As Georgia and other states prepare to pass heartbeat bills, banning abortion after a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected, abortion advocates are doing all they can to fight back. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, wrote an op-ed claiming that these heartbeat bills will “hurt” women; that link was shared by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who took it one step further, arguing that women will die without access to abortion.
Tweeting Hogue’s op-ed, Clinton wrote, “When anti-choice politicians limit access to reproductive care, women die. Please read @ilyseh on why we must continue to fight the new wave of six-week abortion bans that make women collateral damage for extremist views.” In another tweet, NARAL likewise slammed heartbeat bills, calling them “dangerous,” “inhumane,” and “extremist.” Hogue also tried to claim that problems like decreasing maternal mortality should be Georgia’s focus instead — and of course, Clinton’s remarks about women’s deaths seems to tie into this.
The question is, are these claims true? Is a lack of abortion access really damaging to women?
It has been a common argument from abortion activists that a lack of legal abortion access increases maternal mortality rates. If this were true, however, pro-life countries like Poland, Malta, and Chile would have sky-high maternal mortality rates. However, as previously documented at Live Action News, their maternal mortality rates are lower than those in the United States, despite more restrictive abortion rates. In Chile, the rates fell even further after pro-life laws were put into place. In Mexico, states with more permissive abortion laws have higher mortality rates than states with pro-life laws.
So why is American maternal mortality such an ongoing issue? It’s not because women don’t have access to abortion. Time Magazine points to several culprits: women having children later in life, a lack of health care access, more c-sections being performed, and obesity. Felicia Lester, an OB/GYN who serves as the medical director of gynecologic services at the University of California, San Francisco also pointed to the same issues. She also explained that there aren’t national protocols or databases to review how to treat the conditions that kill mothers, such as postpartum hemorrhage.
Put simply, abortion does not improve maternal mortality rates. However, Georgia’s Governor Kemp is addressing the maternal mortality rate — and he seems to understand that abortion isn’t the way to do it. Townhall notes:
… Kemp also highlighted his solutions to the high maternal mortality rates on the campaign trail in November.
“We know that there is a direct correlation between access to maternal care and improved maternal health outcomes,” he said. “Our plan is to enhance and increase any and all provider loan forgiveness programs for OB/GYN providers in rural Georgia to increase the number of providers in areas where mothers have to travel hours to seek maternal care.”
Furthermore, the other common argument from abortion activists — that thousands of women were dying before abortion was legalized — is also not true. It is now a well-known fact that those numbers were fabricated by Bernard Nathanson and Larry Lader, the two male founders of NARAL. In actuality, the number of women dying from abortion pre-Roe v. Wade was in the hundreds in 1950, and by the 1970s, had dropped to less than 50 annually. Not only that, but in 1973 — the year Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in all 50 states — there were more deaths from legal abortions than there were from illegal ones, according to the CDC.
Abortion is not necessary to safeguard women’s health. On the contrary, abortion is dangerous for women, and comes with numerous risks. If abortion truly is such a force for social good, why do its defenders constantly need to lie about it?
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