Prior to 1973, abortion was illegal in the United States that is, unless a doctor would deem it necessary in order to save the woman’s life and in order for that to happen her life had to be in danger or, for her to be lucky enough to come across a doctor that would falsify the information to help her; but doctors that were willing to do that were not abound and even if they were, women did not dare ask a doctor to lie for her since this was illegal and it could have cost them their license to practice medicine.
At that time when women were confronted with an unwanted pregnancy they did not have a safe place to go to such as Planned Parenthood; most of the times they waited (trying to find a solution to their problem) until the end of the first trimester or even worse, the second trimester. Many times, they had experimented with concoctions suggested by other women, these concoctions consisted of brews they would prepare in their kitchens and that they would drink – some of them were even poisonous – in an effort to induce an abortion… but when all failed, they resorted to the infamous ‘coat hanger’.
In desperation and as I said, after trying everything imaginable – from riding horses and falling from high places, drinking all type of potions, hitting themselves in their abdomen etc. – women would take their attempts a bit further. Some had the courage and attempted to perform the abortions in the privacy of their home, without any anesthesia or help. Alone in their bathrooms these women would insert into their cervix any object long enough to break the placenta which would induce an abortion: bottles, knitting needles, crochet needles, scissors and the well-known coat-hanger. Most times they succeeded in aborting, the problem was, they also killed themselves; many mothers left their children orphaned because by performing the abortions themselves, they punctured their uterus, their intestines or both. There were many cases where women had to be rushed to a hospital with the coat hanger still stuck to her uterus, I even read of a woman that was taken to the hospital with part of her intestine hanging from her vagina… in an attempt to pull out the coat-hanger that had perforated and was stuck in her intestines she pulled the hanger and by doing so, she pulled her intestines out. Now, whoever says that this is not an act committed out of sheer desperation doesn’t know what desperation really is. Those that performed abortions on themselves without any help were not only desperate, but brave. The pain these women must have endured I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
|Instruments of the Trade|
The coat-hanger has become a symbol of Roe vs. Wade and the pro-choice movement. We must never return to those times, those were dark times for women. Banning abortions will not stop abortions, banning abortions will only make them illegal and women would have to resort to the same barbaric methods – except the rich women of society who have always been able to do it but in a nice setting, whether here by paying enough money to hospitals and doctors to falsify the procedure or, as most did, by traveling to Europe and having it done there… telling everyone at home they were vacationing in, let’s say, Switzerland. Banning abortion will only be a problem for those who can’t afford to have any more children: the poor. Banning abortions will only kill poor women, not the wealthy. Banning abortions will not stop the killing of "babies" (embryos and fetuses to be exact), banning abortions will produce more deaths, that of the fetus and that of the woman. Bravo pro-lifers, if you continue in your puritanical ways you would have succeeded in sending more people to heaven! No wonder pro-lifers care so much about the fetus and embryos (not the babies), after all … they do believe in life after death, for the first time I understand what “Life” they’re talking about… it’s the after-LIFE, not life as we know it.