What happens when abortion is banned.

What happens when abortion is banned. December 2, 2010

Grisly news from Thailand last week, where rooms containing 2002 aborted foetuses were found at a Buddhist temple.

The remains are widely believed to have come from illegal clinics.

Abortions are only permitted in Thailand in cases of rape, incest or where the mother’s life is in danger.

But official statistics suggest around 300,000 abortions are carried out each year, the vast majority in back-street clinics.

The gruesome discovery of so many foetuses in the grounds of a temple has prompted debate about an issue usually considered taboo.

This is just more evidence (as if more evidence were needed) of what pro-lifers don’t want to acknowledge: If you ban abortions, they’ll happen anyway – but they won’t be clean, safe, clinical procedures. They’ll happen in back-street clinics with no regulation or assurances of standards of safety or competency of practitioners.

“Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has so far resisted demands for new legislation, saying the problem lies in society’s values.”

Burying his head in the sand much?

Women will take massive risks, and some will die. How do pro-lifers rationalise this? Do they ignore it, or do they just not care? Worse, do they want desperate women to have to risk their lives?

Maytinee Bhongsvej has been working [at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women] for almost 20 years, first as a volunteer, now as the director. In all that time, she has seen little change.

Young women in particular, she said, are often ignorant about sexual matters so when they accidentally become pregnant, there is a tendency to panic.

“They do everything they can think of to get rid of it,” Maytinee said, in a calm voice that belied her evident frustration.

“They walk into things deliberately, have accidents deliberately, fall down the stairs, get a friend to kick them in the tummy, all because they don’t know what to do.”

The tragedy here is that it is men like Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who get to make the law.

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