an After abortion

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Shredding The Myths about Abortion’s “Benefits” to Women

The first 9 myths shredded were Q&A’s taken literally from Planned Parenthood’s webpage, "Choosing Abortion - Questions And Answers." We posted extensive research and case history evidence showing that their answers are just plain wrong.


We continue here discussing the truths about abortion’s devastating effects on the moms, including specific medical research studies, personal stories and legal cases, including updates on the two legal motions to overturn Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

For the remaining 6 myths, we’ll cover those that are general throwout phrases made by abortion rights supporters everywhere, not just Planned Parenthood.

Myth #10 (of 15):
10. "More women die from childbirth than from legal abortions."
1) Southern Medical Journal (August 2002): This study revealed that women who abort versus those who give birth are almost twice as likely to die in the two years following the pregnancy outcome. Over the full 8-year period studied, women who aborted had a 154% higher risk of death from suicide and an 82% higher risk of death from accidents. Also, these post-abortive women had a 44% higher risk of death from natural causes, including AIDS, circulatory and cerebrovascular diseases [e.g., strokes, fatal blood clots]. These results were found "across socioeconomic boundaries." [Reardon DC, Ney PG, Scheuren F, Cougle J, Coleman PK, Strahan TW, "Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low income women," Southern Medical Journal (Aug. 2002), [95(8):834-841.]

2) Acta Obsetricia et Gynecolgica Scandinavica (1997): This Finland study found that
"...the risk of dying within a year after an abortion is several times higher than the risk of dying after miscarriage or childbirth."
Studying maternal pregnancy-related death records of 9,192 women from 1987-1994, researchers found that women who aborted are 3.5 times more likely to die within a year than women who gave birth at term. [Gissler M., et. al., "Pregnancy-associated deaths in Finland 1987-1994 -- definition problems and benefits of record linkage," Acta Obsetricia et Gynecolgica Scandinavica (1997), 76:651-657]

UPDATE 10/29/04:
We had an interesting comment on this post; I thought it well worth adding to the main post and replying here:
“Let's not confuse cause & effect. The women who have abortions may live riskier lives and also may suffer more from depression.

“But if we look at mortality directly related to abortion and childbirth, I'm still willing to bet one sees more abortion mortality/morbidity... not suicides & accidents, but real complications. If there are fewer abortions per year than births, then sure, the absolute numbers may look worse, but that doesn't mean the mortality rate is higher.

“(An example: more white women die from breast cancer each year than any other ethnic group in the U.S.... but that's because there are more white women to begin with. Some ethnic groups have much higher cancer mortality rates, which you wouldn't know looking at absolute numbers. )”
1) If you read through the link on the Finland study, you’d see that it specifically says, “Unfortunately, there is often no clear way of determining when there is any causal connection between a death and a previous pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, or abortion.”

No one’s confusing cause and effect. We’re discussing heightened risks based on records-based research.

2) I agree with you that if there are more of some group then more of that group in total would be assumed to die, although their death rate may not be the highest of all groups. Actually, that’s how the myth that “more women die in childbirth than in legal abortion” originated: the application of total absolute numbers! We’re not talking absolute, or total, numbers here. We’re talking rates within both groups of women, as first compared to an outside norm: nonpregnant women.

There are more live births annually in the U.S. (about 3.9 million in 2000) than induced abortions (1.4 million), so one would think that there should be “more deaths” in total in the group of women giving birth than in the group who aborted.

But the Finland study shows that that’s not the case, because the rates within each group are found to be so disparate:
“The researchers then calculated the age-adjusted odds ratio of death, using the death rate of women who had not been pregnant as the standard equal to one. Table 1 shows that the age-adjusted odds ratio of women dying in the year they give birth as being half that of women who are not pregnant, whereas women who have abortions are 76 percent more likely to die in the year following abortion compared to non-pregnant women. Compared to women who carry to term, women who abort are 3.5 times more likely to die within a year.”
Let’s make up a normative mortality rate figure for easy comparison purposes only. If 100 out of 10,000 (1%) nonpregnant women a year die (the made-up number for mortality risk overall), this study’s findings theoretically would then be showing that 50 women out of 10,000 a year died within a year of childbirth (0.5%), and that 176 out of 10,000 post-abortive women died (1.76%).

The study then, using this theoretical norm, could have shown that 19,500 of all women giving birth in a year are at risk of dying within a year (0.5% of 3.9 Million) and that more women--24,640 of all those aborting--are at risk of dying (1.76% of 1.4 million).

The odds of death risk within one year, as well as the absolute projected numbers in the U.S., in this case, are BOTH higher for those having abortions!

3) "The women who have abortions may live riskier lives and also may suffer more from depression."

The first part of that is admitted in the Finland study (mostly because, after the fact of the abortion, they wouldn't have children to protect or to assure their continued presence for), but the second part of that's the same old "they-were-unstable-and/or-immature-to-begin-with" defense, discussed in Myth # 3.

Myth #11 to be shredded tomorrow. I’m posting one a day every day from Oct. 19 through Election Day. Prior myths shredded can be found as follows:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9.

(If anyone wishes to receive an emailed MSWORD document of the talk in its entirety, please just email me (see above right corner of blog).

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