Why a 20-week Abortion Ban is Unthinkable–One Woman’s Near Death Experience

Another side of the story that Bible-thumpers don’t ever share when they get hysterical about abortion.


Childbearing is inherently dangerous, and it is time that the risks of pregnancy became a part of our national conversation about contraception and abortion.


IV_HandIf a woman grows weary and at last dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her only die from bearing; she is there to do it.”—Martin Luther.

When Martin Luther penned his now infamous words—let her die—he was no doubt intimately familiar with death from pregnancy. In our ancestral environment, the average woman experienced 10-15 pregnancies. Without modern antibiotics, cesarean sections and drugs to stop hemorrhage, approximately one in ten women died of pregnancy, just as they do today in, for example, tribal Afghanistan.

When we think about side effects of pregnancy in the U.S., we usually picture awkward inconveniences like gas, itching, swelling, or constipation—or sucky-but-transient symptoms like morning sickness, cramps, and backaches. Cheerful pregnancy websites provide reassurance about less…

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