Friday, December 22, 2006

Judy Rebick withdraws support for Elizabeth May

Judy Rebick writes this open letter, explaining why she is withdrawing all support of Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, over her comments on abortion:
If you had said that you personally oppose abortion but you support a woman's right to choose, I would have been fine with that. Instead you said that a woman's right to choose, something tens of thousands of Canadian women fought for for decades, was trivializing an important issue. It felt like a slap in the face.
I think tens of thousands is a little exagerated. They'd like to think there were tens of thousands fighting for abortion, but they only actually think they represent tens of thousands. Well, they sure don't represent me.
There is no middle ground on the abortion issue as you are no doubt finding out. The organized opposition to abortion in this country as in the United States does not care if women die. Of course, there are many people who are opposed to abortion for religious reasons but here I am talking about the anti-choice activists.

I personally have debated right-to-lifers for 30 years. There is no dialogue here. They put the life of a foetus above the rights and even the lives of women. Whether or not you agree with this, by raising the issue in the way that you did, you contribute to their position.

Oh, so we don't care if women die? Now let me see, medically speaking here, what are the chances of a woman dying from this grave malady we call pregnancy? According to this, in the UK, it is about one chance in 20 000. Now let me see, just for fun, what are the chances of death from abortion? From

What is the maternal mortality from childbirth?

Reported average maternal mortality 1979 through 1986 was 9.1 per 100,000 deliveries, having declined from 11 to 7.4. Morbidity & Mortality Report, July 1991, Cent. Dis. Cont., Vol. 40, No. 55-1

If all causes of maternal death, other than those associated with live birth i.e., abortion, tubal pregnancy, molar pregnancy, etc., were excluded. . . . "the maternal mortality for 1985 would be 4.7 deaths per 100,000 live births." "Induced Termination of Preg . . . ," Council on Scientific Affairs, AMA; JAMA, Dec. 9, ’92, Vol. 268, No. 22, p. 3231 147

And the rate has dropped further since the above, but the U.S. Center for Disease Control (see Chapter 17) does not break down their figures. It continues to report a figure for "maternal mortality" that includes abortion and other deaths.

But some mothers do die?

In developed nations, almost never. The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, receives many complicated cases from around that nation and delivers 10% of all births in Ireland. In 10 years (1970-79) it delivered 74,317 births at more than 28 weeks gestation with only one woman dying from a cause related to her pregnancy. J. Murphy et al., Therapeutic Ab., The Medical Argument, Irish Med. J., Aug. ’82, Vol. 75, No. 8

Ed. note: And this report was from two decades ago. Since then medical care has improved substantially.

Abortion Deaths

These have been grossly under-reported. The expose’ on this is detailed in Lime 5 published by Life Dynamics. The author and his staff have verified 23 deaths from induced abortion in 1992-93. All were reported to state agencies. There is documentation from state health departments that 18 were reported to the Federal Center for Disease Control. However, the official report of the CDC listed only 2 deaths. "
From the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Study authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that the annual death rate from legal abortion is extremely low. For the year 1996, for example, the number of deaths related to legal abortion in the US had dropped to seven out of nearly 1.2 million abortion procedures performed that year. Nevertheless, the authors estimate that for the years 1988 to 1997 up to 87% of the deaths in women whose pregnancies were terminated after 8 weeks of gestation might have been avoided if the women had obtained earlier abortions. The authors note that improving women's access to early abortion services -- such as early medical (non-surgical) abortions -- may further reduce the mortality rate.
Someone's not telling the whole truth here... But in any case, treating pregnancy like some incurable disease, that so many women supposedly die from every year, instead of the life-giving miracle that it is... only a ture hardened feminist could do that, and these are a minority. Sorry to disappoint you ladies, but you don't represent tens of thousands of women. And by the way, for the record, we DO value the life of the women too. We ask that doctors try to save both if a woman's life is in danger, but that if one dies in a procedure to save the other, (be it the baby or the mother) that is life. At least you tried. These kinds of life and death situations don't happen every day. That's not what this is all about. What this is all about is having the right to a "back-up plan" for failed contraception. All neatly wrapped up into a package called "Choice".

Elizabeth May's response here:
I did say that sloganeering gets in the way of dialogue. As a practicing Christian, I hate being told I am not “pro-life” because I support a legal right to abortion. I favour access to safe and legal abortions as an aspect of my respect for life. As we know and your letter notes, otherwise, women will die. The status of a foetus before birth is debatable in terms of when the potential for life crystallizes as human life.
What is it with all this talk about women dying? You know, I could go on and on just on the subject of how people (especially gynecologists and obstetricians) treat pregnancy like some kind of disease. Oh puh-lease!!! But that would be getting off topic...
If we could focus on what we want as a society, that might bring us closer together. We would want every pregnancy to be a wanted pregnancy and every child to be a wanted child. We would want to expand on the range of real choices a woman has as a right. We would want to build a society based on true gender equality with an appropriate balance of collective responsibilities and individual rights.
"We would want every pregnancy to be a wanted pregnancy and every child to be a wanted child." Yeah, would be nice wouldn't it? Unfortunately, you can't determine the value of a person's life by whether it's mother wants it or not. What about all the abused children? Shall we kill them off too? There is such a simple (and much more moral) option to abortion, it's called adoption. Ayone hear of it?

Some lady at breadnroses:
Crap! This is really starting to piss me off. Should our society be respectfully debating the pros and cons of slavery, apartheid, women's right to vote?!?!?!
No, exactly, noone would ever say; "Personally, I'm against slavery, but I believe in the right to choose to have a slave." On the other hand, when slavery was an issue in America, I'm willing to bet that there were debates on the pros and cons of slavery, right up until it was finally legally abolished. I say legally, because in practice, this is still not the case. There will continue to be debates on abortion, until that is legally abolished as well, because, like slavery, it is morally wrong.