One of my favorite blogs around is The Well-Timed Period, and it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t get more attention: it’s greatest strength also militates against it achieving widespread popularity (which is more a flaw in how the internet and blogs work than with the blog itself). It’s so beautifully focused — it’s all reproductive health all the time.
The reported risk of death associated with RU-486 is ten times greater the risk associated with surgical abortions. The death rate associated with surgical abortion is one in a million. By contrast, the reported risk of death associated with RU-486 is higher than one in 100,000.
If you’d been reading W-TP, you’d know that DeMint is playing fast and loose with the facts. The risk of death from an abortion before 8 weeks is about 1 in a million, but the death rate from a surgical abortion is about 1 in 140,000, and the risks are increasingly greater the later in the term the operation is carried out (there’s a reason doctors want the option to do what the press calls “partial birth abortions”—late term abortions are much more dangerous for the mother, and procedures that reduce the threat ought to be welcomed). You’d also know that he has left out an important and highly relevant statistic that puts it all in perspective: the risk of death from normal pregnancy and delivery is 1 in 8700. It’s a little weird to think that we put my beloved wife at risk of a 0.01% probability of dying 3 times just to spawn those ungrateful kids, but then again, her commute to work is more dangerous than that.
Statistics are strange things. Phrase them with the right twist, and you’ll be convinced that you ought to spend the rest of your life in your basement, surrounded by pillows; DeMint has twisted them outrageously to misrepresent his motives. If he were really interested in women’s health and safety, he’d be working to support universal health care, for instance — there are a lot of women who are poor and pregnant and at great risk, and responsible reproductive health ought to be among the first of our representatives’ concerns. The biggest lie in his press release is the implication that this is about women’s health; it’s not. It’s about limiting women’s choices and reproductive freedom.