A Childless Woman, Who’s Never Had and Abortion, Talks about Abortion

In the childless “community” (in as much as random strangers with possibly nothing in common except that they are unable to get knocked up can be a “community”), the idea of abortion tends to be met with gasps.

“What? I want a baby. I can’t have a baby. You are pregnant and you want to get rid of it? How could you!?”

Nah. My inability to stay pregnant has zippo to do with a woman’s right to abortion.

But that’s not why I’m here today. I’m writing a new book and I’m in the planning stage – you know, collecting information about my characters, who they are and what they do. Well my protagonist is both a perfumer/herbalist and an illegal abortionist. So I went off looking for information about natural abortifacients, and found this incredible treasure trove!

Published in 2008 by an anonymous group called Sage-femme! Collective, this is an important piece of work that should be handed out with school books in high school.

So download it. Bookmark it offline (because if history is anything to go by, it will become illegal and you won’t be able to find it online). Give it to a friend.

As light reading, of course. This is not a manual.


My favourite part:
Today, 42,000,000 abortions take place around the world every year. Research indicates that the incidence of abortions is not reduced by restrictive laws.
In fact, the opposite is true. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization, abortion rates are highest in countries with the most restrictive abortion laws. The only factor that reduces the abortion rate is increased education combined with unlimited access to family planning services of contraception and abortion.

Oh, and this is from: https://www.feminist.com/resources/ourbodies/abortion.html

  • Worldwide, 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually. This equals one unsafe abortion for every ten pregnancies and one unsafe abortion for every seven births.
  • Ninety percent of unsafe abortions are in developing countries.
  • One-third of all abortions worldwide are illegal. More than two-thirds of countries in the Southern Hemisphere have no access to safe, legal abortion.
  • Estimates of the number of women who die worldwide from unsafe abortions each year range from 70,000 to 200,000. This means that between 13 and 20% of all maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortion–in some areas of the world, half of all maternal deaths. Of these deaths, 99% are in the developing world, and most are preventable.
  • Half of all abortions take place outside the health care system.
  • One-third of women seeking care for abortion complications are under the age of 20.
  • About 40% of the world’s population has access to legal abortion (almost all in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and North America), although laws often require the consent of parents, state committees, or physicians.
  • Worldwide, 21% of women may obtain legal abortions for social or economic reasons.
  • Sixteen percent of women have access only when a woman’s health is at risk or in cases of rape, incest, or fetal defects.
  • Five percent have access only in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.
  • Eighteen percent have access only for life endangerment.”

And if I hear anyone say “well they could just use contraception, or just not have sex”… Then you have never been out of your world because that’s not how most of the world works in practice. But you wouldn’t have read this far if you were that kind of person 🙂

Featured photo: marching banner for the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment by Alice Maher, Rachel Fallon and Breda Mayock.