I'm sick and tired of know-nothings talking about pregnancy and childbirth.
Even today, a medical abortion is 14x safer than delivering a baby. That is to say, a woman is 14 times more likely to die from giving birth than she is from having a legal abortion.
Pregnancy is not a simple thing, yet too many people (old white male GOPs) act as if it is nothing. Go beyond the orange swirls to pick up some facts.
Here are some numbers:
Ectopic pregnancy. This is a "pregancy" in which the sperm and egg have joined forces and might have the genetic combination to make a viable human being, but the blastocyst does not implant properly in the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies take place in Fallopian tubes but some are found elsewhere.
An ectopic pregnancy, if not detected and treated, will inevitably kill the mother as she bleeds to death. The fetus will also not survive, as it is too young.
How many ectopic pregnancies are there per year? It is hard to get exact numbers, but some estimates go as high as 1 to 2% of all pregnancies. The number has been increasing over the years, in part because of higher STDs, but also because doctors have become better at detecting them.
If we accept the statistic of 4.4 million pregnancies per year, and take the lower percentage above, we come up with 44,000 ectopic pregnancies. 44,000 women who will die if they don't get abortions. Maybe the number is less. Maybe it is higher.
Miscarriages. The link will take you to a site that claims that there are about 4.4 million pregnancies per year, and about 900,000 to 1 million end in miscarriage. These are miscarriages, not abortions.
Why do miscarriages happen? It could be that there is something wrong with the fetus. All those chromosomes have to join up properly. It does not always happen.
It could also be that the woman cannot carry a baby to term. A woman with only one ovary, for example, may have a harder time producing the hormones needed to maintain a pregnancy. Perhaps she has an illness.
Miscarriages can be dangerous, and a woman can bleed to death if she does not get treatment. That's why doctors often induce an abortion when they realize that the fetus is not alive. They do this with medicine
Even Sarah Palin, the woman held up as the paragon of baby-producers, had two miscarriages. One of them was probably induced using some drugs, as the word "abortion" was whited out and replaced with "miscarriage" in her medical records.
Using the drugs instead of waiting for a woman to miscarry is a heck of a lot safer for the woman.
Rape. Even though Todd Aikin believes in legitimate rape that shuts down pregnancies - gosh, don't we women wish we could shut down unwanted pregnancies without going to doctors - studies show that about five percent of rapes result in pregnancies:
BAUMANN: So, as far as we can tell from CDC and medical studies and Planned Parenthood's released some numbers of their own, there are tens of thousands of pregnancies from rape in the U.S. each year. And about 5 percent of women who are raped get pregnant. About half of those pregnancies end in abortion.
Again, numbers are ballpark, but they could be as much as 20,000.
There is no reason a woman should have to give birth to the child of a man who assaulted her.
Health of the mother. I remember how angry I was when John McCain talked about the health of the mother using air quotes. It's obvious that he has never been pregnant.
There are many women - those with diabetes or other conditions - who should only get pregnant under controlled situations and maybe not even then. Perhaps they will survive, but their health could be affected for a long time.
Birth defects. Serious birth defects, where a mother knows that the child will only live a little while (and suffer during that time), or ones where brain deformities are likely to be severe, are, in my opinion, a good reason for an abortion. Why bring a child into the world only to have it suffer?
These are just some of the reasons that safe abortions are necessary for women's health. Without them, thousands and thousands of women will die every year.
If we spread this information among the people, then they won't treat pregnancy so casually.
Please add more and make suggestions/corrections.
Tired of politics? Need to escape? Try one of my Greek-mythology based novels, either the story of Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus or a trilogy about Niobe, or one of the first examples of civil disobedience, Antigone and Creon. Or, if you like mysteries and/or Jane Austen, treat yourself to The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of Jane Austen’s Emma very positively reviewed at the Daily Kos Monday Murder Mystery blog.