Sunday, February 17, 2008

Actress Jane Russell: Her botched abortion made her pro-life

I was poking around the internet when I saw this entry on, the entertainment website.

The film legend is now 86 years old.

The entry says that she had an abortion, and is now very much against it.

I did some research and found out that reason she became pro-life is that her abortion was so botched, it prevented her from having children. In one article, she says...:

"I was 19 and unmarried when I got pregnant and that would have caused a scandal.(...)Back then nobody had a child out of wedlock. I had to go to school and find a friend who once had something done, and I asked her what to do. It's awful when you're in trouble and don't know where to turn.

"Abortion was illegal, so I had no choice but to go to an illegal backstreet abortionist. But it was botched and I darn near died. I was in bed for weeks and they had to take me to the hospital anyway. It left me unable to have children of my own. It was devastating."

In spite of nearly dying, she rejected abortion:

Upon inspecting her in the emergency room her doctor exclaimed "What butcher did this to you!" After that Russell was unable to conceive. Since then Jane has taken a staunch pro-life stance against abortion.

Her position now:

People should never, ever have an abortion. Don't talk to me about it being a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body. The choice is between life and death.

Later, when she married football star Bob Waterfield, she could not conceive any babies due to the abortion. So they decided to adopt:

"There were so many children aged one or two whom we would have loved but the authorities back then would only let us adopt newborns and there was a two or three-year wait. It was ridiculous."

In 1952, she started an organization to promote adoption:

"I started an organisation called WAIF -- the World Adoption International Fund -- in 1952 to help people adopt unwanted children from overseas," she recalls. "We've had more than 51,000 children adopted thanks to WAIF and sometimes I think that if I hadn't gone through my abortion, perhaps there wouldn't have been loving homes for those children.

She eventually adopted three children.

It seems that the experience of undergoing an abortion didn't make her appreciate abortion, but rather convinced her of what a devastating experience it can be for women, and the true nature of the operation. It led her to side in favour of life, not death.

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