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The coat hanger we are discussing is the wire affair

Avicenna has his own ferocious post on coat-hanger abortions, in his case with trigger warning (so consider this a trigger warning). It’s useful to hear from doctors, like Avi and like Jen Gunter whom I quoted Saturday, about the realities of amateur abortion.

A small bit from Avicenna’s post.

The coat hanger we are discussing is the wire affair. It’s rather hard to actually do it with the plastic affair unless you break it apart.

To put it into perspective. It’s like trying to thread a sharpened object into a balloon if the walls of the balloon were made out of cake. If you touch them with the sharp bit you lose, good game have fun.

The solo self abortionist while unskilled is enthusiastic. It’s almost as if such an individual doesn’t want the baby. To this end she has to thrust the coat hanger into her vagina with the hope of threading it through the cervix. Most women who do this and who come in have no idea why they were doing it. They just figure it would cause the foetus to stop developing or cause a miscarriage. They hear about it from word of mouth.

It’s why I specifically learnt all my medicine from strange men in the pub rather than a university. Because word of mouth is an excellent teacher of clinical skills. No wait… It’s not.

So she doesn’t know what she is doing, merely hoping that something happens. The waggle it about and hope it works methodology of medicine. What she is hoping is to pass the point of the object through the cervical opening, rupture the membranes and cause the leak of amnion liquor. This will eventually cause the foetus to die and be miscarried. Stressful but less so than having the baby.

The uterine wall is soft and spongy during pregnancy. It’s thick but not very muscular. It’s richly supplied with blood vessels as it forms part of the exchange surface with the placenta (which helps the baby breathe). Now you can rupture ANY of these with a sharp object that is blindly inserted. This leads to massive blood loss. Not helped by the fact that pregnancy causes physiological strain that reduces a woman’s capacity to tolerate blood loss.

Due to the nature of handedness, chances are the blood vessel hit is the uterine artery. Arterial bleeding is powered by the heart. You can bleed out in minutes. Shock ensues followed by death if there is no medical staff present to control it.

The good old days.


  1. lorn says

    Abortion, as both concept and physical act, is ugly, messy, and both distasteful and uncomfortable. Anyone who has had, or been around the procedure can tell you this and most people assume it is so.

    What very few can tell you from experience is how a back-alley abortion, mothers bleeding to death or dying from massive infections, women throwing themselves down stairs, or having someone punch them in the belly until they collapse, is so much uglier than medical abortions. The tragedy and ugliness of improvisational and non-medical abortions shocked the nation but that was a long time ago. It has faded in memory.

    So we are left with the known fact that medical abortions are ugly, messy, and both distasteful and uncomfortable. We so soon have forgotten that it was by far the better option.

  2. says

    “The good old days.”

    Conservatives worship the good old days, and work tirelessly to bring back that halcyon Golden Age when women knew and accepted their place as chattel who died in back alleys.

  3. Lyanna says

    These women tried to murder their children because they couldn’t deal with the consequences of sex. Why should we feel bad for them again?

    /conservative whackjob


  4. octopod says

    Medical procedures tend to be ugly, messy, distasteful, and uncomfortable. They still are generally preferable to the alternative. And don’t ever forget that abortion is safer than childbirth.

  5. ema says

    Abortion, as both concept and physical act, is ugly, messy, and both distasteful and uncomfortable. Anyone who has had, or been around the procedure can tell you this and most people assume it is so.

    Um, no. Abortion, as a concept, is a safe and effective medical procedure, one that significantly reduces a patient’s morbidity/mortality. As to the actual procedure (assuming surgical abx), it’s simple, clean, contained, and both delectable and relatively comfortable.

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