A recent report reveals there were more than 32,000 fewer abortions in the six months following the overturning of Roe v. Wade when compared to the average number of abortions performed in the months before the decision. Despite these many lives saved, pro-abortion activists say we need legalized abortion to save the lives of women.
Is abortion needed to save the lives of women? The data says no.
Even back in 2013, a study to determine “why women seek abortion in the US” found that only 12 percent of women cited “health-related reasons” for their decision to abort. These “reasons,” though, could be anything from back pain to mental health concerns — many times a far cry from “medically necessary.” In fact, this study found that the “most frequently mentioned theme” mothers referenced for ending the lives of their unborn children was related to finances.
The reality is that women don’t require abortion to save their lives. As of January 2023, the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that only 0.2 percent of abortions occurred due to “risk to the woman’s life or a major bodily function” (emphasis mine).
“Nothing could be further from the truth” than the idea that abortion is “medically necessary” to save a woman’s life, said Dr. Anthony Levatino — an obstetrician-gynecologist and former board member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) — in an interview with Live Action.
Levatino, who worked at one of the top high-risk obstetrics hospitals in America for nine years, said he’s “saved hundreds of women from life-threatening pregnancies” through early induction and C-sections, never once having to deliberately kill a child in the process.
Still, pro-abortion activists and their media allies flaunt stories of medical emergencies as grounds for abortion legalization while disregarding that the vast majority of abortions occur on physically healthy babies and mothers. Instead of working to find viable solutions for the small percentage of women facing emergency situations, radicals would rather keep abortion legal and allow hundreds of thousands of healthy babies to be killed annually.
A recent NPR story stirred public emotion with the story of Elizabeth Weller, a Texas mother whose water broke at 18 weeks. In this case, there was a major health concern when she was told she could not abort her still-living, but terminal, baby due to Texas heartbeat laws. The child, she was told, could give her a dangerous infection — but the unborn baby still held a “strong” heartbeat.
Eventually, when Weller began to show more severe signs of medical distress, she was induced and gave birth to a stillborn daughter. As Weller recalls:
They laid down this beautiful baby girl in my arms. She was so tiny. And she rested on my chest. … I looked at her little hands and I just cried. And I told her ‘I’m so sorry. I couldn’t give you life.’
Because delivery was induced rather than the baby aborted, Weller actually got to see and hold her child. A terminal diagnosis for an unborn child is always tragic and traumatic, but would an abortion have made it less so?
Additionally, even with the health concern, abortion was never Weller’s only option and was not necessary in the first place. Plenty of OB-GYNs have attested it never is.
“A physician can always separate the mother and the baby in a way that gives them both the best chance possible,” wrote Lila Rose of Live Action and Dr. Donna Harrison, OB-GYN and executive director of the AAPLOG.
In the Dublin Declaration, more than 1,000 doctors and maternal health care experts signed this statement:
As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion — the purposeful destruction of the unborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
There are other ways to handle true emergencies, even in later-term stages of pregnancies when they often crop up — ways that don’t require torturous poisoning or dismemberment of an unborn child.
In the case of Weller, it was possible to address her medical crisis and save her from harm without conducting an abortion. As Levatino described, C-sections and early induction are effective options for treatment. Although the baby did not live, Weller’s early induction avoided the willful taking of human life.
Of course, the fact that Weller was forced to wait indefinitely while she was in pain and at risk, is troubling. State lawmakers and health care boards must clarify what constitutes the need for early induction so doctors can address situations like Weller’s quickly and consistently.
Because Roe v. Wade was overturned only a year ago, there will, unfortunately, be a medical learning curve. But that does not mean we scrap the plan to reinstate legal abortions for any reason at any time.
No matter what they say, pro-aborts will not stop at allowing abortion strictly in the case of emergencies — only zero restrictions will do for these folks.
But abortion is always wrong, for any reason, at any time.
More than 32,000 babies are alive today because Roe v. Wade was overturned, and OB-GYNs like Levatino and Harrison who signed the Dublin Declaration have determined, in their years of experience, that abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life.
The argument for making abortion illegal is much stronger than its counterpart.