Favorite

Putting the fetus first 

Pro-lifers keep up attack on access, but pro-choice advocates fend off the end to abortion right.

Before Roe v. Wade, there was "Bloody Mary."

Women who lived in Arkansas in the 1960s and whose friends had had abortions (or who'd had them themselves) will remember the woman who for a couple hundred dollars would terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

"Bloody Mary" wasn't a health professional. She lived on Lake Hamilton and performed abortions in her home there. A woman this reporter interviewed recently remembered driving one of her friends there.

She and the others who made the trip — including the father — dropped off their friend at a house where, the woman remembered, a Confederate flag flew. The abortionist herself wore overalls and a hat with a Confederate flag on it. The crew — all teen-agers — nervously drove around a bit before going to back to pick up their friend.

"She'd been stuffed with gauze way up," past the cervix, the woman recalled.

"She was having incredibly painful contractions and bleeding all over the place." They got her back to Little Rock, and though she tried to keep her situation from her parents, the bleeding was massive. She had to go to the hospital, suffering from infection and blood loss. "Bloody Mary" had apparently used instruments to force open the cervix and wedged in "tons of gauze, multiple rolls," the girl told her friends.

"The very doctor who had sent her to the abortionist had to take over her care," the woman recalled.

"Bloody Mary" is no myth, and she wasn't the only abortionist to endanger a girl's life with a botched abortion. This writer, too, knew high-school girls who visited an abortionist, with life-threatening outcomes.

Rose Mimms, the head of Arkansas Right to Life, shook her head sadly when she heard the stories. Abortion is as old as mankind is, she said. If she succeeds in her battle to make abortion illegal again, yes, she said, women will still seek abortions and, yes, they might suffer. She recalled her mother talking about women using knitting needles, and that the expression was "to knock these babies."

But she dismisses claims made previously that thousands could die. And she believes legal abortion is dangerous, too. "They'll die regardless."

And, in Mimms' view, thousands of unborn children will live. No longer will women thwart the Father's will, the plan He has for every fetus conceived.

Those who support the right of a woman to decide whether or not to carry her pregnancy to term were relieved that legislators thwarted the will of Arkansas Right to Life and other anti-abortion lobbyists in this year's General Assembly, turning back eight of nine bills that would have further limited access to what is now a legal procedure.

But Right to Life and the Family Council have successfully chipped away at access to legal abortion in Arkansas, one of only 13 states to have made abortion legal prior to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Arkansas law allows abortion up to the first day of the 26th week of pregnancy, or in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Minors must get consent or a judicial bypass, except in the case of abuse, assault, incest or neglect.

At one time, there were several physicians in private practice in Arkansas who would perform an abortion, and a clinic affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences offered the procedure as well. In recent years, only Dr. William Harrison in Fayetteville and Little Rock Family Planning Services offered surgical abortions. With Harrison's death, there is now only one place to get a surgical abortion.

Favorite

Speaking of Rita Sklar, Rose Mimms

Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Support Central High School's art program: Shop tonight

    Call it #givingThursdayto Central High: The art faculty and students at Central High School are selling their work TONIGHT to raise money to buy art supplies for the school. The prices range from $1 up! There will also be a silent auction of work by Central High instructors Jason McCann, Amanda Heinbockel, Leron McAdoo, Loni Rainey, Stacey Mitchell, Don Enderson, Karen Terry and Rex DeLoney, and LRCH alumni Laura Raborn, Jennifer Perren, Lizzie Gillum and others.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Santa-sized 2nd Friday Art Night: Richard Leo Johnson, Rex Deloney, McLeod anniversary, the Nog-Off and more

    Prepare for a busy 2nd Friday Art Night tomorrow night, where folks will be celebrating Matt McLeod Fine Art's first anniversary, listening to the Arkansas Chamber Singers at the Old State House Museum, prefacing a performance by Richard Leo Johnson with an exhibition of his photographs at the Butler Center Galleries, hearing a talk and demonstration by Robert Bean about his creative process at Arkansas Capital Corp., and slinging back eggnog while seeing new works by Rex Deloney at the Historic Arkansas Museum. Read more about Johnson, the Chamber Singers and 2nd Friday Art Night here.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Pantry's Bohm buys Hillcrest Artisan Meats

    Tomas Bohm, owner of Czech and German eateries The Pantry in West Little Rock and The Pantry Crest in Hillcrest, will take over the space now occupied by Hillcrest Artisan Meats at 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd. next year. Brandon Brown and his wife, Tara Protiva-Brown, will continue to operate H.A.M. until the end of the year; Bohm hopes to reopen under a new name sometime in February.
    • Dec 6, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in Cover Stories

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Observer

    • So this is for your article you put out right after trump got elected. It…

    • on December 10, 2016
  • Re: Only Arkansas law makes same-sex couples different

    • Nancy Colburn aka, Nancy richard colburn, or nlcolburn@gmail.com. Has a pile of shit husband who…

    • on December 10, 2016
  • Re: Arkansas medical marijuana supporters are back

    • ORDER YOUR PRODUCTS AT VERY GOOD PRICES WITH GUARANTEED DELIVERY WORLDWIDE. email at:(jonesjacks155@gmail.com) email at:(jonesjacks155@gmail.com)…

    • on December 10, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation