Refuting the Claim Women Will Resort to Coat Hanger Abortions

Opinion   |   Deanna Candler   |   Jan 27, 2012   |   12:11PM   |   Washington, DC

To mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v Wade, some pro-abortion activists took to the streets to celebrate. One sign that caught my eye depicted a bent coat hanger with the words “Never Again” underneath.

This sign was obviously in reference to the oft argued idea that if abortion was ever made illegal, thousands of women would die from unsafe abortions. Here is the response to this argument:

1) Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortion doctor and one of the founders of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, said that these statistics were made up.

“In NARAL, we generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always 5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year. I confess that I knew that the figures were totally false and I suppose that others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.”

2) There was very little illegal abortion death before Roe v Wade.

According to the Center for Disease Control in 1972 the death rate from abortions was only 39 in the entire country. These deaths were still a tragedy, and could have been avoided if the mother had chosen life, but it remains clear that the numbers are nowhere near the number that pro-abortion advocates would have you believe.

Also, in 1960, Dr. Mary Calderone, the medical director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America revealed that, “about 90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians…Whatever trouble arises usually arises from self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 percent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of non-medical abortionist…So remember…abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians.” Planned Parenthood admitted BEFORE Roe v Wade, that illegal abortions were only widely dangerous when they were self-induced.

3) Abortion is not safe now.

Almost every week there is at least one article on reporting that a woman has suffered a botched abortion and 911 was called. Here are just a few examples from the past year:

  • 01/22/12- Two women suffering from abortion related injuries in Alabama have to be physically carried down a trash filled alley behind an abortion clinic by paramedics, as there was no door big enough to accommodate a gurney.
  • 01/11/12- A woman in Mississippi wins a $600,000 malpractice judgment after a failed abortion attempt left her with a life threatening infection.
  • 01/09/12- A 28 year old woman is rushed to a Virginia hospital after a botched abortion left her with uncontrolled bleeding.
  • 12/26/11- 911 is called after a California woman is injured in a botched abortion.
  • 08/15/11- Operation Rescue obtains 911 calls regarding EIGHT women who required medical attention after botched abortions in Albuquerque, NM. One of the women died.
  • 04/18/11- A 16 year old girl is rushed to a Washington hospital after a botched abortion.
  • 01/11/11 – Boston paramedics are called to assist a woman suffering from complications due to a botched abortion.
  • 01/19/11- Abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell is charged with murder in the death of his patient, Karnamay Mongar.

Through these three simple arguments we can clearly see that the so called “Coat Hanger Argument” has no basis in truth and is easily refutable. At the end of the day, one fact remains – Abortion ENDS lives, not saves them.

LifeNews Note:  Deanna Candler writes for Live Action blog. She has a degree in Speech Communications from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and is a national champion debater with the International Public Debate Association. Deanna’s passion for the unborn is a result of her own life story- the fourth child of a teen mother, Deanna and two of her siblings were adopted by an amazing family. She plans to attend law school in the fall with the hopes of one day becoming a legal advocate for the unborn.