Will women die as a result of the new laws regarding abortion in the United States? Many people seem to think so. We’ve all heard that mantra somewhere over the past few months– on social media, on mainstream news, even written in sidewalk chalk in protest on random public streets.
The truth is, all pieces of data show there is no evidence for restricted abortion access leading to the death of the mother. In each state throughout the U.S., abortion access remains available to women who have life-threatening pregnancies.
US Deaths Related to Pregnancy Complications
In the United States, currently, about 700 women die each year as a result of complications from pregnancy and birth. In 2018 there were about 17 maternal deaths for 100,000 live births. That is a ratio of more than double other high-income countries.
The causes for these deaths often have nothing to do with lack of abortion care, but rather are a result of a lack of good prenatal care leading up to the birth experience.
Unfortunately, the issue of women dying as a result of pregnancy-related causes was a problem that already existed when abortion was legal at the Federal level. So it stands to reason that access to abortion has little to do with poor maternal mortality rates in the United States.
Will Change In Abortion Access Endanger Mothers?
No matter where you live, abortion is accessible in cases where it might change the outcome of the mother’s life, of your life. States with restrictive abortion laws (like Missouri) have an exception for women who are having a medical emergency.
Doctors can legally do everything in their power to save the life of the woman in their care because of the Emergency and Medical Treatment and Labor Act, so lack of abortion access still cannot really be an excuse for higher maternal mortality rates.
The legality of abortion does not change the availability of pre-existing prenatal healthcare like ultrasounds, pregnancy testing, pap smears, and genetic testing.
If anything, giving the abortion issue back to the states is putting pressure on state legislators to create more opportunities for women to access good healthcare and have financial aid for medical bills. So in fact, it may actually save more lives due to better access to good prenatal health care and attention at the judicial level.
International Data Regarding Maternal Mortality
Christina Francis, a practicing OBGN in Indiana told NPR, “two of the countries with the best maternal mortality rates in the world – Poland and Malta – abortion is illegal in both of those countries. And Poland actually saw its maternal mortality rates drop dramatically when it went from legalizing abortion to making abortion illegal. And in this country, where we’ve had access to abortion on demand for the last 50 years, we have one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the developed world.”
In Denmark, where abortion is only legal until 12 weeks, they have the second-best mortality rate in the world (Second only to Poland). In Spain, the third best country for maternal mortality rates, abortion is technically legal until 14 weeks but most doctors refuse to perform the procedure.
In the top three countries for maternal mortality, abortion is illegal after the first trimester.
We Are Here For You
If you are concerned about your health and unplanned pregnancy, we are here for you! Our clinic offers free ultrasounds, pregnancy testing, and more. We can connect you with resources that will ensure you have everything you need for a healthy and safe pregnancy. Please contact us today for a confidential consultation.