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EDITOR, Daily News:
The Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion remains the law of the land, passions remain high on both sides of the issue, and protests are held each year on its anniversary.
What about "back alley" abortions? The laws were designed primarily to protect women from dangerous "back alley" abortions — the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by persons lacking the necessary skills, or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards, or both. But the term also refers to illegal abortions that were actually being performed by licensed, practicing physicians in their offices. Because the procedure was illegal, the procedures were often done after hours and it was common to access the doctor's office via the back door or back alley to avoid being seen.
Since Roe v. Wade, are standards for having an abortion safer? Is the "back alley" approach eliminated? In some cases, yes, whereas in others, the answer is no. Women still die from legal abortions in America. Abortion is normally not life-threatening to the mother. However, the fatality rate is much higher than many pro-choice advocates admit.
Since public health officials stopped looking for abortion-caused deaths after abortion was legal, the opportunity to overlook or cover up abortion-caused deaths is now much greater. A former abortion clinic owner says, "A woman died because of an abortion at our clinic, but the public never heard about it and it wasn't reported to the authorities as abortion related." What makes abortion-related deaths hard to trace is that the majority of the deaths do not occur during the surgery but afterward.
In Frank Peretti's novel "Prophet," he describes in words the web of deception and participation in legal abortion and its dangers. Family members, doctors, the media, and political figures all have a vested interest in this cover-up. Unfortunately, it is the women who are left to suffer the consequences.
From the child's point of view there is no such thing as a safe, legal abortion. It is always deadly. For every two people who enter an abortion clinic, only one comes out alive.