Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) has made disturbing claims about abortion in apparent reaction to court decisions restricting the abortion pill (mifepristone) in the United States.
“WHO is concerned that the right of women to access safe abortion services, including through the use of medical abortion medicines, are being limited by legislators, and/or courts,” he said, according to Geo News. “Women should always have the right to choose when it comes to their bodies and their health. Restricting access to abortion does not reduce the number of procedures, and only drives women and girls towards unsafe ones, and also death.”
He added, “Ultimately, access to safe abortion is healthcare that saves lives.”
Ghebreyesus made similar comments after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. They’re highly questionable, however, given the nature of abortion and recent evidence surrounding restrictions on the procedure.
Abortion not only violently ends the life of a preborn child, but also carries potential complications that may endanger the mother’s life. That’s especially true for the abortion pill, which the Food and Drug Administration has dangerously deregulated in recent years. Nevertheless, Tedros’ organization has called for radically loosening restrictions on abortion and even promoting at-home abortions as part of its “self-care” guidelines.
The months following Dobbs have also indicated that Ghebreyesus is wrong in arguing that restrictions don’t decrease the number of procedures. It’s difficult to track all abortions, especially those that take place in “underground” or illegal contexts. However, recent preliminary data from the pro-abortion Society of Family Planning indicates a substantial decrease in the number of procedures.
As Live Action News previously reported, SFP utilized data from facilities that commit abortions. It found:
… there were 32,260 fewer abortions in the six months following Dobbs (July to December of 2022) when compared to the average monthly number of abortion in the preceding period. That translates into an average of 5,377 fewer abortions each month.
As expected, states with more protective pro-life laws saw steep drops in the number of abortions while less restrictive states (monthly average of 1,858 more abortions) saw increases. Virtual clinics, meanwhile, saw an increase from 3,590 telehealth abortions to 8,540 by December.
The largest declines occurred in red states like Texas and Georgia (15,540 and 10,930 fewer abortions respectively) while the biggest increases occurred in states like Florida (7,190 more abortions), Illinois (6,840), and North Carolina (4,730). SFP noted that “[w]hile the structure of our data is unable to confirm this, the data suggests that many abortion seekers living in restrictive states may have traveled to other nearby states for care.”
Dr. Michael New, a scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, has said SFP’s data is likely underestimating the true impact of pro-life laws. He has also argued that pro-life laws and advocacy were responsible for abortion declines reported before Dobbs.
Abortion businesses have reported seeing spikes in visits when neighboring states enact protections for preborn humans. Yet, research and pro-abortion sources have indicated that distance from abortion facilities reduces the number of abortions. This is likely due to the cost of travel and taking off work, as well as more time for potential interaction with pro-life alternatives.
Former President Trump previously said he would remove the United States from the WHO but the Biden administration halted formal withdrawal.
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