From the "Saw It Coming a Mile Away" department, Texas' restrictive laws on abortion and birth control have been a boon to illegal abortion providers and miscarriage-inducing drug peddlers. Bloomberg has the whole story here:
At an open-air flea market outside McAllen, Texas (BEESTX), near the Mexican border, shoppers can buy a goat and get their car windows tinted. Tables with handwritten signs touting Viagra (MDPSVIAG) are stocked with herbal remedies promising to burn fat and boost breast size. You can also find pills to end a pregnancy.And, thanks to Governor Perry & Co., these black market bazaars are thriving....
Bazaars like this have become home to a black market where women too poor to afford an abortion at a clinic or deterred by state mandates such as a 24-hour waiting period can buy drugs to induce a miscarriage on their own, a dozen area residents and doctors said in interviews.
“You’d be amazed at how many people, young people, are taking those pills,” said Erlinda Dasquez, a 29-year-old mother of four who has done so herself. “I probably know 12 to 20 people who have done this. My cousin just went to the flea market a few months ago.”... and women are already suffering for it.
In the past few years, health-care providers in the valley, one of the state and nation’s poorest regions, have seen an increasing number of women suffering from incomplete abortions and bleeding after taking drugs unsupervised, they said.More below the pretty curlicue.
Fifteen years ago I had the great privilege of meeting Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who successfully argued for Roe v. Wade in 1973. Weddington is not only a pioneering attorney she is also a stentorian figure in Texas politics. She has been elected to the Texas House of Representatives three times and, like Wendy Davis, is proud, living proof that feminism Texas-style is not an oxymoron.
I met Weddington in the nineties at Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne where she debated Phyllis Schlafly on the issue of abortion. Schlafly, among other arguments, was trying to ignore the issue of illegal abortions that were rife in the US pre- Roe. Weddington immediately shot her down. "Illegal abortion was so commonplace during the fifties and sixties that hospitals had separate wards devoted solely to women who were suffering from botched abortions," Weddington said, "Women would come in hemorrhaging with ruptured uteri or with advanced sepsis or with things hanging out of them. When questioned these women usually said 'I fell down,' ... and the doctors pointedly did not ask for details. They knew their patients could get in trouble with the law. Many times abortion rights opponents say that illegal abortions were very rare back in the days before abortion was legal. I say, 'From a documented standpoint, yes.... but hoo boy were women "falling down" a lot in those days!'"
Of course another favorite argument of forced birth advocates is that Planned Parenthood and other legal abortion providers are dangerous to women (despite the fact that the death rate from legal, induced abortion is 0.6 out of 100,000.. compared to the death rate from childbirth which is 8.8 out of 100,000 in the US.)
Backers of the (restrictive Texas abortion) bill have described the proposal as a way to promote women’s health by improving the safety of clinics, as well as a tipping point in the fight to ensure all pregnancies are carried to term.Nevertheless, in a prime example of a self-fulfilling prophesy, abortion is about to get A LOT more dangerous as untrained drug smugglers are now replacing doctors in providing abortions. And women have not stopped seeking abortions either.
“This is a human-rights issue,” Republican Governor Rick Perry said in a June 27 speech to anti-abortion activists. “The ideal world, of course, is a world without abortion.”
The woman handed Dasquez four octagonal pills in a clear plastic bag, she said. They cost $40. At the nearest legal provider, a pharmaceutical abortion costs $550.Wait, I'm sorry. Wasn't making abortions more difficult to obtain supposed to lead to a boom in happy mothers and smiling, chubby babies? How come that isn't happening?
Dasquez said she turned down another option: injections that the woman was offering to administer on the spot.
“I was scared, but I thought I didn’t have any other choice -- I had to do it whatever happens,” she said. “I told my mom so, if anything goes wrong, she could bring me to the hospital or get help.”
“It’s hard to know how successful it really is -- we just see the failures,” said West, 77, who has been performing abortions for 31 years.And meanwhile drug-smugglers, phony doctors, and untrained healthcare providers are getting rich from Texas' restrictive abortion laws.
That’s what happened to Dasquez, who took a second dose after the first didn’t work. She bled for at least a month, she said.
Locals have a word to describe abortions like this: “clandestino.” It’s often poor and undocumented immigrants who seek them, unable to afford having more children or legal yet pricier options, said Paula Saldana, a community health instructor who volunteers to educate Hispanics about contraception.
Well, Governor Perry did say that Texas was a mecca of economic growth.