Research Exposes the Truth: Abortion Does Not Reduce Maternal Mortality


Studies continue to support the contention that violating a woman by abortion is not a “preventive health service.”  A research article by Dr. Elard Koch and associates studied the impact of the legal prohibition of abortion in Chile.  One of the most significant findings of the study is that, contrary to widely-held assumptions, making abortion illegal in 1989 in Chile did not result in an increase in maternal mortality. In fact, just the opposite occurred: the maternal mortality rate has continued to decrease since that time from 41.3 to 12.7 per 100,000 live births (69.2% reduction).  

The Guttmacher Institute, the education, research, and policy arm of Planned Parenthood, has attempted to refute these findings, citing that significant restrictions on abortion existed before 1989 in Chile.  They further tried to impugn the scientific methodology of Dr. Koch’s study.  Dr. Koch successfully refutes these allegations

Furthermore, research supports the fact that abortion is detrimental to a woman’s psychological health, even when the fetus is experiencing a fatal anomaly:

Research suggests that women who terminate for fetal anomalies experience grief as intense as that of parents experiencing a spontaneous death of a baby (Zeanah 1993) and that aborting a baby with birth defects can be a “traumatic event … which entails the risk of severe and complicated grieving.” (Kersting 2004) One long-term study found that “a substantial number … showed pathological scores for post-traumatic stress.” (Korenromp et al, 2005) And a recent follow up study found that 14 months after the termination, nearly 17 percent of women were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety or depression. (Kersting 2009) Termination is not a shortcut through grief. In contrast, parental responses to perinatal hospice are “overwhelmingly positive” (Calhoun & Hoeldtke 2000), and parents report being emotionally and spiritually prepared for their infant’s death and feeling “a sense of gratitude and peace surrounding the brief life of their child” (Sumner 2001). From:

In fact, recently the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld a 2005 South Dakota statute that requires doctors to inform women who seek abortion of the significantly  increased risk of suicidal ideation.  Despite claims to the contrary, research supports the right of women, under informed consent, to know of this risk.  Specifically, in a review of the research of abortion-associated suicide, Shadigian and Bauer report that researchers have found that suicide is 3 to 6 times greater in women obtaining an induced abortion than in women who deliver at term (E. Shadigian and S. Bauer, “Pregnancy-Associated Death: A Qualitative Systematic Review of Homicide and Suicide,” OB GYN Survey, Vol. 60, No 3, 2005.)

Thus, not only does abortion not reduce maternal mortality, but in fact, can be detrimental to a woman’s health and endanger her life.