Kevin Williamson at National Review has an article on the “coat hanger” mythology surrounding the abortion debate. Quoting the DC Abortion Fund, Williamson writes,
“The coat hanger is a symbol of the reproductive justice movement because lack of access to abortion causes women to go to desperate lengths to terminate a pregnancy, similar to those undertaken in the pre–Roe vs. Wade era. At that time, consuming Lysol and household poisons was not uncommon to instigate abortion. Nor was inserting knitting needles, Coke bottles, and — yes — wire coat hangers into their cervices.”
As Williamson explains, “That is untrue. It has long been known to be untrue. The wire hanger is indeed a powerful symbol — the symbol of a lie engineered with malice aforethought.”
See why in the full article.
2 thoughts on “The Symbol of a Lie”
Odd–the very source the NR article cites claims that 8% of abortions were self-induced, and led to the majority of medical complications. 8% nicely fits my understanding of “not uncommon”. I am in the unusual position of knowing exactly when I first encountered the phrase–in July of 1982, while watching The Secret of NIMH, in which it was used to describe pneumonia, which (the internet tells me) afflicts 4% of children per year.
Moreover, this figure is a rough estimate from a conference which presented numbers for total abortions ranging from 200,000 to 1,200,000 per year. I’d be a bit more chary than Kevin Williamson about calling something a lie on the basis of data with a margin of error five times greater than the low estimate of the frequency of the phenomenon.
I wonder if we could use this opportunity to really highlight the number of deaths that happen during illegal abortions. Really show why along with abolishing abortion we truly do want higher standards in health care to prevent more death from happening.
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