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Scare Stories Put More Women at Risk

20 August 2018


Pro-abortion protesters: falsely claiming a "need" for abortion.

Studies find abortion is extremely dangerous for women's health, yet pro-abortion campaigners ignore this and use any opportunity to promote more abortion.

"Troubling cases" are commonly used to illustrate that abortion is needed to help women's health. An often-repeated example of this is that women need abortion to avoid the damage caused by attempting abortion at home, using everyday objects like coat hangers and knitting needles, which activists claim women used to do before abortion was accessible. It has been a staple of pro-abortion activism to use similarly emotive stories to convince society that to avoid such tragedies abortion has to be legalised and made widely available.

Argentina is experiencing this tactic right now as pro-abortionists fight back after losing an attempt to legalise elective abortion up until the 14th week of pregnancy. A woman has sadly died after attempting a DIY-abortion but instead of warning women not to try this, her case is being used to push for abortion.

"Totally False" Claims

Dr Bernard Nathanson famously exposed the lies and exaggerations used by the abortion industry on so many fronts when he turned his back on his own abortion career, many years ago. In Aborting America, Dr Nathanson admits that "in NARAL [pro-abortion campaigners] we generally emphasised the drama of the individual case", and when they did speak of deaths before abortion was legalised "the figures were totally false".

The evidence to support women resorting to such extreme measures is by and large hearsay and rumour. Solid evidence is rarely presented and the mental health background of the people concerned is certainly not examined. Any death in these circumstances is a terrible tragedy but should not be the basis for ushering in more tragedies.

One aspect of repeatedly telling women that these crude methods of self-abortion are used is that it can encourage women in desperate circumstances to be tempted to try the method out. What would be much more helpful for women in these situations is to warm them that any attempt at self-abortion is extremely dangerous and should never be attempted. Along with that, women should be offered some level of support to ensure that the circumstances that make them feel so desperate are alleviated.

Abortion damages women

The objective reality of abortion is that it damages women enormously. The preferred approach of the abortion campaigners to use a hard-case where a woman has taken desperate measures and put her life at risk, ignores the great number of women who will live damaged lives after having an abortion.

For example, abortion campaigners ignore the evidence from studies around the world showing the harm abortion can cause to women. One study found that abortion increased the risk of suicide – 34.7 (per 100,000 induced abortions), compared to 5.9 (per 100,000 births) for women who have given birth – while another found a "significantly worse" emotional outcome for women who had chosen to abort their child diagnosed of a life-limiting foetal anomaly, versus permitting the pregnancy to continue and the child to be born with a chance at life. Several studies are outlined in Abortion and Women's Health, a fully-referenced review based on global research.

Abortion is never the solution to helping women's health. The emotive stories are an attempt to stop us taking the objective evidence into account. That objective reality is that women's health is enhanced by ensuring they do not take the tragic path of abortion. 

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