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Debates Forum

  1. 10 Jul '14 19:38
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/09/hillary-clinton-abortion-legal-but-rare

    "But 'safe, legal, and rare' is not a framework (on abortion) that supports
    women's health needs: it stigmatizes and endangers it."
    --Jessica Valenti (who has had an abortion)

    "We don't say that any other medical procedure should be rare. We don't
    say we want heart bypasses to be rare. We say we want people to be healthy.
    We want there be as many abortions as there needs to be."
    --Steph Harold

    "In reality, we all know there always will be a need for abortion--women
    have been trying to prevent and end unwanted pregnancies for almost as
    long as they've understood what was going on in their bodies. And like
    pregnancy, contraceptive-use, miscarriage or childbirth, abortion is often
    just one part of a normal woman's larger reproductive life. ... One reason
    (for abortion) is not better than another, but saying the procedure needs
    to be rare creates a hierarchy of 'acceptable' and 'unacceptable' abortions
    that runs counter to the notion that abortion is a legal right, a personal
    decision and matter of bodily integrity."
    --Jessica Valenti
  2. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    10 Jul '14 22:44
    The comments are valid in their way but there is a contrary view, which is that abortion, as a matter of statistical fact, is least frequent among Dutch women who have the benefit of a range of supportive policies and resources and as a result have a far more healthy approach to sexual behaviour than is displayed in countries like the US or indeed the UK. To take a single factor, the numbers of teenage pregnancies is minimised by ensuring appropriate and informative sex education from an early age. Sadly this idea freaks out the religious right in countries like the US and UK. Keeping children poorly informed about sexuality ensures a disastrous scenario for too many girls and young women.

    Other things being equal, abortion is not a desirable approach to birth control and in my experience women who have had abortions would have preferred not to have had that experience for various reasons. Of course other things are never equal and by and large they do not regret their abortions - they regret the necessity and the conditions that make abortion necessary include a range of oppressive circumstances to which women are subject.

    One thing that is clear from the evidence is that abortion is not rare and not less frequent in countries where it is either illegal or subject to social and religious sanctions. Ireland, for example, certainly has far more abortions than Holland.
  3. 10 Jul '14 23:09
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/09/hillary-clinton-abortion-legal-but-rare

    "But 'safe, legal, and rare' is not a framework (on abortion) that supports
    women's health needs: it stigmatizes and endangers it."
    --Jessica Valenti (who has had an abortion)

    "We don't say that any other medical procedure should be rare. We don't
    say we ...[text shortened]... tion is a legal right, a personal
    decision and matter of bodily integrity."
    --Jessica Valenti
    Actually we do say that we want surgeries to be rare. If people chose life styles that included exercise, a healthy diet, a moderate amount of alcohol and no tobacco, there would be less need for many forms of surgery. Woman need free and easy access to birth control. This will not eliminate the need for abortions, which should be any woman's right, but it should significantly lower the need for one. I am quite sure most women prefer to prevent a pregnancy rather then terminate one.
  4. 11 Jul '14 01:20
    Originally posted by Phranny
    Actually we do say that we want surgeries to be rare. If people chose life styles that included exercise, a healthy diet, a moderate amount of alcohol and no tobacco, there would be less need for many forms of surgery. Woman need free and easy access to birth control. This will not eliminate the need for abortions, which should be any woman's right, but i ...[text shortened]... ed for one. I am quite sure most women prefer to prevent a pregnancy rather then terminate one.
    'Actually we do say that we want surgeries to be rare.'
    --Phranny

    How many plastic surgeons would be out of business if all people really
    acted upon that conviction? How many women ask for a C-section rather
    than giving birth more 'naturally'? I would submit that elective surgeries
    are far from rare.

    'I am quite sure most women prefer to prevent a pregnancy rather than terminate one.'
    --Phranny

    Of course. But if people agree that abortion *should* be 'rare', then a
    woman who chooses to have an abortion will tend to be stigmatized.
    She may be asked: "Why are you having this *rare* medical procedure?
    What extraordinary conditions in your life could possibly justify it?"
  5. 11 Jul '14 01:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The comments are valid in their way but there is a contrary view, which is that abortion, as a matter of statistical fact, is least frequent among Dutch women who have the benefit of a range of supportive policies and resources and as a result have a far more healthy approach to sexual behaviour than is displayed in countries like the US or indeed the UK. T ...[text shortened]... l and religious sanctions. Ireland, for example, certainly has far more abortions than Holland.
    "Ireland, for example, certainly has far more abortions than Holland."
    --Finnegan

    Looking it up quickly on Wikipedia, I found this:
    Republic of Ireland: 4.5 abortions per 1000 women (ages 15-44) in 2010
    Netherlands: 9.7 abortions per 1000 women (ages 15-44) in 2010
    (based upon the 'World Abortion Policies 2013' report by the UN)

    According to this, the abortion rate's more than twice as high among the
    Dutch than the Irish. Can you cite statistical sources that claim otherwise?
  6. 11 Jul '14 05:33
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Ireland, for example, certainly has far more abortions than Holland."
    --Finnegan

    Looking it up quickly on Wikipedia, I found this:
    Republic of Ireland: 4.5 abortions per 1000 women (ages 15-44) in 2010
    Netherlands: 9.7 abortions per 1000 women (ages 15-44) in 2010
    (based upon the 'World Abortion Policies 2013' report by the UN)

    According to thi ...[text shortened]... as high among the
    Dutch than the Irish. Can you cite statistical sources that claim otherwise?
    Although I can imagine it is hard to get reliable statistics on the number of abortions in a country where it is illegal, it does stand to reason there would generally be fewer than in a country where abortions are readily accessible and taxpayer-subsidized. In the Netherlands, it is common for teenage girls to be on the contraceptive pill, and many young women opt for the "double Dutch" contraceptive strategy of using both the contraceptive pill and condoms (to also protect against STDs as well as provide additional prevention of pregnancy). When teenage pregnancies do happen, they tend to occur in teenagers of an immigrant or Christian fundamentalist background.
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    11 Jul '14 18:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Ireland, for example, certainly has far more abortions than Holland."
    --Finnegan

    Looking it up quickly on Wikipedia, I found this:
    Republic of Ireland: 4.5 abortions per 1000 women (ages 15-44) in 2010
    Netherlands: 9.7 abortions per 1000 women (ages 15-44) in 2010
    (based upon the 'World Abortion Policies 2013' report by the UN)

    According to thi ...[text shortened]... as high among the
    Dutch than the Irish. Can you cite statistical sources that claim otherwise?
    http://www.timeforchess.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=148995&page=2#post_2923954

    I gave my key source and a lot of information from that source in this post, actually a few years ago now. You will notice the important qualification that I refer to Dutch women; immigrants to Holland have much higher rates of abortion, as noted in the document referenced.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/25s3099.html

    This is a serious study to estimate incidence of abortion worldwide, both legal and illegal, and the methodology is summarised in the very first section of the report in italics. The overall result of the study is summarised as follows:
    Approximately 26 million legal and 20 million illegal abortions were performed worldwide in 1995, resulting in a worldwide abortion rate of 35 per 1,000 women aged 15–44. Among the subregions of the world, Eastern Europe had the highest abortion rate (90 per 1,000) and Western Europe the lowest rate (11 per 1,000). Among countries where abortion is legal without restriction as to reason, the highest abortion rate, 83 per 1,000, was reported for Vietnam and the lowest, seven per 1,000, for Belgium and the Netherlands. Abortion rates are no lower overall in areas where abortion is generally restricted by law (and where many abortions are performed under unsafe conditions) than in areas where abortion is legally permitted.
    The key section I refer to for my stats is this one:
    Most other developed countries have abortion rates of 10–19 per 1,000. Although reporting is incomplete in France and Italy, their true rates are probably in this range. Australia and the United States (22–23 per 1,000) are slightly above this range. Japan's reported rate is 13 abortions per 1,000, but the completeness of reporting is unknown; given that surveys of Japanese women indicate more abortions than are shown in the official statistics, the actual abortion rate could be well above 20 per 1,000.24

    Four developed countries with complete data have rates below 10 per 1,000: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Among Dutch-born women in the Netherlands, the abortion rate (about four per 1,000) is much lower than the national level, while the rate among immigrants from former Dutch colonies is much higher. Spain also has a reported rate below 10 per 1,000, but the data are incomplete and the rate is underestimated. Although legal abortion services are completely unavailable in Ireland, at least six of every 1,000 Irish women of reproductive age have abortions each year. Since this statistic counts only women who give Irish addresses when having abortions in England or Wales, the true rate is likely to be higher.
  8. 11 Jul '14 18:36 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    http://www.timeforchess.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=148995&page=2#post_2923954

    I gave my key source and a lot of information from that source in this post, actually a few years ago now. You will notice the important qualification that I refer to Dutch women; immigrants to Holland have much higher rates of abortion, as noted in the document referen ...[text shortened]... ses when having abortions in England or Wales, the true rate is likely to be higher.
    [/quote][/b]
    Thanks for your reply. In your earlier post, you made a claim about the abortion rate
    in 'Holland' without making any distinction between Dutch-born and immigrant women.
  9. 11 Jul '14 19:41
    Very convincing thread. After reading the replies (and who posted them) I can see how Society would have benefited if abortions had been a less rare.
  10. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    11 Jul '14 21:17
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Thanks for your reply. In your earlier post, you made a claim about the abortion rate
    in 'Holland' without making any distinction between Dutch-born and immigrant women.
    You are correct and I did use loose phrasing above. Never mind. These stat's are a minefield and it is murder working through different sources to get something definitive. My source seemed to me very well argued and for that reason remains my preferred reference, despite dating from 1999 and hence it is getting old now. Looking for a recent source I hit on this wallchart:

    http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/abortion/worldAbortionPoliciesWallChart2007.pdf

    It attempts to capture all the different abortion policies around the world and offers comparative stat's. When you get used to reading the relevant column, it gives no figure at all for Ireland, gives 10.4 per 1,000 women 15-44 for Holland and a pretty high 20.8 for the USA. The UK gets 17.0. It is worth remembering that Northern Ireland as well as the Irish Republic both ban abortion and in both cases religious bigotry is the reason for this. Women from both can travel to the mainland UK for abortions at private clinics, though affordability is a problem, and the incidence of illegal abortion is not measured but known to be available. The earlier study I refer to and prefer takes account of this while the more recent wall chart does not.

    It is impossible to argue in a consistent way that abortion rates correlate simplistically with abortion policies and it seems to me far more credible to argue that abortion has to be considered in the wider context of women's health issues and cultural attitudes. For example, access to contraception is one obvious factor and is measured in the wall chart mentioned above. For some factors, like education policies and indeed many cultural factors, it is logical to separate out (where possible) the stat's for nationals and those for immigrants / migrants. That was done in the reference to Holland.
  11. 12 Jul '14 12:29
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    'Actually we do say that we want surgeries to be rare.'
    --Phranny

    How many plastic surgeons would be out of business if all people really
    acted upon that conviction? How many women ask for a C-section rather
    than giving birth more 'naturally'? I would submit that elective surgeries
    are far from rare.

    'I am quite sure most women prefer to preve ...[text shortened]... rare* medical procedure?
    What extraordinary conditions in your life could possibly justify it?"
    I happen to have had two fairly rare surgeries in the last six months. If there had been other alternatives I most certainly would have chosen them.

    As to majority view on medicine and surgery, I don't know what attitudes are elsewhere. In America, doctors are akin to Gods, and doctors here are trained for prescribing medications, and performing surgeries. We acknowledge that most illness is related to poor nutrition and inadequate exercise, as well as voluntary risk taking, but little can be done in a free society to minimize these, other than education of the public.
  12. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    12 Jul '14 15:24
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I happen to have had two fairly rare surgeries in the last six months. If there had been other alternatives I most certainly would have chosen them.

    As to majority view on medicine and surgery, I don't know what attitudes are elsewhere. In America, doctors are akin to Gods, and doctors here are trained for prescribing medications, and performing surg ...[text shortened]... but little can be done in a free society to minimize these, other than education of the public.
    We acknowledge that most illness is related to poor nutrition and inadequate exercise, as well as voluntary risk taking, but little can be done in a free society to minimize these, other than education of the public.
    Lots can be done but your subservience to corporate lobbies and in particular the food industry hinders things. There is regulation of the food industry, punitive taxation of socially harmful foods, promotion of healthy eating, restriction of sales and advertising aimed at children, ... As long as the food industry continues to put poisons into food packaging and frequently mislabel it as a healthy option or as food for children then unhealthy eating choices will continue to predominate.
  13. 12 Jul '14 20:18
    Originally posted by finnegan
    We acknowledge that most illness is related to poor nutrition and inadequate exercise, as well as voluntary risk taking, but little can be done in a free society to minimize these, other than education of the public.
    Lots can be done but your subservience to corporate lobbies and in particular the food industry hinders things. There is regulat ...[text shortened]... althy option or as food for children then unhealthy eating choices will continue to predominate.
    Notice I said in a free society!
  14. 12 Jul '14 20:31
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    'Actually we do say that we want surgeries to be rare.'
    --Phranny

    How many plastic surgeons would be out of business if all people really
    acted upon that conviction? How many women ask for a C-section rather
    than giving birth more 'naturally'? I would submit that elective surgeries
    are far from rare.

    'I am quite sure most women prefer to preve ...[text shortened]... rare* medical procedure?
    What extraordinary conditions in your life could possibly justify it?"
    The questions raised are logical and natural. Few procedures outside of cosmetic surgery are done frivolously. Even commonplace surgeries carry risks up to and including death.

    Some stigma ought to be attached to undesirable outcomes. The "don't blame" attitude leads to replication of mistakes.
  15. 12 Jul '14 21:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Very convincing thread. After reading the replies (and who posted them)
    I can see how Society would have benefited if abortions had been a less rare.
    Does Eladar, who claims to be 'pro-life', wish that 'pro-choice' people were dead?