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How does a coat hanger abortion work?

How does a coat hanger abortion work?
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  1. There is a reason the pro-choice crowd uses a coat hanger as its trademark identifier at rallies. The use of a coat hanger to attempt to self-abort has been the source of serious infections and even death before the right to chose whether or not to continue a pregnancy became a woman’s legal right with Roe vs Wade.

    The theory behind how it works is the introduction of a sharp object to pierce the uterus, causing the fluid to escape the womb. The risk of perforation is extremely high, which is the leading cause of the septic infection associated with this form of self-abortion, as is the risk of hitting one of the many blood vessels that are dilated to accommodate a pregnancy, which can cause severe hemorrhaging enough to pass out rather quickly. Neither have good outcomes for the woman in the short run, and too often a self-abortion attempt with a coat hanger can result in permanent infertility. In the years before Roe vs. Wade, there were in excess of 50,000 emergency room post-self-abortion treatments administered annually.

    Then there are the legal implications…..Before Roe vs Wade, abortion was illegal, so the woman who attempted to self-abort and survived often faced indictment for attempted murder. There are already states that will jail a woman who has attempted to self-abort by any means—Mike Pence’s Indiana is one. Trump has added this to his list of policies to enact—criminal penalties for attempted self-abortion—if elected, after he makes abortion illegal again. His new advisor on reproductive issues also wants to ban certain forms of birth control, eliminate “Plan B” or the morning after pill, as well as making access to all forms of birth control even more difficult for women.

    Sadly, I never thought the day may come when a question about a coat hanger to end a pregnancy could ever be a reality again in the US after Roe vs Wade in 1973.

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