Thursday, October 18, 2007

Maternal Mortality and Abortion

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof did a several video pieces on maternal mortality in Solalia. Many women have high risk pregnancies. Which makes the findings of the findings of the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization study.

An estimated 42 million abortions were induced in 2003, compared with 46 million in 1995. The induced abortion rate in 2003 was 29 per 1000 women aged 15–44 years, down from 35 in 1995. Abortion rates were lowest in western Europe (12 per 1000 women). Rates were 17 per 1000 women in northern Europe, 18 per 1000 women in southern Europe, and 21 per 1000 women in northern America (USA and Canada). In 2003, 48% of all abortions worldwide were unsafe, and more than 97% of all unsafe abortions were in developing countries. There were 31 abortions for every 100 livebirths worldwide in 2003, and this ratio was highest in eastern Europe (105 for every 100 livebirths).

Women need abortion when their pregnancy endangers their lives. Most third world abortions are performed by people lacking medical training. These abortions often prove fatal.

The study makes clear that people need accurate information on what does or doesn't constitute a safe abortion. Christian conservative give inaccurate information about the risks of abortions performed by medical professionals. It is imperative women are educated about contraception and high-risk pregnancies.

I was troubled by Matt Yglesias's post on the study.

What's more, I'm not really sure why one would think that the case for reproductive freedom hinges crucially on the idea that making abortions safer, more affordable, and more convenient to obtain has no impact on the number of abortions people get. After all, if nothing else the very dangerous nature of the abortion procedure in the abortion-banning countries constitutes a sound consideration against getting an abortion in those places. Legal abortions not only allow women determined to terminate their pregnancies do so safely, but they allow women determined to manage their pregnancies safely do so by terminating them. Meanwhile, it seems that legal abortion helps promote relatively more permissive attitudes about sex.

I live on the border of a rough area in Tampa. Women I have seen get pregnant repeatedly are not properly educated about contraceptives. They are also don’t get abortions. The state usually takes the kids because they have financial and personal problems parenting. I have no idea whether or not they are having more or less sex than women whom have abortions. Neither can Matt.

Making abortion illegal would not stop people from having sex. I’m curious how can Matt know how much sex women were having before Roe v Wade? I have been googling and haven’t found an actual study (not counting Christian Right b.s.) that backs up Matt’s claim.

Matt also states as fact that abortions went up after Roe v Wade. Statistical data wasn't kept on abortions before then. So he makes a claim without being able to back it up. I got nothing personal against him. It does prove Matt didn't read the study he is dissing.

Prior to the nationwide legalization of abortion, information on the number and rate of abortions was not gathered, and estimates of illegal and self-induced abortions varied widely. In the years immediately following the Roe v. Wade decision, the number of LEGAL abortions grew rapidly for several reasons. The number of physicians trained and experienced in the procedure increased, and a nationwide network of outpatient abortion clinics developed that enabled women who would previously have had an illegal abortion, or would not have been able to obtain one at all, to do so legally in a medical facility.


Jill Filipovic gets credit for taking Matt to task for that.

Update: Ross Douthat continues the myth that abortion rates went up after Roe v Wade.

Whereas we know that when abortion was legalized in America in the early 1970s, the abortion rate went up dramatically; we also know that Western Europe, which has lower abortion rates than the U.S., also has (somewhat) more restrictive abortion laws. Which suggests if you're serious about reducing the abortion rate in America (as opposed to taking the "more abortion is a good thing" line that Matt espouses), the Edelstein-Saletan answer is something of a cop-out; if some kind of restriction isn't on the table, you probably aren't going to get very far.

I feel like banging my head against a wall. Just because people have been saying that for years doesn't make it true. That thinking is how everyone took Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's WMDs at face value. People, do research.

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At October 19, 2007 10:18 AM , Blogger tas said...

What does it even fucking matter if abortion rates went up or down before or after Roe v. Wade? Arguing about this shit just plays into the fundie right talking points. Let's cut the crap out of the argument and focus on the keypoints:

- Providing safe, legal abortions is the right and moral thing to do

- Providing safe, legal abortions gives women more freedom

- It's nobody's business whetther or not a woman they don't know has an abortion


- Anytime Yglesias opens his fat trap about women's issues, it's sure to piss off most of the known universe

So to anwser the question of whether or not providing safe abortions increases the number of women getting abortions, who cares? And does it increase the amount of sex they have? Who cares. Noen of that tripe matters.


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