Abortion doesn´t lower maternal mortality

Lancet, the leading British medical journal, published a study that not only shows abortion advocates are inaccurate on worldwide maternity mortality claims, but also that abortion does not lower these rates.  These findings have caused a division in the United Nations regarding the organization’s plan to increase funding for family planning at upcoming international development conferences.

The Lancet study found that in 2008 there were 342,900 maternal deaths worldwide, nearly 30% fewer than the 500,000 reported by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.  The study claims that the WHO and UNICEF numbers were faulty due to a “lack of proper reporting and also imprecise statistical modeling.”  Lancet’s findings show a lower rate and that serious progress has been made in preventing the deaths of pregnant women.

According to the study, there are four main reasons for this improvement:  declining pregnancy rates in some countries, higher per capita income, higher education levels for women, and an increase in basic medical care.  Notice that abortion is completely absent from the list.  Abortion is not necessary to lower maternal mortality rates, and the Lancet study gave the statistical evidence to support this fact.

The Lancet study is in direct contradiction with studies and claims from the United Nations.  The UN has claimed at various conferences and on their website (www.UN.org) that maternal mortality rates have remained unchanged for decades, and that the only way to reduce them is through family planning and safe, legal abortions.  The UN High Level Millennium Development Goals (MDG) even include plans to increase access to family planning and abortions to reduce maternal deaths worldwide by 75%.  In addition to the Lancet study, the Guttmacher Institute has found that there is no scientific evidence to support that family planning or abortions improve maternal health.  These studies have threatened to derail the UN’s hopes of raising thirty billion dollars for family planning at the G8 Summit in June and the MDG review in September.

It is important to spread the news from the Lancet study that maternal mortality rates can be reduced worldwide without increasing or allowing abortions.  Improvements in basic medical care, education, and income are the most effective ways to prevent the deaths of pregnant women.  Take the opportunity to tell the UN that family planning and abortions are not the ways to save pregnant mothers, and that their time and money should be put to more effective use.  One of the best ways to contact the UN is through their website at www.un.org/en/contactus/.

Read more about the Lancet study on maternal mortality and the UN reaction: