Abortion policy: an evaluation of the consequences for by Jerome S. Legge

By Jerome S. Legge

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Extra info for Abortion policy: an evaluation of the consequences for maternal and infant health

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For example, a woman may die from cardiac arrest during a legal abortion, the press reports the incident with little analysis, and passions again become intensified on both sides of the issue. Largely absent from discussion are the millions of women who have obtained abortion safely and legally in recent years and the consequences of their having obtained a pregnancy termination. Have such legal abortions lowered the overall number of abortion deaths? Has maternal health improved for society as a whole?

5 Whichever of these two techniques is used, it is important to confirm that a complete abortion has taken place, and that the contracted uterine wall has closed off blood vessels supplying the placenta. Death from either one of these procedures in a setting where they are legal is rare. Most studies have shown that the greater risk of mortality occurs with traditional D & C. In one of the first American studies, Tietze, Pakter, and Berger studied the effects of legal abortion in New York City from 1970 to 1972.

This is not to say that the cases covered in this volume exhaust the environments under which abortion policy change takes place. Indeed, abortion policy is unique in almost every nation, and the impacts of policy will vary with each. An almost endless number of variables can be manipulated or affected by policy, and the cultural differences between nations can be wide. These cases are at least broadly representative of polities where significant policy shifts have Page 17 taken place, including changes to both more liberal and more conservative policies.

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