JOY RASCH, Kennewick
The World Health Organization, a United Nations agency, published its 2011 international abortion statistics, summarizing the patterns found into groups of nations:
w Among industrialized nations, where universal health coverage provides contraception, abortion and sterilization services, including Italy, abortions average 12 per 1,000 women.
w Among those nations where a state religion prohibits legal abortion, abortions average 25 per 1,000 women. Latin American countries dominate this group.
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w The United States is its own "group," because legal abortion is accessible in some locations and restricted in others. Our current national average is 19 abortions per 1,000 women. This rate is sort of good news. It's much lower than during the golden age of illegal abortion when estimated rates fluctuated widely. In some cities, the rate was as high as 500 per 1,000 women.
Anyone assuming that all we need is to reverse Roe vs. Wade and abortion would magically disappear is uninformed.
The two differences between legal and illegal abortion are illegal abortion records were withheld from public authorities and unqualified practitioners killed women.
But thousands of American women with good insurance illegally obtained the best abortion care in the world. This was an open secret we nurses daily witnessed.