Some academic researchers just released a study saying that in the U.S., abortion is safer than childbirth:
Dr. Elizabeth Raymond from Gynuity Health Projects in New York City and Dr. David Grimes of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, found that between 1998 and 2005, one woman died during childbirth for every 11,000 or so babies born.
That compared to one woman of every 167,000 who died from a legal abortion.
The researchers also cited a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which found that, from 1998 to 2001, the most common complications associated with pregnancy — including high blood pressure, urinary tract infections and mental health conditions — happened more often in women who had a live birth than those who got an abortion.
In their report, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Raymond and Grimes write that the findings aren’t surprising given that women are pregnant for a lot longer when they decide to have a baby and so have more time to develop complications.
Harwood said previous studies have also shown the safety of legal abortions.
This really isn’t earth-shattering news. There have been studies going back many years, done in many industrialized nations, that say pretty much the same thing.
However, the Fetus People can’t let that stand, because one of the rationales they put forward for outlawing abortion is that it’s a terribly dangerous procedure that causes women to die or get cancer or go crazy, none of which is supported by medical data. But who needs facts when you’ve got God?
So at a major abortion criminalization site, the Fetus People* are complaining that the Reuters article doesn’t cite data or statistics, even though the Reuters article plainly states that the entire study is published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, a publication apparently kept hidden from Fetus People. And they complained that the physicians and medical school professors quoted in the article, most of whom did not work on the study, are known to be advocates for legal abortion. In the minds of the Fetus People, this in itself revokes their right to free speech, apparently.
Now, here is the fun part. The FP article cites a study by the World Economics Forum that, the FPs said, shows that women living in countries that criminalize abortion have lower maternal mortality rates than those who live in countries with legal abortion. The truth is just the opposite, according to Alan Guttmacher —
Where abortion is legal on broad grounds, it is generally safe, and where it is illegal in most circumstances, it is generally unsafe. For example, in the United States, where abortion is legal on broad grounds, induced abortion results in 0.6 deaths per 100,000 procedures. In Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, abortion results in 30 and 460 deaths per 100,000 procedures, respectively
But what about the WEF study? The FP link led to another FP article that called out statistics for Ireland and Poland, which (they said) shows that countries with restrictive abortion laws have lower maternal death rates. Of course, Ireland and Poland are unique in that women in those countries can just hop over to the nearby country next door for abortions. In Ireland it’s just a quick ferry ride to good ol’ pro-choice Britain, and in Poland “abortion tourism” is commonplace.
So, while few abortions are performed in Poland and Ireland, it’s most likely the rate of abortions among Polish and Irish women are about the same as in neighboring countries. The FP’s examples are meaningless, and their claims are bogus. It doesn’t even qualify as cherry picking, IMO. It’s just a plain flat-out lie.
And, of course, there is no correlation between abortion rate and abortion law. Guttmacher:
Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is high, at 29 and 32 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and Latin America, respectivelyâ€”regions where abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. In Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds, the abortion rate is 12 per 1,000.
*I call people working to criminalize abortion “Fetus People” not because of their alleged concern for every fetus, but because their brains are underdeveloped. Also it’s a lot easier to keyboard “Fetus People” than “people working to criminalize abortion.” I refuse to call them “pro-life”; obviously, they aren’t.