Pussy Hat Feminists

Did “thousands of women” die in “back alley abortions” before Roe v. Wade?

I get into debates about abortion, and sometimes my opponent will complain that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, then thousands of women would die in illegal abortions. Well, if that ever happens to you, this post will help you to know how to respond to it.

First of all, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, then each of the 50 states would pass legislation deciding when abortions would be legal.

Here’s a map taken from the Washington Examiner:

Abortion rights after Roe v. Wade is overturned
Abortion rights after Roe v. Wade is overturned

Red states are more pro-life than blue states in this map. For example, New York is ranked #6, and Tennessee is ranked #45.

So, if a woman did have irresponsible sex with a hot bad boy, then she easily could terminate her child in one of the blue states.

Second, the number thrown around by abortion advocates is not accurate. It’s simply not true that “thousands of women” were dying from poorly-performed abortions when abortion was still illegal. Actually, abortions were performed by trained medical personnel, but it just wasn’t reported to the police.

Here’s a recent article from the radically leftist Washington Post:

Erica Sackin, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, directed us to a 2014 policy statement issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): “It is estimated that before 1973, 1.2 million U.S. women resorted to illegal abortion each year and that unsafe abortions caused as many as 5,000 annual deaths.”

There is no citation in the statement for the estimate of “as many as 5,000 annual deaths,” even though many of the other sentences are carefully documented. None of the citations around this sentence supports the figure, and there is no explanation about how it was calculated.

[…]Meanwhile, Sackin also sent a variety of reports, many of which were referenced in a footnote in a document published by NARAL Pro-Choice America. One of the citations especially caught our eye: Frederick Taussig, “Abortion Spontaneous and Induced: Medical and Social Aspects,” (1936).

Why was a study from 1936 being cited? Because in 1936, we didn’t have antibiotics! People were dying all the time from any kind of surgery – not just abortion.


The advent of antibiotics such as penicillin and improved medical procedures suddenly made abortion less risky. Another prominent researcher, Christopher Tietze, argued in a 1948 paper that the number of deaths from abortion was rapidly declining because of three reasons: contraceptive methods had improved so fewer women were getting pregnant, abortion providers were getting better at avoiding infections, and many lives had been saved because of the introduction of sulfa drugs and penicillin.

[…]The data collected by Tietze showed 2,677 deaths from abortion in 1933, compared with 888 in 1945, with much of the decline in septic cases associated with illegal abortions. (The numbers also include deaths from “therapeutic abortions,” permitted by law, and “spontaneous abortions.”)

By 1959, a leading researcher wrote: “Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physicians. In 1957, there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind. In New York City in 1921, there were 144 abortion deaths, in 1951 there were only 15.”

The writer was Mary Steichen Calderone, at the time medical director of Planned Parenthood. She attributed the decline in the mortality rate to antibiotics and the fact that 90 percent of illegal abortions were done by trained physicians.

OK, so abortion advocates cite the study from 1936, which already relies on questionable estimates, because they know that the later numbers are far, far lower – thanks to the widespread use of antibiotics. They’re lying, essentially, because lying helps them to persuade people who think with their feelings, and don’t look too closely at facts.

Third, there are over 2,000 pregnancy care ministries and clinics operating throughout the continental United States. Women who want help with pregnancy or adoption can get help from one of these clinics.

Fourth, even if women hurt themselves during abortions, that wouldn’t be a reason to legalize abortion. Bank robbers hurt themselves during bank robberies, and drug dealers hurt themselves during drug deals. We do not legalize criminal activities just because criminals get hurt during the commission of those activities. So the real question is, what is the unborn? If the unborn is a living human being, then abortion on demand takes the life of an innocent human being without justification, and should therefore be illegal.

13 thoughts on “Did “thousands of women” die in “back alley abortions” before Roe v. Wade?”

  1. 1. Yes, the pro-aborts lied about the number of deaths. Oddly enough, people who kill children for a living don’t find lying to be morally wrong either.

    2. We should be unapologetic in saying that society has no obligation to make it safer to murder children.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. To me, if a person is willing topunish an an unborn child for the irresponsible actions of the parents, them they could do anything. You can’t have relationships with people that reckless and irresponsible.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The figure about deaths in the story is ridiculous. For every single one of the “estimated” 1.2 million abortions that are performed there are exactly as many deaths as there are abortions – it’s a 1 to 1 ratio. In certain cases (5,000 by their count) there are 2 deaths for every abortion.
    Count me as less concerned about the death of a mother who is willing to murder her innocent child merely to avoid some personal inconvenience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. It still shocks me (though I’m not sure why) that all the pro-abortion folks have absolutely no concern for the choice/health/well-being of the human they are killing in this process.


      1. Why are you shocked? We live in a me, me, me world. It’s all about a “woman’s right to her reproductive freedom.” The “patriarchy” is trying to force women to have children—and other such nonsense.

        Never any mention about the rights of the unborn child. Disgusting.


  3. Reblogged this on Mike’s Musings and commented:
    You may not do evil that good may come of it. That does not prevent the purveyors of even the most fundamental evil of all from trying to justify it by presenting a perceived good that I really not good at all..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t say it any better at the end. I hate abortion through and through. Even the rare cases of rape and incest. The baby is a human at fertilization and birth. The estimations are more than likely exaggerated and even the reasons for abortion is nonsense.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. The pro-aborts exploit rape and incest victims to justify all abortions at any stage, up to the child’s first breath. And you can’t kill the children of rape and incest outside the womb, so you shouldn’t be able to kill them inside, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 100% agree. The fact many people are okay with murdering a unborn child and even celebrating the murder of the child is wicked.

        There was a study by a pro abortion woman to show that women are better off. After the study was finished, around 98%(the percentage could be lower)of the participants refuse to answer the calls of from the peoples who was conducting the study who wanted to see how was the women was doing after the abortion.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Think of how much we do as a society to ride to the rescue of people who have been reckless and irresponsible. Babies are innocent. We shouldn’t spend a dime on helping grown ups until we help every baby first.

      Liked by 3 people

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