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« Eye of the beholder | Main | " I find in food and in memories of food my refuge" »

January 27, 2005


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"In the large hospitals, ward after ward was filled with women suffering and dying from botched abortions."

I have been wondering just how true this sentence might be. It's very easy to just throw out numbers... as we know it's so very easy to lie about statistics. Or even just make up numbers out of thin air.

I have no real numbers on how many women died from botched abortions back then. Just as I have no real numbers on how many die from botched abortions now. Oh - did they forget to mention that abortion is a major medical procedure and women can die from it, even in the "best" abortion clinics, even in this wonderfully enlightened time? No, they prefer you to think that the only time women die from abortions are when they are "back alley" and in "bad conditions" - completely and utterly false!

"ward after ward" is a nicely vague and frightening way of characterizing things. The statistics must be out there... it's certainly been long enough - why do they continue to fall back on the huge scare tactics? Because if you saw the real numbers, you might not be as sympathetic to their cause.

I will also mention - that years ago I was a nurse in a Neonatal Intensive Care. I can assure you, after a while you begin to think that all babies are born with medical problems - even if you KNOW intellectually that you are seeing only a tiny percentage of them. I knew NICU nurses who thought every single baby born should be under the watchful eye of a nurse for at least 3 days - to be sure nothing bad happened to them! (parents were not to be trusted) Personally I thought this was hogwash, because I understood how tiny the percentage of sick babies really was... we agreed to disagree.

But my point here is that perfectly good doctors can also have their perception skewed by where they work and what they see. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see many cases concentrated in one area hospital, leading doctors working there to the erroneous conclusion that the problem is huge, when in fact the actual percentage is very small.

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