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Introduction by Peggy Loonan
Life and Liberty for Women agrees with historian and author Rickie Solinger and believes it is time to dispel the myth about the number of women who died from so-called back alley butchers. In fact, most women who died pre-Roe, died from self-induced abortion.
Instruments of Self-Induced Illegal Abortion
 
While there were undoubtedly some medically unskilled men and women who tried to make a buck offering unsafe illegal abortions, including outside of the United States, and who probably killed some women, the truth is thousands upon thousands of women who sought an abortion provider rather than self-abort, found highly skilled providers whose safety records were remarkable considering the difficult circumstances secrecy and illegality presented.
Abortion's Silenced Legacy

The myth of so-called back alley butchers, abortionists who were loathsome predators placing women's health and life and risk, was a creation of the authorities prosecuting good caring and highly medically skilled abortion providers. Along with degrading women, destroying their medical confidentiality, sensationalizing and sexually charging the trials of illegal abortion providers, of whom most were female, it was a major component of the prosecution's strategy.
Since Roe vs. Wade, the myth of the back alley butcher has been used by the current abortions rights movement to serve the sixty-second sound bite about why abortion should remain legal and has provided the ammunition for the marginalizing of abortion providers by current day anti-abortion extremists, who harass, providers, bomb their clinics, and assassinate them.
Life and Liberty for Women wants everyone to know too, that making abortion illegal won't stop women from having abortions. Since the beginning of time women have risked their lives not to have a baby they can't give up for adoption or aren't prepared to raise.
Women will self-abort, have abortions in secret, without, medical care, and in dangerous circumstances. R. Schwarz, in
 
Illegal Abortion Killed His Wife, Killed Their Mother, and DID NOT SAVE the BABY
Septic Abortion, 1968, "Most studies indicate that up to 1,200,000 illegal abortions are performed annually; one pregnancy in five is illegally terminated." The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, July 1, 1967, cites studies by Dr. L. Fox who estimated, for example, that 100,000 criminal abortions occurred per year in California alone.

Schwarz also said in 1968, "that as many as 5,000 American women die each year as a result of criminal abortion. That figure may be a minimum estimate, inasmuch as many such deaths are mislabeled or unreported. In Philadelphia, over 50 percent of the maternal deaths result from complications of abortion, 57 percent in Michigan, 33 percent at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn."
Dr. Fox said in 1967, "Induced abortion is the most common single cause of maternal deaths in California."
For too many years, anti-abortion extremists and their baby killing rhetoric and pictures of alleged aborted fetuses, have gone virtually unchallenged by the current abortion rights movement. This consistent unchallenged barrage has made women feel ashamed of their right to life and liberty that was correctly and morally balanced with that of the fetus in Roe vs. Wade.
We at Life and Liberty for Women, have chosen to challenge those images and the language with the horrific sights and sounds of illegal abortion. Our characters, Dr. Smith and Mrs. Jones, are a composite of many individuals who lived, struggled, and died before Roe vs. Wade.
 
The detailed and emotional stories they reveal to you, were taken from:
• When Abortion Was A Crime
   - by Leslie J. Reagan, 1997
• Doctors of Conscience
   - by Carol Joffee, 1995
• The Abortionist - A Woman Against The Law
   - by Rickie Solinger, 1994
The stories are vivid - true - and heart wrenching. The images we share with you are graphic.
It has been said that without a knowledge and understanding of the mistakes of the past, we are doomed to repeat those mistakes.
Unless post-Roe generations come to intimately know the history of illegal abortion, the havoc on women's lives it reeked - the number of women's lives it took without saving any "baby" - a history silenced by fear and intimidation, they will unwittingly allow abortion to be criminalized again and again thousands upon thousands of women will die.
That's inevitable.

So it is with a clear intent to prevent such inevitability,
that we present to you "Abortion's Silenced Legacy."

 
 
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