40 Years of Abortion or “AliceThrough the Looking Glass” Byron C. Calhoun, MD, FACOG, FACS, MBA Professor and Vice Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology West Virginia University-Charleston Charleston, WV, USA December, 2012
Myths regarding 40 years of legal abortion• Myth of Neutrality• Myth of Fact-Value Distinction• Myth of no “bad” abortions• Conspiracy of Silence
Myth of Neutrality• Fantasy of neutrality-Alice and the Cheshire Cat Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to Alice: I don’t much care where. The Cat: The it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Myth of Neutrality• Science is neutral• View of abortion is merely follows a choice void of any value
Myth of Fact-Value Distinction• False dichotomy between science and ethics• Truth is knowable in both the scientific and ethical realm To quote Alice again: ‘Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice. (Alice in Wonderland Chapter 2)
Myth of no “bad” abortion• American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and DHHS all steadfastly refuse to acknowledge any adverse effects of elective abortion on women.
Truth is quite the contrary• Increased maternal mortality with abortion• Increased risk for preterm delivery (over 130 papers to date with statistical significance)• Increased risk of mental health issues• Increased risk of breast cancer with first pregnancy ending in abortion
“Poor-choice” or the Conspiracy of Silence Tut, tut, child! said the Duchess. Everythings got a moral, if only you can find it. (Alice in Wonderland Chapter 9)• Is there “choice” for women without addressing these risks?• ACOG has refused to list, publish, or acknowledge in publications any complication of elective abortion related to: maternal mortality, preterm birth, psychological effects, or breast cancer.
“Poor-choice” or the Conspiracy of Silence• Refusal of journals in the United States in particular to publish virtually any articles critical of elective abortion.• Refusal to allow any discussion at a national meeting level regarding elective abortion complications.
“Poor-choice” or the Conspiracy of Silence• Refusal of DHHS, CDC, NIH, or NCI to advocate, provide, collect, and properly report on elective abortion procedure numbers, procedures by weeks gestation, procedures by types (surgical/medical), complication rates of abortion by weeks gestation/abortion type and maternal mortality.
“Poor-choice” or the Conspiracy of Silence• Refusal of DHHS, CDC, NIH, or NCI to advocate or develop a means for collecting national data on the most common elective surgical/medical procedure performed on women in the United States (over 50 million since 1973): elective abortion.
“Poor-choice”• Elective abortion over the last 40 years is a women’s healthcare disaster!• Elective abortion over the last 40 years has been a public health disaster costing over $1.2 Billion annually!• Elective abortion’s true risk has been suppressed to the detriment of women!
Edmund Burke-Irish statesman of 18th century“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.”