Anything worth talking about, is worth blogging about

Twenty years ago

The  is an except from an article that was published on page A3 of The Toronto Star on June 13, 1990. It refers to events that happened the one or two days before; that is, twenty years ago today (emphasis added):

A 20-year-old Toronto woman has died after performing an abortion on herself, probably with a coat hanger, police say.

Yvonne Jurewicz of Westminster Ave. was found dead Monday night in her west-end apartment.

An autopsy performed yesterday revealed Jurewicz bled to death after aborting, said Detective Sergeant Thomas Imrie, who is heading the investigation.

It is not known how far advanced her pregnancy was, nor were police able to find the fetal material, he added.

Imrie said several other “implements” were found in the room, but declined to describe them.

This has everything: the coathanger, bleeding to death, everything. It is the textbook example of an unsafe abortion.

The most tragic part of Jurewicz’s death was that it was completely unnecessary. Abortion was legal in Canada at the time. However, Jurewicz undoubtedly believed it was illegal, as in the wake of R. v Morgentaler, the House of Commons passed Bill C–43, which would have re–outlawed abortion. However, it still had to pass the Senate (and never did) before it could become law. However, as many people believe that a bill becomes law when it passed the House of Commons, Jurewicz undoubtedly thought abortion was illegal, hence driving her to pay the ultimate price for controlling her reproduction.

Clearly, abortion saves women’s lives.

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Comments on: "Twenty years ago" (6)

  1. This anecdote, supported by fact really needs to get out to the public with great frequency. The anti-choice position seems to be gaining support despite its fatuous assertions about reproductive health and the life cycle. I blame much of it on the nuance needed to describe why reproductive freedom saves lives etc versus the trope ‘stop killing baaabies!’ which pretty much writes itself.

  2. But the abortion debate isn’t really about abortion. If they really cared about reducing the abortion rate they would push birth control and sex ed endlessly.

  3. Agreed.

    Logically, if they were all for reducing the abortion rate they would put the rights of women as their number one priority. Contraception, Sexual education, educating toward the mindset that women are people would do much more to stop abortion than simply banning abortion.

    It seems to be a common theme with ‘conservative solutions’ for societal problems. The war on drugs comes to mind as a prime example. Rather that dealing with the causes of social ills (poverty, inequality) it is the end solution that is fixated on, more prisons, more laws and more policy.

    It is an inefficient topsy-turvy way of going about fixing things.

  4. It seems to me that part of what is behind some left-wing versus right-wing policies towards the same issue is one of demand versus supply. Left wingers focus on the demand for abortions, hence focusing on sex ed, and birth control, influencing the demand for abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies. By comparison, right wingers focus on the supply of abortions, by banning it and installinfg little roadblocks and hoops to jump through. Similarly, compare treating drug addiction as a medical problem or legalizing drugs versus the drug war. (To be charitable, the fact that supply-based approaches to abortion and drugs are spectacular failures does not show that supply-based approaches to other issues will also be failures.)

    I’d hesitate to say that this is the light beam behind the political spectrum for two reasons: (1) the right wing vs. left wing political spectrum is a drastic over-simplification as it is; and (2) left-wingers sometimes follow supply-based approaches for other issues, guns being an obvious example.

  5. […] places to be a woman. Societies where opponents of abortion and reproductive freedom get their laws kill women. Reproductive freedom saves lives. Reproductive freedom is one of the most powerful ways to lift […]

  6. […] cites my post about Yvonne Jurewicz, who died due to a coat hanger abortion in 1990. And since I provide full […]

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