At the heart of all good arguments there are facts. These facts are even better if they can be quantified (numbers). So, let me start this with some quantified facts.
- According to the CDC, about 650 women die each year in the United States during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Complications during or after childbirth such as heart attacks, strokes, severe bleeding, kidney failure, or death are increasing.
- In 1998 about 74 out of every 10,000 women had such complications during childbirth.
- Between 2008 and 2009 this number jumped to 129 out of every 10,000 women.
- According to a 2010 report “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,” deaths from pregnancy and childbirth have doubled in the past 20 years.
- Maternal mortality in the US has worsened so that we fell from 41st to 50th in the world.
- The US maternal mortality ratio, at 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Now, here are some more quantified facts. The above was about childbirth. What follows is about abortion.
- For abortions at 21 or more weeks, the maternal mortality rate is one per 11,000. Putting this to the same ratio as the maternal mortality rates during childbirth (12.7 per 100,000 live births), that would be 9.09 per 100,000 abortions.
- For abortions at 16 – 20 weeks the maternal mortality rate is one per 29,000 abortions. Putting this to the same ratio as the maternal mortality rate, this would be 3.45 deaths per 100,000 abortions.
- For abortions at or before eight weeks the mortality rate is one per every million abortions. I don’t think I need to translate this one. But I will anyway. That works out to be 0.1 death per 100,000 abortions.
So, from these quantified facts, childbirth is more dangerous for the mother than having an abortion. But just to bring this point home, a February 2012 study titled, “The comparative safety of legal induced abortion and childbirth in the United States” found that
The pregnancy-associated mortality rate among women who delivered live neonates was 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. The mortality rate related to induced abortion was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions. In the one recent comparative study of pregnancy morbidity in the United States, pregnancy-related complications were more common with childbirth than with abortion.
Time to move on to other, non quantified facts.
- Several states have recently instituted laws requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to local hospitals. The rationale was that this was necessary to ensure the health and safety of the woman.
- Midwifery is legal in Texas, as in most states.
- Home births are legal in Texas, as in most states.
- Yet, despite childbirth being a more dangerous process than abortion, midwives are not required to have hospital admitting privileges.
I am not advocating that midwives should be required to have hospital admitting privileges. Nor am I against home births. I am however against the blatant hypocrisy of those who say that they are doing this “for the good of the women”. That is patently false, as the above facts show.
Couldn’t these people at least be honest about why they are enacting these laws? But then, I guess that they feel the need of some lofty sounding cover while they work to limit and eventually eliminate the rights of women to control their reproduction.