The article (below) by Charles Francis, a former member of the Victorian Parliament, proves my point. He discusses five successful medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. and Australia against abortionists who didn't warn about the risks of breast cancer and emotional harm. If the medical establishment doesn't clean up its act and get over its love affair with abortion, then lawyers will be more than happy to do it.
Francis' article shows that the journal, "Sexual Health," has joined two other journals (The Lancet and Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention) in censoring debate on the health risks of abortion. [See the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer's press release, "Medical Journals Censoring Scientific Debate on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link, Says Women's Group," August 17, 2004 at: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/press_releases/040817/index.htm]
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
"Abortion Damages Women and Diminishes Their Humanity"
Preface: Last year in their quarterly journal, "Sexual Health", (2007, 4, 219-221) the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) published a guest editorial by Jo Wainer entitled "Abortion and the full humanity of women". Jo Wainer, widow of abortionist Bertram Wainer of the East Melbourne abortion clinic, is an ardent advocate for abortion rights. Charles Francis sent a response, but the CSIRO editors said he had to comply with their publishing guidelines for scientific manuscripts. Painstakingly, Charles complied with the guidelines, but his response was still rejected; he was not given the privilege of a "guest editorial". It is curious that the CSIRO which has a good reputation for scientific research should publish an editorial which had little science but much advocacy for abortion, and which included criticisms of Irish Catholicism and fundamental religions, and implied that women were not fully human unless they had access to abortion. Charles' response to Jo Wainer is below.
Abstract: Although abortion is often referred to as a health service, it provides no health benefits to women and frequently causes physical and mental health problems including a risk of suicide. Women are often pressured by others to have abortions, which are not their choice. Legalizing abortion will enable more coercion. Many medical risks of abortion such as psychiatric damage, the increased risk of breast cancer, and cerebral palsy for infants in subsequent births are now well established. There is no proper monitoring of abortion services and a full governmental inquiry into the abortion industry is needed to prevent the damage it does.
In her article "Abortion and the full humanity of women" Jo Wainer categorizes abortion as a "health service". This description of abortion as a "health service" is widely used by abortionists, abortion clinics and radical feminists; however most abortions today have nothing to do with women’s health. Advances in medical science make it rare to have a pregnancy which constitutes a serious danger to a woman’s life or health. There is now abundant evidence that abortions performed for mental health reasons are likely to do women more harm than good.(1)
A number of studies have shown a significant association between induced abortion and subsequent drug and alcohol abuse. (2) Other studies have also shown a much higher risk of suicide compared to women who carried to term. The recent suicide of artist Emma Beck in the UK is a stark example (Telegraph, UK.COM 24/2/08)). One study in Finland reported a 650% higher risk of suicide following an abortion. (3,4)
Approximately 18,000 abortions are performed in Victoria each year, but very few of them would be lawful under the Menhennitt ruling (1969). After that ruling, however, the abortion industry in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia flourished. Provided an abortionist was medically qualified, no questions were asked. These abortions are performed in an attempt to solve social problems, not health problems. Social problems need to be resolved by the State. Medical practitioners have an express duty not to perform any operation unless first satisfied that it is in the best medical interests of the patient.
Jo Wainer asserts that the failure to provide women with unrestricted access to abortion constitutes an interference with their humanity. She provides no explanation as to why a woman’s absolute right to terminate the life of her unborn child is essential to her humanity. Professor Philip Ney in his book, "Deeply Damaged" (5) has indicated how abortion damages the relationship of women with their partners and with children they have or may have in the future. Such relationships form an important aspect of women's humanity.
The proposition that the legalization of all abortion places "the responsibility and authority to make the decision with the woman" does not accord with reality. In the US the legalization of abortion enabled husbands, partners and family to apply pressure to women to have abortions which were not their own choice. As a trial lawyer who acted for a number of women damaged by abortions it has been my experience that some of these women did not themselves want the abortion but were coerced by other people. The legalization of abortion will enable even greater pressure to be applied. Husbands, partners and family will be able to argue that there is nothing wrong with abortion because it has the full approval of the law.
This coercion is now well recognized in the United States as a serious problem. A survey conducted by the prestigious Elliot Institute, www.afterabortion.org found that 64% of women who had abortions felt they were pressured by other people to have the abortion, and more than 80% said that had they been properly counseled they would not have had the abortion. Eight states in the US have anti-coercion Bills pending; Idaho is the first state to have enacted its Bill: www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org (6)
In discussing Candy Broad’s proposed Bill, Jo Wainer says the Victorian Parliament will have the opportunity to consider access to safe and legal abortion, but abortion is never safe and will not be safe in the future. Even the late Dr Peter Bayliss who was widely acclaimed as a very highly skilled abortionist, had his share of disasters, which included one death and a woman who, after her abortion, was left in a permanently unresponsive state.
The medical risks of an abortion are now becoming increasingly well known and documented. In the US a number of states have passed legislation which requires an abortionist to counsel patients on the medical risks and to provide a document setting out the risks. The required documentation under Texas law identifies fourteen of the known medical risks.
The best established risk is psychiatric damage. The Elliott Institute has estimated that more than 10% of women suffer serious and prolonged psychiatric damage requiring treatment. This issue has been incisively explored by psychologist Anne Lastman in her book "Redeeming Grief". (7) Since 1996 Anne has treated more than 1,000 patients--mainly women, but some men also.
Subsequent to an abortion some women pass plainly identifiable fetal parts. One woman, for whom I acted, passed an entire leg followed by the other leg of her unborn child, the spinal column, the rib cage and chest and heart. Finally came a small, identifiable head with glassy eyes which appeared to be cold and staring. The woman developed gross post traumatic stress disorder with severe depression. Four years later when her action was settled at mediation, she was still in a dysfunctional state, depressed and unable to work. (8)
Despite surveys and articles to the contrary (some statistically defective and some spurious) the link between abortion and breast cancer (the ABC link: www.bcpinstitute.org) has now been established to a high degree of probability. Three cases in Australia where abortionists failed to warn of the link and a case in Pennsylvania have been settled at mediation. The abortion industry does not want this litigated in public. In 2005 American attorney Jonathan Clark, who thoroughly prepared the scientific evidence, sued on behalf of a young woman who was aborted with no warning of the risk. In January 2005 when the case came on for hearing rather than contest the Plaintiff's Claim, with no doubt wide media coverage, All Women’s Health Services admitted the ABC link and agreed to judgment against it with damages to be assessed. Damages were later agreed at $200,000. (9)
Other possible consequences of abortion, include the risk of cerebral palsy in subsequent pregnancies due to premature delivery of infants or uterine problems during delivery. The case of Kristy Bruce who was born with gross cerebral palsy is a salutary warning. An action was brought against the obstetrician on the basis that her cerebral palsy was caused by negligent delivery. A considerable body of expert medical evidence, however, indicated the cerebral palsy was more likely to have been caused by the rupture of her mother’s uterus when labor began, the rupture having resulted from a prior perforation of the uterus during an abortion. The judge accepted that this prior abortion was the probable cause of the rupture of the uterus, that the rupture was the most likely cause of her cerebral palsy, and dismissed her claim. (10)
By way of reassurance Jo Wainer mentions that the state regulates abortion services through normal health professional registration and private day–centre regulations but in my experience there is little evidence of any monitoring of abortion. Frequently no adequate medical history is obtained, counseling is minimal and usually designed to ensure the abortion (where the real profit lies) takes place. After they operate medical practitioners are supposed to follow up on their patients. In the cases with which I was associated there was no follow up whatever.
The opposition to abortion today comes because of the realization that abortion is the killing of a human being. The abortion industry has sought to disguise the reality of what an abortion is but ultrasound pictures have made the humanity of the fetus readily apparent. If a woman sees the ultrasound of her unborn child, she is unlikely to proceed with any proposed abortion.
If abortion is legalized that will include the horrific practice of partial birth abortion usually performed in the third trimester. The baby is turned around in the womb so it is born feet first. Before the head is completely extruded, instruments are inserted in the baby’s brain which is then sucked out. At that stage the baby’s nervous system is already well developed so that its killing would be agonizingly painful. A substantial majority of the US Congress banned this procedure and the Supreme Court upheld the ban, finding there was no medical reason for performing such an operation. However partial birth abortions are performed in Queensland and Victoria.
The abortion industry in Australia is a disgrace, successive governments having failed to exercise any control over it. What is needed is a full governmental inquiry into the abortion industry, the consequences of it to women, and in particular, removal of the profit incentive for abortionists is essential. It is only by such inquiry that the malpractices within the abortion industry and the damage to women will become more widely known. Rather than decriminalizing abortion, what is needed is legal protection for women and their fetuses from predatory doctors.
(1) Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder EM. Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry 2006; 47(1): 16-24.
(2) Reardon DC, Ney P. Abortion and subsequent substance abuse. Am Journal of Drug & Alcohol Abuse. 2000; 26: 61-75.
(3) Gisster M, Hemminki E, Lonnqvist J. Suicides after pregnancy in Finland: 1987-1994: Register linkage study. British Medical Journal 1996;313: 1431-4.
(4) Reardon DC, Ney PG, Scheuren FJ, Cougle JR, Coleman PK, Strahan T. "Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of law income women, " Southern Medical Journal. 2002; 95 (8):834-841.
(5) Ney, P. "Deeply Damaged": International Institute for Pregnancy Loss and Child Abuse Research and Recovery.1997 Third edition. ISBN: 929951-06-5
(6) Christian Newswire 11 April 2008
(7) Lastman, A. "Redeeming Grief", Victims of Abortion 2007, 196pp. $22. Freedom Publishing.
(8) Meeson & Royal Women's Hospital & Dhillon: Melbourne County court, 2 August 200l.
(9) F.B. v All Women's Health Services, Multnomah County Circuit Court Case # 0307-07422, 24 January 2005
(10) Bruce v Kaye (2004) NSWSC 277, 8 April 2004
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