The New York Times published an op-ed from one of America’s most notorious late-term abortionists this week, claiming that aborting unborn babies “saves lives.”
Warren Hern, 81, runs a late-term abortion business in Boulder, Colorado where he aborts viable unborn babies in the third trimester. He recently was accused of leaving part of an aborted baby’s skull inside its mother, causing serious complications that required her to undergo a hysterectomy.
“Pregnancy is a life-threatening condition,” Hern began. “Women die from being pregnant. We have known that for thousands of years.”
“Pregnancy is dangerous; abortion can be lifesaving,” he continued, defending his business.
Hern gave a long list of pregnancy complications, and pointed to a study that argues that abortion is safer than childbirth.
“The measure of risk to a woman’s life from pregnancy itself is called the ‘maternal mortality ratio.’ That is the number of women who die of causes related to or aggravated by pregnancy per 100,000 live births,” he said.
In Alabama, the overall maternal mortality ratio in 2018 was 11.9 per 100,000. Among white women, the 2018 maternal mortality ratio was 5.6; among black women, it was 27.6, making black women in Alabama almost five times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy than white women. For the United States overall, the maternal mortality ratio was 20.7.
By comparison, a study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology on abortion mortality from 1998 to 2010 found that for the 16.1 million abortions performed during that time, the overall death rate was 0.7 per 100,000 procedures. The death rate for early-abortion procedures — those that took place within the first eight weeks of the pregnancy — was less: 0.3 per 100,000.
Hern then accused Alabama lawmakers of “tyranny” for passing a law that protects unborn babies from abortions, except when the mother’s life is at risk.
“A woman’s life and health are at risk from the moment that a pregnancy exists in her body, whether she wants to be pregnant or not,” Hern argued.
For decades, abortion activists have claimed that abortions are safer than childbirth, often by pointing to studies of their own making. But these studies have major flaws, and research from other countries indicates that the opposite may be true – abortions are more dangerous for women than childbirth. A 2012 study published in the Medical Science Monitor found significantly higher maternal death rates following abortions compared to delivery in Denmark. Researchers in Finland found similar results in a multi-year study.
There also is evidence that legalizing abortion does not reduce maternal mortality rates. In countries like Ireland and Poland that largely protect unborn babies from abortion, maternal mortality rates are lower than neighboring countries where abortion is legal. In fact, Ireland (before it legalized abortions in 2018) had one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world. A study from Chile also found that maternal mortality declined because of better access to health care, not changes in the country’s abortion laws.
Abortion activists’ argument also fails to take into account the most important aspect of the issue: there always are two lives involved in an abortion, not just one. And the purpose of an abortion is to kill that baby’s life. Abortions are not life saving. They always are life-destroying for the unborn baby, and sometimes for the mother as well.