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athgarvan

Some Facts

In case there are mothers-to-be in the Galway area worrying about childbirth, let it be known that there has not been a death of a mother in childbirth in that hospital for the last 27 years.

In fact, the Irish maternal death rate is one of the very lowest in the world - 3 per 100,000.
The British figure is 12 per 100,000, and the USA is 24 per 100,000. (World Health Organization, UN and the World Bank).

How is it that Ireland without abortion is so much safer for pregnant women than Britain or USA which both have highly liberal abortion laws?

Comments

(Anonymous)

Perhaps because teh figures are skewed by the number of abortions carried out in the UK on Irish women whose health has already been jeopardised by serial pregnancies?
I'm sure The World Health Organization would have considered that.
Don't be. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Hmmm...
It would appear, then, that an astonishing number of Irish women
obtain their abortions in the US.

Seriously and honestly,
I suspect it ~is~ coincidence,
as no similar correlation is found in the US,
where abortion laws are, in fact, not uniformly liberal.
In Nebraska, it is possible to get an abortion even in the ninth month of pregnancy,
but in Mississippi, it's nearly impossible to get an abortion at all,
yet so far as I know, there's no significant difference in either maternal or infant mortality rates of the two states.
None of this is important.

Irish medicine could be perfect (though it has to be said that women who need an abortion go to the UK or Europe, or obtain the morning after pill via the internet so none of this gets counted in their statistics) but in this particular case the behaviour of the doctors was unacceptable and resulted in the unnecessary death of an intelligent, educated, non-Christian, non-white woman, and incredibly crass remarks to her husband.

The actions were based on a religiously-based law that caused this woman's death. It doesn't matter how many deaths there are, even one, cause by malicious negligence is one too many.

In the UK, this would result in the hospital being sued for malpractices and a large monetary settlement.
Ummm...
I ~did~ say
"I suspect it ~is~ coincidence"
they don't call it "maternal death" if it involved abortion.

many people in the usa lack basic health care of all kinds, hence our generally appalling mortality and morbidity.
Thank you for clarifying both points.
It's an insult to women's intelligence to act as if banning abortion was done to protect women's health. Abortion was made illegal because of the authoritarian view that women are incapable of making decisions about their own reproductive health.

If I had the energy, I'd dig up some statistics on women who died because they were denied safe and legal abortions, and so took desperate measures to terminate unwanted pregnancies. But I'm guessing that would be an exercise in futility because women's health and welfare isn't really the issue here, is it?
The issue here is the church's control, via the government, of personal freedom.
Yes, and yes.
Well, no, in this particular instance,
the issue is discrediting a misleading statistical anomaly.
If I said, "Ireland has the lowest maternal mortality rate,
and the highest per capita consumption of tea,"
you would not be remiss in asking
why I seem to feel there is a correlation between the two.
Sorry. I am not questioning what you say. I don't know the base behind the stats quoted and I suspect you are 100% right.

I just think that this whole line of argument, like the "what is on the death certificate" one, is irrelevant.
I will grant you that while one cannot be certain Savita Halappanavar would have lived if she'd had a timely abortion, one ~can~ be certain that in any other country, it would be the medically indicated procedure, and one ~can~ be certain that the influence of the Roman Catholic Church contributed to the failure (or reluctance) of Savita Halappanavar's doctors to act promptly in her best interests.

But that was yesterday's discussion.

Today, we're talking about a statistical anomaly/logical fallacy the Roman Catholic Church likes to use. If there really were a causal relation between the availability of abortion and maternal mortality rates, it would be consistently apparent, and not unique to Ireland.
It's a false correlation; abortion laws are not particular liberal throughout much of the United States - in many places it's impossible to get one and many don't have the resources to travel. Also, prenatal care in the States for many people is pretty horrific.

reposted poem

by roz kaveny, who with her sister would not have been born if her mother had received such treatment:

SONNET FOR SAVITA

The child within her almost dead. Its heart
sputtered away but did not ever stop.
And as it died, its dying drop by drop
leaked poison into her. And every part

each organ started dying. Doctors said
that while the child retained a spark of life
faith had decreed they could not use a knife
to end it. Not until the child was dead

and so she died as well. She had no choice,
soon no life either. Poison in her blood
vomit and fever. And the pious good
religious doctors listened to her voice

as it grew fainter. Let her die. Our tears
for all they've killed just like her, all these years.
Lack of appropriate prenatal care and nutrition kills more mothers and babies than any other problem of which I am aware. But those slain by deliberate malpractice are just as dead.
You do sound as if you're still trying to justify the unjustifiable and this bothers me deeply. :o(
No, but I await the report of a proper rational enquiry into the facts of this case, and will accept it fully.
Link to those stats? What I've seen is 5 or 6 for Ireland, and the 13 or so countries that are better all have abortion. I've also heard that we measure differently to other countries, so it's not as comparably low as we think.

That hospital has nearly killed a wanted, viable fetus.
My short answer is this:

I don't know, and I'm not convinced the figures take everything into account, but it is an interesting question which I shall put to a friend of mine who is a trainee midwife and homebirth activist, who I suspect will find the question as interesting as I do.
Her response:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/12/maternal-mortality-rates-millennium-development-goals
it is lower but I am pretty certain that Australia has abortion.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2223rank.html
this one is different
Maternal death rate has nothing to do with abortion. It has everything to do with health and nutrition of the mother and what access to health care she has AND how the mother is cared for during her labour. Excessive intervention (which the UK has) is not going to help.

also many of the statistics do not take into account death a lot of teh time death from complications of birth, as in a few days, weeks or months after.

also - how do those statistics compare with population?
It's all v ery confusing.
It is indeed. So many variables.. this is why I thought it best to ask my friend, who was something of an expert on maternity services even before she started training.