Abortion Related Myths
Abortion advocates often use a coat hanger to symbolize the "age of back-alley abortions" where women were forced to seek abortions from "unqualified butchers." The number of women who died from illegal "back-alley" abortions was often said to be in the thousands. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics, there were only 39 women who died from illegal abortions in 1972.
To describe illegal abortion providers as unqualified is hardly accurate. Former medical director of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Mary Calderone, described in a 1960 American Journal of Health article that a study in 1958 showed that 84% to 87% of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians in good standing. Dr. Calderone concluded that "90% of all illegal abortions are presently done by physicians." So it seems that the "back-alley butchers" of January 21, 1973, became "caring doctors who believe in a woman's right to choose" on January 22, 1973.
In 1978, the "American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology" stated the legalization of abortion "has had no major impact on the number of women dying from abortion" since the results of a study they completed showed that over 90% of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians.
Abortion advocates will also claim that a million American women each year were undergoing illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that these statements are highly misleading. The CDC reports that after abortion was legalized in January of 1973, there were 615,831 legal abortions. In 1976 when there were 988,267 abortions. There weren't over a million legal abortions a year in the United States until the end of 1977, five years after abortion was made legal in all states.
For those of you who don't know, the Dublin Declaration was signed by a group of experts and states " that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman." Notice that they refer to "direct abortion." Also stated is " that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child." Doctors will still have an obligation to uphold the life of the pregnant mother, but as the statement explains, any treatment which may save the mother but cause the death of the child is unintended and tragic. That in no way is an abortion, for when an abortion is performed the one intention is to kill that child. Kate Bryan did a piece which also explains this point further.