$1000 in Cash, A Quickie, Then You Die

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 · 2 Comments »

Blogging for choice.

1950s: A million illegal abortions a year are performed in the U.S. Over a thousand women die each year from complications.

2005: A million legal abortions a year are performed in the U.S. Fewer than a dozen women die each year from complications.

Abortion is not going to stop. It’s just going to get very, very ugly. Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century reminds us of what the world of illegal abortions was like:

In the 1960s, abortionists often turned women away if they could not pay $1,000 or more in cash. Some male abortionists insisted on having sexual relations before the abortion.

And then the actual procedure was incredibly risky. Since abortionists were flying under the radar, they did everything they could to maximize their own security. Often there was no anesthesia, since they wanted women out of the office/motel room/back alley as quickly as possible. Sanitary measures were inadequate, since they were working fast and in non-sterile environments. And if complications did develop – which they often did, given the conditions – the woman was on her own. Many abortionists worked anonymously and forbade the woman to ever contact him/her again.

No wonder over a thousand women died every year.

And of course, poor and minority women bore the brunt. Before Roe, 90% of abortions were performed on white women, but 75% of the women who died were women of color.

Could somebody explain “pro-life” to me again?

(Note: figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century.)

Filed under: Blogging for Choice, Reproductive Rights · Tags:

2 Responses to “$1000 in Cash, A Quickie, Then You Die”

  1. kactus says:

    Sure, Violet, I’ll explain “pro-life” to you. Pro-life is pro-white, middle-class, status quo, never question authority, buy lots of unnecessary crap to make your house look acceptable or fill the hole in your own life. Pro-life is pro-establishment, pro-war, pro-torture, pro-presidential-lies & corruption–in short, pro-life is anything but pro-life. Instead it is its antithesis: anti-choice, anti-freedom, anti-constitutional, anti-civil rights, anti-women, anti-brown people, anti-non-American people, anti-poor people. Ugh.

  2. will says:

    I think a huge issue is going to be the availability of doctors and clinics. People need to galvanize to increase the number of doctors willing to perform abortions.

    I do not have any statistics, but it does not seem like there are many female doctors willing to perform abortions. If my (unscientific) assumption is true, that does not make a lot of sense.