Conference: Legal Abortion Doesn’t Reduce Maternal Mortality

International   |   Tom McFeely   |   Sep 23, 2011   |   11:15AM   |   Washington, DC

New York, NY (CFAM/LifeNews) — Abortion activists at the United Nations routinely claim that abortion access is essential to reduce unacceptably high rates of maternal mortality among women in some developing nations.

But this claim is completely false, participants heard earlier this month at a MaterCare International conference in Rome. Abortion isn’t what vulnerable pregnant women in such countries need. Instead they need a “Marshall Plan for Mothers” that will provide the basic health care they currently can’t get at their time of greatest need.

The Marshall Plan for Mothers is the idea of Dr. Robert Walley, the British-born Canadian doctor and professor of obstetrics and gynecology who founded MaterCare International to deliver care to impoverished mothers. The idea is to mobilize the resources of the Catholic Church to take the global lead in delivering adequate medical care to women who currently lack even the most basic rudiments of modern health care.

“The Culture of Death is spreading throughout the world,” Dr. Walley commented in an EWTN broadcast about MaterCare’s Rome conference. “So I thought to myself, maybe we should have a Marshall Plan for Mothers, when we know that what mothers need is essential health care. And that means what? Clean, safe places to have their babies, somebody who is properly trained to help them. Because most of the mothers who die — 330,000 a year — have nobody to help them.”

At the Vatican-sponsored conference, attended primarily by practicing obstetrician-gynecologists, participants were asked to submit ideas within the next month about how the Marshall Plan for Mothers proposal might be implemented. While it’s being fleshed out, MaterCare International continues to demonstrate how to deliver innovative maternity programs tailored to developing world needs. Funded solely by donations and without any government support, MaterCare currently operates locally-based programs in Kenya and in Haiti.

Jeanne Head, Vice President for International Affairs and UN Representative for National Right to Life (NRLC), attended MaterCare’s Rome conference. Head, who is an experienced obstetrical nurse, said the Marshall Plan for Mothers was the most important and exciting topic discussed there.

To counter the international drive to promote abortion as a component of maternal healthcare, Head said, it’s important to disprove the abortion lobby’s false claims that legalized abortion is necessary to save women’s lives. However, it’s crucial to deliver the same kind of maternal health care, which provides a healthy outcome for mother and child, that is available to women in the developed world.

Commented Head, “For years, the pro-abortion UN agencies and NGOs have been falsely claiming that legal abortion is needed to save women’s lives and have been diverting valuable resources toward decreasing the number of children women in the developing world deliver, rather than toward making the delivery of their children safe.”

Dr. Walley told the Friday Fax that developing-world women are pleading for this life-saving maternity care. “Believe me, that’s what mothers want,” he said. “They want life and hope, not despair and death. And we can offer them some love as well.” Note: Tom McFeely writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication and is used with permission.