NARAL Accuses John McCain of OKing Women Dying From Illegal Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NARAL Accuses John McCain of OKing Women Dying From Illegal Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Leading pro-abortion group NARAL is going a little further than fellow abortion advocates with a new email on Wednesday accusing John McCain of being okay with women dying from illegal abortions. The email makes no mention of the fact that women are killed and injured by legal abortions.

With the eerie headline, "Does John McCain Understand Women Could Die?" the NARAL email features doctored photos of McCain and pro-life Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in a deep red color to make them appear sinister.

NARAL features a transcript of remarks of John McCain from an interview with Meet the Press in 2000 where he indicated he was okay with a constitutional amendment to ban abortions.

Told that "hundreds of thousands of women a year went to back alleys to have abortions," McCain said he understood that line or argument.

NARAL president Nancy Keenan tells her groups supporters that the transcript "speaks for itself."

The only problem with the transcript and the NARAL assumption is that it is completely false.

The argument that hundreds of thousands of women died in illegal abortions prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, which allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason, is untrue.

NARAL’s own co-founder, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, admits the organization lied about the number of women who died from legal abortions when testifying before the Supreme Court in 1972.

"We spoke of 5,000 – 10,000 deaths a year…. I confess that I knew the figures were totally false … it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?" he said.

According to figures from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Center for Disease Control, women continued to die from abortions — even after they became legal nationwide.

The numbers show legalizing abortion didn’t make it any safer as 25 women died from legal abortions in 1973, 25 in 1974, and 29 in 1975.

From 1976 through 1987, another 135 women died from legal abortions — although some observers suspect the numbers are very low estimates because not all deaths are reported.

Other legal abortion deaths are not tabulated because the death certificates list other causes of death, such as infection or surgical error, brought on by the abortion.

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