Ever heard a fishing story? I’ve heard a few, and I’ve noticed something: the fish usually grows every time the story is told. Of course, escaped fish aren’t the only things that constantly get bigger—so does the number of women predicted to die if abortion is outlawed. Estimates can climb to hundreds of thousands or even millions, and I’ve heard abortion advocates vouch for those figures.
The facts don’t.
CDC records show that in 1972 (the year before Roe v. Wade was decided), 39 women died from illegal abortions; another 24 died from legal ones. Given this, it seems unlikely that America’s maternal mortality rate would skyrocket following an abortion ban.
In Poland, it did the opposite. Poland offered abortion on demand in 1990, and its maternal mortality rate was 17 per 100,000. Shortly thereafter, the country began passing laws to protect children in the womb; instead of rising, its maternal mortality rate fell, dropping to 3 per 100,000 in 2015. The United States? Its rate stood at 14 per 100,000.
Poland isn’t the only country that bans abortion and does better on maternal mortality than the US—, Malta, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Lebanon do as well. So did Ireland up until this year. Nor is it the only country to see its rate improve after restricting abortion; Chile’s continued to drop after pro-life legislation was implemented.
Generally speaking, I’ve found that abortion supporters don’t like to hear any of this. But what they really don’t like to hear? How the abortion industry puts women in danger.
Abortion is a great money saver; after all, child support gets expensive. That’s why some men grow accustomed to aborting their responsibilities, and they don’t always react well when a woman won’t cooperate.
Blackmail and financial coercion are common hazards, but they aren’t the only ones. Candace Pickens’ family discovered that after the 23-year-old was shot to death for refusing to abort (her 3-year-old son was wounded as well). Other women have faced stabbing, suffocation, explosions, and blunt force trauma for the same reason, helping to illustrate why homicide is now a bigger threat to pregnant women than hemorrhaging. Not that America’s largest abortion chain is helping to reduce it, as Planned Parenthood has opposed laws to protect women from violence and pressure.
But that’s not the only danger the abortion industry poses, as a study published in the British Medical Journal found abortion is associated with an elevated risk of suicide.
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And then there’s how the abortion industry enables sexual abuse. Child predators like Timothy Smith, Edgar Ramirez, Cary Cross, John Blanks, Jr., Luis Gonzalez-Jose, Andrew King, John Haller, Adam Gault, and Grey David Woods all got help from Planned Parenthood. When volunteers from the pro-life group Live Action went to a Planned Parenthood facility while posing as human traffickers, the clinic manager offered to arrange abortions on child prostitutes who “can’t speak English” and “won’t know what’s going on.”
I’ll concede that there probably are things that the abortion industry is concerned about; the women and girls it profits from just aren’t among them.
It’s true that an unexpected baby can bring serious challenges, and pro-lifers want to address them. That includes providing emotional and material support, helping you get health care, and offering the option of adoption.
What isn’t serious? The claim that millions of women will die without abortion.
This article was originally published at Secular Pro-Life.