Abortion as Health Care for Women

The abortion issue is once again in the news. Some people in our country Canada are trying to argue that providing free access to abortion is essential to improving maternal and infant health worldwide. Aside from the fact that they imagine abortion to be a solution to a medical problem, as if pregnancy is a disease, the facts show that abortion does not improve the health of women or infants. Let’s look at the case of El Salvador. In 1998 abortion was outlawed. Before that, the maternal mortality rate was 155 out of 100,000 births. In 2006, with financial and technical help, the maternal mortality rate fell to 71.2 per 100,000 births. Outlawing abortion did not increase the mortality rate of women giving birth. In Poland, abortion has been virtually banned since 1989. The country’s abortion rate has fallen greatly from well over 100,000 a year in the 1980’s to few hundred in the 1990’s. Since the fall of the communist regime in 1989, maternal mortality has plummeted by more than 75%, infant mortality is down by almost two-thirds, and premature births have dropped by well over half. Why has Poland made such great improvement in maternal and infant health? Poland is not a rich country and has not had the wealth to spend on lots of new programmes to improve maternal and infant health. The only change that could have made such a dramatic improvement is the proven decline in the induced abortion rate. Therefore, including abortion as a way to help improve maternal and child health care in poor countries is not the way to go. We don’t even need to be a religious person see that. The bare facts themselves point out that abortion is not good for women and children and society.

Here is an excellent link to an article by Ian Gentles, the research director at the De Veber Institute of Bioethics.Lessons on ‘repordictive health’ from Europe


About Didobonaparte

A Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, I am the parish priest of Saint Joseph's Catholic Church, Langley.
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