Wednesday, November 7, 2007

did you know?

I read a very chilling New York Times article today: Telling the Stories Behind the Abortions. It is about a female doctor, Dr. Susan Wicklund, who has spent most of her career performing abortions. She wrote a book titled This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor.

The NYT article shares a few of her experiences, some very horrifying, and some astounding statistics. Such as "that at current rates almost 40 percent of American women have an abortion during their child-bearing years, a figure supported by the Guttmacher Institute, which researches reproductive health policy." I had no idea it was that high.

I have no intention of starting an abortion debate here, but I am curious about one thing. With the abortion rate that high, it pretty much guarantees that everyone knows at least one person who has had one. But I am curious, how many of you actually do know that someone in your life has had an abortion? As for me, I only know of one person for sure.


  1. I do, I am related to someone who decided to have one, even after all she had been taught all of her life. She was 19 at the time.

  2. Wow, that is chilling to me. I'd like to read this. I know of two people for sure who have had an abortion. One hates herself for it and considered suicide. Its been a few years, I've heard her call herself a murderer and child killer more than once. I don't know if she'll ever move past it. Another was a former high school student. Her parents "forced" her to . (I say forced because of course you still have two feet that you didn't have to walk into the doctor's office with, but of course it would have its own consequences...) The topic came up in our child development class (we were talking about adoptions), and people were saying how there are always alternatives if you don't want your child. She got super defensive saying "people always say they'd never do it, but you never know..." Later that day she confided in me, showing me the ultrasound picture.

  3. Don't know of anyone. Thankfully.

  4. I do, and she was young and she talks about it like it wasn't a big deal. She was 16 when she had the abortion and I am sure there is some guilt that followed but she was too young to have a child; but she has since gotten married and has 2 children.

  5. i know two for sure.

    one was on my high school cheerleading squad (which means, yes, i'm admitting i was at one point a cheerleader). all we knew was one day she was pregnant (and really unhappy) and then she wasn't. she never talked about it with us. she was sixteen.

    the other was a girl from my training group at work. she got pregnant by someone other than her boyfriend. at first she was really scared. then she got excited and started reading "what to expect when you are expecting." then i guess she changed her mind. she quit her job and moved back to oregon shortly after that. she was nineteen.

  6. i do...a friend's little sister. she was raped. i don't know if her parents ever knew about either incident. she was fourteen at the time.

  7. Wow, I can't believe it's that high.

    My husband read an article about how the crime rate in New York decreased dramatically under Giuliani's time as Mayor. He of course took the credit. The interesting part is that in 1970 abortion had been made legal in New York State. The article posed the point that all of the unwanted children that would have grown up and become criminals weren't around to do so. The children aborted in 1970 would have been thirteen when Giuliani was elected.

    My question is why, instead of legalizing abortion, can't they come up with better adoption processes. I know people, amazing people, that have waited years to adopt babies. I don't think they should give young, desperate mothers the opportunity to go to such extremes while others are pining for a child.

    My own mom got pregnant with me at 17 and decided to keep me. Thank goodness for that!

    Sorry that was so long - I hadn't intended it to be!

  8. There were all kinds of pregnancy and abortion rumors flying around my high school, but I only know of one person for sure who had one.

  9. I thankfully don't know of anyone personally. But that statistic makes me really sad. There are so many couples unable to have children...and without adoption, we wouldn't have our sweet baby. I agree with Nicki, maybe we should come up with a better adoption process...I know all those aborted babies could have been placed in loving and amazing families dying to have a baby!

  10. Don't know of anyone for sure, but there was a girl in my high school that was rumored to have had multiple abortions. I didn't know her personally, so who knows if that's true.

  11. My mother had an abortion after becoming pregnant in High School and then later joined the church when I was a small child.

    She told me when I was about 13 years old and that it was the biggest regret of her life, but she also wondered what her life would have been like if she had kept the baby...would she have had the blessed life she has now? Really makes me think.

  12. I also know of someone who had an abortion. Then about 3 years later got back together with the boyfriend that caused the pregnancy the first time and got pregnant again. Because she regrett the abortion she decided to keep the baby and raise him. I think abortions aren't talked about too often either, so if someone did have an abortion a friend might not even know about it.

  13. btw, the study about Roe vs. Wade (legalized abortion) resulting in a drop in crime is from Freakonomics by Steven Leavitt. great read!! very interesting.

  14. Wow, 40%! I had no idea. I've known of 2 women that had abortions. Both were co-workers of mine at my high school Petsmart job.

    I'm wondering if any of you would attribute this fact to the push of abstinence-only education in schools? The Guttmacher Institute, among many others, has scads of data that shows this isn't the best way to educate and it results in higher rates of STDs, pregnancy, and "alternative" sex (i.e. oral).

  15. Stopped by from Emily's blog. I enjoyed your blog.
    I personally don't know anyone who has had an abortion. There was a girl in high school who got pregnant and gave her baby up for adoption. I was thinking about her the other day and admiring her bravery in that difficult decision. She wasn't religious or anything--she was a bit wild. But what a courageus thing she did. I wish more people would do that. We had an LDS family services guy talk to us and he said they closed their adoption offices in England and Australia. It's just not done enough. That's sad. The statistic you quoted is sad.
    I think our communities need to do a lot more in preventing pregnancies. I don't think abstinence only education is the best idea. At church it's great, but in the schools they should do what really works. Also, I hate to say this, but I still think a woman should be able to choose, I just wish more people could make better choices before they got pregnant, or make more courageous choices after the fact.
    (Definitly in rape cases I believe abortion is okay).
    Yikes, long comment, lots of opinions!
    Thanks for the discussion starter.

  16. So many great comments. And I suspected that most of you would know people who have had abortions. And there are probably more we just don't know about because people don't talk about it.

    I wasn't going to get into this much but I will give a few of my opinions to some of the things you all have brought up. From what I've read I don't think abstinence-only education in schools works. School is not the place to teach it. If kids aren't getting these morals at home or church, they aren't going to be convinced by the health teacher. Raging hormones are no match to a half-hearted lesson on abstinence preventing stds and pregnancy. I really do think we need to teach kids about their bodies and teach them how to really prevent these things. It's sad, but they seem to be having sex no matter what, so at least they should be prepared and know how to lessen the consequences. Like many things, the root of this problem is in the home. Children aren't being taught. And sometimes, even when they are, they mess up. So let's at least inform them.

    It breaks my heart that there are so many abortions when there are so many couples out there who aren't able to have children. I truly wish there were more courageous young women willing to make that sacrifice.

    I also do not think that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned. Abortion is here to stay in this country. My hope is that it would be an absolute last resort. It is staggering to me that so many abortions are happening. I hate that it is used as birth control. Contraceptives are not hard to get!

    Ok, I'm done. Any other thoughts?

  17. ...Hello, and what an alarming statistic! And I know two women who have had abortions, one of the women has had two done... Sad, just plain sad.

    ...A very controversial subject indeed and unfortunately it happens more often than we thought...