New Article Attempts To Prove Abortion Is “Safe”


Referring to a new study conducted in California on maternal mortality, an article by Mother Jones‘ editorial coordinator Jen Phillips begins with this sentence:

Despite what the protesters at your local Planned Parenthood may say, abortion is not unsafe.

You can guess where the article goes from there…downhill.

Is Abortion Safer Than Childbirth?

Although the study itself [pdf] makes no mention of abortion, Philips uses it as an opportunity to try to make abortion look safe. She continues:

In fact, you’re about 20 times more likely to die from childbirth-related ailments than you are from getting an abortion.

I have addressed this inaccurate claim already, at length, on the League’s FAQ page here and won’t respond to it now.

Do take note that Phillips uses the term “childbirth-related ailments” rather than “childbirth.” She doesn’t compare these “ailments” to “abortion-related ailments,” but only to the abortion procedure and not the aftermath. That’s significant, believe me; these numbers are manipulated.

Moreover, “death” is not the only major risk of abortion, as Dr. David Reardon of the Elliot Institute has documented.

Black Maternal Mortality Rate on the Rise

I want to draw your attention to one distressing finding of the study:

Maternal mortality rates in California are roughly four times higher for African-American women than for women of other racial/ethnic groups.

Why is this? Is it because childbearing is itself inherently unsafe if you’re Black?

Obviously that’s ridiculous.

More likely is that a higher incidence of previous abortions has made these women more at risk for complications in later pregnancies. Blacks account for 12.9% of the US population, according to the Census Bureau. However, they make up 30% of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

This supports my assertion above–that the numbers of maternal mortality would logically be higher among Blacks than among other races.

And yet Phillips doesn’t make this connection. Instead, she seems to think women would be better off having more abortions (like porn star Kasey Jordan?) than giving birth.

Unfortunately California does not report the number of abortions that take place there each year, so there is no way to see if this increase in incidence of maternal mortality correlates with an overall increase in abortions there. But I think it’s likely.

Insurance Coverage for Pregnancy on the Decline

I do generally support Philips’ conclusion at the end, though:

Only 22% of people with health insurance in California (the report says) have coverage for maternity services: In 2004, 82% of them did. … There’s something seriously wrong when your health insurer doesn’t cover your prenatal care. Maybe this could be a new torch for the pro-life movement, or a larger one for the pro-choicers. It seems like a perfect platform for a “family values” Republican, no?

However, I reflect back to the outcry of the pro-aborts when, in 2002, President Bush increased SCHIP funding for prenatal care. For instance, a blogger on the pro-abortion site RH Reality Check wrote in 2007 that the funding was really just:

part of a larger antiabortion strategy (enthusiastically supported by the Bush administration) to lay the groundwork for establishing a legal basis for “fetal personhood.”

Maybe that just falls under the category of “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

But I do wonder if you’d ever really get the pro-aborts to unite with pro-lifers on this seeming plot of common ground. (After all, they didn’t take us up on this one yet either.)

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