Thursday, January 19, 2012


Abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal and nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority in developing countries, a new study concludes.

Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.

The global abortion rate remained virtually unchanged from 2003 to 2008, at about 28 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, a total of about 43.8 million abortions, according to the study. The rate had previously been dropping since 1995.

About 47,000 women died from unsafe abortions in 2008, and another 8.5 million women had serious medical complications. Almost all unsafe abortions were in developing countries..

This headline popped out at me and reminded me that the lack of common sense behind the US anti-abortion campaign which has made it even more difficult for women in developing countries to have access to safe, affordable women's health services. And their goal to do the same here.
Our continuing course to the obliteration of the line between church and state is the setting of a harrowing novel I read a few weeks ago.  "When She Woke" by Hillary Jordan is a re-imagining of The Scarlet Letter.  Hannah, the conservatively indoctrinated, innocent young woman who has lived in conflict with her strict religious upbringing all her life falls in deep, passionate love with the famous, married preacher of the mega church she and her family attend.  When she becomes pregnant, she has an illegal abortion, is caught and sentenced for the murder of her unborn child and her refusal to name the father and expose the abortionist.

In this not-too-distant future, convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chemically treated to change their skin color to represent their crime and then released back into the population to survive as best they can.  When Hannah woke following her conviction, her skin was red.

The book follows her as she tries to navigate her life as a Red, which dangerously unlike anything she has experienced in her sheltered life. In order to survive she has to leave her evangelical family behind, put her trust in strangers and embark on a road trip to her freedom. She also has to question the teachings of her narrow, religious upbringing.

I found the last quarter of the book less well realized and the ending seemed to come very suddenly and unsatisfactorily.  Overall, a compelling, chilling read and a call to look at where our society is going.


hokgardner said...

Just don't even get me started on what this country is doing to women's reproductive rights. I worry what things will be like for my daughters.

shrink on the couch said...

This in line with stats revealed by Lawrence O'Donnell last night (I think it was his show, they all blend together after awhile): more divorces and more porn subscribers in states which swung to elect McCain in 2008.

And Texas.. what a nightmare of stupidity. Woke up one morning to radio news - Federal appeals court decision: "A Texas abortion law passed last year that requires doctors to show sonograms ... can be enforced while opponents challenge the measure in court."

And how that's in line with "small government" is beyond me. Small government if it means eliminating regulations on big business. Big brother when it involves right wing religiosity.

writingtowellness said...

Few things get me more upset than Xtian Sharia law that is being imposed on our country by MEN.

As a physician, I know the dangers of unplanned/unwanted pregnancies on the mother and the unborn. The dangers of backroom abortions are well documented. A zygote, a blastocyst, a 19-week fetus is not a viable life. Ask the Santorums who had Mrs. Santorum undergo a C-section for her health, essentially aborting that fetus under the guise of an early "delivery."

Now I am stepping carefully off my platform before I break something.