It’s time to fact check the fact checkers again.
Politifact Texas recently examined a Texas state representative’s bizarre claim that abortions are safer than vasectomies.
Earlier this month, Texas state Rep. Mary Gonzales, a pro-abortion Democrat, made the statement during a debate about a bill to require hospitals to submit reports about abortion complications to the state.
“First and foremost, did you know that an abortion procedure is actually… safer than a vasectomy?” Gonzalez asked Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who wrote the bill.
The fact checker rated Gonzalez’s claim “mostly true,” writing: “Both procedures rarely have complications, a clarification missing from this declaration. That said, abortion procedures appear to have lower complication rates.”
It came to this conclusion by citing research from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, studies published medical journals and government data that listed the complication rates of abortions and vasectomies.
There are two major problems with the fact checker’s ruling.
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The first is something that state Rep. Capriglione’s bill could help to fix. One of the problems with tracking abortion complications is that they often go unreported in the United States. Women who experience complications at home after the abortion almost always go to the emergency room, not the abortion clinic; and the complications are not always reported as abortion related.
There also are numerous studies from Europe and other parts of the world that show higher complication rates than abortion activists often report.
An extensive study published in 2012 found that childbirth is safer than abortion. The researchers examined public medical data of hundreds of thousands of Danish women who gave birth or had abortions. They found that the mortality rate for women who gave birth was much lower than women who had abortions.
In countries like Ireland, Poland and Chile where abortions are prohibited, research indicates maternal mortality rates also are very low – lower than countries that allow abortions for most reasons.
Americans United for Life’s Anna Paprocki wrote more about abortion risks at LifeNews in 2016:
[T]he vast majority of abortions are accomplished by invasive procedures that carry risks including, according to Planned Parenthood: “injury to the cervix or other organs.”
Other immediate physical risks from abortion procedures that even Planned Parenthood acknowledges include “allergic reaction, blood clots in the uterus, incomplete abortion — part of the pregnancy is left inside the uterus, failure to end the pregnancy, undetected ectopic pregnancy, very heavy bleeding.” These risks “increase the longer you are pregnant. They also increase if you have sedation or general anesthesia.”
Chemical abortions have a lengthy list of known complications, too. Some recent studies have even found higher incidences of immediate adverse events for chemical abortions than for surgical abortions.
Regardless of what type of abortion a mother undergoes—a 15-minute invasive procedure, a lengthier surgery, or multiple days of potent drugs—an abortion’s consequences are profound. The risks to her short- and long-term physical health are real and deserve serious attention.
The Centers for Disease Control, which publishes an annual abortion report, also points out that its data on abortion risks is incomplete because states are not required to report their abortion data.
The second problem with the fact check is that an abortion is by its very nature deadly to the second, often forgotten patient – the unborn baby.
At the moment of conception, unborn babies are living human beings with their own unique DNA. They are unlike any other human being who ever lived or ever will live. Abortion procedures destroy these unborn babies’ lives in brutal, gruesome ways. Some abortion procedures involve dismembering the unborn baby or vacuuming him/her out of the womb. Others involve injecting lethal drugs into the unborn baby before inducing labor.
Even if an abortion was perfectly safe for the mother, it never is for the baby in the womb.