Pro-abortion campaigners have always claimed that legal
abortion is necessary to stop thousands of dangerous back-street abortions
going on and many women dying as a result.
This argument, accompanied by alarming statistics, has been
used all over the world to persuade politicians to change the law on abortion
but there is little evidence to suggest that backstreet abortion is the massive
problem some campaigners claim it to be. For example:
Bernard Nathanson, joint founder of NARAL in the US
(National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) admitted when he changed
his mind about abortion that the drive to legalise abortion was based on lies.
He said: "We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion
by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the US.
The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media
repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the
public. The number of women dying from
illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to
the media was 10,000." (Bernard
Nathanson, Confessions of an
- In Portugal
in 1982, it was claimed that 2000 women were dying from illegal abortion every
year. However, only 2099 women of childbearing age had died from all causes, according to the then most
recent available statistics. Either Portuguese women never die of illness or
accident, or the 2000-a-year figure was false. (The Abortion Threat to Northern Ireland
Intensified, p. 11)
Malcolm Potts, a pro-abortion campaigner and the former director of the international
abortion provider International Planned Parenthood Federation, wrote: "Those
who want the law to be liberalized will stress the hazards of illegal abortion and
claim that hundreds, or thousands, or women die unnecessarily each year, when the
actual number is far lower." (Abortion
(CUP, 1977) p. 529)
abortion does not stop backstreet abortion. Between 1968 and 1988, there have
been 986 recorded abortions performed illegally and 293 prosecutions in the UK.
So much for 'controlling' illegal abortion. (House
of Commons Hansard, col. 276, 17 January 1990)
The fact that abortion happens is not a reason for making it
legal. Murder, rape and domestic violence occur on a daily basis and cannot be
entirely prevented, but no one suggests legalising these crimes or allowing
them to take place in a hygienic environment.