Georgia’s proposed heartbeat law has struck fear into some abortion advocates in Georgia. They fear that the law, which would prohibit most abortions, would have a greater chance of withstanding a court challenge given the conservative makeup of the region’s federal court. With this backdrop, a professor and two postdoctoral fellows at Emory University in Georgia have written a piece in The Hill in which they pull out all the stops with false arguments and misleading statistics in an attempt to stop the bill from becoming law, which would be a potentially major blow to abortion advocates.
Here are some of the more preposterous claims:
False Claim #1: Legalizing abortion makes it rarer and safe. “In limiting access to abortion, lawmakers may unwittingly force women towards these unsafe options. By contrast, where legal and more easily accessible abortion rates actually go down.”
The argument that legalizing abortion makes it safer, and also makes abortion rates go down, is gravely flawed. First and foremost, even if it were true, the argument contradicts a basic universal moral principle that the ends never justify the means. The authors are talking about legalizing the taking of innocent lives in order to… make the taking of innocent lives safer and less frequent. It just doesn’t add up. Laws exist to protect the most fundamental of rights, the first of which is the right to life.
The other major problem is that the evidence to support the claim that abortions are more dangerous and more frequent when they are illegal is questionable at best. The authors link to an NBC story, which in turn references a Guttmacher study that actually states, “Abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is highly restricted and where it is broadly legal. The abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 women in countries that prohibit abortion altogether or allow it only to save a woman’s life, and 34 per 1,000 in countries that allow abortion without restriction as to reason—a difference that is not significant.” In other words, even according to the Guttmacher Institute, the evidence does not support the authors’ claim that the rates go down with legalization. According to their own data, there is no statistical difference. The “rare” part of “safe, legal, and rare” is, and always has been, a complete myth.
But this kind of deceptive tactic is not new. The original pro-abortion campaign dating back to the 1960s was supported by falsified statistics from NARAL, claiming that thousands of women were dying from illegal abortions every year — and that legalizing abortion wouldn’t increase abortion. We know the group falsified this data because NARAL co-founder, former abortionist, and pro-life convert Dr. Bernard Nathanson admitted it:
We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200 – 250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law. Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1500% since legalization.
False Claim #2: Abortion has zero negative mental or physical outcomes. “The American Psychological Association has found abortion is not associated with negative mental health outcomes for women; similarly there are no known associations between abortion and negative physical health outcomes. By contrast, HB 481, known as the L.I.F.E. Act, may actually increase deaths in women.”
Hitler’s propagandist Joesph Goebbels is rumored to have said that if you repeat a “big lie” enough, many people will start to believe it. Despite what they and countless others claim, we know that abortion has negative physical health outcomes. For starters, there’s not only the obvious death of preborn children, but also the death of women. The danger of late-term abortion to women’s health, the stories of women with complications, the many instances of alleged malpractice of abortionists — all of this gets ignored and swept under the rug.
We are also supposed to ignore the voices of women who have been mentally and emotionally scarred by this legal “procedure.” How many women have to regret their abortions before we acknowledge the possibility of “negative mental health” outcomes? Is profound regret and sorrow, often years and even decades after the fact, just a normal outcome of any routine medical procedure?
False Claim #3: The heartbeat law will drive away OBGYNs and infant care. “Enacting HB 481 may make Georgia unwelcoming for doctors interested in practicing in the state due to fears of criminalization; it will likely worsen care of those women living in counties with few practitioners.”
This point is another scare tactic based on false assumption. The truth is that the most recent data we have on the percentage of OBGYNs that conduct abortions (from 2017) indicates that a small minority — only 7% — do so. The vast majority of maternal healthcare providers would be unaffected by the heartbeat bill. Another paper indicates that over 90% of abortions are conducted by freestanding abortion centers as opposed to hospitals or physicians’ offices.
But the bigger truth also deserves to be stated: the health of the preborn will be much more secure if the heartbeat law passes. The authors claim that the heartbeat bill will have “harmful effects for Georgia’s women and girls.” The authors, like many abortion advocates these days, ruthlessly turn a blind eye to the attack on preborn girls every day — attacks they heartlessly enable and promote with misleading arguments like this.
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