Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lies and distortions from the "pro-life" crowd

One would expect a doctor making sweeping pronouncements in public to have accessed the data with a critical eye beforehand, but Doreen Ciancaglini, M.D. decided to spew forth the same specious and facile talking points the so-called “pro-life” movement has depended on for years. Ciancaglini maintains that future instances of negative post-abortion psychological effects such as “depression, suicide ideation, even psychosis” have been prevented under a Texas law that effectively shut down all but five Texan abortion clinics.

As a doctor, Ciancaglini should have access to the data that shows that serious psychological disturbances after abortion are less frequent than after childbirth, as per studies conducted by Brewer and Gilchrist in 1977 and 1995. Another study, (Dagg; 1991) indicates that 34% of women who are denied wanted abortions feel that their children are a burden that they resent.

What this and other studies demonstrate is that women as a whole suffer more negative psychological effects when abortion is unavailable as an option, not less as the doctor maintains.

Further, a 1981 study by Mosely indicates that women would seek an illegal abortion if abortion were not legally available, which leads us directly to Ciancaglini’s next point, that requiring “doctors who perform abortions in Texas to have hospital admitting privileges” will prevent “the unsafe conditions that occurred in the infamous Gosnell abortion butchery in Pennsylvania.”

Gosnell was a criminal, prosecuted and convicted for murder. Referencing Gosnell when arguing against safe and legal abortion is irrational as Gosnell’s actions were neither safe nor legal. As feminist writer Lauren Rankin wrote back in June, those attempting “to use criminal abortion provider Kermit Gosnell to smear safe and legal abortion” ignore “the fact that by closing 37 of the 42 abortion clinics in the state of Texas, they are essentially sentencing women to dangerous illegal abortions and sending women straight to illegal abortion providers like Gosnell.”

Again, Ciancaglini has her argument completely backwards. The Texas law she defends will result in more Gosnell-like situations, not less. Far from being a blessing, the law she defends is a curse on all Texas women who seek a safe and legal abortion.

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