“Pro-Life” Paraguay is a Killer

Government doesn’t get any bigger than this: a Paraguayan girl, eleven years old, was forced by her country’s laws, against her will, against her mother’s will, and in spite of outcry from every corner of the planet, to deliver her rapist’s baby. Eleven. Years. Old.

At the risk of being absurd, she may be one of the lucky ones, as Paraguayan girls go. You see, Paraguay is a pro-lifer’s dream come true. It is very near to being an abortion-free zone. The United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs reports that the sole basis upon which a pregnant woman can legally obtain an abortion there is when she would die without it. So, of course, abortion is almost non-existent there.

Except that it is rampant, and it is killing Paraguay’s girls.

See, here’s the thing no allegedly pro-life person wants to admit to: you don’t save lives when you make abortion a crime, because making abortion a crime doesn’t stop abortions. Paraguay is the proof. In spite of its near total ban on the procedure, Paraguay has an abortion rate of between 100-150 per 1,000 pregnancies (it’s hard to get accurate data, because, you know, people are reluctant to report their own criminal behavior: you can look here for an estimate). For an abortion-free zone, that’s a shocking number. Compare it to the relatively abortion-friendly nation of the United States: the rate here is about 20 per 1,000, or maybe a little less. For a jaw-dropping statistic, look at Sweden: their rate is just over 18 per 1,000, lower, even, than our own. Why is it jaw-dropping? Because, in Sweden, abortion is available on demand. The government (meaning, yes, the Swedish taxpayers) pay for it. Any woman who wants one, gets one. And they have nearly the lowest rate in the world. Read that again: Sweden provides free abortions on demand, and Sweden has nearly the lowest abortion rate in the world. Paraguay? In Paraguay, thanks to making it illegal, abortion is in over five times the demand it is here in the United States.

But it gets worse. Illegal abortions tend to be conducted by unskilled people, in unsafe conditions. That’s why 23 out of 100 deaths of young women in Paraguay are caused by botched illegal abortions. Read that again, too: 23% of young women who die in Paraguay, die because abortion is illegal there. That’s not counting the fetus, which, if one is a pro-lifer, would raise that number to 31 out of 100 (because about half of those 23 abortions would involve a female fetus, raising the female death total to 35 out of 112, or about 31%).

So there you have it. A nation that claims to be utterly pro-life has an abortion epidemic as a result, and that epidemic is a leading killer of its young women. Another nation gives free, safe abortions on demand, and has the lowest rate around.

If you are truly on the side of life, which nation would you say is doing better?

Pediatricians Support Choice

Apparently, the bloggers at The Bull Elephant are so worried about Dr. Jill McCabe’s challenge to Sen. Dick Black, that, instead of waiting to find out what her positions on the issues might be, they have decided simply to make them up. If you read TBE often (or, really, even once), you know that some of their writers are a bit factually and logically challenged. Their piece on Dr. McCabe is a classic example:

  • They say she voted in the 2012 Republican primary, so must have wanted a Republican president. Given how often Republicans claim to be threatened by Democrats “hijacking” their primaries, that’s a very odd conclusion to draw (and it also conveniently ignores McCabe’s vote in the 2008 Democratic primary).
  • They say she’s never given a dime to a Democratic candidate. The truth is that they don’t know: the state doesn’t require reporting the identities of donors of dimes, quarters, fivers, tens, twenties, or even up to $100. Regardless, they also (conveniently) ignore that there’s no record of donations to Republicans, either.
  • They say her children attend a private school, so she must not be pro public schools. Hmmm… we’ll leave the logic error in that one as an exercise for the reader.

But, here’s the big one, and the only one we want to address here in any detail:

Dr. McCabe is a pediatrician which would imply that she is pro life.

What an amazing leap of… well, it’s not logic, now, is it? But could it be fact? Well, unlike TBE, we’ll leave it to Jill McCabe to tell us what Jill McCabe’s positions on the issues, including the right to choice, really are. Pediatricians however, have, as a group, already spoken. Decades ago, they made themselves clear: 60% of pediatricians are pro-choice, while only 7% support banning abortion. And, remember, these doctors are talking about access to abortion for adolescents. Even more definitively, not only do they support choice for pregnant girls under the age of 18, but the American Academy of Pediatrics opposes mandatory parental notice for such girls. With precise logic that would be clear to anyone but a TBE blogger, here’s the summary of their reasoning:

Legislation mandating parental involvement does not achieve the intended benefit of promoting family communication, but it does increase the risk of harm to the adolescent by delaying access to appropriate medical care.

“Appropriate medical care,” of course, includes access to abortion.

We’re willing to wait for the candidate to speak for herself, but wanted to clear up the general misconception that a pediatrician is likely to oppose good health care for pregnant girls by opposing access to abortion. That’s not good medicine and the large majority of pediatricians know it.

On the other hand, letting an educated, experienced doctor who is a serious threat to their extremist candidate tell us her position is not, to some minds, good politicking. Maybe that’s why, again, the nervous far right is just making it up.

Manassas City Council’s Stealth Attack on Women

Ten days ago, the City Council of Manassas (an unlikely war-zone for Virginia’s creeping siege on freedom of choice, at a whopping 40,000 residents) tried to continue its stealthy plans to close an abortion clinic. Following the road-map laid out by the City of Fairfax, and unable to attack the clinic directly, they are using the one form of law that any local elected official can tell you trumps the Code of Virginia, the constitution of the Commonwealth, and the United States Bill of Rights: the city zoning ordinance. Continue reading “Manassas City Council’s Stealth Attack on Women”