Monday, January 27, 2014

Abortion With a Bicycle Pump

“Bicycle pump abortions would be an ideal birth control method in developing countries, according to a young Australian doctor.” Vacuum extraction using this method, developed in Eastern Europe for “lunch-hour abortions” costs considerably less than electric machines specifically designed for abortion.

Now that you’re gasping in disbelief as I did when I came across the newspaper clipping, I will elaborate.

During the early 1970s my architect-dad was asked to travel to Malaysia in connection with a World Bank birth control program. Apparently his expertise in hospital design and construction was needed.

Dad died six years ago and we are still sorting through work related documents he saved; and he saved a lot! He accumulated several newspaper clippings while in Kuala Lampur and its surrounds. The clipping to which I referred above was stapled with several more. A more humorous, but unkind clipping told of a contractor who was building a posh new development in Milan. It happened to be in a neighborhood where prostitutes had long plied their trade. Being that this would distract potential buyers, he decided to take action.

Renting a helicopter one night, he circled overhead and dropped “bombs” filled with indelible ink onto the women. He claimed to have tried coming to an agreement with the streetwalkers, but the neighborhood was a prime spot for picking up wealthy patrons. When he failed at negotiating, he threatened to use fire crackers next time. Forty years later, who knows how it all played out.

My point in rehashing these old news stories is to illustrate how minds used to work to the detriment of women. I can only hope that abortion is no longer considered a birth control method in developing countries and that bicycle pumps are used only to refill flat tires.

The things that were done to women in the name of expediency and cost-effectiveness were horrifying and must never be repeated. Having said that, I do support a woman’s right to choose but for the sake of compassion not convenience.

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