Early 1960s: Roughly 12,000 Canadian women died each year during illegal abortions.One who is unfamiliar with the facts (or isn't so good with math) may actually believe them. But let's look at the actual numbers. Here's some statistics on surgical abortions in Canada: 11,152 of them were performed in 1970. So they want to tell me that the number of back alley abortion deaths in a typical year in early 1960s was actually higher than the overall number of legal abortions performed in a year following the legalization.
Sure, just a year later, in 1971, the number of surgical abortions jumped to as many as 37,232 and kept increasing year after year. But that was after more hospitals had started performing abortions. That was after the abortion itself had gradually became "just another form of birth control", accepted not just by the general public, but also by some liberal churches. Back in 1970, most of that hadn't happened yet. Those 11,152 women who had an abortion in 1970 - they were the ones ready to literally walk the extra mile to get an abortion. But by then surgical abortions had already become legal. How many of them would have been ready to do what it takes to have an abortion, if abortion had been still illegal? So, not only there couldn't be 12,000 back-alley abortion deaths in Canada in early 1960s, but there couldn't even be as many as 12,000 back-alley abortions in those years.
But what is the real statistics on the back-alley abortion deaths? Here are the numbers for the US:
The National Center for Heath Statistics reveals that before 1941, there were over 1,400 abortion-related deaths. Yet after Penicillin became available to control infections, the number of deaths was reduced in the 1950's to approximately 250 per year. By 1966, with abortion still illegal in all states, the number of deaths had dropped steadily to 120. The reason? New and better antibiotics, better surgery and the establishment of intensive care units in hospitals. This was in the face of a rising population.For Canada, with its population being 10 times smaller, those numbers should have been roughly 10 times lower. Could it be that the real number of back-alley abortion deaths was 12 and the pro-aborts have simply added the three zeroes to scare the uninformed public?
Finally, let's take a glimpse at the abortion mortality nowadays:
It is no surprise that abortion providers have tried to set our minds to rest by providing the political push to eliminate uniform legal requirements for reporting abortion related deaths. In the years when there was an accurate reporting procedure, Oregon reported 14 deaths per 100,000 legal abortions, compared with 8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Maryland reported 40 deaths per 100,000 abortions, compared to 23 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. In Sweden and Denmark, abortion mortality rates are twice the maternal death rate and conditions are safer there.Sure, legal abortions are safer than the back-alley abortions were back in the 1960s. But there are a lot more of them nowadays. As result, the number of abortion deaths is actually higher than it was when abortion was illegal.