Doctor Confirms Abortion is Not Safer Than Childbirth

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 3, 2022   |   3:24PM   |   Washington, DC

Frustrated by the widespread claim that abortions are safer than childbirth, Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a radiology specialist in Florida, wrote a column at The Federalist this week to expose the truth.

Pozo Christie, an advisor for The Catholic Association, said the claim is absolutely false, but abortion activists repeat it over and over again to “ignite fear” and avoid talking about their own radical pro-abortion position.

“… what they want — radical abortion license to the day of birth, for any reason or no reason, and paid for by you-the-taxpayer in every state of the nation — is way out of line with average Americans’ sentiments. They’d rather gin up panic over labor and delivery, which has never, in the history of mankind, been safer,” she began.

The claim that abortions are 14 times safer than childbirth is based on a widely-cited 2012 study, Pozo Christie said. However, the study has numerous problems.

“Very basically, the researchers overcounted deaths from childbearing and undercounted deaths from abortion,” Pozo Christie explained.

One of the key problems is the way the United States collects – or does not collect – data on pregnancy and abortion.

Starting in 2003, Pozo Christie said the U.S. changed the way it began counting maternal deaths: Many state health departments added a new “pregnancy checkbox” to death certificates that denoted if the woman had been pregnant within the past year. This means women who died from other causes are counted among maternal deaths now, she explained.

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Pozo Christie said the Centers for Disease Control admits this is a problem, and its maternal death report mentions “issues associated with reporting of maternal deaths on death certificates.”

Data on abortions in the U.S. also is problematic. The CDC does not require states to report any abortion data, and some – including California, which has more abortion facilities than any other state – do not provide any numbers at all. Other states provide limited data; Pozo Christie said 23 states do not require abortion facilities to report complications or deaths to the state.

European countries have better data on abortion and maternal mortality, and studies of their statistics contradict the 2012 study, Pozo Christie said.

She continued:

A Finnish study, for example, found that women are four times more likely to die in the year following abortion than women who give birth. In fact, women who had given birth had a lower death rate than women who had not been pregnant at all. Closer to home, a study using a complete data set recovered from California state insurance records showed twice as many women died in the two years after an abortion than after a birth (see table 1 of page 2). Causes of death in these post-abortive women included complications from the procedure — sepsis and hemorrhage, for example — though the most common causes were “indirect”: suicide, homicide, overdose, and other risk-taking behaviors.

So, when pro-abortion activists say, “childbirth is vastly more dangerous than abortion,” they don’t have the data to support it.

Pozo Christie said her frustration about the prevalence of the false claim (even the leftist U.S. Supreme Court justices cited it in their dissent in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health) is not about politics. She said women’s and children’s lives are being hurt by it.

“They scare women away from the delight of motherhood. At the same time, their disingenuous talking point minimizes the serious medical risks that women experience in having an abortion,” she said.

Other experts also are exposing the lie.

Last week, in front of Congress, Dr. Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst, a former U.S. Agency for International Development official and professor at Duke University School of Medicine, told lawmakers that legalizing abortion does not reduce maternal mortality.

“… until recently in countries where abortion was criminalized and prohibited, I’m thinking particularly of Chile, Ireland and, I think, Cyprus had the lowest rates of maternal mortality in the world. For several years consecutively, Ireland had zero maternal mortality at a time when abortion was completely illegal,” Wubbenhorst said.

And, in a recent New York Times op-ed, a British scholar cited abortion data from Europe that casts doubt on the idea that banning abortions and increased maternal mortality are linked.

Other studies also have found that legalizing abortion does not reduce maternal mortality rates, and abortions may, in fact, be more dangerous for mothers than childbirth.

One recent study about maternal abortion deaths in Ethiopia found that women’s deaths to abortion already had been going down and did not drop significantly after the country legalized abortions in 2005. According to the research, in the 10 years after the country legalized abortions, maternal deaths to abortion remained about the same.