From Repairing the damage before Roe, by Waldo L. Fielding, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Boston for 38 years:
Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion — darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off.
Another method that I did not encounter, but heard about from colleagues in other hospitals, was a soap solution forced through the cervical canal with a syringe. This could cause almost immediate death if a bubble in the solution entered a blood vessel and was transported to the heart.
The worst case I saw, and one I hope no one else will ever have to face, was that of a nurse who was admitted with what looked like a partly delivered umbilical cord. Yet as soon as we examined her, we realized that what we thought was the cord was in fact part of her intestine, which had been hooked and torn by whatever implement had been used in the abortion. It took six hours of surgery to remove the infected uterus and ovaries and repair the part of the bowel that was still functional.
When pro-lifers plunge into eager discussion of how awful abortion is (for obvious reasons, pro-lifers tend to focus on the small proportion of abortions performed late in pregnancy, and for obvious reasons, pro-lifers tend to claim that late-term abortions are performed for the same reason as early abortions) it’s worth noting: what they want is to criminalize abortion. They don’t care about preventing abortions: they don’t support free provision of contraception to all, informative sex education for all, nor do they support free universal support for pregnant women and mothers: health care, employment protection, paid maternity leave.
They just want to return to the good old days when women who had abortions sometimes died of it, because the government had claimed the authority to force any woman who got pregnant to go through with the pregnancy and give birth against her will.
The fact is, the number of teen pregnancies has dropped 15 to 53% in all reporting areas. This is during a time when abstinence-only programs have been in effect.
Unfortunately, Sharon has a long history of losing arguments when she ventures away from her own blog (on her own blog, she can delete comments…) so she naturally didn’t want to come here. While the research tells a consistent tale: abstinence-education doesn’t work in preventing teenage pregnancies, what Sharon misses is that the number of teenage girls getting pregnant dropped in all reporting areas – but dropped faster in areas where schools were still allowed to teach comprehensive sex education. The data is available from the CDC, though last time Sharon and I argued about the merits of preventing teenage pregnancies she didn’t like those big figure-filled tables and didn’t look at them.
That thread, incidentally, is further evidenc that pro-lifers do not care about human life in any respect: a horde of pro-lifers who love the Iraq war and don’t want to think about the million Iraqis dead.