, Kerry Howley exposed the hypocrisy of anti-choicers who use women's safety as an argument for suspending the FDA's approval of RU-486. As Ms. Howley points out, the mortality rate for RU-486 is comparable to the mortality rate for surgical abortion, and less than one-tenth the fatality rate for birth:
Mifeprostone's manufacturer, Danco, states that 560,000 women have taken the drug regimen since it was approved in 2000. If Mifepristone turns out to be the cause of death in all five possible cases, the pill's mortality rate will be under one in 100,000. Between 1988 and 1997 (before the abortion pill was approved) the mortality rate from legal induced abortion, according to the Centers for Disease Control, was 0.7 per 100,000.
...no one questions the heightened risks inherent in the remaining alternative: pregnancy. In 1997, the pregnancy-related mortality rate was 12.9 deaths per 100,000 live births; more than tenfold that of legal abortion.
(entire article here
, link via Hit and Run
Meanwhile, in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine
, Jack Hitt examined the effects of anti-abortion legislation and enforcement in a country where the anti-choicers have gotten their way. El Salvador has criminalized abortion with no exceptions, not even to save a woman's life, and it goes to monstrous lengths to enforce its abortion law:
El Salvador, however, has not only a total ban on abortion but also an active law-enforcement apparatus — the police, investigators, medical spies, forensic vagina inspectors and a special division of the prosecutor's office responsible for Crimes Against Minors and Women, a unit charged with capturing, trying and incarcerating an unusual kind of criminal. Like the woman I was waiting to meet.
(entire article here
This doesn't stop women from obtaining abortions, or inducing them themselves. Mr. Hitt quotes a list from the Center for Constitutional Rights of tools used in illegal abortions in El Salvador: "clothes hangers, iron bars, high doses of contraceptives, fertilizers, gastritis remedies, soapy water and caustic agents (such as car battery acid)."
So basically, the anti-choice argument is that a chemical abortifacient that kills up to 1 in 100,000 of the women who use it is too dangerous to women, but laws that result in the use of chemical aboritfacients such as fertilizer and car-battery acid are A-OK. What a bunch of hypocrites.
If you are undecided about whether abortion should be legal, or if you lean toward criminalizing it, please read Mr. Hitt's entire article (here
), then ask yourself, Do you really want to enact laws which lead to the use of such methods? Do you really want women in the United States to suffer the depredations of forensic vaginal inspectors?