November 26, 2004

Dispelling the coat-hanger myth

Australian pro-life doctor David van Gend wrote an excellent skeptical article recently in the Australian magazine News Weekly concerning the pro-abortion myth that if abortion is again made illegal, thousands of women will die of botched back-alley abortions.

In "ABORTION: Facts banish the myth of the 'backyard butcher'", van Gend makes points that I have noted here in the past:

  • Making abortion illegal has never affected the number of women who die of abortions.
  • Deaths due to illegal abortions did not drop dramatically the year abortion was legalized.
  • Abortions are now safer, not because they are legal, but because medical technology in general has improved. Everything is safer.
  • Illegal abortions were not performed by filthy back-alley butchers, but by doctors in their nice clean offices.
  • Hundreds and thousands of women dying of botched abortions are simply the invention of pro-abortion activists trying to make their case stronger.

Dr. van Gend concludes:

Enforcing genuine limits on abortion does not place women at any significant physical risk, because medicine has minimised that risk.

The current alternative is to have no limits, to permit the wholesale slaughter of unwanted unborn children - "children", as one writer put it, "who would have loved you" - and the wholesale scarring of young mothers' (and fathers') hearts, which might lose the capacity to love at all.

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