Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Roe V. Wade Saves Lives

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Roe V. Wade Saves Lives

Article excerpt

An abortion is a terrible thing. No woman wants to have an abortion. Nevertheless, sometimes abortion can be the necessary choice of two excruciatingly painful options.

Before 1973 when the Supreme Court legitimized abortion in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, the procedure was illegal in most states; desperate women without means had to undergo illegal operations to end an untenable pregnancy. As a result, many were rendered sterile and some died.

We do not pass moral judgment on those who have had abortions nor on those who believe abortions are wrong. We wish that no woman need ever confront an unintended pregnancy. We wish that no pregnant woman ever face poverty, loneliness, incest or any other condition that might lead her to consider abortion necessary. Should that be her painful choice, however, we believe every woman has the right to a safe procedure. We believe every woman has the right to a good quality of life.

Let the facts speak, as seen by Dr. C. Richard Gulick when he was an obstetrical resident from 1971-74:

"Before Roe v. Wade, we saw terrible things, consequences of illegal abortions," he said.

"Before that Supreme Court decision, Barnes Hospital admitted at least two patients per week for criminally induced, septic (severely infected) abortions. The last year of my residency, after Roe v. Wade, the hospital rarely, if ever, admitted another case of septic abortion. This decision has saved countless lives."

Gulick said residents were instructed to perform the following for any woman who came into the emergency room with vaginal bleeding:

* A pregnancy test

* A blood count to find out if there was a probability of sepsis (serious infection)

* An X-ray of the abdomen to see if there was any evidence of uterine perforation

"Those patients with positive pregnancy tests and elevated white blood cell counts were admitted to the hospital immediately. All received emergency D and C's (dilation and curettage), and some had to have total hysterectomies to save their lives from overwhelming infection. Many of those who did not have hysterectomies also became sterile. Some died.

"If we residents wrote 'induced abortion' on the patient's chart, the patient would have been subject to arrest. …

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