Anti-Choice Website Misleads on Connections Between Abortion and Maternal Mortality

Kathleen Reeves

A writer makes nonsensical arguments to connect criminalization of abortion in Ireland with low rates of maternal mortality. Ireland is abortion-free like America is drug-free.

David Schmidt, writing for Lila Rose’s Live Action blog, makes the completely nonsensical argument that Ireland’s low rate of maternal mortality is linked to its criminalization of abortion.

The Ireland statistics are no surprise when considering that abortion is proven to cause all sorts of issues, including:

· 50% increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy after a single abortion

· Serious emotional issues

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· Increased future miscarriage rate

· Increased rate of future premature births

Schmidt includes “evidence” for each of these “issues.” There’s also evidence that global warming doesn’t exist, that we should treat homosexuality as a mental disorder, and that condoms are highly dangerous.

Schmidt’s claim that abortion causes women to die in childbirth (try to follow that one) is not the only hole in his argument. The headline itself is problematic: “Maternal Death Rate Lowest in Abortion Free Ireland.” Ireland is abortion-free like America is drug-free; criminalization of something for which there is a demand does not eliminate that thing. Women in Ireland have abortions illegally, and many go to England, where abortion is legal. In fact, last December, three Irish women brought suit against Ireland’s abortion law in the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that “being forced to travel abroad for abortions endangered their ‘health and well-being’ as safeguarded by the European Convention on Human Rights.” And while statistics showed a decline in the number of women traveling from Ireland and Northern Ireland to England for an abortion, a women’s health advocate in Northern Ireland pointed out that more and more women buy “early medical abortion products”—presumably the abortion pill—online.

It’s hard to take this Live Action post seriously, and I would like to dismiss anything coming from Lila Rose, that nauseating Planned Parenthood sting operator. But Rose, who struck a decidedly martial tone at the end of her speech at the 2009 Values Voter Summit, should not be dismissed. In the speech, she quoted Patrick Henry thus: “Gentlemen may cry,  ‘Peace! peace!’ but there can be no peace. The war has already begun! Our brethren are already in the field! Why then do we stand here idle what is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?”

Here’s the actual quote:

Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?

Perhaps the part about “resounding arms” was too much even for Rose, speaking, as she was, four months after the shooting of George Tiller. Yes, Lila, the war is actually begun. Are you proud to be a part of that war?

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