The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released its annual abortion surveillance report. The headline is that abortions declined in 2020, and that is probably true. But keep in mind that the CDC’s reports have significant limitations, the biggest one being that a few pro-abortion states (notably California) refuse to cooperate in data collection. The year-over-year comparison may be valid, but the absolute number of abortions (620,327) is definitely underreported.
When it comes to the number of maternal deaths from abortion, though, CDC numbers are much more reliable because the CDC doesn’t depend solely on state reporting. The CDC conducts its own investigation using “PMSS, which includes data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City . . . media reports, including computerized searches of full-text newspaper and other print media databases; and individual case reports by public health agencies, including maternal mortality review committees, health care providers and provider organizations, private citizens, and citizen groups. For each death that is possibly related to abortion, CDC requests clinical records and autopsy reports. Two medical epidemiologists independently review these reports to determine the cause of death and whether the death was abortion related. . . . Each death is categorized by abortion type as legal induced, illegal induced, spontaneous, or unknown type.”
According to the CDC analysis, legal induced abortion killed four women in 2019. (The 2020 number is not yet available.) Over the past ten years (2010-2019), the average has been 4.3 women per year.
The abortion industry and its supporters do not want to talk about those women. They are collateral damage in the ideological crusade for “safe and legal” abortion on demand. Those women don’t get front-page obituaries. They’re lucky if the news covers their deaths at all.
But you can bet that as soon as a woman dies of anything that could even remotely be attributed to a denied abortion, our mainstream media will exploit her death and blame the pro-life movement. We saw how the manipulation worked in Ireland. Since it was successful there, why wouldn’t they try it here?
Before they get the chance, let’s be abundantly clear about what the baseline is. The baseline is that the Roe regime killed four mothers annually. If one woman were to die in the year after Dobbs, that tragedy would represent an improvement. We will not rest until the number is zero — which requires us to maintain our support for anti-abortion laws. We do not need to apologize for saving the lives of thousands of children, and for saving women too!