Due to the recent pro life laws in states such as Georgia and Alabama, pro choice advocates are finding themselves loudly concerned with the potential risks to women's health that might result from abortion restrictions. And who could blame them? Before Roe v Wade, thousands of women died in unsafe back alley abortions every year. Or did they?
Despite this claim being repeated by everyone from pro choice organizations and left leaning columnists, to the president of Planned Parenthood herself, it's almost completely untrue.
[Seamus then proceeds to list data concerning deaths from childbirth/miscarriage]
So why do so many people seem to believe that overturning Roe v Wade would lead to thousands of abortion related deaths every year? This is in large part the result of a misinformation campaign spread by advocates of abortion. Pre 1973, your average person would never support ending the life of an unborn child. But if it meant protecting women from unsafe procedures, well, they might support legalizing abortion even if they didn't support it personally. And even though as early as 1955, it was estimated by Planned Parenthood that 90% of all abortions were done by physicians, the narrative that dangerous back alley procedures were the only alternative to legalizing abortion nationwide captured the public imagination. In fact, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who defected from the prochoice movement, stated:
"How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In NARAL, we always said 5000 to 10000 a year. I confess that I always knew the figures to be false. But it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?"
So remember, the pervasive narrative of common and outlandishly dangerous back alley abortions is mostly mythical. The discussion at hand should be about whether it is acceptable to end the life of an unborn child for any reason. I believe the answer to that question is no. And you may not agree with me on that, but if we want the conversation to go anywhere, we can't allow it to be hijacked by mistruths. Thank you for watching.