do involves risks; if you feel abortion is too risky, then if you happen to become pregnant Jonah, you are free to remain pregnant and avoid these risks. In a modern nation, the risks of abortion are actually not that great. There are risks involved in everything – getting into an automobile is pretty risky, yet people do that every day. Avi has provided the risks, and overall, they don’t seem that daunting. It would be up to YOU to prove how incredibly dangerous abortion is, but that’s the lie your side has been pushing the whole time.

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    ‘fully human.’

    We should have that discussion as well, if some of these people want to play that game. What is being alive, exactly? Does a person who is brain-dead have a ‘soul’? What about someone with spina bifida? How do they know?

  7. 7
    SallyStrange

    Of course it’s alive. It’s so funny when the Forced Birth Brigade trumpets this obvious fact as if it’s a revelation. Yes. Blastocysts are alive. Zygotes are alive. Embryos are alive. Fetuses are alive. Funnily enough, sperm and egg cells are also alive.

    “Alive” is not the criterion you’re looking for.

    “Has my consent to cannibalize my bloodstream” is.

  8. 8
    SallyStrange

    Anyway, it seems to me that a rational secular person should be able to see that causing more and more babies to be born in a world that’s heating up and already overpopulated is a net negative for society. This obsession with demanding that ever more babies be born truly baffles me.

  9. 9
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Many people think that abortion is safe process but in no way is it safe at all. It’s not the body’s natural process. Pregnancy and giving birth is a natural process.

    You know what’s very natural? Dying in childbirth ( without any unnatural interventions, you, ehm, that is women,you have a 1% chance of doing so. The fetus has an even bigger chance). Cancer is also very natural. Chemotherapy isn’t. Smallpox: natural. Vaccination: not. Going to the dentist is not natural. Scalpels aren’t natural, why don’t we use bearclaws?
    Yeah, it would have been very natural for me to die of a sepsis after I had a miscarriage that didn’t flush itself out. Instead I chose the unnatural abortion and went on a holiday three days later. Fuck nature

    The effects of an abortion are from the body trying to heal itself from the baby being ripped out of them.

    1.) You can’t rip a baby out of “them” (what’s “them?”). Baby: outside. Fetus/embryo: inside.
    2.) Patently untrue in the case of medical abortions which induce a miscarriage. A miscarriage, something so natural it happens to about 25% of all pregnancies.
    3.) What about “maternal deathrates are a few timeshigher than death from abortion” do you not understand

  10. 10
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Jonah

    There’s nothing “natural” about pushing a watermelon through a garden hose.

  11. 11
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Sally Strange

    Anyway, it seems to me that a rational secular person should be able to see that causing more and more babies to be born in a world that’s heating up and already overpopulated is a net negative for society. This obsession with demanding that ever more babies be born truly baffles me.

    Ahhh, but look, almost all of those babies that are ebing born now and who are making the bulk of population growth are scary brown and black babies, not nice white babies.
    One day they might overrun our nations like Attila the Hun *pictures a horde of cute toddler attacking*
    You see, women who have access to contraception and abortion like to have fewer childer, up to none at all, while those who are denied that choice are good little broodmares just like god nature intended them to be.
    You know, just yesterday I read a quote from Pinker where he tells us that humans engaged in wars to secure resources like land and women.

  12. 12
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Jonah Rauguth:

    ‘Natural’ ≠ ‘good’.

    Pregnancy is dangerous.

    For mother and fœtus(es).

    I’ve had 3 ½ miscarriages out of the seven pregnancies that I’ve known about; many conceptions fail to implant, and many pregnancies end so early that they are mistaken for heavy or late periods – with modern pregnancy tests being accurate earlier and earlier, estimates of miscarriage rates have gone up and range from 25% to 60%; with some estimates (which include failed implantation) as high as 80%. If ‘natural’ = ‘good’, why would so many blastocysts fail to implant? And why would most of those that did get that far, fail to get much further?

    My first, fifth and seventh pregnancies were total miscarriages (of an unknown number of embryos, because they were quite early, between 6 and 8 weeks). And yes, they were painful and involved a fair amount of bleeding.

    The second and third were singletons (and although premature, requiring special care, are now aged 31 and 32, and parents themselves).

    The fourth and sixth were twin pregnancies, although only the latter produced two live babies (also early, also needing special care, now aged 21).

    The former was a nightmare; with my daughter’s twin dying early in pregnancy, I spent most of the pregnancy in and out of hospital as my body became a battleground between rejecting the dead fœtus and nurturing the living one. And the nightmare didn’t end at delivery – the second placenta had continued to grow, but wasn’t delivered with the first. I was sent home with internal bleeding and nearly died.

    I was rushed back to hospital when the hæmorrhaging became arterial and obvious; in removing the retained placenta, and thus saving my life, the surgeon inadvertantly perforated my uterus, contributing to years of internal problems.

    The latter wasn’t much better; I got pre-eclampsia, swelled up like a balloon and had to deliver the twins six weeks early.

    That is quite a catalogue, and I am only one person; ask around, kindly and with empathy, and you’ll find far too many women have a similar catalogue of pregnancy-related disasters. It isn’t something we generally talk about in public, so society can pretend that pregnancy is all sweetness and light and dancing through daisies.

    And I haven’t even mentioned the ‘normal’ stuff, like the nausea, the vomitting, the pain, the insomnia, the joint dislocations, the mood swings, the leaky boobs and bladder, the weird cravings…

    Women’s stuff, particularly anything to do with sex and reproduction, isn’t high on anyone’s agenda – until or unless women start trying to take control of their own lives.

    If you are truly pro-life, and anti-suffering, you’d make a much bigger impact funding research into why so many wanted pregnancies go wrong than trying to prevent women ending unwanted ones (and it’s possible that up to 50% of elective abortions would have spontaneously aborted anyway).

    And, of course, you could still help reduce elective abortion by developing truly efficient, easy-to-use and side-effect-free contraception, and handing it out for free to anyone who wants it.

    And you could campaign for everyone (especially the wealthy) to pay higher taxes, so that women don’t feel they have to terminate because of financial pressure; because they’d get free and efficient healthcare (as all of mine was) and subsidised housing and childcare. You could also encourage politicians and the legal system to enact, and enforce, legislation that protects women from being underpaid or sacked unfairly.

    There are a lot of ways to reduce the number of elective abortions that don’t have to interfere with any woman’s autonomy. Are you prepared to change the culture to achieve that?

    Or are you not really ‘pro-life’ but ‘anti-women’?

  13. 13
    stever

    “Pro-Life!!!” is pro-suffering. Suffering is central to Christianity. In Cross-speak, the horrible pain of unassisted childbirth isn’t because we evolved these big brains that make infants’ heads too big, it’s Gawd’s continuing punishment for the Sin of Eve.

    BTW, the Catholic dogma that holds that “ensoulment” occurs at fertilization is quite recent. Until some time after the invention of the microscope, the soul was believed to enter a newborn baby with the first inspration. Are souls divisible? If not, which of a pair of monozygotic twins gets the soul?

  14. 14
    free porn

    Excellent way of explaining, and good article to obtain facts concerning my presentation
    subject matter, which i am going to deliver in institution of higher education.

  15. 15
    google

    Once you create your Expert Page, you can also begin networking with other Experts on. Another way of increasing
    traffic to your website is to get your website noticed and
    to have it ranked highly in the Google search. Our innovative design and development team
    can help you refine your vision.

  1. 16
    This Week in Religion and Secularism, part 1 | Evangelically Atheist

    […] This was a piece I offered to do for The True Pooka, for those who are unaware? True Pooka and Lilandra have both been dealing with the nature of Secular Pro-Life and actively  engaging in analysing their beliefs. So far from my contact? I think their entire argument is purely philosophical and exists purely in the idealised world of academia. [Read more] […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>