Outlawing Abortion Doesn’t Increase Maternal Mortality UN Data Shows

Mon Feb 20, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

by Hilary White

NEW YORK, February 20, 2006 ( – One of the most commonly played assertions of the abortion movement has been that laws prohibiting abortion result in maternal deaths from “unsafe back-alley abortions.” Now data from the United Nations has shown that countries with laws protecting the life of the unborn also enjoy lower rates of maternal mortality than countries where abortion is legal.

The comparison of four countries in the developed world published by the United Nations Populations Division, shows that Russia, with one of the highest rates of abortion in the world, has a maternal mortality rate of 67 deaths for every 100,000 births. The United States, with almost no legal restrictions on abortion but better health care, has a rate of 17 deaths for every 100,000 births.

Ireland, however, where abortion is illegal and with health care comparable to the US, has the lowest rate of the four countries with only 5 deaths for every 100,000 births. In Poland, long under communist rule, the rate is 13 deaths for every 100,000 births.

The study is timely for pro-life countries like Poland and Ireland, as well as those in Latin America struggling under heavy pressure from the UN and European Union to legalise abortion. “The World Mortality Report: 2005” lists infant and maternal mortality rates around the world and “is the first report of its kind” from the UN Population Division.

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