Thursday, July 9, 2009

Interview: faulty foreign abortion data

MCCL has dealt a lot recently with the faulty argument used by international pro-abortion groups that legal abortion is necessary to combat maternal mortality in the developing world.

Here is an interview on the problems with international abortion data with Donna Harrison, MD, a diplomat for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and president of the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. An excerpt:
Q: Does it matter very much if the numbers are not accurate? Governments do have to address all aspects of maternal health, including abortion, don't they?

Donna Harrison: Actually, it matters enormously because of the implications for planning national policy. If a country finds that a large percentage of maternal deaths happen from a lack of skilled birth attendants at delivery, and a very small number come from induced abortions, then it becomes clear that funding should be directed to skilled birth attendants and not to abortion agencies.

But if a country where abortion is illegal uses methodology which allows spontaneous abortions to be counted as induced abortions, a falsely high number of maternal deaths may be attributed to "unsafe abortions." The country will then be under international pressure to legalize abortion, on the assumption that it would result in the immediate lowering of the hospital admissions owing to abortion, and the associated costs.

As we have seen, however, this reduction would be more apparent than real, since adverse outcomes of planned and legal abortions might not be counted.