Thou shalt not spread falsehoods
On Thursday, Big Blue Wave, one of the shrillest anti-choice blogs out there, posted an excerpt from this news release put out by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. (I added the boldface and some linkage.)
Permissive Abortion Laws May Be Hazardous To Mothers' Health, Per New Report
By Samantha Singson
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) A new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows that countries with restrictive abortion laws are often the leaders in reducing maternal mortality, and those with permissive laws often lag.
Now, reading that, you're led to believe that abortion leads to bad outcomes for women's health. But you've been led wrong. A thorough reading of this very important WEF report in fact demonstrates nothing of the kind. What's more, it shows how many millions of women -- and their children -- suffer needlessly.
Bear with me here as I quote more from the C-FAM release.
Abortion advocates have attempted to push an international "right to abortion," claiming that restrictive laws force women to seek unsafe abortion, which in turn leads to high maternal mortality. In October, the Guttmacher Institute released a report on global abortion calling on states to "expand access to legal abortion and ensure that safe, legal abortion services are available to women in need." Sharon Camp, president of the Guttmacher Institute, asserted that "in much of the developing world, abortion remains highly restricted, and unsafe abortion is common and continues to damage women's health and threaten their survival."
Indeed, it does. Not only that, it also shows that, while worldwide abortion rates have fallen -- due to increased access to contraception in Latin America and Asia, especially -- the rate of illegal abortions has not. Although many women have access to safer procedures to terminate pregnancies, some 70,000 women a year still die from complications due to unsafe abortions.
Back to C-FAM's release:
An examination and comparison of several countries included in the WEF survey show that legal abortion does not mean lower maternal mortality rates.
Both Ireland and Poland, favorite targets of the abortion lobby for their strong restrictions on abortion, have better maternal mortality ratios than the United States. Ireland ranks first in the survey with 1 death for every 100,000 live births. In recent years Poland has tightened its abortion law and ranks number 27 on the list with 8 deaths per 100,000. In the United States where there are virtually no restrictions on abortion, the maternal mortality ratio is 17 out of 100,000 live births.
Now, understand that the WEF report focuses on the ''global gender gap,'' the wide chasm between how men and women are treated in many countries. It measures economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational levels and access to healthcare differences between the sexes and comes out with an index.
For the record, Canada ranks No. 25 on all these measures, while the US is No. 31. Tops in the world is Iceland, followed by the usual line-up of northern European countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden. As for the bottom of the list, let's just say you don't want to be a woman in Yemen.
But let's cut straight to the maternal mortality chase, which those ''pro-lifers'' focus on.
Not only do "weak healthcare systems not prioritize women's health,'' there is evidence that the number of skilled healthcare workers available to support women through pregnancy, delivery and post-natal care had everything to do with women's survival. The women who die, die of "severe bleeding, infection, hypertension'' and then ''complications from unsafe abortion.'' Abort About 20 per cent of maternal deaths are related to diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS -- and then there's women's inability to get decent nourishment.
Now ''unsafe abortion'' does not necessarily correlate with legal abortion. You can have no restrictions on abortion -- and no safe means to provide them.Which is what is happening in Guyana, for example.
The C-FAM release focuses on Ireland where women have 100 per cent access to maternity care, provided by public healthcare insurance, and Poland, where, again, it's 100 per cent funded healthcare, either publicly or via an employer.
As for the US, guess what? The C-FAM release fibs. The maternal mortality ratio is NOT ''17 out of 100,000 live births,'' but ELEVEN out of 100,000 live births. And guess again: No free healthcare. In the US, where having a uterus is a pre-existing condition, many women skip on check-ups. Many women also get abused and/or killed by their partners when they are pregnant. There are many factors.
But let's look at another country -- Canada -- where there is unrestricted access to abortion (unless you live in PEI or New Brunswick, but that's another blog post.) Maternal mortality per 100,000 live births? Seven. That's fewer than Poland.
What about the UK where abortion is also covered by public healthcare and available? Eight, same as Poland.
In fact, as you can see from the excerpt (above right) of a bigger WEF graph, of the Top 10 countries for the lowest maternal mortality rates, none but Ireland puts many, if any, restrictions on abortion.
So much for C-FAM's lie theory.
Oh but it gets better:
Other regions of the world show similar trends. The African nation with the lowest maternal mortality rate is Mauritius, a country with some of the continent's most protective laws for the unborn. On the other end of the spectrum is Ethiopia, which has decriminalized abortion in recent years in response to global abortion lobby pressure. Ethiopia's maternal death rate is 48 times higher than in Mauritius. South Africa has the continent's most liberal abortion laws and also a high maternal mortality ratio of 400 deaths per 100,000.
In Ethiopia, only six per cent of births are attended by skilled healthcare practitioners. Many of them are starving, uneducated, victims of genital mutilation with virtually no access to contraception. In Mauritius, 99 per cent of births are attended, and still 15 women per 100,00 live births die.
The reason that I am reposting C-FAM's distortions is not so much because it cherrypicks the facts to make its forced birthing case but because it is further evidence of how the so-called pro-lifers do not care at all about the lives of the Maternal Incubator Units.
If they did, they would not be advocating for restrictive abortion laws worldwide but for better maternal healthcare -- as well as education and equality. Yes, their release concludes with this:
Pro-lifers emphasize that the WEF report reinforces their contention that skilled birth attendants and access to emergency obstetric care should be the focus of maternal mortality reduction efforts, rather than increasing access to legal abortion.
But the way C-FAM jiggles the numbers puts the lie paid to that.
In fact, C-FAM even boasts that one of its programs monitors the UN's ''harmful'' Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which fights for women's rights. What does C-FAM do?
Yeah, so much for the living.
That's 70,000 women a year who die, millions more who are permanently disabled.
And C-FAM claims to be for human rights.
So glad they're on women's side.
Good going, Big Blue Wave!
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Well, well. Doesn't this explain the focus on Ireland?
Three women living in the Irish Republic challenged the country’s strict abortion law at the European Court of Human Rights yesterday (Dec. 9), claiming that their rights had been violated.
The three — two Irish nationals and a Lithuanian — all left their homes in Ireland to have abortions in Britain. Identified only by the letters A, B and C because of the risk of imprisonment in Ireland, they are supported in their case by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and the Irish Family Planning Association. Ireland’s abortion law dates from 1861, and bans the procedure except where there is a risk to the life of the mother, including that of suicide. An estimated 140,000 women have crossed the Irish Sea for abortions in the past 30 years, with the number presently running at an average of 6,000 a year.
One of the women in the case had had her four children placed in foster care and sought an abortion to avoid jeopardising her chances of reuniting the family.
Another woman was at risk of an extrauterine pregnancy while the third, a Lithuanian, became pregnant while in remission from cancer. She understood that the pregnancy might cause her cancer to return, and decided to have an abortion as she was “unclear, and concerned about the risks to her health and the life and to the foetus, if she continued to term”.
FED UP WOMEN DATE: Dammit Janet! picks up the torch and runs with it.