Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Closet Skeletons #2: XTREME Abortion

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Oh drat. We were looking for Halloween decorations, opened the wrong closet, and all the old family skeletons are pouring out on the floor! But you know what they say. Truth is stranger than fiction. So join us this month as we draw true stories from one of the most bizarre family trees in the whole damned forest.

Today's tale is inspired by reading Biting Beaver on the topic of abortion and emergency contraception.

Great-Great Granny's Tale
By Anne

My grandmother was born in 1888. When she was about 6 years old, she was visiting her grandmother one afternoon. My granny said: "I hate school. I don't want to go." And her grandmother said: "Go home and put away your school frock. You won't be going tomorrow."

That night my grandmother's grandmother hung herself from a low rafter in the barn.

(Hey, you, snickering over there! This is the truth and nothing but the truth!)

This was clearly a case of premeditated suicide, carefully planned and executed. But why? Why would Granny's granny go string herself up in the barn?

Let's whip out the yellowed old family tree papers and look them over. It appears that my great-great grandmother had 15 children between 1860 and 1892. The last three of those children all died within six weeks of each other in an outbreak of scarlet fever.

My grandmother said that Great-Great Granny had just become aware that she was pregnant again, and that's why she killed herself. Suicide as a method of abortion. Well, how many other options did GGG have?

Now, some of you are doing the math and saying Great-Great Granny would have been too old by 1894 to still be having children if her first was born in 1860. But suppose she was 17 or 18 when she married? (I don't have the exact date of her marriage.) I'm a goat judge, not a mathematician, but I put her in her early 50s by 1894. At that age, some women are through with the baby biology and some aren't.

The fact remains that, whether or not she really was pregnant, Great-Great Granny thought she was and decided she didn't want to have another baby.

The moral of this story: Abortion and emergency contraception should be available to every woman, at all times, in all parts of the country. Especially in places where you can also find barns and rope.



aus blog said...

World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.

3,500 per day / 1.3 million per year in America alone.

50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

And 2% had medical reasons.

That means a stagering 98% may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.

Anne Johnson said...

The effective birth control available to my great-great grandmother was to keep her husband from having sex with her. I wasn't going to pass judgment on him until you hit me with the stats.

As we all know, the only 100 percent effective birth control is abstinence. Why don't you try to persuade between 40 and 196 million people not to have sex?

Tennessee Jed said...

GGG could have been 14 at her first birth too which would put her in child bearing years for sure.

Here is some stuff from my book of Jed, Prophet of the Obvious (which most likely will never be published): Life is damn hard and we all wiggle around to get comfortable or dye trying. Sometimes the options are limitless, but most of the time the limits are optionless. If we ever think we are above anyone we suddenly find ourselves pegs lower than the object of our judgement.

Axinar said...

Oh, absolutely - I have said over and over again that pregnancy is one of the most grave medical conditions that a woman can face.

This goof who calls himself Althusius who comments on my blog every now and again seems to diagree with me, but, from everything I have read, a legal, early-term abortion is TREMENDOUSLY safer for the woman than trying to carry a pregnancy to term.

Morrigan Waters said...

I don't have to read, I KNOW that an early-term abortion (in my case it was medically necessary, not a choice I could have made on my own) is INFINTELY easier than carrying a child to full term. I don't know about you, Anne, but I had a HEL of a time carrying THREE children (and losing one to therapeutic abortion), much less FIFTEEN. Let's think about this for a second, aus blog. I'm assuming you are male, because only a male would think of contraception even when it wasn't INVENTED back then. And I also assume that you think you're an intellectual because you come out with all these stats; MOST of which were not put into muster until well over ONE HUNDRED years after GGG tragically passed away. Maybe you should actually READ Anne's post in its entirety before you pass judgement on a woman who, in her time, probably had NO OTHER OPTION available to her.

buddy don said...

seems to me lack a slew of folks aint gut no memry of whut twuz lack when aborshun wuz illegal. i member a yung lady in our class who gut raped n had to go to japan to git an aborshun. twuz 1969 in tennessee n even then, twuz as hush hush as she could make it. ifn i hadnt been a good frien, i woodnt never have known.

corse, thay wuz a brisk bizness in cloze hangers n back alleys in them daze. bettern yer ggg's method, i reckun, but i kin shore magin how awfull she musta felt.

kayakdave said...

70% of those 1.3 million clain to be christians. So what does that mean?

Luna said...

It's important to give people good information and and good medical care and then let them deal with the ethical dilemma on their own.