Kamala Harris mislead voters about women dying from illegal abortions Tuesday during the Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio.
Whether abortion is legal or illegal, women sometimes do die along with their unborn babies in abortions. But abortion activists often exaggerate the numbers to push a radical agenda that calls for unrestricted abortions up to birth.
Harris, who perhaps has closer ties to the abortion industry than any other presidential candidate, brought up abortion during the debate Tuesday when asked about health care.
“There are states that have passed laws that will virtually prevent women from having access to reproductive healthcare,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“And it is not an exaggeration to say women will die. Poor women, women of color will die because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with their bodies,” the California senator continued.
Actually, it is quite an exaggeration, and even the liberal Washington Post recently debunked the myth. In May, the Post fact checker found what pro-life advocates have been saying for years: that few women died from illegal abortions in the decade prior to Roe v. Wade, and a rise in the use of antibiotics appears to be the biggest factor in the drop in maternal abortion deaths, not the legalization of abortions.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist and co-founder of NARAL, admitted later in life that their “statistics” about back alley abortions were false. Nathanson said abortion activists often claimed between 5,000 and 10,000 women died every year from dangerous, back alley abortions and argued that legalizing abortions would protect women.
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He wrote: “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 … The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.”
Government statistic prior to the Roe decision show nowhere near that many women died from abortions. A 1972 Center for Disease Control report noted the maternal death rate from abortions was 39 in the United States, the year prior to Roe.
As of 2008, the Centers for Disease Control reported more than 400 women died from legal abortions in the United States, including 12 that year. The most recent annual report from the CDC says four women died from abortion complications in 2013. However, the numbers likely are higher. Some states do not report their abortion data to the CDC, and pro-lifers believe the abortion industry sometimes covers up women’s abortion deaths so it can maintain its claims about “safety.”
Today, thousands of doctors continue to affirm that killing an unborn baby is not medically necessary to protect women’s health. A mother’s life and health can be protected without destroying the life of her unborn child.
Research on maternal mortality rates also refutes Harris’s point. A 2013 paper published in the “Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons” found lower maternal mortality rates in Ireland, which banned abortions at the time, than in Great Britain where abortions are legal up to 24 weeks and later in limited circumstances.
Significantly, well-regarded abortion activist and researcher Diana Greene Foster at the University of California-San Francisco also recently wrote a column confirming that pro-life laws do stop abortions and save lives.
Any death from abortion is one too many, but keeping abortion on demand legal and unrestricted — as Harris and other Democrat presidential candidates want — will mean more deaths, not fewer.