Abortion is Not the Answer to Stopping Maternal Mortality in Africa

International   |   Jon Russell   |   Jul 26, 2013   |   4:52PM   |   Washington, DC

Social media, office water-cooler chatter, and the mainstream media obsessed this week over the birth of a single child: the #RoyalBaby. 

Meanwhile, Steve Murigi took up his pen on CNN.com to remind the world of the hundreds of women and children who die daily during childbirth – and how easily these lives can be saved.  Self-proclaimed advocates of “choice” and “women’s health” in the United States and other developed nations would probably assume the answer is more abortions.  But, rather than mirror the American abortion business’ apparent obsession with plying their trade, this article examines and promotes real life-saving medical assistance and practical solutions to a true maternal health crisis.

“Every year in sub-Saharan Africa, 162,000 mothers  [440 every day] die needlessly because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. That figure represents a staggering 56% of the global total. For an African woman, one of the most natural of events in a woman’s life — giving birth — is also one of the most dangerous. As a result, each year close to 1 million African children are left motherless.  Many of these deaths are avoidable, but not enough is being done to prevent them.”  [Parenthesis and emphasis added]

These are staggering figures. Murigi cites barriers to proper care during childbirth, which sound positively post-apocalyptic to the AMC and HBO-watching American elite. In sub-Saharan Africa, Murigi reports, the life of both child and mother is frequently put at risk due to basic problems such as: inadequate or non-existent transportation, severe shortages of trained medical staff, hospitals “so under-resourced that soon-to-be-mothers have to sleep on the floor following delivery” [emphasis added], lack of proper prenatal and postnatal education, and deliveries performed “using the light from [the midwives’] mobile phones and plastic bags over their hands as gloves” [emphasis added].  Indeed, one can hardly fathom how many of these simple impediments still exist in the 21st Century.

We highly recommend reading Murigi’s entire article: “Celebrate royal baby, but remember childbirth is still a killer,” and taking into consideration the solutions to this crisis currently being undertaken.  The majority of these frightening shortcomings could be easily resolved through the volunteer work of individuals, as medical education and proper staffing requires support from trained medical professionals, building infrastructure, and providing supplies. The attentive reader will notice not a single mention is made of “abortion” as a means to prevent the deaths of these mothers in childbirth.  The indisputable solution is to provide greater care for both mother and child.

Meanwhile, here in the “developed” United States, 788 trained medical professionals dedicate their entire practice to taking the lives of preborn children.  That works out to 1.79 “doctors” for every single woman who dies daily in Sub-Sahara Africa because of insufficient medical staff or training.

Planned Parenthood, a business frequently misrepresented as a “woman’s health organization,” commits 915 abortions in the United States every single day – 2.08 times the daily death rate of “third-world” sub-Saharan Africa.  In 2011-2012, Planned Parenthood reported $87.4 million in excess revenue.  They also proudly touted “more than seven million activists, supporters, and donors.” [emphasis original].



Abortion defenders like to claim that abortion is “safer” than childbirth, so why aren’t they working to improve the safety of childbirth?  If trained and dedicated to saving lives – instead of the business of murdering preborn children – think of the difference these abortionists, volunteers, and Planned Parenthood activists could make in improving maternal mortality rates across the world.

Unfortunately, close-minded pro-abortion advocates will ignore the simple solutions to saving 440 women from dying of childbirth every day.  They will only see another emerging market ripe for their life-taking services, putting profit and ideology over true healthcare that attempts to save two lives instead of just one.

LifeNews Note: Jon Russell is the director of Medical Students for Life.