French woman confesses to killing 8 babies

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Padme
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Post by Padme »

Lalaith wrote:I'd be very surprised if this woman was not mentally ill.

I wonder, too, about some of the women who come through the hospital; my mom never shares names, of course, nor any of other type of identifying information. But she'll tell me generalities sometimes. Like the woman she had recently who had been pregnant 19 times and had 13 abortions. Was she mentally ill? I have no idea, but I do have to wonder. Or perhaps she had a substance abuse problem. 13 abortions seems excessive and reckless to me, beyond what can even be sympathized with.
I had an aquaintance who had 5 abortions, after the 5th the doctors told her she couldn't have any more, ended up having two kids. In a werid coincedence she ended dying of cancer when the kids were small.
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Post by JewelSong »

Most women I know who have had an abortion would do almost anything to avoid having another one. Almost all of them were deeply affected by it, even though most were not conflicted about their decision.

I don't understand the repetitive abortions - especially with reliable birth control so readily available. Sure, nothing is 100%, but condom + pill usually comes pretty damn close...

Padme, were you close enough with this person to ever discuss WHY?
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Post by Padme »

Jewel,

All the other woman, and it is only two other, could never have another one. Both still have emotional scars from the one they had.

As for the one who had 5, it was pure birth control for her. She was a great deal like this woman in France, didn't believe in getting on the pill, didn't believe in abstinence, and I am assuming didn't believe in condoms. She was on the surface a hard core pro-lifer (hated abortion and women who had them) yet had no problems having them herself. She used to tell us that going on the pill was a sin.
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River
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Post by River »

Padme wrote:J
As for the one who had 5, it was pure birth control for her. She was a great deal like this woman in France, didn't believe in getting on the pill, didn't believe in abstinence, and I am assuming didn't believe in condoms. She was on the surface a hard core pro-lifer (hated abortion and women who had them) yet had no problems having them herself. She used to tell us that going on the pill was a sin.
So I take it that she was in this strange camp.
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Post by Túrin Turambar »

A 21 year old woman and her mother drove three hours to come to their appointment for an abortion. They were surprised to find the clinic a 'nice' place with friendly, personable staff. While going over contraceptive options, they shared that they were Pro-Life and disagreed with abortion, but that the patient could not afford to raise a child right now. Also, she wouldn't need contraception since she wasn't going to have sex until she got married, because of her religious beliefs.
You have to hate those random spontaneous pregnancies...
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Post by JewelSong »

River, I have been looking for that article...it (or a variant) was published in (I think) the New Yorker Magazine. The idea that stayed with me was that it is somehow "different" when it is YOUR abortion.

Bottom line for me about abortion is that it is a situation where you DO NOT KNOW what you would do unless/until you, yourself, are faced with an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.
"We have anti-choice women in for abortions all the time. Many of them are just naive and ignorant until they find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. Many of them are not malicious. They just haven't given it the proper amount of thought until it completely affects them. They can be judgmental about their friends, family, and other women....Unfortunately, many also think that somehow they are different than everyone else and they deserve to have an abortion, while no one else does."
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Post by River »

Lord_Morningstar wrote: You have to hate those random spontaneous pregnancies...
Hmm, yes. I feel lucky that I have never had one. :P
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Me too!
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Post by Hachimitsu »

JewelSong wrote:
Bottom line for me about abortion is that it is a situation where you DO NOT KNOW what you would do unless/until you, yourself, are faced with an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.
Exactly,

For the person who had 13 abortions (which stuns me) wouldn't it have cost less to get a tubal ligation rather then pay for 13 abortions? Multiple abortions dosen't seem to be solving the problem for that individual.

Nin, and Padme, thanks alot for giving some psychological information on this situation.

Glad I don't have those spontaneous pregnancies either.
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Post by vison »

A woman who would have 13 abortions is not sensible enough to have her tubes tied. It's appalling, but what can you do?

She'd make a terrible mother, so it's probably best as it is. Because I bet she would never give a child up for adoption, either. :(
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Post by Lalaith »

No, in fact, she was there actually delivering a baby and had given birth to 5 or 6. (I can't remember now.)

Very sad. :(

From a medical standpoint, I'm surprised that she could still get pregnant after that many abortions.

This example is extreme, of course. As others have pointed out, this isn't the typical person who has an abortion.

I hear that you can have one of those spontaneous random pregnancies by sitting on dirty toilet seats.
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Post by Hachimitsu »

Yes, indeed. This is why sex education is important.

I started this thread to try and understand this lady's thinking process. So thanks people. Especially as there was a string of these cases in France. I am also thinking there is more to come out in this case. Denial isn't going to help the situation.

About abortion, my reasons for being against it has nothing to do with religion at all. (I sort of don't want to get into it.) There is even at least one religion which actually has allowances for abortion, after some religious consultation.
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Post by MithLuin »

Not all women try to hide it. Some just claim an accidental death - SIDS, when they have really smothered their own child.

The police report of a woman (most likely suffering from postpartum) who smothered her 6 month old. What she did is clear, and she gave her reasons why, but I'd say figuring out why it really happened is a bit more involved than taking a disturbed woman's word for it.

Marie Noe also killed 8 of her 10 children as babies (the other two died as infants in the hospital) in 1950s-60s Philadelphia, but she always brought the babies to the hospital claiming she had found them not breathing. She's now been convicted of murder, but 30 years after the fact. I have no idea what was wrong with her. I mean, I've been around fussy/crying newborns, and yes, it drives you nuts....but to kill a baby? Your own child? Something weird is going on there.

I hasten to add that just because a woman has lost one or more of her babies to SIDS does not mean that she should be accused of murder. Babies do die, even in nations with excellent health care and parents who are attentive and take lots of precautions. This article suggests that even losing three babies suddenly happens sometimes, and it's not always a case of abuse/homicide. Just what the parents don't need in such an awful situation is an accusation of murder....


Oh, and for the curious, I looked up the CDC's statistics on repeat abortions:
Among the 41 areas for which the number of previous live births was reported for 2006, 41.3%, 26.4%, and 32.2% of all women had previously had zero, one, or two or more live births, respectively. Among the 36 reporting areas that provided data in 1997, 2005, and 2006, the change in the distribution of women obtaining abortions by the number of previous live births was minimal (CDC, unpublished data, 2009).

Among the 41 areas for which the number of previous abortions was reported for 2006, the majority of women (55.2%) had not previously had an abortion; 25.5% and 19.2%, respectively, had previously had either one or two or more abortions. Among the 34 reporting areas that provided data in 1997, 2005, and 2006, the change in the distribution of women obtaining abortions by the number of previous abortions was minimal (CDC, unpublished data, 2009).

(source)
So, about one fifth of the women going in for an abortion are having their third (or more) abortion, and one in four are getting their second. [Oh, and California doesn't report; this data excludes CA] The total number of abortions in the US in 2006 (as reported to the CDC) were 846,181. So, that's over 160,000 women who were having at least their third abortion that year. This might explain why the majority of abortions are performed on women in their 20s, not teens.
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Post by River »

MithLuin wrote: The police report of a woman (most likely suffering from postpartum) who smothered her 6 month old. What she did is clear, and she gave her reasons why, but I'd say figuring out why it really happened is a bit more involved than taking a disturbed woman's word for it.
This is local news for me and it's been all over the local papers/news sites.

It's very sad. She was utterly convinced her baby was autistic, even though autism can't be diagnosed in a child that young, and she was completely freaked out by that prospect. The general consensus seems to be she wasn't right in the head. PPD can be really, really, terrible. If you have the belly for it, you can find all sorts of terrible news stories. I don't really recommend looking though.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Mith, maybe there is a core number of women who do use abortion as birth control, and that's the statistic you mention. In other words, women who are having their "third or more" abortion may show up year after year. It's not that X percent of all abortions are women hitting number 3, it's that there is this group that keeps coming back for 3 and 4 and 5 and more.

I do know women who've had an abortion, but I don't know any who say they have had more than one. The ones I know seemed to find it awful on many levels—not that they necessarily regretted their choice, but that they found it really hard, not just physically but emotionally. I also know that some still found the abortion a tremendous relief, one saying that it saved her life.

I can't judge, never having been in their position. I had an unintended pregnancy despite using birth control, but I was happily married and financially OK though not great, and we just dealt. (We wanted the baby, just not quite then.) That is far from possible for everyone.
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Post by MithLuin »

Prim, only about 55% of abortions (each year) are performed on women who have never had an abortion before. The rest are repeats. And I realize that, yes, this group may come back year after year, but it's still about 45% of all abortions performed. That's a pretty significant subset of the demographic. Unless a substantial number of them are having multiple abortions in a single year, it was not incorrect for me to put out numbers of 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 for the women coming in for a repeat abortion.

I am not suggesting that the women of your acquaintance are dishonest; the reason to bring in statistics is to normalize anecdotal evidence. Certainly, the women you know who have discussed their experience with abortion would not choose to go through it again. But to suggest that experience is common to all or even most women who get abortions would appear to be incorrect. Maybe these women are less likely to talk about it? I don't know.


I agree with you that in general, we're not in a position to judge people. Kinda makes it tough when you get a case like the one in the opening of this thread, though. Does anyone really think the husband didn't know and is guiltless in all of this? No, we suspect he was either intentionally turning a blind eye or else complicit in some way. It's hard not to judge, even when we don't know what really happened.


River, I have a strange fascination with serial killer stories. It's like...it becomes a game of how much you can get away with before you get caught, or how completely disturbed you can be in your...um...disease? I think it, perversely, makes me feel sane to be able to read a horrible story like that and recognize how awful it is. In small doses, of course...the fact that these stories are real is just too sad. [I prefer Hannibal Lecter and other fictional serial killers who of course don't have real victims.] So I think I'll take your advice and not do any more searching at the moment.
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Post by anthriel »

Okay, this may be TMI, but I HATE going to the doctor each year for the "annual". Hate it. It's intrusive, embarrassing, and Just Plain Yucky.

I've never had an abortion, but I would suspect it is a bit more complex than the annual well-woman check. I've wondered what a D&C or abortion would be like... I would imagine it's all kinds of Not Fun.

So I'm boggled, just from a woman on the examining table perspective. These women who use abortion as birth control... and don't jump on me, folks, Mith's data suggests that there are some number of women who do... they do this multiple times a YEAR?
Mith wrote:So, that's over 160,000 women who were having at least their third abortion that year.
That YEAR?? Third abortion in a YEAR?? Jeez, it would seem a lot easier to take a pill every day. And yes, I know that pills cost money, and a lot of people don't have money, but abortions cost money, too. And yes, I know that people get pregnant despite using birth control (Hi, Primmy! :)), but it would seem like incredibly bad luck to get pregnant three times in a year while regularly using birth control correctly. Using the pill correctly is in the high 90's in percent effectiveness. To be in that <5% three times in a year seems unlikely.

So... logistically, all morality and stuff aside, I am boggled. If I could take a pill every day all year and just be able to skip my "annual" I would. I hate that stuff.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I don't think "that year" meant that they had the abortions that year. I think it meant that of the abortions reported that year, that was the number that were the second or more abortion. It doesn't negate your point at all (which I fully agree with), but it does mitigate the "huh?" factor.
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Post by MithLuin »

V-man is correct. The statistic is for 2006, and - in 2006 - there were over 160,000 women in the US (excluding CA) who reported having their 3rd+ abortion. That would be 3+ over the woman's lifetime, not in a single year. The reason I brought up the possibility of multiple abortions in a single year was because that would skew the data a bit. So, as long as most of these women are not in that category, then you can treat the data as referring to individual women, not just abortion procedures. Because the CDC reported this result as consistent with data from other years, it is not an anomaly for about 20% of the abortions performed in a year to be the 3rd (or more) for the woman getting the procedure.

And following from what Prim said, there's nothing that says these women don't dislike the procedure just as much as those women who would never have another one...but find themselves in identical circumstances because nothing in their lives changed.
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anthriel
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Post by anthriel »

Okay, that does mitigate the boggle factor a little. ;)
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