Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Case of the Minor

I would like to piggy back off of Revolutionary Vagina's last post about the young girl who self-induced an abortion using a lead pencil. An article about this was posted on, and contains several false and just plain ridiculous claims.

I am sure this story probably has most people wanting to vomit and cry at the same time as their hearts break for this little girl. I would also guess however that many of those same people would not even bat an eye if her method of killing her child had been a RU 486 prescription from the local Planned Parenthood. -Bryan Kemper, head of Stand True, a pro-life group

First of all, you cannot get the pill from Planned Parenthood to induce abortion after about 9 weeks. From the article, it sounds as if she was much much further along, but who really knows. If she was "delivering a baby," I would guess she had to been late second trimester. If she was that far along, wouldn't her parents have noticed? If she was in her first trimester, she wouldn't have delievered a "baby." She would have bled a lot. Kemper makes it sound like you can just take the pill at 25 weeks and boom you're done. Totally not the case.

Secondly, if this young woman would have been able to go to Planned Parenthood to get her abortion pill prescription, she would have had an interview with a counselor. Obviously, we cannot know if she would have told the truth to the counselor or not, but it would definitely have been in her best interest to talk to an adult about having an abortion before trying to perform one on herself. Thus it probably would have been GOOD for her to go to Planned Parenthood.

It is also a very different thing to perform an abortion on yourself and then have your creepy older boyfriend bury the fetus in a ditch. That is just not normal. That is very sad, scary, and bizarre. Having an abortion in an abortion clinic is normal. It is safe. It is not dangerous. The risk of even minor complications is very, very low when an abortion is performed in a safe, sterile environment with trained medical professionals, like at a Planned Parenthood. So, yes, I would not bat an eye at that. If that makes me a monster, then you have a fucked up definition of what it means to be a monster.

Kemper also said, "I can also hear the spin now, 'this is why we need safe and legal abortion,' -- even though abortions are already legal and are supposed to prevent such self-induced abortions." This goes back to precisely what Revolutionary Vagina was talking about. Pennsylvania has parental consent laws. She obviously did not want to tell her parents. How come none of the anti-choicers want to talk about that? If she was able to go to a clinic she wouldn't have been in this situation. THAT is the problem. Further, she is thirteen years old. She is child. I can say at thirteen I was in no shape to be having sex, and definitely not sex with someone SEVENTEEN years older than me. Can we take a step back and ask, why was this thirteen year old doing this? Her boyfriend/partner/creeper said he had sex with her "hundreds" of times. How did this happen? It troubles me this happened so many times yet nobody seemed to be aware. Of course, teens can be very sneaky and do a good job hiding things from their parents, but she is thirteen! I find it hard to believe a thirteen year old could sucessfully pull that off unless she is some sort of smooth talking magical pixie with a unicorn.

My favorite quote of the article is "'If the girl had gone to Planned Parenthood he would probably still be raping her as I doubt they would have turned him in," Kemper explained."

It is true there are cases where Planned Parenthood staffers did not appropriately follow state rules and turn in a man who was engaging in an inappropriate relationship a minor. I think that is terrible. It is beyond messed up. I would prefer if everyone followed the rules about that. I do think that each staffer was trying to act in the best interest of the minor, even if the staffer might not have been in reality. Either way, it is ridiculous to assume that all Planned Parenthoods everywhere just let minors get raped all the time like it's no big deal, because that is definitely NOT the case. I have worked with plenty of clinics that have bent over backwards to get guys arrested who were doing that kind of stuff. Planned Parenthoods and clinics, for the vast majority of cases, DO follow the rules. And rapists get caught. Which is a good thing because they might otherwise have not.

How come anti-choicers don't want to talk about how clinics often get bad guys in trouble. Or that this girl, who could have died, and just went through something terribly traumatic, didn't have to go through that. She could have just had a regular, safe abortion. It wouldn't have been the horrifying experience of shoving a pencil into your own uterus and then becoming violently ill and having to have your boyfriend who is not a doctor deliver your dead baby for you and then take it and bury it in a ditch. The fact she had to go through that is so fucked up. If she had access to a clinic, she would have been able to have an abortion with a doctor who knows what he/she is doing and with counselors who are trained to talk to her about her decision. A fucking sad state of affairs. Perfect example of what parental consent laws are dangerous.

Also -- if anyone stumbled upon this page by googling the story of the girl who used the pencil, and is thinking of using a pencil or anything to self abort. PLEASE DO NOT DO IT. Self aborting is very dangerous and often leads to at minimum serious complications and even death. If you have questions about where to go please see the National Abortion Federation's list of clinics or contact your local Planned Parenthood for a place in your area.


  1. There are hospital doctors, child protective service workers, and pastors of churches who had either A)turned a blind eye to abuse, or B) completely missed the signs. Yet we don't claim that if she had went to any of them the man would still be raping her. Yet to claim that would have been the case based on a few bad apples in abortion clinics is supposed to be logical.

    I call BS.

  2. Yeah that site isn't good for much except misinformation :-P

  3. imnotsorrydotnet, not only does never let facts get in the way, there's never been a so-called prolifer, hell bent on God's word, to let the truth get in the way of a good piece of propaganda.
    It's no different than the lies about WWI, Iraq I or Iraq II. Tell the story often enough and the fools will begin to believe the f**king fairy tale.

  4. self-abortion scares the #2 out of me (get that pun???)

    at work the other day we were hearing a presentation about the state of RH in El Salvador, and an attendee mentioned a website that sells ab pills online through a confidential service. now i'm sure it's a good sign for women in crisis, but as an Abortioneer i was taught never to advocate for that, even if you are purchasing mife/miso proper as opposed to alternative medications/herbs/etc. i didn't want to derail the whole conversation, but i'm pretty conflicted about that. should we allow a women her right to choose ANY form of abortion, especially in places where it is illegal or highly restricted? Are you there Placenta Sandwich? i feel like you might have some input there.

  5. Sure am! Good points. So I feel like the situation in El Salvador is so dire that Women on Web or other similar services advising women on how to have a medication abortion are probably going to save a lot of lives. It's not like many of our cases, where women would go to the clinic if they had the money, but they don't and they can't believe that the clinic would try to help them anyway; there just IS no clinic. It's not even like in some countries where a woman can try to induce a miscarriage or some partial bleeding, then head to the hospital to get help -- the hospitals are required to report any suspected abortions to the police, and it seems they do comply, and women are sentenced to jail:

    So, yeah, makes you uncomfortable to know that women might be inducing their own abortions and you have no way to ensure the process is going as planned; but then again, that's how it would be no matter what, but with the bonus of super-unsafe methods instead of the very safe medication abortion pills.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.