LIFE ISSUES NO.
(Coat Hanger Abortions)
First question today: Dr.
Willke, do you have any idea how many coat hanger abortions
there were before the procedure was legalized? Good question
glad you asked. Mrs. Willke and I have lectured nationwide
on an average of one city a week for more than 30 years. One
of the main things we talk about is abortion and euthanasia.
We're medical people. We frequently
ask the audience to provide documented proof of a self-induced,
coat-hanger abortion. Guess how many we have turned up in
all of these years before the hundreds and hundreds
of thousands of people we've spoken to - people who are interested
in the abortion issue? In all these years, we've never been
told of a single case of a coat hanger abortion. A search
through Lexis Nexis does turn up six documented court
cases of such use in the last 43 years.
Question: Well, if not coat
hangers, then what was used? One of the favorite instruments
by mid-wife abortionists in times past was a knitting needle.
This is a long spike that tapers to a fine point and has a
little, almost like a fish-hook barb on the end. That's used
to grab the yarn and pull it back through in the process of
knitting. A knitting needle can act like a harpoon and puncture
the bag of waters, which would then cause a miscarriage.
However, these were quite dangerous
because they have a very sharp point and can very easily penetrate
other tissue, perforate the wall of the womb and injure blood
vessels. So using them was not a very smart thing to do.
Question: How were
abortions done before it was legal then? According to
the head of the U.S. Public Health Service, according to the
head of Planned Parenthood, writing in a journal article in
the 1950's, over 95% were done by physicians, and these illegal
abortions were done in the same manner that they're done now
and with similar types of instruments. And they were
done in a relatively sterile environment. Those few extras
were done by skilled midwives.
Question: Women still died
from these illegal abortions, though, didn't they? Yes,
but women dying from illegal abortions were really quite rare.
You have to go back before the penicillin era to find more
than a thousand women a year dying in the U.S. from illegal
abortions and good records have been kept.
If you go to the year before
the Supreme Court decision (that was 1972), we find pro-abortion
people claiming that from 5,000 to 10,000 women died every
year from illegal abortions. As a matter of fact, however,
the official government statistics are quite clear. The total
number of women who died the year before abortion was legal
nationally was 39. There were an additional 25 who died that
same year from legal abortions. Not 5,000, not 10,000
So the hype you have heard continually
about blood running from the back alleys, rusty instruments,
women dying that's a lot of nonsense. Very few women
died, and illegal abortions, perhaps surprisingly, were generally