[quote="MercyMia, post:1, topic:179239"]
The city of Berkeley mailed coat hangers to 20 members of Congress on Wednesday in protest of the anti-abortion amendment in the House version of the federal health care bill.
Question for anyone who knows...
We all know that the hanger has become a symbol for abortion supporters of women having to resort to back alley abortions...BUT does anyone know if there is a documented case of woman actually using a hanger to abort her baby? I mean that is pretty sadistic and I just can't see a woman doing that unless she has sever emotional issues. As a women, the image of a coat hanger is insulting to me. Am I, as a woman, being characterized as someone who so detests the unborn life in my womb that I would lodge a shard of metal into it? I am not capable of this, it insults me that THIS is somehow the symbol of my reproductive freedom. Put a little baby jumpsuit on that hanger and hang it in a nursery, and then you will be representing my feelings.
BTW, the fact is that more women have died from LEGAL abortions than ever died of illegal abortions prior to Roe v Wade. Does anyone have any good stats on this?
FWIW: In 1970, I was a freshman in college at a public university in a state where abortion was illegal at the time. One of the five roommates I roomed with was afraid she was pregnant. She spoke about this to another roommate when she thought the rest of us were asleep. She talked of how she simply could NOT go through with a pregnancy. She said if she couldn't find anyone to do the abortion, she would use a coat hanger and do it herself.
I was shocked, to say the least to hear her talk like this--I came from a sheltered upbringing. I don't recall abortion being discussed very much in 12 years of Catholic school. We were taught abstinence. I wasn't even sure how one would use a coat hanger to perform an abortion.
The roommate in question wasn't pregnant--thank goodness! But, I am sure she went on birth control pills shortly thereafter.
As to the numbers of women who have died from legal abortions being higher than those who died from illegal abortions: I don't see how that could be tracked accurately. People simply didn't talk about this kind of thing.--first, abortion was illegal, second, this would have been considered to be TMI to discuss a pregnancy--wanted or unwanted. Even married women who were j*oyfully* expecting a baby knew their place in terms of how they talked about being pregnant and how often they were out in public once they were showing.
People were much more circumspect in discussing things that were considered to be so personal, such as pregnancy. Breaking the law by having an abortion--that was kept very hush-hush.
I highly recommend *The Girls Who Went Away *by Ann Fessler. BOOKLIST commented on this book:
Between 1945 and 1973, when unwed motherhood was considered shameful and abortion was generally illegal, 1.5 million babies were relinquished for adoption. Fessler, who was herself adopted, offers an incredible and deeply moving look at the personal cost suffered by the women who gave up their babies, voluntarily and involuntarily. More than 100 women spoke to Fessler about the shame of unwed pregnancy compounded with the guilt over giving away the child as well as the life of secrecy and lies thereafter. Many of the young women were temporarily banished from their communities, sent away to maternity schools to deliver their babies, and then returned to what was supposed to be "normal" life. But for many, the experience changed forever their relationships with their parents, the fathers of their babies, and subsequent husbands and children. Years later, many of the women struggled with the question of reuniting with their children as laws on adoption and social mores changed. Fessler recounts her own journey to find and reunite with her birth mother in this heartrending look at the untold story of American women compelled to surrender their children.