Friday, February 2, 2007

The Cuban Abortion Scheme Debunked (Part 1)

On January 28, 2007, John Dorschner, health reporter for the Miami Herald, wrote four articles about health care in Cuba and the US. Only one of those articles got immediate attention from some fellow bloggers, especially those who are always looking to condemn the Cuban government and quickly smash any realities that come from that island of controversy. Without question, there are many actions to condemn the Cuban government for, and with good reason, but this time the reaction was based on pure ignorance and apparent bias that is found in some hard-liners writing in the Blogosphere.

The article in question is Dorschner's piece titled "Infant mortality rate in Cuba raises eyebrows", which tries to cast doubt on Cuba's infant mortality statistic. Dorschner writes that "[s]ome doctors say they were told to use any means possible to keep the infant mortality rate low." Dorschner relies on two former Cuban doctors, who are now living in the US, and two academic professors (Cuban studies experts) to support the claim that "abortion is a tool used to keep infant mortality low".

This story in the Blogosphere was met with proud confirmation that "Cuba's much touted free healthcare system is starting to be exposed as the propaganda myth that it is," and also that it "reveals another horror about the Cuban revolution: The forced killing of unborn children in order to hold down the regime's infant mortality rate." Obviously, according to these bloggers, the purpose of this evil scheme is so "the regime and its international apologists can confidently use the infant mortality statistics to counter concerns about Castro's otherwise nasty and oppressive record."

[Part 2]


Robert said...

Quite frankly, your series is far from convincing. It seems like you're trying hard to discredit and prove the "hard-liners" wrong, but in my biased but educated opinion, it's not working.

How many more sources do you need from Dorschner in order to believe that at some point in the not too distant past, the Cuban regime basically turned the other cheek to the use of abortions to keep infant mortality rates down. Your own bias seems to be showing here.

I'm not doubting your sources, but they do very little to refute the allegations of Dorschner's sources. Without even mentioning the sad state of ethics and morality in Cuba these days, the alarmingly high abortion rates in Cuba give every reason for someone to believe that having an abortion in Cuba is as easy as going to the grocery store, the end result of a system which supports the use of abortion as birth control or for "medical reasons".

South Florida Libertarian said...

You state, "Without question, there are many actions to condemn the Cuban government for, and with good reason." Please provide some examples so I may better understand your worldview.

Mambi_Watch said...


I hope that my comments do not seem to target anyone personally or try to discredit them, but rather discredit the ARGUMENTS they present. I do not care for personal attacks, but prefer the facts. They stand up for themselves.

My argument suggests that the Cuban government made a direct effort to target the health of mothers and infants, not fetuses.

I do not think Jesus Monzon is lying, and neither do I entirely believe his accusation.

Do some of your beliefs stand on the words of ONE man? I prefer a position that is supported by facts and also verifiable.

And, as you saw, Miriam Gran's study showed that some Cuban women are using abortion as contraception. This is not a government scheme. Its a unique phenomenon in Cuban women's reproductive history.

Nevertheless, the infant mortality rate can still be high, as it is in Vietnam, regardless of its high abortion rate (highest in the world according to one study). But, there are many variables involved.

Cuban health care targeted toward mothers and infants, in my opinion, is a leading factor for low infant mortality. And, the sources support this.

Dorschner's sources are but ONE man: Jesus Monzon. Miriam Gran interviewed more than a thousand Cuban women. Many of whom most likely believe that abortion is a women's right as a from of contraception.

Mambi_Watch said...

SF Libertarian,

I actually agree with the many condemnations by the bloggers that surround Babalu Blog, such as systematic repression of human rights, unfair trials to imprison dissidents, or to hand out the death penalty.

But, I disagree with many of their arguments, which I notice suffer from a poverty of facts. Perhaps because I belong more to a systems theory, where many factors are involved in order to explain a particular phenomenon. Not simple logic, like Castro is the devil.

Thus, I condemn the US embargo towards Cuba because it is an important factor in the equation, and not negligible like many suggest it is (because Castro is the devil).

But, even some of the most accepted human rights organizations condemn the embargo.

South Florida Libertarian said...

I'm glad to hear the things for which you condemn the Cuban government, as I do as well.

When you speak of the repression of human rights, do you include in that either the confiscation of property from its owners at the time of their revolution and/or the lack of private property rights in Cuba today?