5 Myths About “Back Alley” Abortions
Myth #1. Illegal abortions were performed by unlicensed, unskilled hacks.
Prior to legalization, 90 percent of illegal abortions were done by physicians. Most of the remainder were done by nurses, midwives or others with at least some medical training.
The term “back alley” referred not to where abortions were performed, but to how women were instructed to enter the doctor’s office after hours, through the back alley, to avoid arousing neighbors’ suspicions.Our worst case scenario is a rise in illegal abortions performed by doctors at their clinic.An illegal abortion may be called a "back-alley", "backstreet", or "back-yard" abortion.
The wire coat hanger method was a popularly known illegal abortion procedure, although they were not the norm. In fact, Mary Calderone, former medical director of Planned Parenthood, said, in a 1960 printing of the American Journal of Public Health:
"Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physician. In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind, second, and even more important, the conference [on abortion sponsored by Planned Parenthood] estimated that 90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians. Whatever trouble arises usually arises from self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 percent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of non-medical abortionist. Abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians."
Unsafe abortion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia