Let’s Talk About….Abortion + The Abortion Bans

A blank white page with some thought bubbles about the abortion bans

This Month has taken a backseat this month. I’m sure most of you reading this will be aware, but on my other blog, I post a new recipe every day throughout the month of May. So I’ve been busy. I decided to work on some posts for This Month and come back in June with a proper schedule. The first post was supposed to be about ovulation bleeding. But my last post on this blog was about the morning after pill; a method of contraception that someone people disagree with as they (wrongly) believe it’s the same as abortion. And here we are, a few weeks later and the world is watching as the political system in America alienates women and removes their rights one state at a time with abortion bans.  

As this is a female health blog, it didn’t feel right to move straight onto ovulation bleeding and book reviews while the news cycle is still filled with daily updates on legislation people are trying to pass state by state.  

In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing some facts about abortion, sharing some statistics on the issue and hopefully clarifying some misconceptions. I know this issue is one with very little reason. People want to believe what they want to believe when it comes to these issues. But for those of you with genuine interest, these are the facts about abortion.  

The Proposed Abortion Bans By State  

Alabama – Possibly the one that got the most attention. This is an outright ban, there are no exceptions for rape or incest in this proposed law. Very small exceptions for cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Doctors can get up to 99 years in prison.  

 

Mississippi- Proposed changes in Mississippi are known as the heartbeat ban. No abortion after 6 weeks, when the first heartbeat can be detected. Again, only exceptions are when the woman’s life is threatened.  

Other states with proposed bans the same as Mississippi: 

  • Ohio  
  • Georgia 
  • Missouri  the same as Mississippi but at 8 weeks, not 6.  
  • Kentucky – tried to pass a heartbeat ban but failed.  

Some Facts About Abortion 

6 weeks  

This is going to sound like a counter argument to everything else I’m saying here, but I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how you’re only 2 weeks late if you’re 6 weeks pregnant, so most people wouldn’t know. And this statement has been causing me some concern about how little people know about the female reproductive system.  

Conception occurs during ovulation/ your ‘fertile window’, which is a few days a month 2 weeks before the start of the following cycle (period day 1). Which means at 6 weeks pregnant, you would be 4 weeks late. Now, this still isn’t a long time, and it doesn’t mean that it’s right to ban it at this point. But I needed to clear that one up. 

X amount of people get an abortion for no reason  

This is not true at all. I’m sure you’ve seen those graphs that show the number of women who have them for a medical emergency, x, z, z, and no reason. No reason means no reason given at the clinic (because it’s no one else’s business), not there was nothing on TV Wednesday afternoon.  

You can get a full term abortion in New York (and a few other places)  

That means pregnancy can be terminated in the very rare situation that the mother’s life is at risk and the baby cannot be safely delivered. No doctor, I’ll say that again, not a single doctor would abort a healthy pregnancy late term. I’ve seen several women in the pro-life movement who are 37/38 weeks pregnant talking about how appalled they are that they could get an abortion today. That’s not true either. If anything, that’s why adoption exists.  

Making Abortion Illegal Reduces Abortion  

If you mean reduces the number of doctors performing them, then you may have a point. But here are a few statistics about what women do with unwanted pregnancies when abortion is not available to them: 

  • According to WHO, 22800 women die each year due to complications from unsafe abortion. And between 2-7 million more are left with long term damage or disease. (Those stats are so different due to the nature of date collection regarding illegal activity) 
  • It is estimated that the abortion rate in countries that ban abortion is 37 per 1000 pregnancies. That number is 34 in countries that allow it.  
  • Almost every death from unsafe abortion is preventable. They occur due to unsanitary conditions or because women try to abort them at home. Complaints occur and women don’t seek treatment for fear of consequences 
  • “…those who do die from abortion-related causes in the country fall into roughly three categories…First, some doctors refuse to treat pregnant women with chemotherapy or other potent medications because they are worried they might harm the foetus. Second, some doctors allow ectopic pregnancies—in which a fertilized egg grows outside the womb and can’t survive to birth—to continue until the woman’s fallopian tube explodes, because they fear that eggs in even ectopic pregnancies will be considered living beings under the law. In the third category are teenage girls who kill themselves because they are distraught over their pregnancies. These teenage deaths account for three-eighths of all maternal deaths in El Salvador.” Source. 

Abortion bans do not reduce abortion, it reduces safe abortion. That’s a very big difference.  

‘Consensual Rape’  

I’m not going to explain this nonsense. But I’m sure you’ve seen those ridiculous quotes from US politicians about how a woman can’t be raped etc. You have to take a serious moment to reflect on these decisions if they are the ones making them.  

A final word on kindness  

Amongst the understandable outrage and fury, I’ve seen online lately, I’ve also seen a lot of hate directed towards certain groups. As a reminder, you can be Christian and disagree with these laws. You can be a fiscally conservative Republican and still support women’s rights. On a more personal level, as an individual, you can be pro-life, disagree with abortion, personally choose to never get one and still not support the decision to remove another woman’s right to choose. One group of Christian, pro-life Republicans do not speak for every individual who identifies as one of those things.  

Whatever your stance on this subject, please respect that these situations are always more complicated than they seem. 

Until next time, 

Sophie 

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