A common defense of legalized abortion is that it saves womens’ lives by providing them with a “safe” way to obtain an abortion. The argument goes, “They’ll just do it anyway – we can either provide it through a doctor or force them to resort to the back alley.” While that utilitarian claim does not justify the taking of human lives, a new report from the Chilean Maternal Mortality Research Initiative appears to undermine even that argument. It turns out that maternal mortality has fallen since abortion was made illegal in the country in 1989. From LifeNews (click here to read the whole thing):
The study included analysis covering 50 years of maternal mortality data (1957-2007) from Chile’s National Institute of Statistics. The analysis found that the most important factor in reducing maternal mortality is the educational level of women….
According to the World Health Organization (Trends in Maternal Mortality), the Central American nations of Nicaragua and El Salvador, in which abortion is completely illegal, have both seen a 44% drop in their maternal mortality ratios since 1990. During the fifty-year study period in Chile, the overall Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) dramatically declined by 93.8%, from 270.7 to 18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births between 1957 and 2007, making Chile a model for maternal health in other countries….
South Africa legalized abortion on demand in 1997. Since then, maternal mortality in that country has risen significantly according to the World Health Organization. The maternal mortality ratio is now estimated at 410. The MMR of Canada, which permits abortion on demand, increased 94 percent from 1990 to 2008. The MMR of the United States, which also permits abortion on demand, increased 96 percent.
The results of the study are pretty clear – the facts don’t back up even the pro-abortion utilitarian argument. Legalized abortion doesn’t protect any women – mothers or their unborn baby girls.
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