by Elizabeth Charnowski on Sep 18, 2012
New studies show that those who argue that abortion is sometimes necessary to “save the life of the mother,” and that it lowers maternal mortality are flat out wrong. Abortion does not improve maternal health.
Let’s start with a brilliant recent study carried out by Elard Koch of Chile. Prof. Koch looked at maternal mortality rates in Chile before and after abortion was made illegal in 1989. He found that maternal mortality rates continued to decline at the same rate even after the law was changed, suggesting that the availability of abortion had no effect on falling maternal mortality rates.
The reason that maternal mortality rates continued to fall included better sanitation, better medical facilities, and especially higher levels of education among women. Chile currently has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world even as abortion remains illegal. Koch concluded that there is no causal relation between the availability of abortion and maternal mortality. We conclude from his study that, contrary to what abortion advocates claim, legalizing abortion will in no way improve maternal health.
Another prominent claim of the abortion lobby is that abortion is often necessary to save the life of the mother. They point to instances where the mother has cancer and refuses chemotherapy on the grounds that it may harm their unborn child. They advise abortion in such circumstances lest the mother die from lack of treatment.
But a recent study of cancer treatment during pregnancy concluded that it is a mistake to delay chemotherapy on the grounds that the unborn child may be harmed in some way. According to the study, “the placenta functions as a filter and protects the fetus against the toxic influence of chemotherapy.” Not only does the unborn child escape any physical harm from the poisons flooding its mother’s body, it does not suffer any neurological damage either. Children whose mothers underwent chemotherapy while they were in utero showed no signs of mental deficiency when tested throughout childhood and early adulthood.
Finally, we now have the newly announced Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health. The Symposium for Maternal Health, held in Dublin this past weekend, concluded that abortion in no way assists in the health of the mother. In the words of the Declaration:
As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.
In sum, the latest and best research shows that those who argue for the legalization of abortion on the grounds that “safe abortion” is necessary to lower maternal mortality rates and to improve maternal health in general are simply wrong.
And isn’t it ironic that those abortion-minded groups who claim to be interested in maternal health are in the business of destroying maternity? After all, an abortion not only takes the life of an unborn child, it also denies a woman her motherhood.
And as Blessed Mother Teresa said:
“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters”
And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” (Mother Theresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love – that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. “
“Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!”February 1997 – National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady.
“What is taking place in America,” she said, “is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another.”
“Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.”"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
Let us pray every day for an end to legalized abortion and the salvation of souls!
Deacon John Giglio