Santorum misses the days of back-alley abortions. Don’t you?

While at the American Heartland Forum in Columbia, Missouri, an efficient Rick Santorum killed two birds with one stone, pushing the myth of death panels and longing for the golden days of illegal abortions.

“fifty years ago… sixty years ago, people who did abortions were, you know, in the shadows, were people who people who were considered really bad doctors. Now, abortion is something to that is just accepted.”

Oh, what I wouldn’t do to bring back those shadows, to push abortion back into the underbelly of crime, shame, and death! Sadly I was too young to experience that pre-Roe v. Wade time but luckily, it’s captured by a report by The Guttmacher Institute, Lessons from Before Roe: Will Past be Prologue?

I didn’t get to live through the 1950s and 1960s when, it’s estimated, there were between  200,000 and 1.2 million ilegal abortions each year. I wasn’t alive in 1930, when abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women, accounting for almost one fifth of maternal deaths recorded in that year. Even by 1956, illegal abortion still accounted for 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth. And remember, these were only the reported deaths, because these abortions were, thankfully, being performed “in the shadows” where they belonged.

How I long for the days of 1962, when the Harlem Hospital Center in New York City admitted almost 1,600 women  for incomplete abortions, or the days of 1968, when the UCLA Medical Center admitted 701 women who had had septic abortions.

Thank you, “pro-life” Republicans, for fighting to bring back that golden age of death, incomplete abortions, sepsis and shadows!

Abortion Mortality
The number of deaths from abortion has declined dramatically since Roe v. Wade.

Source: The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Trends in Abortion in the United States, 1973-2000, January 2003.
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