Mike the Mad Biologist

You’ll never guess. From Amanda Marcotte:

It’s the most common outpatient procedure in the country, and yet we write it off as fringe. There’s only 694,000 open heart surgeries a year on average, 600,000 hysterectomies, and 193,000 hip replacements a yearbut there’s 1.2 million abortions performed every year. But I’ll bet you could find more people who claim they don’t know anyone personally who’s had an abortion than make the same claim about hysterectomies, heart surgery, or hip replacement. Of course, they do know someone who’s had an abortion, most likely, but she’s mum about it, because of this taboo against speaking about it.

Admittedly, we are a nation of sluts [/snark]. When you realize how common abortion is, it makes the idea that we could ever outlaw it utterly ridiculous. But as long as we shame women into silence over this procedure, abortion will be viewed as an icky thing, not as a routine part of many women’s lives (call this the ‘Saletan’ perspective).

Comments

  1. #1 khan
    August 2, 2009

    And if a woman does admit she had an abortion, she has to chant the mantra: “It was a difficult and heart-wrenching decision.”

    FSM forbid she say it was no worse physically/emotionally than having wisdom teeth pulled.

  2. #2 Arikia
    August 2, 2009

    Woah, interesting. I tried to guess off the bat but missed by a mile. Makes sense in retrospect though.

  3. #3 Dave Munger
    August 2, 2009

    I was going to guess breast augmentation. I was wrong — but cosmetic surgery as a whole vastly outnumbers any of these procedures.

    http://www.aboardcertifiedplasticsurgeonresource.com/plastic_surgery/statistics.html

  4. #4 too shy to use my real pseudonym
    August 2, 2009

    It wasn’t a difficult or heart-wrenching decision. I decided a long time ago what I’d do if I got pregnant, and I never changed my mind.

    Some pre-op parts of the procedure were pretty physically uncomfortable, more so than the experience of having my wisdom teeth pulled. But what really sucked were the bouts of crying in the following week as my hormones returned to normal. It made me vulnerable to the nagging feeling that I was supposed to be torn up about what I’d done.

    I wish it weren’t such a taboo subject. I probably would have gotten a lot of support from my friends if I hadn’t been afraid to talk about it. But that shadow of a doubt that someone would unleash some anti-choice bullsh*t on me was enough to keep me silent except with my close family.

    Another weird part was that I felt ashamed of having an unintended pregnancy. As if it meant I’m stupid and careless. Even now I feel the need to defend myself. I had an IUD, dammit! It wasn’t my fault!

  5. #5 too shy to use my real pseudonym
    August 2, 2009

    silent except with my close family
    Oh, and let’s not forget my husband. He’s been super supportive.

  6. #6 solanum
    August 2, 2009

    I tend to keep it quiet because of those types that murder doctors. It wasn’t a big emotional deal at all. I was really upset when I found out I was pregnant (I had an IUD like the person in post 4) and was afraid it might be in the tube or cause a complication. The abortion procedure itself was physically unpleasant, but I never felt any shame or regret.

  7. #7 khan
    August 2, 2009

    I tend to keep it quiet because of those types that murder doctors. It wasn’t a big emotional deal at all. I was really upset when I found out I was pregnant (I had an IUD like the person in post 4) and was afraid it might be in the tube or cause a complication. The abortion procedure itself was physically unpleasant, but I never felt any shame or regret.

    I don’t blame you.

    But isn’t that the whole purpose of the fascists?

    They will threaten doctors et al.

  8. #8 Also too shy
    August 3, 2009

    Wow, this is a great blog post. I knew it was really common, but didn’t know abortion was more common than heart surgery. While almost anyone will admit in casual conversation that they’ve known someone who had heart surgery, no one will admit knowing someone who’s had an abortion (even if they’ve had one themself). Just another example of the hypocrisy of our society.

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