Legal Abortion Said Safer Than Pregnancy
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SHREVEPORT JOURNAL, . F R I . FEB. 4, 1972 Legal Abortion Said Safer Than Pregnancy By MERRILEE LEATHERMAN Journal Staff Writer "Abortions, legally done, are safer than normal preg-nancies," Dr. Arthur T. Fort told Region I, L o u i s i a n a Conference of Social Welfare, Thursday when the group met at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum Auditorium to dis-cuss, "Should Louisiana Legalize Abortion?" Dr. Fort, p r o f e s s o r and head of the Department of OB-GYN, LSU School of Medi-cine in Shreveport and chief of the OB-GYN service at Confederate Memorial Medi-cal Center, said that after New York liberalized their abortion laws in 1970 there were 13 deaths per 1,000,000 abortions, which is about half of the death rate found in normal pregnancies. He added that the abortion mortality rate has since dropped ot seven deaths per 1,000,000. ABORTIONS, DR. Fort said, can be done easily and safely by a qualified physician using such methods as cur-ettement, suction machines or withdrawing the vaginal wa-ters and replacing the fluid with a salt or sugar solution. "There is no drug to bring on abortion," he said, but you can stop an implantation two weeks after conception with hormones. He added that this is ndt considered abortion per se. Illegal abortions, however, are another thing. Dr. Fort said physicians see the results of illegal abortions when complications arise. When you see cases like this, Dr. Fort said, you can see the lengths people will go to to get an abortion—partic-ularly those who cannot af-ford a legal one. DOUGLAS R. Mackintosh, PhD., associate director and counselor of the Community Sex Information and Educa-tion & Service in New Orleans discussed various trends in abortion. On the worldwide level, he pointed out that in Mexico 70 per cent of all women disap-prove of abortion even to save the mother's life, yet one out of four pregnancies there end in abortion. "This," he said, "proves only that one thinks one thing, says another thing and does something else. When faced with a problem we often do what we said we wouldn't.'" IN. JAPAN, he said, abor-tions came into being before contraceptives. Approximately 12 per cent of all Japanese women have had at least six abortions, Mackintosh said, adding that it has been thought of as a birth control method. On the national level, he said, New York became the first state to liberalize its abortion law partly due to a "class action suit," claiming the basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, instigated by some militant female lawyers. Since the abortion reform, he said, New York has seen their overall birth rate decline and has seen 250,000 abortions per-formed in which only nine persons died. MACKINTOSH pointed out that other states have fol-lowed New York's example, but said he doesn't see any legislative action coming about in. Louisiana this year. However, he added, he and others hope to get a "class action suit" under way in Louisiana in an effort to force abortion reform. In the meantime, Mackin-tosh hopes to establish an agency in New Orleans where loans can be provided for those persons wanting to leave the state for an abortion, but can't afford the cost. Dr. N. Patricia Stockard, assistant chief of the psychia-tric service at the VA Hospi-tal, discussed the "Psycholog-ical Implications of Abortion." STATING THAT she is for legalized abortion because "those who want abortions are going to get them one way or another," Dr. Stock-ard said. "If we legalize abor-tion we're not bringing un-wanted children into the world." She explained that the arrival of an unwanted child into a family usually means trauma for everyone involved. Dr. Stockard also told of the various depressions which fol-low both an abortion and the delivery of an unwanted child. She noted their similarities but said she felt it is easier to treat the depression that may follow an abortion than the depression occuring with the unwanted birth.
|Title||Legal Abortion Said Safer Than Pregnancy|
Fort, Arthur T.
MacKintosh, Douglas R.
Stockard, N. Patricia
|Identifier||See reference URL on the navigation bar.|
|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|