Providers Punish Women for Coming in For More Than One Abortion

“If someone came in for a second abortion, the nurse would give her a prostaglandin so that the woman “wouldn’t do it again.” The nurses felt it was up to them to “teach the woman a lesson.” That was a common practice. They would hold women back from having the abortion until they were twelve weeks pregnant and give them a prostaglandin. [a prostaglandin abortion is more difficult and painful because a woman must go through labor] This occurred up until as late as 1984. Their attitude was that the woman has been told about contraception, they’d had an abortion, so they should know better than to get pregnant again by mistake. There was this feeling that there was something wrong with a woman who got pregnant twice or more by mistake.”

Andrea Butcher, abortion counselor

This practice ended when prostaglandin and saline abortions (in which the woman had to go through labor) were replaced with Dilation and Evacuation (D & E)

Miriam Claire The Abortion Dilemma: Personal Views on a Public Issue. (New York: Insight Books) 1995 p 125

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