posted on: Thursday February 6, 2014
Response to Pro-Life Vs. Pro-Choice Feature
by Thomas Pell ’15
In the last edition of The Cowl, Morris ’14 and Sciotti ’15 both asserted that legal abortions were “safe, sterile” procedures. With all due respect, I beg to differ. Regardless of the law, abortion is never safe. Most abortions are conducted outside of medical facilities. The Second Look Project cites a study that found, “71 percent of abortions in the United States are performed in free-standing abortion-dedicated clinics. Only five percent are performed in hospitals, two percent in physicians’ offices and 22 percent in other kinds of clinics.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention counted 411 deaths as a result of complications from legal abortions between 2009 and 1973, the year abortion was legalized throughout all fifty states. One of these cases received national attention in the past year when abortionist Kermit Gosnell was charged with involuntary manslaughter on May 13, 2013, as reported by Sarah Cliff in The Washington Post. Earlier that year, on Feb. 7, a young woman died of complications from a 33-week botched abortion at an abortion clinic in Germantown, Md., as reported by Scott McCabe in The Washington Examiner. In 2013, a Chinese meta-analysis published in Cancer Causes and Control found a 44 percent increased risk of breast cancer among women who have had abortions, as reported by Joel Brind, Ph.D on lifenews.com.
Furthermore, abortion threatens a woman’s mental health. The Second Look Project cites an online survey conducted by afterabortion.com, a pro-choice post-abortion support site, in which “80 percent of the women surveyed experienced guilt, 83 percent regret, 79 percent loss, 62 percent anger, and 70 percent depression.” My mother has two close friends who have had abortions, and both have suffered extreme guilt and depression. I can testify that one of the largest groups present at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., is Silent No More, a group of women, as well as men, who regret having had or encouraged an abortion. They hold signs that read, “I regret my abortion,” or “I regret lost fatherhood.” At the end of the March, outside the Supreme Court, many of these women and men give testimonies about the pain that their decision caused them and their families.
Mattie Brinkerhoff, an advocate for women’s suffrage, wrote in 1869, “When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.” We as a society have wronged women by giving them the illusion that abortion is a safe alternative to birth. If you have a friend who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, let her know that she can find help at The Gabriel Project in Providence, a free and confidential pregnancy care service. The number is (401)-421-6833 ext. 225/218. If you have a friend who is hurting after an abortion, let her or him know that she or he can find healing at the Post-Abortion Ministry in the Diocese of Providence. The number is (401)-421-7833 ext. 218/217.