CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Vic Wulsin is a pro-choice public health physician who is seeking renomination as the Democratic candidate in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, a seat now held by right-to-lifer U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt. There are two other Republicans who are interested in the southern Ohio House seat -- Phil Heimlich, who has already announced he will oppose Schmidt in the GOP primary, and State Rep. Tom Brinkman, who is considering a run.
Brinkman has introduced bills to ban abortion in Ohio -- he wants the state to actively challenge Roe v. Wade by resuming a constitutional court battle over legalized abortion. Heimlich is also a pro-lifer, but perhaps not as militant as Brinkman.
Wulsin, a Harvard-educated doctor, says she has actually "witnessed" deaths caused by infection and bleeding after "self-inflicted" abortions. None were in the United States, and she says her medical skills were overwhelmed by the trauma.
"I have practiced medicine in countries such as El Salvador, Venezuela, and Kenya, where abortion is not legal, and I have witnessed the death of women -- and girls -- who I could not save because their self-inflicted bleeding or infections were too far-advanced. Criminalizing abortion will not stop it but does endanger the lives of both mother and child."
Venezuela has been one of the toughest places in the world to obtain an abortion, and El Salvador's anti-abortion prohibitions are described as the strictest enacted by any nation.
Wulsin's statement that she has seen horrible things in these Latin American counties is powerful. But she should not leave a shred of doubt. She must back up her account by adding details -- where, when, whom you were with. Fill in blanks by naming a community or a hospital. Wulsin should make her case so absolutely airtight that people can have no possible way to doubt or question.
Wulsin's words relate back to the way they say it used to be here in the United States in the era before Roe v. Wade, an era of back alley abortions and bent coat hangers that were blamed for bleeding, infection and death. Wulsin has justified her support for abortion rights because she says she has seen with her own eyes what happens to women who take desperate measures, who have no other legal option to terminate a pregnancy.
But please, Dr. Wulsin, give us the proof.