By Babette Francis - Used with permission.
On 12 July 2012 The Drum Opinion (ABC online) published an article by Jane Gleeson-White titled "My womb is not terra nullius". Jane is an author with degrees in literature and economics. In her article Jane lauded the actions of a woman known as "Anonymous" who took photos of her own abortion and published them on the internet to show the world how safe and easy it was. Jane also praised Caitlin Moran, British broadcaster, who had an abortion after having two daughters and who claimed she had no regrets.
This was my rejoinder to these feminist outpourings, which I titled "A Woman's Best Friend":
I like the title of Jane Gleeson-White's article, "My womb is not terra nullius". Pregnancy imposes a "Mabo"-type decision - the womb is occupied and no one has a right to eject its primitive inhabitant any more than Europeans had a right to eject Aborigines because they regarded them as "primitive".
I wish "Anonymous" who took photos of her abortion had taken photos of her "product of conception" and displayed for all to see how the nurses examined this "product" to ensure it was complete with limbs, skull, spine etc. so that no part was retained and likely to cause a problem.
If only "Anonymous" and Jane would show us the ultrasounds of their not-terra-nullius wombs and its primitive inhabitants" beating hearts - like our non-primitive hearts.... But they are reluctant to view - or let us view - such pictures. Come on, Jane, let's see an ultrasound of your fetus - let us say "Goodbye", as we will not get to say "Hello".
Well the deeds are done and "Anonymous" and Jane have shown they are indeed masters (or is it "mistresses"?) of their wombs, uncontrolled by God, guys or the Government. But Iwould like to know what Caitlin Moran, who Jane quotes as calmly having two abortions after having two daughters, will tell these daughters about their missing sibling. Will she show them the photos taken by "Anonymous" and say 'see? That's how "calm" it was"? She can't keep secret from her daughters the disposal of their primitive sibling as this information is in the public domain. I am curious how they will react - polls in the USA show young people are more pro-life than the preceding generation - perhaps awareness of their missing siblings has influenced their views.
But the past is not another country - it affects the future. Studies in countries as different as Finland and California, show that women who have abortions are more likely to die in the years immediately following the abortions than women who give birth or were never pregnant. Accidents, suicide and homicide are potential causes of mortality.
And the studies linking abortion with breast cancer keep piling up even though our Cancer Councils prefer to look the other way. Here are four recent studies - from Turkey, China, the USA and Armenia:
1. Ozmen V, Ozcinar B, Karanlik H, Cabioglu N, Tukenmez M, et al. Breast cancer risk factors in Turkish women – a University Hospital based nested case control study. World J of Surg Oncol 2009;7:37. Available at: http://wjso.com/content/7/1/37.
2. Xing P, Li J, Jin F. A case-control study of reproductive factors associated with sub-types of breast cancer in Northeast China. Medical Oncology, e-publication online September2009. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19771534.
3. Dolle J, Daling J, White E, Brinton L, Doody D, et al. Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
2009;18(4)1157-1166. Available at: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/download/Abortion_Breast_Cancer_Epid_Bio_Prev_2009.pdf
4. Khachatryan L, et al. Influence of diabetes mellitus type 2 and prolonged estrogen exposure on risk of breast cancer among women in Armenia. Health Care for Women Intl, no. 32 2011:953-971.
I hope "Anonymous", Caitlin and Jane have regular mammograms because they are at increased risk. What the Cancer Councils do not dispute is that the younger a woman is at her first full-term pregnancy, the more children a woman has, and the longer she breastfeeds, the lower her risk of breast cancer.
Then there is the mental health after abortion study by Dr. Priscilla Coleman in the British Journal of Psychiatry, a meta-analysis of previous publications involving the experiences of over a three quarters of a million women. She showed abortion significantly increases the risk of mental health problems particularly in the area of substance abuse, depression, and suicide and estimates that 10% of the mental health budget can be directly attributed to the treatment of complications of abortion.
The good news is research published in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, based on a community study of the inhabitants of Dubbo, NSW.
Researchers found there was an increase in mortality of all causes in later life in childless women while the more children women had, the more likely the women were to live for longer.
The study involved 1571 women aged 60 and over, who were followed for 16 years. The more children a woman had, the less likely she was to die during this time. Compared with women who were childless, death rates in women with two children were 17% lower. Death rates were 30% lower among women with five children, and 40% lower in those with six or more children. A baby can be a woman's best friend.