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Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:17 PM

Of Crochet Hooks and Illegal Abortions (but, there is NO war on women!!)

Of Crochet Hooks and Illegal Abortions

As the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches on Jan. 22—and with the the Supreme Court set to revisit women’s fundamental right to access abortion in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole case, the most serious threat to abortion since 1992—the Ms. Blog decided to look back at the realities of illegal abortion pre-Roe, and for women today who lack access to proper care.

My grandpa, besides being a doctor and a musician, was one of the most meticulously organized people I have ever known. In our family, he was the not only a collector of stamps, sheet music and classical recordings. but also of memories. He had photo albums upon albums lining his study walls. A few years before he passed away, my aunt decided to go through the albums so she would know the story behind the pictures, the people, the places, the memories. She would ask him questions and then she’d log into his computer all of the information. That way, she figured, all of the meticulous chronicling of his life, as well as of our family, would be understood for generations to come.
. . .

Intrigued, I pulled out two small photos. At first I thought it was an image of a human heart. I was confused. There were two views, a top and a bottom. I guess I didn’t pay enough attention in biology class because I was baffled. I thought I was looking at a heart, but instead I was looking at a uterus! Why would my grandpa have a picture of a uterus, and why had he kept it all these years? Yes, he was a doctor, but this didn’t seem like him.

When I looked again I saw that something sharp was piercing through the uterus, perhaps a hook. Along with the pictures was a description that grandpa had dictated to my aunt during her many afternoons of chronicling with him:
There is a story behind these two photographs. Until very recently, abortion was illegal. In the past, many abortions were self-induced. One of the techniques for self-induced abortion was using a crochet hook, inserting the back end and tying a string to the hook so that it could be pulled out after the abortion. As you can see by the photographs, something went wrong, and instead of the hook being pulled out of the uterus, it perforated through the wall and into the abdomen. Once we saw the position of the hook on the x-ray it was obvious that we would have to do a hysterectomy. This way the woman’s life was saved, but during those years when abortion was declared illegal, many women using this or similar methods to induce abortion died. It is very disturbing to me and to other physicians who have seen this kind of thing happen, to see the radical right, even now, attempting to overthrow the right of women to decide for themselves whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.
., . . .

(make no mistake, THIS is what those woman-hating gestational slavers want to return to.


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