November 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While pro-life activists have welcomed a CDC study reporting that the abortion rate dropped 5% in 2009, they have also highlighted a more disturbing statistic that has received little to no media coverage.

According to the CDC study, 12 women died from complications related to legal abortion in 2008 – double the number of the previous year.

Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called the news of an apparent historic 5% drop in the abortion rate “a real cause for giving thanks.”

However, she highlighted the figure of the number of maternal deaths, observing, “That number is double the deaths reported the previous year and it’s the highest since 1994.”

“We have to ask why the abortion-related deaths of 12 women are buried in the very last table of the report and unremarked on in the news,” she said. “The news from this report is that abortion harms women, as well as their babies.”

2008 is the most recent year for which figures about abortion-related deaths are available. Instances of possible abortion-related deaths that occurred between 2009 and 2012 are currently “under investigation” says the CDC.

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Earlier this summer, a 24-year-old women bled to death after a botched abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago. Tonya Reaves died after an incomplete abortion that left her with a perforated uterus.

Reaves’ mother, Dorsey Johns, has filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood, alleging the abortion organization “carelessly performed” the abortion on Reaves on July 20, 2012, then failed to properly monitor her afterwards.

The CDC report explains that information about abortion-related deaths comes from a variety of sources, including “state vital records, public health agencies, maternal mortality review committees, health-care providers and provider organizations, private citizens and citizen groups, and media reports, including computerized searches of full-text newspaper and other print media databases.”

“For each death that possibly is related to abortion, CDC requests clinical records and autopsy reports,” says the report. “Two medical epidemiologists review these reports to determine the cause of death and whether the death was abortion related.”

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