The Big Lie: Thousand of Illegal Abortion Deaths

Author: A.L.L.


American Life League

Figures never lie, but liars sure do figure.

                                                                                                             Mark Twain.

Anti-Life Philosophy.

The availability of legal abortion is a vital necessity for women's health, because thousands of women died of illegal abortions every year in this country before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. If we turn the clock back to the days when women were forced to seek out back-alley butchers, our emergency rooms will once again overflow with desperate women who have been mangled by quacks and 'home remedies.' We will never go back to the days when women died of unsafe, illegal abortions!

Besides, abortion is six [ten, twelve, twenty, pick a number] times safer than childbirth.

Lies in the United States.

The Big Myth.

Without question, the most effective lie the pro-abortion movement used to obtain abortion on demand in this and other countries was the allegation that thousands of women died of illegal, unsanitary abortions each year before the procedure was legalized.

However, a simple statistical analysis shows that pro-abortionists are lying about illegal abortion deaths all over the world.

The Pro-Abortionists Admit the Lie.

The legend of thousands of women dying of illegal abortions has been a devastatingly effective propaganda instrument in the past, and is now being used in the fight by pro-abortion groups to keep baby-killing legal in this country.

However, no evidence exists to support this spurious claim. For example, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and the former owner of the largest abortion clinic in the world (the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, or C*R*A*S*H) states in a quote widely used by pro-lifers to highlight the dishonesty of pro-abortionists;

How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In NARAL [the National Abortion Rights Action League], we generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always '5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.' I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the 'morality' of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.[1]

And pro-abortion propagandist Marian Faux confirms the lie in her recent book Roe v. Wade; "An image of tens of thousands of women being maimed or killed each year by illegal abortion was so persuasive a piece of propaganda that the [pro-abortion] movement could be forgiven its failure to double-check the facts."[2]

Malcolm Potts, one of the original international activists who helped spread abortion throughout the world, claimed that "Those who want the [abortion] law to be liberalized will stress the hazards of illegal abortion and claim that hundreds, or thousands, of women die unnecessarily each year when the actual number is far lower."[3]

Even the Neofeminist "Bible," Sisterhood is Powerful, recognized that "A study made in the 1930s, before the development of antibiotics made even illegal abortion less deadly than it used to be, came up with this number of 10,000 deaths; but it is no longer anywhere near the truth and has no place in any serious discussion of abortion."[4]

The "Official" Figures.

According to the United States Bureau of Vital Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control, the last time 1,000 women died of illegal abortions in the United States was in the year before penicillin became widely available to the public in 1942. In the ten years preceding Roe v. Wade, deaths ranged from 90 to 150 per year.

Note that the table below shows a steady decline in abortion deaths from 1942 on, finally stabilizing at about 30 per year in 1976. This decline is clearly unrelated to the legal status of abortion. It is critical to note that the most impressive drop in abortion mortality was prior to legalization. This steady trend reflects advances in medicine and the introduction of safer abortion techniques, both legal and illegal.



1942:    1,232           1977:         35
1947:       583           1978:         27
1957:       260           1979:         34
1968:       130           1980:         29
1972:         90           1981:         36
1973:         57           1982:         31
1974:         54           1983:         27
1975:         49           1984:         33
1976:         27

Reference: Centers for Disease Control, Abortion Surveillance Unit. Quoted in Matthew J. Bulfin, M.D. "Deaths and Near Deaths with Legal Abortions." Presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Convention at Disney World, Florida, October 28, 1975.

It is also important to note that the death rates for legal abortions in European countries were virtually identical to the death rates for illegal abortions in the United States.[5] Since legal abortions in Europe were performed under the best prevailing conditions at the time, we must conclude that the vast majority of illegal abortions performed in the U.S. took place under similar favorable and sanitary conditions, not seedy back-alley abortion mills, as described later in this chapter.

The actual maternal death rates for abortions in three countries in the late 1940s were;[5]

• Sweden (legal),    250 per 100,000,    1946-1948;
• Denmark (legal),  195 per 100,000,    1940-1950;
• U.S. (illegal),        165 per 100,000,    1940-1950.

Documentation Problems?

The argument most often used by anti-life groups against these "official" illegal abortion-death figures is that almost all of the deaths caused by illegal abortion before 1973 were not reported or properly documented.

However, this obviously cannot be the case. When a woman died of a botched or self-inflicted illegal abortion before 1973, the cause of death became quite obvious during an autopsy, and this type of death was officially recorded as such by a physician who had no personal interest in the case and had no reason to falsify the death certificate. Illegal abortion deaths were always reported to the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the U.S. Public Health Department. In fact, many physicians who wanted to see abortion legalized went public with such deaths in order to push for abortion law reform or repeal.

The abortion-death reporting situation is now exactly the opposite of what it was before abortion was legalized. Instead of being properly reported, many abortion-caused deaths are covered up for obvious reasons. The abortionists are now a very well-protected part of the medico-legal "system" despite their "untouchable" status, because they are the garbagemen of the medical profession. They dispose of unwanted human beings, and their filthy business is considered vital to the welfare of society by modern-day utilitarians. Many abortion-caused deaths are quickly and efficiently attributed to other causes, as described later in this chapter.

NARAL's Estimate.

Dr. Nathanson's figure of "5,000 to 10,000 abortion deaths annually" is still commonly used by the National Abortion Rights Action League and other nationally-based pro-abortion groups.

However, this statement can be disproved by using NARAL's own statistics.

In its June 1978 A Speaker's and Debater's Notebook, NARAL quotes an illegal abortion maternal death rate of 40 per 100,000, and a total of 200,000 illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. These figures are confirmed by the most experienced abortion statistician in the country Dr. Christopher Tietze of the Population Council who believed that the illegal abortion death rate was 50 to 100 deaths per 100,000 abortions.[6]

Statistically, this can mean only one of two things;

(1) NARAL is admitting that there were only about 80 annual deaths due to illegal abortion before Roe v. Wade (i.e., 200,000 illegal abortions times 40 deaths per 100,000). This agrees almost perfectly with the Centers for Disease Control figure of 90 fatalities in 1972. Either this number is correct,

(2) using the maternal death ratios given above (40 per 100,000) and NARAL's claimed 5,000 to 10,000 annual maternal deaths, this means that there were from 12.5 million to 25 million illegal abortions annually in the United States before Roe v. Wade, an obvious absurdity.

Of the above two choices, it is perfectly obvious that option (1) is the only one that can possibly be correct; there were about 80 to 90 maternal deaths annually from illegal abortion before Roe v. Wade.

This figure is supported by the famous 'sexologist' Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who found that, before legalization, more than 90 percent of all abortions in the United States were performed by licensed physicians in clinics that rivaled hospitals in terms of cleanliness, expertise, and up-to-date equipment.[7]

Legal, But Not So Safe.

Traditionally, the medical profession has been unwilling to present concrete facts to the public concerning the possible dangers associated with various procedures. Perhaps it is now time for doctors to be more open and honest and to encourage better education of the community. The general public should be allowed to know that mid-trimester abortions are not simple, safe procedures and that they may carry a significant risk, not only of morbidity, but of death.

"Midtrimester Abortion and Its Complications." Editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia, January 22, 1977, page 38.

The Real Reason for Legalization.

As stated above, the primary reason pro-abortionists alleged that they wanted to reform or repeal abortion laws was that maternal health was at stake.

However, the true primary objective for getting rid of abortion laws was far different. Pro-abortionists hoped to eliminate laws, not to defuse the danger of back-alley abortionists, but to codify existing practice in order to allow doctors to more easily obtain insurance and legal coverage. In other words, the great 'reform or repeal' effort was strictly a business move.

As psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Kummer acknowledged, "Proposed legislation to change existing abortion laws is merely codifying that which reputable physicians, and I'll use that word again reputable physicians in some of our leading hospitals have been doing for a good many years."[8]

Upon legalization, the abortion entrepreneurs immediately saw their chance. The following remarks by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former operator of the world's largest abortion clinic, are extracted from the minutes of the May 12, 1972 annual meeting of the executive board of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (now the National Abortion Rights Action League). Dr. Nathanson is referring to the legal abortion clinics that sprouted like mushrooms in New York City immediately after legalization.

These high-volume abortuaries committed a staggering 300,000 abortions in 1972 alone;


• "[Points made by] Bernard Nathanson, M.D., Chairman, NARAL Medical

• "Problems with Law and Clinics —

• "(a) Much money made — kickbacks, stealing patients, etc. by fly by night 
   unsavory characters.

• "(b) Some unsafe practices — brought on by greed.

• "(d) State and City lax in enforcing health codes and licensing of clinics. Of 
   the 30 clinics in New York [City], 25 are unlicensed and vicious 
   financially, poor medically, 5 are licensed and safe."

Two decades later, free-standing abortion clinics are still nothing more than moneymaking machines for entrepreneurs. In 1985, 75 percent of all abortions performed in the country took place in clinics that killed 1,000 or more preborn children per year. The two percent of clinics that committed more than 5,000 abortions per year accounted for one-fifth of all abortions in the country.[9] Abortionists like Arnold Bickham, Edward Allred, and Henry Morgentaler run chains of killing centers that have made their owners millionaires many times over.

Here We Go Again!

In summary, illegal abortions were already being performed by the hundreds of thousands before preborn killing was legalized, and doctors just wanted to get out from under the pall of performing an illegal procedure. So they, and their willing shills, made up stories about how dangerous the abortions that they were performing really were.

This propaganda campaign worked so well that already the euthanasia pushers are using essentially the same language. One doctor commented that "Legalization [of euthanasia] will give security to doctors and patients because they'll know their rights and it will take away those behind-the-curtain cases."[10]

It is obvious, from reading about the exploits of Dr. Jack ("The Dripper") Kevorkian and others, that euthanasia is already a common practice in this country. Will we legalize it in a few years by willingly falling for the same line used by the pro-abortionists?

Reversing the Numbers.

Now that abortion is legal, pro-abortionists constantly understate the number of women who die of legal abortions, in yet another dishonest attempt to keep baby-killing an inseparable part of the medical and social landscape.

Increasing Deaths Since 1973.

According to authoritative sources, there can be no question that the number of severe injuries and deaths inflicted upon women by abortion has been increasing since 1973 instead of decreasing.

• The Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities found that, in 1969, about 9,000 women were admitted to hospitals across the United States for treatment of injuries directly caused by abortions. In 1977, that figure had nearly doubled, to 17,000.[11]

• The famous Chicago Sun-Times "Abortion Profiteers" series of December 1978 showed that 12 women had died of 'safe and legal' abortions in Chicago during a single year in the town's abortuaries, which performed about 30,000 abortions per year. If this number is extrapolated to include the 1.5 million abortions performed every year in the entire country, we arrive at a total of 600 women dying every year of 'safe and legal' abortions! Although the actual number of maternal deaths is probably not this high, the true figure is certainly higher than the "official" reported figure of 15 to 20 annual deaths.

Figure 59-1 lists the names of nearly 200 women who have died of 'safe and legal' abortion since Roe v. Wade. Yet the pro-abortionists will not even acknowledge their deaths!

This shows just how much they care for 'women's rights.'


[A medium text size on your computer's 'view' setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Eunice Agbagaa   26     Black     1/15/89     Brooklyn,     Abram          New York Daily
                                                                    NY              Zelikman        News, 1/16/89

Mickey Apodaca 29   Hispanic   4/11/84     El Paso,       Raymond         Des Moines 
                                                                    Texas          Showery       Register, 5/5/84

Gloria Aponte      20   Hispanic   4/29/86    Stamford,      Hanan                Associated 
                                                                    CT              Rotem            Press, 11/22/89

Jackie Bailey        29     Black     12/3/77  Los Angeles,  C. Eboreime        LA Coroner
                                                                     CA                                       Report  #77-

Myrta Baptiste     26   Hispanic   12/18/82    Miami,       Unknown          Miami Herald
                                                                    Florida                                     1/5/83

Brenda Benton     35    Black       4/20/87    Chicago,    Dusan Zivkovic   Cook County
                                                                     Illinois                                  Circuit Court 
                                                                                                                  #89L 2906 

Janet Lally Blaum  37   White       3/11/74      New         Sidney Knight   Jefferson Parish
                                                                 Orleans, LA                         Court #168-162

Cassandra Blevins 20   Black       8/18/71  Los Angeles,  Unknown         LA Coroner 
                                                                       CA                             Report #71-10001

Diane Boyd          19    Black      10/23/81  St. Louis,      Robert Crist         St. Louis
                                                                       MO                                   Circuit Court 

Dorothy Brown    37    Black        8/16/74   Chicago,       Unknown         Chicago Sun-
                                                                     Illinois                               Times, 11/19/78

Belinda Byrd        37    Black        1/27/87  Los Angeles,  Stephen Pine      LA County
                                                                       CA                                   Superior Court 
                                                                                                                #SWC 90298

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Marla Cardemone 18   White      8/16/89  Pittsburgh, PA  Unknown           Pittsburgh

Geneva Calton      23    White      7/18/79   Atlanta, GA     Unknown         NRL News,
                                                                                                              Sept/Oct 1979, 
                                                                                                                   page 11

Teresa Causey      17    Black      12/3/88      Macon,    Joe McDaniel          Macon
                                                                    Georgia                           Telegraph-News

Patricia Chacon    16   Hispanic     3/3/84   Los Angeles, Edward Allred    Los Angeles
                                                                       CA                                    Coroner Case 

Sandra Chmiel      35    White        6/3/75     Chicago,     Unknown          Chicago Sun-
                                                                      Illinois                             Times , 11/19/78

Lilina Cortez         22  Hispanic    9/25/86   Los Angeles,     Leo                  LA Herald-
                                                                        CA         Kenneally            Examiner

Twila Coulter        21   White      11/15/72  Los Angeles, Unknown             LA County 
                                                                        CA                                    Coroner #72-

Betty Jane            26    White       2/25/80      Denver,         James               Denver Post
   Damato                                                      Colorado      Franklin                    5/22/81

Angel Dardie        22    Black        8/3/82        Detroit,       Youl Choi     Wayne Cty Ckt.
                                                                     Michigan                                 Court #84-

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Barbalee Davis     18    White       6/14/77       Granite    Hector Zevallos        Chicago
                                                                       City, IL                                    Tribune

Glenda Davis          Unknown      3/14/89       Houston,       Robert           Harris County
                                                                       Texas          Hanson           Circuit Court 

Margaret Davis     33    Black      7/15/72    Los Angeles, Christopher         LA County 
                                                                        CA             Dotson               Coroner 

Marina DeChapell 33    Black       8/17/78      Miami,         Eduardo        Miami Herald,
                                                                      Florida           Elias                8/18/78

Synthia Dennard   24     Black       9/7/89       Chicago,     Inno Obasi      Cook County
                                                                       Illinois                                Court #89L-

Lanice Dorsey      17     Black      12/6/86       Cyprus,       Kenneth         Orange County
                                                                          CA           White             Circuit Court

Anjelica Duarte    21    Hispanic   10/30/91   Las Vegas,  Larry Thompson   Las Vegas
                                                                        Nevada                                  Review

Evelyn Dudley     38    Unknown   3/16/73      Chicago,    Unknown         Chicago Sun-
                                                                        Illinois                           Times, 11/19/78

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Sherry Emry         26     White      1/2/78      Chicago,      Arnold            Chicago Sun-
                                                                     Illinois         Bickham         Times, 11/19/78

Georgianna           32    Unknown 1980      Washington,  Milan Vuitch     Washington 
   English                                                           DC                                  Times, 4/19/84

Gladyss                28     Hispanic 5/23/89    Bethesda,   Alan Ross          The Wanderer
   Estanislao                                                     MD                                    12/5/91

Erna Fisher           18     Black     3/10/88       Kansas    Dennis Miller          Kansas City 
                                                                     City, KS                                 Star, 6/3/90

Sharon Floyd        18     Black     4/28/75     Chicago,   Samuel                 Chicago Sun-
                                                                      Illinois    Edwards            Times, 11/19/78

Linda Fondren       21    Black     1/20/74     Chicago,  M. Pourtabib         Chicago Sun-
                                                                      Illinois                              Times, 11/10/78

Christella Forte      15    Black     1/14/86       Detroit,   Unknown              Bernadelle 
                                                                     Michigan                               Technical 
                                                                                                           Bulletin, 11/1989

Janet Foster           18    Black     9/15/71    Los Angeles, Richard             LA County
                                                                          CA          Neal               Coroner #71-

Glenda Jean Fox     17   White     1/1989       Rochester, Morris Wortman     Bernadelle
                                                                          NY                                      Technical 
                                                                                                              Bulletin, 3/1990

Josefina Garcia        37   Asian    5/23/85      Los Angeles,   Unknown S.      LA County
                                                                          CA                                   Circuit Court

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Kathleen Gilbert      29   White     5/2/85       Lincolnwood,  David Turow   Cook County
                                                                              IL                                 Circuit Court 

Maria Gomez          29  Hispanic   5/4/76      Compton,    John Blodgett       LA County
                                                                         CA                                        Coroner 

Doris Grant             32    Black     2/15/71      Los Angeles, W.W. Williams   LA County
                                                                          CA                                       Coroner

Debra Gray            34    Black     7/15/89          Suitland,    Gideon              Washington
                                                                       Maryland  M. Kioko       Post, 8/13/1990

Arnetta Hardaway   Unknown     12/24/85        Atlanta,      Unknown     American Rights
                                                                        Georgia                               Coalition

Wilma Harris          32    Black      6/20/74     Washington,   Milan Vuitch      DC Circuit
                                                                            DC                            Court #75-1156

Sheila Hebert          27   White      6/6/86       Baton Rouge,   Unknown    State Times &
                                                                             LA                                    Morning 
                                                                                                            Advocate, 7/7/86

Donna Heim           20    White      8/14/86      Los Angeles,   Mahlon          LA Herald-
                                                                              CA          Cannon           Examiner,

Inez Herron            26 Hispanic    11/3/83       Bakersfield,     William          NRL News
                                                                              CA            Stanley         10/23/1986

Betty Hines             21   Black       7/21/71      Los Angeles,    A. Mitchell    LA County
                                                                              CA                                  Coroner 

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Denise Holmes       24    White     12/21/70      Los Angeles,    Edward       LA County
                                                                                CA           Allred           Coroner 

Patricia King           24   Black       5/4/87           Tulsa,            Dean        Tulsa Tribune,
                                                                      Oklahoma        Diment           7/13/1987

Darlene Knox         Unknown       3/28/86       Chicago,        Unknown   American Rights
                                                                         Illinois                               Coalition

Cora Mae Lewis      23  Black      12/3/83      Los Angeles,   Unknown     LA County
                                                                            CA                                  Coroner 

Sara Lint                  22  White      8/12/70      Los Angeles,   Unknown      LA County
                                                                             CA                                  Coroner 

 Deborah Lozinski     17  White     6/14/85       Woodbridge,      Unknown     Middlesex
                                                                               NJ                               Cty. Sup. Ct.

Dawn Mack             21  White     8/3/91         New York,       Unknown     New York
                                                                               NY                                Post, 8/5-

Michelle Madden      18  White   11/22/86         Mobile,          O.B.         Mobile Press
                                                                         Alabama         Evan     Register, 6/16/91

Sharon Margrove     25  White    5/21/70        Long Beach,  Unknown        LA County
                                                                               CA                        Death Certificate 

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Sophie McCoy        17   White   9/29/90           New York,   Abu Hayat     New York
                                                                                NY                          Times, 11/21-

Rita McDowell        16  Black      3/8/75        Washington,   Robert              New York
                                                                            DC         Sherman               Times

Lynn McNair          24   Black   Unknown       New York,     L. Rubin        New York
                                                                            NY                            Supreme Court 

Dawn Mendoza      28   Hispanic  6/29/88      Dobbs Ferry,   L. Rubin   New York Post,
                                                                              NY                                7/4/1989

Natalie Meyers       16   White    10/27/72       Los Angeles, Unknown         LA County
                                                                              CA                                  Coroner 

Sandra Milton        28   White     4/27/90           Toledo,        Carl                  Columbus
                                                                           Ohio        Armstrong            Dispatch,

Mitsue Mohar        31   Asian        9/10/75      Los Angeles, R. Baca             LA County
                                                                              CA                                    Coroner 

Rosie Montero       23   Hispanic    8/7/79         Miami,        Unknown      Miami Herald,
                                                                        Florida                                 1/5/1983

Denise Montoya     15  Hispanic   5/29/88      Houston,   Douglas              Harris County
                                                                        Texas      Karpen               Circuit Court

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Beverly Moore       15   Black       7/11/75   Chattanooga,  Tucky        American Rights
                                                                            TN         Hayes           Coal. News-
                                                                                                               letter, 9/89

Sylvia Moore         18   Black     12/31/86     Chicago,      Arnold             Cook County
                                                                        Illinois     Bickham             Circuit Court
                                                                                                                  #87L 15971

Maria Morales       25  Hispanic   5/8/81       Miami,     Unknown             Miami Herald,
                                                                    Florida                                     1/5/1983

Katherine Morse   20   White      9/3/72     Los Angeles,  John DuPont        LA County
                                                                       CA                                         Coroner 

Kathy Murphy       17   Black     9/8/73     Los Angeles,  John DuPont         LA County
                                                                       CA                                         Coroner 

Dorothy                25    Black    8/23/74    Lincolnwood,    David Turow        Chicago
   Muzorewa                                                       IL                                      Sun-Times,

Joyce Ortenzio      32    White     8/8/88     Los Angeles , Ruben Marmet    LA County
                                                                          CA                                Superior Court

Linda Padfield       28    Black     6/18/73     Rapid City,   Benjamin            Minneapolis
                                                                          SD         Munson                 Tribune

Shirley Payne        33    White      1/4/83          Miami,     Unknown         Miami Herald,
                                                                       Florida                                 1/5/1983

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Mary Pena            43   Hispanic  12/16/86   Los Angeles,  Edward            Los Angeles
                                                                           CA          Allred         County Coroner

Catherine Pierce    27    White     10/10/89       Atlanta,       Daniel               Atlanta
                                                                        Georgia    McBrayer      Journal/Consti-
                                                                                                             tution, 1/5/1990

Dawn Ravenell       13     Black     2/11/85      New York   Unknown     New York Post,
                                                                            City                                12/11/1990

Erica Richardson    16    Black       3/1/89      Cheltenham,  B. Laurel        Prince George
                                                                            MD                              (MD) Journal

Julia Rogers           20    White      3/28/73        Chicago,    Unknown      Chicago Sun-
                                                                          Illinois                      Times, 11/19/1978

La Sandra Ross     19    Black      12/15/71     Los Angeles,  Unknown   American Rights
                                                                              CA                                Coalition

Stacy Ruckman      23    Black      2/20/88         St. Louis,      Scott            Greene Cty.
                                                                              MO         Barrett           Ckt. Court 

Angela Satterfield   23    White     10/15/90        Tulsa,          Dean         American Rights
                                                                       Oklahoma     Diment            Coalition

Angela Scott          19  Unknown   6/11/79        Atlanta,    Unknown       NRL News,
                                                                         Georgia                   September/October

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Gloria Small           34    White       3/7/78          Orlando,       Ronald            Orlando
                                                                          Florida         Tauber         Sentinel Star,

Diane Smith           23    Black       9/11/76         Chicago,     Unknown     Chicago Sun-
                                                                           Illinois                           Times, 11/19/

Margaret Smith     25   Unknown   6/16/71        Buffalo,     Jesse        Ketchum v. Ward,
                                                                      New York    Ketchum       422 F.Supp.
                                                                                                               934 (1976)

Laura Sorrels       30     White       9/6/88        Los Angeles,   Unknown       LA County
                                                                            CA                                Coroner #88-

Maria Soto           32     Hispanic   9/9/85     Los Angeles,    Unknown      LA County
                                                                           CA                               Coroner #85-

Jennifer Suddeth   17     White     6/30/82      Los Angeles,     Frank          LA County
                                                                            CA          Robinson         Coroner 

Tami Suematsu     19     Asian     8/19/88       Los Angeles,     Vern            Riverside
                                                                            CA           Wagner    County Coroner

Yvonne Tanner    22     Black     8/14/84       Los Angeles,    Stephen         LA County
                                                                             CA              Pine        Superior Court 

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Michelle Thames  18     Black     9/19/87       Los Angeles,   Unknown      LA Herald-
                                                                            CA                                Examiner,

Ingrid Thomas      28    Black       8/1/91         Farmington,   Kanu         Michigan Health
                                                                              IL          Virani        Dept. #0548962

Magnolia Thomas  35   Black      2/19/86         Chicago,   Rudolph       Cook  County
                                                                          Illinois     Moragne       Circuit Court 

Marlene Thomas   18  Unknown  7/21/70      Los Angeles,  Unknown   American Rights
                                                                            CA                                Coalition

Elizabeth Tsuji       21   Asian        2/2/78       Los Angeles,  A. Jurewitz     LA County 
                                                                           CA                            Death Certificate

Cheryl Tubbs        29   White       8/8/75        Los Angeles,   R. Mitchell       LA County
                                                                            CA                                     Coroner 

Latachie Veal       17    Black       11/2/91       Chicago,   Robert Crist     Pro-Life Action
                                                                        Illinois                                  League

Gail Ann Vroman  20   Unknown  7/18/79    Fort Wayne,    Taksin            Fort Wayne
                                                                           IN        Rataharathorn      Journal-
                                                                                                             Gazette, 7/20/79

Lynette Wallace    22     Black     9/27/75      Los Angeles,   Unknown         LA County
                                                                            CA                                    Coroner  

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Diane Watson       27     Black     8/29/87        Chicago,     Rudolf           Cook County
                                                                            IL          Moragne        Circuit Court 
                                                                                                                #87L 24404

Robin Wells         27     Black     7/25/81          Akron,    R. Gaujean          Summit Cty.
                                                                         Ohio                                  Ckt. Court 
                                                                                                             #CV 82-4-1036

Eliza White          21     Black     4/23/87        Chicago,   Unknown       American Rights
                                                                       Illinois                                Coalition

Ellen Williams     38     Black      3/6/85            Miami,      Chatoor            Dade County
                                                                       Florida         Singh              Circuit Court 

Carole Wingo      22    Black     7/22/74          Detroit,    Unknown           Detroit News,
                                                                      Michigan                              8/31/1974

Jane Roe No. 1    Unknown      7/18/79        Fort Wayne,  Unknown        Fort Wayne
                                                                            IN                              News-Sentinel,

Jane Roe No. 2    Unknown    12/11/75         Boston,    Unknown    New England Jour.
                                                                         MA                           Medicine, 4/1/76

Jane Roe No. 3    Unknown     6/29/88          Bronx,     Unknown        The Wanderer,
                                                                   New York                            6/29/1988

Jane Roe No. 4    Unknown     12/8/88       Manhattan,  Unknown     ALL About Issues,
                                                                        NY                                January 1990

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Jane Roe No. 5    Unknown      4/1/78       Tennessee   Unknown        Amer Journ of
                                                                                                        OB/GYN, July 1979

Jane Roe No. 6    Unknown    11/15/72     Los Angeles,  Unknown      Amer Journ of
                                                                        CA                                  OB/GYN
                                                                                                             August 1973

Jane Roe No. 7     Unknown    7/18/76        Chicago,   Unknown   Chicago Sun-Times
                                                                     Illinois                              11/19/1978

Jane Roe No. 8     Unknown   10/14/75      Springfield,  Unknown   Chicago Sun-Times,
                                                                          IL                                11/19/1978

Jane Roe No. 9     Unknown    7/29/75      Champaign,  Unknown   Chicago Sun-Times,
                                                                      Illinois                              11/19/1978

Jane Roe No. 10   Unknown   11/24/77       Chicago,   Unknown     Chicago Sun-Times,
                                                                      Illinois                               11/19/1978

Jane Roe No. 11   Unknown      1986          Newark,   Unknown           Newark Star,
                                                                 New Jersey                             2/12/1987

Jane Roe No. 12   Unknown      1986          Newark,   Unknown           Newark Star,
                                                                New Jersey                              2/12/1987

Jane Roe No. 13    Unknown     1980           Miami,      Unknown         Miami Herald,
                                                                    Florida                                9/17/1989

Jane Roe No. 14    Unknown     1983           Miami,      Unknown         Miami Herald,
                                                                    Florida                                9/17/1989

Jane Roe No. 15 14  Unknown  1985          Newark,   E. Wyman     Garrett Newark 
                                                                 New Jersey                 Star Ledger, 2/1/1987

Woman's           Age   Race     Date of     Place of      Abortionist       Source of 
  Name                                       Death        Death                                Information

Jane Roe No. 16 30  Unknown  3/1986       Newark,   E. Wyman     Garrett Newark
                                                                 New Jersey                 Star Ledger, 2/1/1987

Jane Roe No. 17 ("Patient E")  12/3/89   New York City     Andre        NY State Ofc of  
                                                                                        Nehorayoff       Professional

Jane Roe No. 18 ("Patient F")  12/15/89  New York City    Andre          Commissioner's 
                                                                                        Nehorayoff      Order #12342

Jane Roes Nos. 19-    Various  1975-76     Various         Various          Amer Journ of 
   22[A]                                                                                             OB/GYN, 2/1/1977

Jane Roes Nos. 23-    Various  1977-78     Various         Various         Amer Journ of
   30[B]                                                                                           OB/GYN, 9/15/1978

Jane Roes Nos. 31-    Various  1975-76     Various         Various    Morb Mort Weekly
   32[C]                                                                                                Rpt, 3/4/1977

Jane Roes Nos. 33-    Various  1973-74     Various         Various    Morb Mort Weekly
   36[D]                                                                                                Rpt, 3/4/1977

Jane Roes Nos. 37-    Various  1970-72  New York City   Various    Amer Journ of
    68[E]                                                                                       OB/GYN, March 1974

NOTES. The "Jane Roe" cases in the above table are entirely separate and distinct cases from those named legal abortion deaths listed above. Documentation for these cases is provided below.

[A] These four "Jane Roes" were prostaglandin abortion deaths documented by Willard Cates, M.D., and David Grimes, M.D., in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, February 1, 1977.

[B] These eight "Jane Roes" were abortion embolism deaths documented by Willard Cates, M.D., Ann Marie Kimball, M.D., and Alton Hallum, M.D., American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, September 15, 1978.

[C] These two "Jane Roes" were killed by vacuum abortions of ectopic pregnancies, as documented by the Centers for Disease Control in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 4, 1977.

[D] These four "Jane Roes" were reported by Matthew Bulfin in a talk entitled "Deaths and Near Deaths With Legal Abortions" at an obstetrics/gynecology convention in Florida in May of 1975.

[E] These 32 "Jane Roes" were reported by the New York City Coroner's Office in the time period July 1, 1970 to June 30, 1972 (two years) in New York City alone. These were written up by Gary S. Berger, M.D., Christopher Tietze, M.D., Jean Pakter, M.D., and Selig H. Katz, M.D., "Maternal Mortality Associated with Legal Abortion in New York State: July 1, 1970 - June 30, 1972." American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, March 1974, pages 315 to 325.

The following organizations compile and update national lists of women who have been killed by "safe" and legal abortion: 

(1) American Rights Coalition, Post Office Box 487, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401, telephone: 1-800-634-2224 and (615) 756-7065. The ARC publishes The Abortion Injury Report

(2) The Pro-Life Action League, 6160 North Cicero Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60646, telephone: (312) 777-2900, FAX (312) 777-3061.

Every major pro-life group has documentation on women who have died of so-called 'safe and legal' abortions, but whose deaths are not noted because of statistical chicanery. It is certain that 50 to 100 women die of abortions every year now about one-third of them 'on the table,' but most within one week due to abortion-related complications. It is also obvious that almost all women who die several days after an abortion will have causes of death other than the abortion itself listed on their death certificates. Yet these deaths should properly be included in the total abortion mortality figures.

This would mean that as many or more women are dying now as did before abortion was legalized. How could this be possible?

Explosion in Baby-Killing. 

Consider the sheer numbers of abortions that are now performed in this country. According to the National Abortion Rights Action League, about 200,000 illegal abortions took place annually before Roe v. Wade. The maternal death rate was about 40 per 100,000 abortions. Contrary to pro-abort myth, the vast majority of these abortions were performed by fully-trained medical doctors.[7] In fact, many of the MDs who did vast numbers of illegal abortions before 1973 openly boast about them now.

Essentially, all Roe v. Wade did was move the back-alley abortion mills around to the front of the alley.

Currently, about 1.5 million abortions are performed every year. Assuming that the procedure became three times as safe as it was before (remember that 90 percent of all illegal abortions were performed by doctors), twice as many women are dying of legal abortions now because the number of abortions increased sevenfold after 1970.

Poll of the Abortionists. Dr. Matthew Bulfin polled 486 obstetrics/gynecology specialists at a 1974 convention in Las Vegas regarding their experiences with deaths and complications relating to legal abortion. The results were startling;[12]

• 87% had hospitalized women and girls suffering from complications due to legal abortions ;

• 91% said they had to treat women and girls with legal abortion complications; and

• 6% said that at least one of their patients suffering from legal abortion complications later died as a result of their injuries.

Keep in mind that these statistics applied to legal abortion only fifteen months after Roe v. Wade! If these same abortionists had continued in their practice to this date, every one of them would have hospitalized women with legal abortion complications, and nearly two-thirds would have had one or more of their abortion patients die.

Dr. Bulfin concluded that "Deaths and near deaths do occur with every type [of] abortion procedure. As the vast majority of abortions are done for social reasons, the deaths and near deaths that do occur from the operation are especially tragic."[12]

Front-Alley Butchers.


As described above, the legalization of abortion was a goldmine for unscrupulous and unethical operators. Some current abortionists seem to be almost insane in their reckless disregard for human life, both born and preborn, as described in the following paragraphs.

Remember that hundreds of abortionists have lost their licenses and have been charged with every imaginable manner of crime from rape and murder to peddling pornography and belonging to pedophile groups. These examples represent only about one percent of the total number of convictions that have been gained against legal abortionists in this country.

He Really Cares About Women! 

In 1986, Newark, New Jersey abortionist E. Wyman Garrett was charged with gross malpractice and a number of other offenses in connection with the substandard care he gave to at least 40 women, mostly abortion patients.

Garrett aborted a 14-year old girl in his office. He did not give her proper care when she began suffering complications, and she died on the table. He then altered her medical records in an attempt to cover up his role in her death. For this series of offenses, he also pled no contest to violating various state laws.

His privileges were suspended at University Hospital in 1988 when he killed another woman there.

In 1986, Garrett pled "no contest" to an array of charges in State court. These specifications including performing a very late-term abortion so negligently that the baby survived it; leaving a baby's head inside a woman's uterus after an abortion; and falsifying medical records to cover up several cases of severe abortion complications.

Judge Sybil Moses, who conducted an administrative hearing on Garrett, noted that he had made hundreds of thousands of dollars on abortion without paying income taxes and was a chronic liar and falsifier of medical records. She said that he had an extremely "cavalier attitude toward patient safety," and asked for the revocation of his medical license.

Garrett, during his testimony, called his abortion patients "pachyderms" (i.e., female elephants) and "actresses" when they displayed symptoms of acute complications caused by his abortion procedures.

Big Bucks for Baby Killing. 

On March 4, 1975, abortionist Robert Sherman performed an incomplete abortion on 16-year old Rita McDowell. When she began to suffer an extremely elevated temperature the next day, her mother called Sherman, who refused to speak to her.

Early on March 8, Rita woke up screaming and collapsed in her mother's arms. Doctors removed the remains of her unborn baby, but were unable to save her life. She died of kidney failure and massive infection. Her abortion was paid for with tax dollars.

Sherman was tried in 1978 for murder. Prosecutors showed that he deliberately performed incomplete abortions on women so he could charge them more for followup care. He also allowed a nurse's aid to perform surgery, regularly re-used syringes and other disposable items without even sterilizing them, failed to have urine samples checked to confirm pregnancies, failed to check aborted unborn children for completeness, and covered up his role in Rita McDowell's death by fabricating administrative records and tampering with medical records.

Testimony during trial indicated that Sherman "... would [simultaneously] operate with one hand, and eat a tuna fish sandwich with the other, and talk to his stockbroker on the phone."

His murder trial ended in a mistrial because he allegedly developed "heart problems" during the proceedings. He pled guilty to repeated charges of perjury in exchange for prosecutors dropping the murder charge. Prosecutors defended the plea-bargain on the grounds that "We believe these felony convictions will prevent the defendant from ever practicing medicine again."

They were dead wrong, of course. Sherman served two years in a federal prison, then moved to Boston and immediately began to perform abortions again.[13]

Another big-bucks abortionist from Chicago, Arnold Bickham, performed an abortion on 18-year old Sylvia Moore on New Year's Eve, 1986. She slipped into deep shock and began bleeding, so Bickham called her "lazy" because she could not stand on her own and he then ejected her from the abortuary.

She somehow made her way to a nearby hospital and collapsed. She had no pulse or blood pressure when she arrived. Doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy, but she died in spite of their best efforts.

An autopsy revealed that she had suffered severe lacerations of the uterus, cervix, and vagina. She also had a foreign plastic object (an abortionist's tool) in her uterus near a large perforation. The presiding medical examiner ruled her death a homicide due to Bickham's extreme negligence and his abandonment of a patient in severe distress.

Bickham was the highest paid Medicaid recipient in the nation with $792,266 in 1974. In 1975, he was the highest paid in Illinois with $519,189. In 1976, he received $370,541, third highest in Illinois. This is a total of more than $1.68 million over a period of only three years $1.68 million of our tax money for killing more than 10,000 preborn babies.

Illegal/Legal Abortionist. 

Richard Muncie was a physician who committed illegal abortions. He killed a woman in 1968 when he botched an abortion, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison, and had his medical license suspended.

Once he had completed his jail sentence, he went into a business that was more fitting to his abilities; he opened an antique shop. Immediately after the United States Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision, he went to court and got his medical license back. He is now performing abortions again.[14]

Long-Time Felons. 

Some abortionists kill babies almost as a sideline to their other immoral activities. After all, if a person kills babies, what is to hinder them from trivia such as dealing drugs or evading income taxes?

Abortionist William R. Cloud, administrator of Oklahoma's Statewide Clinic, was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal abortion in 1973, served a year in federal prison for income tax evasion in 1974, pleaded guilty to importing marijuana from Colombia in 1976, and killed Patricia King at his clinic in 1987.[15]

El Paso, Texas abortionist Raymond Showery was convicted of murder in 1983 for drowning a baby who survived one of his abortions. He served five years of a 15-year sentence. While awaiting trial, he killed 28-year old Mickey Apodaca during an abortion and was indicted for involuntary manslaughter.

He threatened the lives of the reporter who wrote the story on his murder trial, a police detective, a prosecutor, and the El Paso County District Attorney.[16]

Flaws In the "Official" Abortion Death Count.


Many pro-life activists use data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDCs) regarding legal abortion deaths when attempting to demonstrate that a significant number of maternal abortion deaths still occur, even though abortion is legal.

However, their point would be better made if they realized that these death counts are inherently incomplete, and therefore they greatly underestimate the number of abortion deaths that occur in the United States today.

When abortion became legal in 1973, the social motivation for reporting abortion-related maternal deaths suddenly vanished. At this point in time, reporting data on abortion mortality and morbidity became largely voluntary, and all such data since 1973 are based entirely upon estimates.

There are at least six statistical reasons why the "official" estimated count of abortion deaths is too low.

(1) Reporting is voluntary and flawed;
(2) Most deaths occur after leaving the abortuary;
(3) Victim's travel hinders identification;
(4) Poverty and mistrust by minorities;
(5) Lack of coherent background research; and
(6) Tampering with death certificates.

These variables are explained in the following paragraphs.

(1) Reporting is Voluntary and Flawed. 

Since 1973, there has been no legal requirement for physicians to report maternal abortion deaths and complications. Most states report incomplete data, and the Centers for Disease Control, which compile and summarize the information, receive only sketchy numbers from California, Texas, Florida and Illinois which between them account for more than half a million abortions annually which is one-third of the nation's total.

Given the psychology of the act of abortion and of the abortionists themselves, it is natural that abortion deaths would not be voluntarily reported. As abortionist Dr. Willard Cates has logically argued, "It's like turning yourself in to the IRS for an audit. What is there to gain? The tendency is not to report [abortion deaths] because there are only negative incentives."[17]

Doctors themselves admit that physicians who perform large numbers of abortions are virtual pariahs within their own profession. When a maternal abortion death does occur, it will naturally reflect discredit not only upon the guilty abortionist, but upon the pro-abortion movement and on the medical profession in general. In many cases, maternal abortion deaths only come to light when a relative of the deceased woman takes legal action.

Abortionists are not the only culprits who contribute to the problem of under-reporting. The United States Public Health Service (USPHS) is one of the several agencies that monitors the reporting of abortion statistics, including those dealing with complications and death. In its Handbook on the Reporting of Induced Termination of Pregnancy, the USPHS describes how to fill out the form used to collect abortion data. This form is called the "U.S. Standard Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy."

One of the items on the form concerns abortion complications. The USPHS instructions read "If no complications have occurred at the time the report is completed, check 'none.' This item will provide data regarding the risk of induced termination."[18]

In the vast majority of cases, the form is either filled out immediately after the abortion procedure, or after the woman has left the premises. Therefore, if she suffers severe complications or death later, they will not be reflected in the USPHS reporting summary.

As an example of reasons for this prevalent degree of under-reporting, the State of California reported no abortion deaths at all in 1983 and 1984.[19] However, at least four women Patricia Chacon, Inez Herron, Cora Mae Lewis, and Yvonne Tanner died of abortion-related complications in California during those years (see Figure 59-1).

As another example, 16-year old Erica Richardson of Prince George County, Maryland. was killed by an abortionist on March 2, 1989. She was joined in death by another woman in the same county later that year Debra Gray on July 12.

However, despite these two deaths, Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported no abortion deaths for the entire state in 1989. Richardson's autopsy report (Prince George #89-593) reveals why; she was the subject of a typical abortionist's coverup. On the report, the item "How Injury Occurred" was answered as "therapeutic misadventure." The "Manner of Death" blank was filled in with the single word "Accident."

Overall, the Centers for Disease Control reported a total of eight abortion deaths in the entire country for 1989. it is a virtual statistical impossibility that a single Maryland county, with less than 1/300th of the national population, could have an abortion death rate eighty times as great as the national average.

The States of California and Maryland still have not corrected their records. Nor have the Centers for Disease Control. The CDCs do not search vigorously for information, nor do they research abortion deaths; they rely strictly upon the information that is voluntarily given them by the States.

In fact, many abortionists will not report complications (or even routine statistical data), even when state law mandates such reporting. Records of state litigation are replete with the accounts of battles between abortion clinics and state agencies over the reporting of such data.

(2) The Time Factor. 

There is absolutely no requirement (nor, in most cases, is there any possible way) for an abortionist to report abortion-related complications that arise once a woman has left an abortion mill.

When a woman suffers acute complications following an abortion, she will almost always report to a hospital emergency room instead of back to the abortion clinic, especially when she experiences these troubles after several days, or believes that the problems are unrelated to her abortion.

In such cases, the emergency room physicians who treat women for physical damages inflicted by their abortions have no professional or legal motivation for inquiring as to the identity of the abortionist. Even if they find out the abortionist's name, they are usually reluctant to make an official report for fear of defamation or malpractice lawsuits, and also because doctors are usually quite reluctant to "squeal" on a peer even if that peer happens to be a lowly abortionist.

In addition to their failure to report subsequent deaths caused by abortion injuries, official statistics tabulators like the Centers for Disease Control do not count as abortion-related deaths those women who are killed indirectly by abortion. Such cases include subsequent ectopic pregnancies caused by damage inflicted during abortion procedures; complications related to premature delivery of subsequent children directly resulting from damage inflicted during abortion procedures; blood incompatibility complications caused when abortion providers fail to give Rho-GAM shots to RH-negative women; and from suicide brought on by acute post-abortion syndrome (PAS).

Doctor Matthew Bulfin describes such an ironic case; "An 18 year old female underwent suction curettage for a suspected pregnancy of 8 weeks duration. She committed suicide 3 days after the procedure having expressed guilt about having killed her baby. There had been no pregnancy tissue in the suction specimen, but [the] patient was never told this."[12]

Abortion statistician Dr. Christopher Tietze describes other such cases where women have committed suicide due to guilt caused by their abortions, only to have the coroner discover that they were never pregnant.[20] This type of case is certainly noteworthy. But how many women who actually did kill their preborn babies decide to do away with themselves as well?

Nobody knows.

(3) Travel Hinders Identification. 

Many women who obtain abortions are ashamed or embarrassed by the circumstances under which they got pregnant and/or by the act of killing their preborn child. Therefore, about one-third of all women obtaining abortions cross state lines or travel to another city in order to maintain anonymity.

If such a woman returns to her home town and then dies of abortion-related complications after several hours or days, her death is extremely difficult to trace if no family member or friends know that she obtained an abortion, or where such an abortion occurred.

Doctor Bulfin describes such a case; 

The [abortion] patient was quite obviously exsanguinated [dead from loss of blood]. The husband had learned only that morning that a saline infusion had been performed in another state where she had given a fictitious name and address. Her husband had found her unresponsive in the bathroom with evidence of massive blood loss.[12]

In cases where a woman crosses state lines to obtain an abortion and later dies in her home state, the abortion is usually not reported at all by the home state, because the cause of death occurred in another state. Additionally, from the viewpoint of the state, no useful purpose would be served by expending resources in attempting to track down the guilty abortionist.

(4) Poverty and Mistrust. 

A large percentage of women who are killed by abortion live below the poverty line. The relatives or friends of many poor women who have died of abortion are unaware of their remedies at law, are intimidated by or utterly mistrust the legal system, or are afraid of reporting problems due to fears of retaliation. These abortion deaths generally go unreported and uninvestigated.

The poignant letter by Mattie Byrd, a Black woman whose daughter was killed by White abortionist Stephen Pine, vividly reflects this distrust and anger. Excerpts from this letter are contained later in this chapter.

(5) Lack of Research. 

No organization or individual has performed comprehensive state-by-state research into the malpractice, coroner, or public health records involving abortionists and abortion clinics, because reporting practices vary widely from state to state.

As examples, New York State courts do not cross-index lawsuits, so an abortionist is somewhat insulated from research into his records regarding previous litigation. Additionally, many county coroners do not keep cross-indexed records of people who die because of medical malpractice. Oklahoma and other states do not investigate deaths when an attending physician certifies that a death does not involve foul play.

(6) Death Certificate Chicanery. 

The cause of death listed on a death certificate often appears to have nothing to do with the abortion that caused the death, and this listed cause can be directly affected by the information provided by the abortionist.

For example, two abortionists at Los Angeles' Inglewood Women's Hospital attempted to cover up two abortion deaths at their facility. When Kathy Denise Murphy died at Inglewood on September 8, 1973, Dr. John Dupont claimed she died of a "breathing disorder." When Lynette Wallace died there on September 27, 1975, another doctor claimed that she died of cardiopulmonary arrest.

Another example of such tampering was related to Erica Richardson's 1989 death in Prince George County, Maryland, as described above.

According to Dr. Jack Willke, an 18-year old died of a "safe and legal" abortion in Los Angeles County in 1988. Her death certificate stated that the cause of death was a "spontaneous gangrene of the ovary."

This is about as honest as listing "lead poisoning" as the cause of death of a person who was gunned down by killer with a large-caliber pistol.

These abortion-caused deaths would have gone entirely unnoticed if sharp-eyed investigators had not noticed minor discrepancies in reporting. It is certain that many more cases escape detection, because it is usually in the best interests of every medical professional involved to "hush up" the death.

What is the Actual Degree of Under-Reporting?

Source of Information. 

Pro-lifers must have a firm grip on the number of women who have actually died of so-called "safe and legal" abortion since 1973. This number is far greater than most pro-abortionists (and members of the public) think, and can be a real shocker when it is properly documented and presented.

The above paragraphs have listed some of the reasons that the "official" figures for legal abortion deaths are under-reported. It is therefore necessary to apply a correction factor to the "official" figures regarding maternal deaths in order to arrive at a more accurate estimate.

All of the information required to calculate this correction factor is contained in the November/December 1979 issue of the Alan Guttmacher Institute's medical reporting publication Family Planning Perspectives.[7] This data was compiled at a gathering of hundreds of abortionists at a conference entitled "Second-Trimester Abortion: Perspectives After a Decade of Experience," convened on September 27th and 28th, 1979, at the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Keep in mind that this information was compiled by, analyzed by, and published by the abortionists themselves. This fact effectively defuses the argument that the statistics are somehow 'biased pro-life propaganda.'

The Basic Data. 

The article describes a study performed by Dr. Richard Selik, who analyzed 104 maternal deaths from late (second) trimester abortions in the United States from 1975 to 1977. The article also states that "Overall, second-trimester abortions are about 10 times as dangerous as earlier [first-trimester] procedures." Finally, the article says that about ten percent of all abortions are performed in the second trimester.

The following paragraphs calculate the actual number of maternal deaths caused by abortions during the period 1975 to 1977 based upon this information.

Calculation of the Correction Factor. 

The Centers for Disease Control report that a total of 3,530,200 abortions were performed in the United States during the period 1975 to 1977. Ten percent of these (353,000 abortions) were therefore performed in the second trimester.

If, as the article claims, 104 women died of second-trimester abortions during this period, the death rate for such procedures is

(104/353,000) X 100,000 = 29.46 per 100,000.

And, if first-trimester abortions are ten times safer than second-trimester procedures, the death rate for first-trimester abortions is 2.95 per 100,000 performed.

Therefore, total maternal abortion deaths from 1975 to 1977 can be calculated as follows;


                                    Number,        Deaths/                Total
Abortion Type          1975-1977       100,000               Deaths

1st trimester               353,000           29.46                    104
2nd trimester           3,177,200             2.95                      94

Total Deaths, 1975 to 1977                                            198

Finally, the "official" Center for Disease Control maternal death figures are 49 for 1975, 27 for 1976, and 35 for 1977, for a total of 111 over the three-year period (see above).

This means that, according to the data provided in Family Planning Perspectives, the "official" government numbers are under-reported by a factor of (198/111) = 1.784.

Confirmation By the CDCs. 

According to an article in the May 1985 issue of the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, abortion is the sixth most common cause of maternal death in the United States.

Physicians/researchers from the Centers for Disease Control, who authored the article, admitted that maternal deaths caused by abortions may be under-reported by about 50 percent.

The Actual Numbers. 

Figure 59-2 shows the "official" and estimated actual number of maternal abortion deaths that have occurred in every year since 1970. Figure 59-3 shows the actual annual numbers of deaths in graphical format, and this depiction will probably come as a shock to those people who have not until now realized that more than a thousand women have died of so-called "safe and legal" abortion since 1973, the year of the United States Supreme Court decision.


(1)          (2)                    (3)       (4)       (5)          (6)           (7)       (8)      (9)      (10)

Causes of Maternal Deaths Deaths

                                                            Ectopic    Abor-     Abor-                          Per 
                                     Abor-                Preg-     tion         tion   Child- Abor- 100,000
Year     Births              tions       All     nancy "Official" Actual Birth  tions    Births

1968     3,501,564       130,000    861     90       130         232      540   178.4     15.4
1969     3,600,206       169,000    828     86       118         211      531   124.6     14.8
1970     3,731,386        270,500    802     83      101         180      539     66.6     14.4
1971     3,555,970       544,600    704     73         95         169      461     31.1     13.0
1972     3,258,411       624,000    593     62         90         161      371     25.7     11.4
1973     3,136,965       772,600    518     54         57         102      362     13.2     11.5
1974     3,159,958       898,600    442     46         54           96      300     10.7       9.5
1975     3,144,198    1,034,200    402     42         49           87      273       8.5       8.7
1976     3,167,788    1,179,300    371     39         27           48      284       4.1       9.0
1977     3,313,000    1,316,700    358     37         35           62      258       4.7       7.8
1978     3,332,879    1,409,400    320     33         27           48      239       3.4       7.2
1979     3,494,169    1,497,700    335     35         34           61      240       4.0       6.9
1980     3,611,887    1,553,900    332     35         29           52      246       3.3       6.8
1981     3,629,557    1,577,300    309     32         36           64      212       4.1       5.8
1982     3,680,150    1,573,900    291     30         31           55      205       3.5       5.6
1983     3,638,730    1,575,000    291     30         26           46      214       2.9       5.9
1984     3,669,349    1,577,200    286     30         33           59      198       3.7       5.4
1985     3,750,135    1,588,100    293     30         47           83      179       5.2       4.8
1986     3,757,000    1,475,000    271     28         31           55      187       3.7       5.0
1987     3,809,000    1,510,000    251     26         29           52      174       3.4       4.6
1988     3,913,000    1,540,000    247     26         28           50      171       3.2       4.4
1989     4,015,000    1,525,000    241     25         34           61      155       4.0       3.9
22yr.   77,870,302  25,342,000 9,346   972    1,140      2,035   6,339       8.0       8.1
                                                                           SINCE 1973: 1,082


• Column (2). Source of information: United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Reference Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States. 1990 (110th Edition). Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. Table 80, "Live Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces." 

• Column (3). Same reference, Table 100, "Legal Abortions Estimated Number, Rate, and Ratio, By Race." 1968 to 1973 figures include illegal abortions. 

• Column (4). Same reference, Table 110, "Infant, Maternal, and Neonatal Mortality Rates, and Fetal Mortality Ratios, by Race: 1960 to 1987." This table gives maternal mortality rates per 100,000 births only, and this figure is multiplied by the total number of births given in Column (2). 

• Column (5). Column (4) X 0.106. The July 1988 Maternal Mortality Collaborative Study found that, of the 712 maternal deaths recorded from 1980 to 1985, 111 of the recorded deaths were due to factors in no way related to pregnancy; (accidents, homicides, unrelated diseases, etc.). 10.6 percent of all maternal deaths were due to unattended ectopic pregnancies. Since these usually occur before ten week's gestation, they do not have any impact upon maternal death rates for either abortions or childbirth, so they are excluded. 

• Column (6). The Abortion Surveillance Unit of the Centers for Disease Control issues an annual abortion statistics book with verified abortion deaths listed. 

• Column (7). Column (6) X 1.784. See text for an explanation of this correction factor. 

• Column (8). Column (4) - Column (5) - Column (7). 

• Column (9). (Column (7) X 100,000)/Column (3). 

• Column (10). (Column (8) X 100,000)/Column (2).


1972       161
1973       102
1974         96
1975         87          
1976         48
1977         62
1978         48                OVER A THOUSAND WOMEN HAVE BEEN
1979         61                          KILLED BY "SAFE AND LEGAL" 
1980         52                         ABORTION SINCE ROE V. WADE
1981         64
1982         55
1983         46
1984         59
1985         83
1986         55 
1987         52
1988         50
1989         61

For supporting calculations, see Figure 59-2.

Figure 59-1 lists the names of nearly 200 unfortunate women who believed in the lies spewed forth by the pro-abortionists, and who paid for their misplaced trust with their very lives.

The two pages of Figure 59-1, retyped or copied front-to-back on the same sheet of paper, make an eye-opening flyer that effectively destroys the myth of "safe and legal" abortions. At a debate or presentation, even the most closed-minded person will be forced to reconsider his views on abortion when a pro-life speaker compares the magnitude of the disaster (1,000+ deaths) to the number of people sitting in the room observing.

Will the Old Lies Work Again?

Closed Minds at Work. 

The old lies about maternal abortion deaths worked pretty well before abortion was completely legalized, and so the pro-abortion forces and their toadies in the press began to work the same angle in mid-1989, when it appeared that Roe v. Wade was in danger of imminent demise after the Supreme Court's Webster decision.

This, of course, is the classic way to identify people with closed minds: They simply discard or ignore all evidence that does not agree with their conclusions.

Current Examples. 

For example, two days after the Supreme Court's Webster decision, the daily newsmagazine USA Today stated as fact in an understandably unsigned staff editorial that "Before Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of women had illegal abortions [annually], and one in 10 of them died."

Using the pro-abort's own figures of 200,000 to one million illegal abortions per year, USA Today is therefore stating as fact that 20,000 to 100,000 women died of illegal abortions every year before Roe. This amounts to an exaggeration factor of 55,555 percent over the actual figures!

In October of 1989, when several restrictions on abortion were passed by the Pennsylvania State legislature, local pro-abortion activists and lawmakers said that Mexico has the same number of abortions that the United States does, although they are all illegal (1,500,000); that 140,000 women died of illegal abortions every year in that country (according to the United Nations, the actual number is 159); and that this many women would die in the United States if abortion were criminalized again.[21] This is a factor of exaggeration amounting to one hundred thousand percent, or a thousand times the actual number!

A San Francisco group calling itself "Men Who Care About Women's Lives," including Brian Willson (the so-called 'peace' activist who lay on railroad tracks in front of a 200-ton locomotive and lost his legs as a result), mailed 10,000 coathangers to President George Bush in 1989, representing the "number of women who will die annually should pro-choice be outlawed."

And, of course, the paragon of hysteria was, as always, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States. In the RCP's propaganda organ, the Revolutionary Worker, an understandably anonymous writer complained that 

If the people don't succeed in taking the OFFENSIVE and defeating this assault on women, hundreds of thousands of women will suffer mutilation and death from illegal abortions. Today some 200,000 women a year die in Third World countries one woman every three minutes. And the anti-abortion policy of the U.S. is making the situation even worse.[22]

Pro-aborts know that mere numbers, no matter how impressive in scope, can never have the impact of a vivid word picture. Therefore, after the Supreme Court's Webster decision in mid-1989, there appeared to be an unofficial but enthusiastic contest waged among pro-abort writers to see just who could produce the most graphic and sensational picture of 'the way things were.'

One good example was provided by Brett Harvey of Mother Jones Magazine, who wrote that "It's hard for today's young women to imagine abortions in dark, dirty rooms that smelled of Clorox, done by doctors who breathed bourbon fumes and copped a feel before they got to work, and warned you not to scream or they'd walk out and leave you alone in the middle of nowhere. Or self-aborting alone in your college dorm room, scared to tell anyone, watching your metal wastebasket fill up with blood, flushing the fetus down the toilet, terrified that it would clog the plumbing and you'd be found out. Or being rushed to the hospital hemorrhaging from a perforated uterus, only to be interrogated by police officers demanding to know where you got the abortion ..."[23]

One obvious characteristic of these ravings in the almost explosive level of indignation and anger that seems to boil off the page as pro-aborts compete with each other to see who can make up the most garish and ridiculous story.

Notice the extremely high degree of fake outrage Sherry Matulis demonstrates as she describes "Why Abortion Must Remain the Law of the Land" in her article of the same name in The Humanist;

I'd like to see how they'd ["holier-than-thou" pro-lifers] fare if they were put in the position of being young and raped and pregnant and scared witless if they thought that they could very well die and leave two little children motherless. I'd like to see if their smug psuedomorality would hold up if they had to experience firsthand what a real "abortion mill" was all about: The incredible, indescribable filth and stench. The cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. The blood-spattered floor. The two-aspirin "anesthetic." The slop bucket at the end of the old enameled kitchen table. The drunken old butcher coming at them, a whiskey glass in one hand and a sharp instrument in the other, saying to them "You can take your pants down now, but you shoulda ha, ha left 'em on before." Putting his fist in their faces and saying, "This is gonna hurt and you'd better keep your mouth shut or I'll shut it for you! Whacking away at their insides for 15 eyeball-popping minutes. And then insult added to injury offering them $20 of their $1,000 back for "a quick blowjob ...

Women young, old, black, white known to the medical books only by their initials and their perforated or Lysol-damaged wombs and their resultant infections and suffering and eventual deaths. Women really too young to be called women undergoing hysterectomies at age 16. Women with bottles of household disinfectants, sometimes even lye; no need for a hysterectomy, nothing's left to take out. Women with bent heads and unbent coathangers, screaming in the night dead at 16, 18, 20, 22. Women for whom the phrase right to life was totally without meaning or substance, who were murdered as surely as putting a gun to their heads by the same sort of blue-nosed and hypocritical element in our society that once again rears its ugly, unfeeling head to laud what might be and to condemn what is.[24]

These are just a few of the hundreds of examples of how tenaciously the pro-aborts are hanging onto the myth of thousands of women dying before abortion was legalized. They know the truth, of course. It has been explained to them many, many times. And they are smart enough to understand it.

Therefore, they are simply bare-faced liars.

The "Silent No More" Scam.

NARAL's Campaign for Sympathy. 

The most powerful weapon ever used by pro-abortion strategists is unquestionably their manufactured images of suffering and desperate women being brutalized at the hands of back-alley butchers. This weapon was used to legalize abortion, and the pro-aborts are now pulling it out of mothballs in their continuing efforts to keep abortion legal.

When the National Abortion Rights Action League perceived a growing threat to "abortion rights" in the mid-1980s, it attempted to capitalize on this theme with its so-called "Silent No More" sympathy campaign. NARAL hoped to gather thousands of vividly-written stories of women who had had illegal abortions (or who knew other women who had done so), and planned to publicize them heavily in order to influence public opinion on abortion.

However, despite the fact that it was heavily publicized by all branches of the major media, the "Silent No More" campaign was a resounding flop by any possible standards of measurement.

The Big Effort. 

NARAL's made its biggest push for stories in May of 1985, when it advertised heavily among its 200,000 members and the public, asking for letters detailing experiences with illegal abortions. NARAL proudly claimed that they received "Tens of thousands of letters," but, mysteriously, only 68 were submitted to the Congressional Record for publication on May 22nd, and even these were of poor (and frequently even ridiculous) quality.

For example, one rambling letter in the Record claimed that 

Thirty-five years ago I was pregnant my baby had died in 4th month of pregnancy but because of abortion being illegal I couldn't have an abortion I had to carry that dead child for 5 months before I finally aborted it myself. I carried that child for 5 agonizing months knowing I was carrying a dead child please legalize abortion it must be pro choice.[25]

Anyone who knows anything at all about fetal development or obstetrics will realize that the situation described in the above letter is physically impossible.

It was revealing to note that most of NARAL's letters were written not by women who were in truly desperate circumstances, but by women who wanted abortion to remain legal for purely selfish reasons of convenience. One typical letter asserted that 

My abortion occurred when I was a married adult woman. I simply had not fully dealt with the role of motherhood, and how it might impact upon the rather new career path which I was pursuing. I was not raped. I do not think I carried a deformed fetus. I was not a teenager. I was simply a woman who believes that her uterus was her own, as was the decision as to when or if it would bear a child.[25]

Yet More Anonymity. 

NARAL and other pro-abortion groups sponsored scores of public "readings" all over the country, where women would stand and read their letters of victimization before crowds of weeping sympathizers. All of these letters were similar in one critical respect: The 'victim of illegal abortion' was invariably anonymous. When pro-life activists in several cities asked questions about the persons in the letters, they were met with shouts accusing them of "Insensitivity!"

The pro-abortionists used two anonymous plaintiffs to secure abortion on demand in this country. The stories manufactured by (and for) these plaintiffs were outright lies. Whenever they initiate litigation to overturn abortion restrictions, pro-aborts also use anonymous plaintiffs, because they cannot produce anyone who is really damaged by the pro-life laws. And now, anonymous 'victims' are used in an attempt to curry sympathy with the public in an effort to keep abortion legal.

Pro-lifers should not be afraid to challenge these "Silent No More" stories as the lies they most certainly are.

The Frank Mendiola Case. 

Perhaps the most spectacular example of a 'victim' of illegal abortion was provided by a Los Angeles man named Frank Mendiola.

Mendiola's extremely graphic "Silent No More" story was a big hit among pro-abortionists, and NARAL even used it as the centerpiece of one of its national fundraising letter. This appeal, which was signed by Executive Director Kate Michelman, played on the emotions of readers by listing a cluster of highly suspicious and very anonymous 'victimization' stories, including one that read: "Frank, who wept as he told of his beloved twin sister, who bled to death from an illegal abortion after being brutally raped at the age of 14."

Mendiola, a well-known sodomite and pro-abortion activist in the Los Angeles area, had been very much in demand at pro-abortion rallies, where he would read his letter written to President Reagan about how his sister 'Rose Elizabeth' died from a botched illegal abortion. Mendiola sobbed about how "She bled to death on a kitchen table. Yes, Mr. President, on a kitchen table."

It was not long, however, before Mendiola's story began to come apart at the seams under the glare of publicity surrounding a related matter. According to the December 10, 1987 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Mendiola called in numerous bomb threats to clinics, abortionists, and even his own home so that "... you people, the media, will come down with a harder line on those people who are harassing the clinics."[26]

At his trial, Mendiola was given a one-year suspended sentence because, as the judge put it, he had "good intentions."[26] Imagine any judge suspending sentence on any pro-lifer for threatening to bomb an abortion mill for "good intentions!"

Pro-aborts packed the courtroom in Mendiola's support. Many members of the "Committee for Reproductive Rights" appeared at his trial, and Sherna Gluck of the CRR said that "Clearly, the whole thing is very sad. I just feel very badly for him. He is a very fine person, and I guess the worst one can say is he is just confused. I'm sure it was [done] with the very best of intentions."[26]

Further investigation into Mendiola's background revealed that he had been lying about his 'twin sister' dying on a kitchen table, because he had no twin sister in fact, he was an only child!

Even when Mendiola was exposed and confronted with his lies, he merely altered his story to say that it actually had happened to a sister's friend, and that "I was her voice." Naturally, he refused to identify the person in question.


This incident helps illustrate the incredible arrogance of pro-abortionists who will continue to lie like rugs even when they are caught red-tongued, and shows how out of touch with reality they really are.

Mendiola's bogus story also helps to call into question all of the other pro-abortion propaganda stories of women who died of illegal abortions before the procedure was legalized. It is estimated that at least 95 percent of these "Silent No More" stories are complete fabrications, as proven elsewhere in this chapter.

Additionally, this dramatic case confirmed what pro-lifers have asserted for many years: that pro-abortionists threaten and commit violence against their own clinics in order to discredit pro-lifers.

Stand Aside, There's Money to be Made!


In view of recent actions by some pro-abortionists and abortion clinics, perhaps we really shouldn't be too worried about the number of women who will die of illegal abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. After all, the Neofeminists are so unconcerned that they are trying to turn a fast buck by capitalizing on the misery of women with 'unwanted pregnancies.' Additionally, they support abortionists who are literally butchers, and whose skill level wouldn't even qualify them for the stockyards, let alone hospitals!

The following paragraphs highlight just a few instances of how fanatically the abortionists will pursue money, even if women die as a result of their insane greed.

The "Del-Em." 

Radical Neofeminists have been pushing "self-help" for a long time, and one of the most essential aspects of this program is the ability to self-abort, or be aborted by a friendly lay person.

The abortion device generally employed in such cases is a homemade suction machine referred to as the "Del-Em," or some variant thereof. The procedure is rather dishonestly referred to as "menstrual extraction" (ME) so the woman undergoing the process can never really be sure if she is aborting or just "getting rid of her period."

One of the most essential aspects of self-abortion is denial, and so the act is predictably surrounded by a luxuriant growth of euphemisms. Alternative names for ME include "endometrial extraction," "menstrual shedding," "menstrual induction," and "early uterine evacuation."[27]

The September 1976 issue of Ms. Magazine and a 1973 article in Triumph Magazine describe the character of the developer of the "Del-Em;" 

[Harvey] Karman is the developer of the menstrual extraction technique. His three-page police record includes an arrest for murder in the death of an abortion client and a prison term for illegal abortion and grand theft. One of his other abortion arrests was in connection with a West Los Angeles clinic where he was associated with one Dr. John Gwynne. Gwynne has since been convicted of the murder of his nineteen-year-old girlfriend.

The New Wave: "Abortion Parties." 

Pro-abortionists invariably allege that the legalization of abortion completely eliminated "dangerous back-alley abortions."

However, illegal abortion networks are still operating for two reasons; because some women prefer to be aborted by friends, no matter what the status of abortion laws are, and because others are 'practicing' for the day when abortion is illegal again.

A recent article in American Medical News described an illegal 'abortion party' at a woman's house in stomach-wrenching detail. What was so sickening about the article was not the goriness of the abortion (which was not mentioned), but the indifferent way in which the snuffing out of a baby's life was treated by all present at the abortion. For these women, the abortion was not a thing to be agonized over, not a thing to regret in any way, but instead merely an opportunity to 'share an experience with friends.'

The article centers around Maria Romero, an unmarried 20-year old woman who has been shacking up with her boyfriend. When asked how she could have become pregnant while using birth control, Romero just shrugged, grinned, and said "Sometimes I'm kind of lazy about using my cervical cap."

In a horrible parody of a baby shower, the article describes how friends brought gifts to her home on the appointed abortion day. One of the women brought a dozen tiny pink roses.

After assembling, the women then chatted and drank cappucino for a while. Finally, they got down to 'business.' Carla Martinez, a lay person with no medical experience, aborted Romero with a home 'menstrual extraction' kit. Despite Romero feeling a little pain, the procedure is described as safe and almost trivial in nature.

After the abortion, Martinez said that "There are some people who want to see it so they can see there are no body parts, that it's not a baby," and Romero gushed happily that "I think that it's wonderful to share the [abortion] experience with my friends."[28]

Cindy Pearson, who has been promoting self-abortion for nearly a decade, enthused that "This is so fun; this is so great, that we can do this ourselves ... It's just joyful."[29]

These very existence of these 'abortion parties' dispels a number of pro-abortion myths; that 'pro-choicers' are morally superior to 'Operation Rescue types' because they respect the law; that they care about women's health; and that abortions are invariably the product of long and painful soul-searching by the aborter.

The Kill-the-Baby-Yourself Kit. 

The Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers began selling $89.95 'home suction aspiration kits' in mid-1989, immediately after the Webster decision. These kits consisted of aquarium tubing, Mason jars, and syringes, and the materials cost about ten dollars. Therefore, the FWHCs were making about a 900 percent profit on what they called "menstrual extraction kits."[30]

As Lynne Randall, director of the Atlanta FWHC, said: "Since there won't be enough courageous doctors to break the law, this could be the safest illegal abortion possible."[30] Personnel from the Federation of FWHCs began touring the country in mid-1990, selling and demonstrating their home abortion kits and showing their 28-minute propaganda film "No Going Back."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration promptly shut down the sales by the FWHCs, because they considered the home abortion kits to be deadly dangerous. There is of course no ultrasound performed during ME, even though this is considered standard practice by most experienced abortionists. One emergency room physician, commenting on this lack, said that "The existence of an ectopic pregnancy or a [hydatidiform] mole would have disastrous results."[31]

But Neofeminists are not the only people who are pushing illegal abortion kits. Various Communist and sodomite groups are joyfully leaping into the fray, as well. For example, a disreputable group calling itself "Anonymous Queers 1992" circulated diagrams of the "Del-Em" at the pro-abort's April 1992 "March for Death" in Washington, DC.[29]

There is a possibility, even under the Clinton reign, that abortion will be somewhat restricted in the near future, at least in some states. These will be the states where the practice of 'menstrual extraction' will take hold, and these will be the states where unskilled women will butcher themselves and each other with ME devices. And these will be the states where those practicing illegal abortion will be the same people who will yell "Look! Women are dying from unsafe, illegal abortions! We must legalize it again!"

And these are the same people who condemn pro-life rescuers for breaking the law!

We must ask ourselves (and the Neofeminists) this question: If they are so worried about women butchering themselves, why are they trying to profit from the misery of these women by selling illegal and dangerous home abortion kits to them at a huge markup?

The Truth About Illegal Abortions From the Horse's Mouth.

The illegal abortionist has played an essential role in the evolution of modern industrial urban living, with its low birth rates, intensive education, and nuclear family system. He or she was classed as a criminal, but without their help, history would have taken a different course.

                                                                                                      Malcolm Potts.[3]


Neofeminists and abortophiles typically get extremely agitated when they describe the "bad old days" before Roe v. Wade. They shudder with mock terror as they vividly paint the classic caricature of the filthy (invariably male) back-alley butcher who terrorized women while taking their last few grocery dollars. The pro-aborts assume the status of "victim" and appeal to everyone's protective instinct by speaking of horribly lacerated women dying by the tens of thousands after undergoing abortions in fleabag motel rooms, in kitchens, and even on the back seats of cars. Their imaginations reach full flower when they participate in the periodic "Silent No More" fiction contest, where contestants are urged to write stories about a loved one who supposedly died of illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade.

What they don't say is that 90 percent of illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians.[7,32] In fact, many of the doctors who immediately opened abortion mills after Roe v. Wade received their abortion training not in medical school, but in the same office under semi-clandestine conditions.

It is very interesting to examine the lavish lifestyle of the illegal abortionists in the so-called "bad old days."

The truth is far different from the fiction. Instead of being filthy back-alley butchers, the typical illegal abortionist was a medical doctor practicing in a clean, spacious, antiseptic suite of offices. And, instead of being a caring, sympathetic champion of women's rights, these people were in the abortion business purely to rake in astonishing quantities of money.

The Dr. Ruth Story. 

Naturopath Ruth Barnett was a close friend of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. She performed about 40,000 illegal abortions during the period 1918 to 1968 in Portland, Oregon, the so-called "Abortion capitol of the Northwest." At least 70 percent of these women were referred to her by reputable practicing physicians.[32]

Neofeminists like to describe some illegal abortionists as caring, sympathetic individuals who risked their careers and livelihoods for a pittance, because they "felt sorry for women in desperate straits," or because they "believed in the cause of women's freedom."

Strangely, they don't talk about Ruth Barnett, who made an extraordinarily sumptuous living off the misery of women just as many abortionists do today.

During her half-century of killing babies illegally, Barnett earned more than nine million dollars (equivalent to more than $40,000,000 in 1992 dollars). As Barnett said, "My income during the years at the Stewart Clinic was as much as $182,000 a year. I make no apologies for earning that kind of money ... "[32]

Barnett considered herself to be somewhat of a philanthropist. For example, she used tens of thousands of dollars of her money to reopen the Portland Meadows horse-racing track after the disastrous Vanport Flood of 1948.

In her book, Barnett describes the lavish lifestyle of another local illegal abortionist, Dr. Ed Stewart, operator of the Stewart Clinic on Broadway Street; 

He owned and operated a racing stable, and played an important role in making horse racing a respected activity in Oregon. He was a cultured man. A connoisseur of art, he kept impressive collections of paintings both in his clinic and his home ... Dr. Stewart's [abortion] rooms were beautifully furnished. There were eleven of them and they took up nearly the whole eighth floor of the Broadway Building. His reputation had been flawless and his name was known throughout the Northwest wherever women were in trouble.

Like Mother, Like Daughter. 

Barnett's talents were employed on numerous occasions by her only daughter, Margaret St. James, who was married 10 times including three times in one year. St. James boasted that "I married everybody who asked, like throwing cards up in the air. If you didn't like how they fell, you got divorced."[33]

Because of her promiscuous lifestyle, St. James often employed her mother's "services," and was aborted by her six times. Her mother supported all ten of her ex-husbands, and lavished upon her many costly gifts, including a huge home with full-time cook, housekeeper, nurse and gardener. St. James remembered cardboard boxes stuffed with money scattered around her mother's house.[33]

Safe and Illegal. 

Barnett operated her abortuary freely and openly in Portland for 33 years without being hampered at all by police, who simply winked at her activities. This record was almost doubled by Dr. Albert Littlefield, who ran a high-volume illegal abortion mill in Portland for 65 years without being investigated by the police a single time.

There is no doubt at all that, if these abortionists were butchering women, the police would have immediately moved in and closed them down.

In fact, in her book, Barnett states that "And there is one figure of which I am entirely certain. In all those [40,000] abortions over all those years, I never lost a single patient."[32]

Barnett also left us a revealing glimpse of her 'front-alley' abortion clinic, which was universe departed from the filthy mills that make up the grist of pro-abortion propaganda;

In the movies, they always depict the fallen woman sneaking up a dirty, rickety stairway to a dismal room or making her way, furtively, into a dark alley that leads to a decrepit shack where some alcoholic doctor or untutored butcher performs the abortion.

A clinic such as mine was not that way at all. It was a bright, cheerful place where women's problems were handled quickly, efficiently and with dignity, no matter what the circumstances of the patient.[32]

Keep in mind that Barnett was not a medical doctor, and that her abortion training consisted solely of performing abortions.[32] And yet her safety record is probably unsurpassed by any legal abortionist who has performed as many (or more) abortions.

Barnett was not the only abortuary operator in the 'Abortion Capital of the Northwest." In her book, she describes the office of George Watt, another illegal abortionist; "Here, as in his consulting room, I was impressed with not only the antiseptic cleanliness but the wholesome purity that stems from plenty of hot water and soap suds."[32]

Finally, in 1951, Barnett was investigated not by the police, but by an ambitious newspaper journalist who was determined to make a name for himself. As Detective Barney Shields reminisced, "We never bothered any abortion clinics. Everybody knew of them ... "[33]

This kind of statement makes pro-lifers wonder whether the police will enforce the law against illegal abortionists as enthusiastically (and brutally) as they do against rescuers, should abortion again become illegal.

Mexican Capers. 

Stories of horrible illegal Mexican abortion mills and drunken, lecherous Mexican abortionists crowd pro-abortion propaganda pulp novels and provide a vivid but fictional portrait of the way things were before Roe v. Wade.

One Zero Population Growth writer describes a report from a young woman who she referred to an abortionist (Dr. Ponce) in Mexico City:

Things were really good down in Mexico City. Everything happens so fast there is almost an aura of fantasy. The clinic (more like a mansion really) is very nice and comfortable.

There were about seventeen women there the morning I had the D&C done, plus some in the afternoon. They get you up right after and feed you fruit and drink and cookies right away helps take your mind off the cramping.

Some of us went sightseeing that afternoon. Mexico City is really nice, and I had no trouble at all with any facet of the journey or my stay there.

One young woman added, somewhat apologetically, "You know, in a way it was almost fun."[34]

This description of Mexican abortion mills is obviously far more accurate than the popular vision that has been foisted off on the public for many years. This is due to several reasons;

• If illegal abortionists were so plentiful and easy to access in the United States, why would anyone want to go all the way to Mexico unless the abortion "experience" there was better than it was in the United States?

• How could individual women have learned about Mexican abortion mills? Think of how difficult it would have been for an average woman to make such a connection. Obviously, pro-abortion organizations acted like "funnels" by referring women to the illegal Mexican abortion mills. They operated sub rosa referral centers and even, in some cases, ran bus lines to abortion mills in Juarez and Tiujuana. They often boast about such activities today.

• If illegal abortionists ran assembly line abortion mills that charged a thousand dollars apiece, as the pro-aborts claim, does it make any sense that they would run the archetypical "filthy warrens?" Wouldn't they instead try to increase business by maintaining spotlessly antiseptic clinics like those operated by Portland, Oregon illegal abortionist Ruth Barnett?


As far as the caricatures of illegal abortionists are concerned, Ruth Barnett is certainly closer to the reality than some filthy, lecherous Mexican butcher. And Barnett's story is remarkably similar to those spun by many of today's big-name legal abortionists, who killed thousands of babies in surroundings of tasteful splendor long before Roe v. Wade.

A World of Pro-Abortion Lies.

It is conservatively estimated that 200,000 women worldwide die every year from abortions that are illegal and unsafe. Here at home, where it is safe and legal, abortion is twice as safe as tonsillectomy and ten times safer than appendectomy ... abortion is 7 to 28 times safer than giving birth.

1989 Planned Parenthood propaganda pamphlet entitled "The Bush Administration: Dragging Us Back to the Back Alley."

Maternal Deaths. 

Pro-aborts all the world over are stamped from the same rotten mold, regardless of gender, skin color, or nationality. Their most outstanding characteristic is that they are all born liars. The argument that abortion should be legalized to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of women has been used all over the world.

It is easy to add together the pro-abort's figures for deaths due to illegal abortions in each country all over the world to arrive at their total number of worldwide deaths caused by illegal abortions. These figures would include current numbers in countries where abortion is now illegal, and pre-legalization figures in countries where abortion is now legal.

The total number of deaths we would arrive at would be more than two million, which would make illegal abortion the number one cause of death among women of childbearing age on this planet.

Currently, now that abortion is legal in countries that contain 70 percent of the world's population, the figure used by pro-aborts is anywhere from 200,000 to 1,000,000 annual illegal abortion deaths.

How many women really die of illegal abortions in the world today?

Let us perform a few simple calculations. We will make two assumptions favorable to the abortionists;

(1) That legal abortions worldwide have a death rate of about 40 per one million (twice that of the United States, which has some of the best medical facilities in the world); and

(2) That illegal abortions are ten times as dangerous as legal abortions on a worldwide basis (a number commonly quoted by Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League). This results in a figure of 400 maternal deaths per million illegal abortions.

There are currently about 55 million abortions committed annually on a worldwide basis. Seventy percent of the world's women live in countries where abortion is totally legal, or where there are so many proliferating exceptions that the practical result is abortion on demand. These 77 countries have a total population of 3.55 billion.

It should be noted that five countries that contain half of the world's population (China, India, the United States, Japan, and the Soviet Union), have abortion on demand, and commit about 30 million abortions every year.

The above statistics lead to the following conclusions;


Status of         Number of         Population         Abortions
Abortion         Countries            (millions)           (millions)

Legal                      77                    3,550                   44.1
Illegal                      87                    1,550                  10.9

                                    Death Rate          Maternal Deaths

Legal                           40 per million                  1,764
Illegal                        400 per million                  4,360


The result is that a total of about six thousand women die annually of illegal abortions on a worldwide basis not the 200,000 to one million that the pro-aborts claim!

A summary of pro-abortion lies regarding maternal deaths due to illegal abortions in various countries is shown below.[35]


                                                Annual Deaths                       Factor of
Country                            Claimed          Actual                 Exaggeration

India                                   600,000           1,800                     333 times
Brazil                                  400,000              241                  1,660 times
Mexico                               140,000              159                     881 times
Italy                                      20,000                55                     365 times
Germany                               15,000              100                     150 times
United States                        10,000                40                     250 times
Portugal                                  2,000                12                     167 times
WORLD                         1,000,000           6,000                     167 times

It is interesting to note that the pro-abort's claimed figure for abortion deaths in each case equals or exceeds the total number of female deaths for all causes (including all accidents and all diseases)! This obviously means that they not only lack integrity but common sense as well. The only reason that these lies work is that the pro-abortion press mindlessly accepts everything the baby-killers say. And, unfortunately, most members of the public assume that everything that the press dishes out is truthful.

The World Health Organization has claimed that 200,000 women die from illegal abortions each year, and from 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 more "suffer serious, often lifelong health problems."[36]

Some pro-abortion African medical professionals claim that as many as 74,000 African women die of illegal abortions each year.[37]

And pro-aborts from India say that the total number of women dying of illegal abortions before legalization was an incredible 600,000 annually. When it was pointed out that this number exceeded the total number of women of childbearing age dying from all causes annually in the country, the pro-aborts continued to stick with their figure.[38]

Perhaps the most laughable example of pro-abortion exaggeration is BENFAM (Planned Parenthood's Brazilian affiliate) estimate of 400,000 annual deaths due to illegal abortions in Brazil.

The Reuters News Agency parroted BENFAM's claim that "... more than 400,000 women die each year in Brazil from botched abortions."[39] They boldly ignored that fact that the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE, or Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) showed that only 55,066 Brazilian women between the ages of 14 and 50 died of all causes in 1980. The IBGE figures were confirmed by World Health Organization statistics showing that 41,685 Brazilian women between the ages of 15 and 41 died in 1986 and, of these, 241 died of complications due to both legal and illegal abortions.[39]

This means that BENFAM is inflating the actual number of illegal abortion deaths by a factor of (400,000/241) = 1,660!

By the way, Etienne-Emile Baulieu, the inventor of the death pill RU-486, also estimates that 200,000 women die of illegal abortions annually in the entire world. This is another prime example of the pro-abortion 'pick a number' game.[40]

For more detailed information on the status of abortion all over the world, see Chapter 57, "International Abortion Situation."

Illegal Abortions. 

Pro-abortionists also routinely lie about the number of illegal abortions obtained by women so that they can say that since there are so many of them, the procedure might as well be legal. In Spain, the Neofeminists stated as fact that there were 300,000 abortions per year before legalization. The annual number of abortions performed after legalization was about 35,000. Therefore, the pro-aborts are expecting us to believe that the number of abortions declined by 88 percent because of legalization!

In the United States, the favorite figure quoted by pro-aborts was one million illegal abortions per year. In the first full year after abortion was legalized, there were a total of 745,000 legal abortions. Does it make sense that the number of abortions would drop after legalization?

A summary of pro-abortion exaggerations regarding the number of illegal abortions is shown below.


                                         Illegal Abortions                      Factor of
Country                        Claimed        Actual                  Exaggeration

Canada                         300,000         15,000                     20 times
Spain                            300,000         20,000                     15 times
U.S.                           1,000,000       200,000                      5 times
WORLD                  35,000,000    4,000,000                      9 times

The Battle of Gory Photographs.

Pro-life activists routinely display graphic pictures of aborted babies. The pro-abort comeback to this tactic is to wave around photographs of nude women who have supposedly butchered themselves through self-inflicted abortions. These usually feature unclothed women in fetal positions on a blood-soaked carpet, with the instruments of their 'demise' in obvious view.

The surgical "instrument" is invariably either a carefully displayed coat hanger, knitting needle, or bottle of lye skillfully placed so the large-print label can be read by the viewer.

Curiously, identical pictures in different publications refer to different names, times, places of death, and method of illegal abortion. All of these pictures are supposedly extracted from the files of medical examiners but what reputable medical examiner would release photos of murders or suicides to the general public?

We obviously should give this pictorial 'evidence' about as much credence as the pro-abort's tearjerker "Silent No More" fiction competition, sponsored by national pro-abortion groups to emphasize the "dangers of illegal abortion." In this contest, as described previously in this chapter, women write allegedly factual stories about beloved mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, and friends who have died of illegal abortions.

Whenever the story-tellers are asked for further details, they cleverly say that they don't want to compromise the dead person's privacy (as if a dead person cares a whole lot about her privacy). In those few cases were details can be checked, as in the case of Frank Mendiola's nonexistent sister, the stories invariably turn out to be lies.

The same holds true for photographs of women supposedly killed by illegal abortions. No pro-abortion group has ever provided adequate documentation for even one of these photographs. And yet, these people, who so casually lie about literally every aspect of abortion, will become indignant indeed if their documentation is questioned.

The Inescapable Racism of Abortion.

The races of 97 of the 174 women listed in Figure 59-1 has been identified by the accompanying references. Of these 97, 47 were Black, 15 were Latinas, 4 were Oriental, and 31 were White.

This means that 68 percent of all known legal abortion deaths where the race of the victim has been known have occurred among minority women.

By comparison, Chapter 78, "The Racism of Abortion," shows that minority women obtain only 30.8% of all abortions.

This means that the death rate among minority women who obtains abortions is three times higher than that of White women who abort.

The deaths that occur among minority women seem to be concentrated among high-volume abortion mills purposely located in poorer urban areas by population controllers. For example, 32 of the 174 abortion deaths listed in Figure 59-1 have occurred in Los Angeles, a rate five times higher than the nation as a whole.

Chapter 78, "The Racism of Abortion," shows how abortion clinics are concentrated in cities that have high minority populations. This is yet another indicator of the extreme degree of racism that is literally inseparable from the so-called "pro-choice" philosophy.

The death rate among poor minority women may be even higher than estimated, because such women have been effectively disenfranchised from the 'system' and do not trust attorneys and anything to do with litigation, for good reason.

Belinda Byrd, a 37-year old Black woman, had required Cesarian sections for each of her previous three children. When she went to abortionist Steven Pine on January 24, 1987, at 19 weeks gestation, she weighed only 95 pounds.

Pine was a very busy baby-killer. In fact, Belinda Byrd's baby was the 74th to die at his hands that day!

He perforated her uterus and she died three days later. As a partial result of this botched abortion, the Inglewood Women's Hospital had its license revoked by the State of California and closed down. However, money is a great motivator, and it opened only two weeks later with a different name: The West Coast Women's Medical Group. It was subsequently bought by mega-abortionist Edward Allred (who has also killed several women), and still functions to this day.

As Belinda's mother Mattie said, 

I cry every day when I think of how horrible her death was. She was slashed by them and then she bled to death ... Where is the abortionist now? Has he been stopped? Has anything happened to him because of what he did to my Belinda? ... People tell me nothing has happened, that nothing ever happens to White abortionists who leave young Black women dead.[41]

For more information on the racist and eugenicist origins of abortion, see Chapter 78 of this volume and Chapter 105 of Volume III, respectively.

The "Case" Against Childbirth.


Pro-aborts are very fond of claiming that abortion is six [ten, twelve, twenty, pick a number] times safer than childbirth, and their quotes reflect this strange bias. The National Abortion Federation says that "Abortion is seven times safer than childbirth, and carries approximately the same risk of death as a shot of penicillin ... Statistical data confirm that legal abortion has had a dramatically positive effect on public health."[42] Other Neofeminists, including Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer, clumsily attempt to use their doctored figures in an attempt to undermine the pro-life movement: "One salient fact that the anti-abortion movement cannot afford to acknowledge is that childbirth is 11 times more dangerous that early termination abortion."[43]

As early as the Summer of 1971, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) filed a brief before the United States Supreme Court stating that "The medical procedure of induced abortion is potentially 23.3 times as safe as the process of going through ordinary childbirth."

Two years later in Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court "... took as 'established medical fact' the contention that in the first three months of pregnancy mortality in abortion is less than mortality in childbirth."

Even today, though they have muted their rhetoric, the ACOG continues to insist that abortion is safer than childbirth; "The medical risks to a woman of childbirth are greater than the risks of abortion."[44]

In fact, abortionist Lise Fortier has suggested with a straight face that "Indeed, if one were to push logic to an extreme, since abortion is so much safer than childbirth from a strict medical standpoint, every pregnancy should be aborted."[45]

So What? 

There is absolutely no reason at all to bring up this argument, since it implies that, since abortion is safer than childbirth, every pregnant woman should immediately abort in order to preserve her own health. This atrocious 'logic' makes the false assumption that the mother's health is the only criterion for decision-making.

It is equally logical to demand that every woman over the age of 30 should have both breasts removed in order to avoid the increased danger due to breast cancer.

Grapes and Watermelons. 

To begin with, comparing maternal abortion mortality with maternal childbirth mortality is worse than comparing apples to oranges; it is similar to comparing grapes to watermelons.

There are basically four profound differences between abortion and childbirth;[46]

(1) Intent. A mother who seeks an abortion wants very badly to kill her child. She does not just want to be rid of the baby; she wants to kill it. This is evidenced by the fact that most aborting women refuse to even consider the adoption alternative. On the other hand, a mother who delivers her baby wants to love and nurture her child.

(2) Duration. The duration of an abortion is seldom more than two days for prostaglandin or saline procedures, and is most often fifteen minutes or less for first-trimester procedures. Pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period averages more than a year in duration.

(3) Methodology. Abortion is always invasive and is always a surgical procedure. Childbirth involves surgery (Cesarian section) in only about one-fourth of all cases and this percentage is beginning to decline. In fact, most deaths due to childbirth can be attributed to Caesareans, most of which are unnecessary.

(4) Functions. Abortion is an artificial intrusion into and invasion of the body's reproductive system. Childbirth is the purpose of the reproductive system, sniveling Neofeminist propaganda notwithstanding.


The following paragraphs calculate the actual comparative hazard levels pertaining to childbirth and abortions.

In order to approach this problem in a logical manner, two terms must first be defined: abortion-related mortality and childbirth-related mortality.

Abortion-related mortality is defined as those deaths resulting directly or indirectly from both physical and emotional abortion complications. This mortality is measured in terms of deaths per 100,000 abortion procedures and includes;

• deaths "on the table" from anesthesia, bleeding, or shock;
• deaths due to abortion-caused physical complications that occur days or 
   even months later;
• extreme depression leading to suicide; and
• deaths due to related physical complications brought on by previous 
   abortion(s), such as mortality due to the documented concomitant 
   increased risk of ectopic pregnancies.

Childbirth-related mortality is measured in terms of deaths per 100,000 births, and includes all maternal deaths due to pregnancy and its termination by whatever means, including miscarriage, natural birth, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy and abortion, and those deaths due to incidents that do not result in termination of pregnancy;

• embolism (most of which occur during abortions);
• hypertensive diseases of pregnancy;
• non-obstetric injuries;
• obstetric hemorrhage;
• cerebrovascular accidents;
• anesthesia complications; and
• all causes included in abortion-related mortality.

The critical point to consider here is that, according to the ACOG and other medical institutions, childbirth-related mortality includes abortion-related mortality, because the medical community sees "childbirth" as synonymous with "pregnancy" for certain purposes.

In other words, if, in a certain year, 10,000 women died of complications due to legal abortions and only one woman died of childbirth, abortion would still be rated safer than childbirth under this fatally flawed statistical system!

Discriminating Factors. 

As we continue this analysis, we must examine further the various factors that contribute to maternal abortion and childbirth deaths.

About half of maternal childbirth deaths are due to the fact that, in recent years, Cesarian sections have been performed in almost one-fourth of all deliveries. Partly because they are ten times riskier than natural childbirth, many Neofeminists and women physicians correctly believe that many or even most C-sections are unnecessary.[47]

However, the frequency of these major surgical procedures appears to be decreasing and will probably fall further in the near future. This will cause the maternal death rate for childbirth to drop even more significantly.

Additionally, maternal childbirth mortality figures include those women who died of infections and other complications for up to six months after delivery, whereas the abortionists only include those numbers for women who actually die on the procedure table or very soon after a week later, at the outside. Even prominent abortionists have acknowledged that the number of deaths directly attributable to abortion is at least double the number that actually occur 'on the table.'

The July 1988 Maternal Mortality Collaborative Study found that, of the 712 maternal deaths recorded from 1980 to 1985, 111 of the recorded deaths were due to factors in no way related to pregnancy (accidents, homicides, unrelated diseases, etc.). This study also concluded that 10.6 percent of all reported maternal deaths were actually due to unattended and subsequently ruptured or infected ectopic pregnancies.

Finally, abortion advocates only quote current figures for deaths due to legal abortions. They will not acknowledge the fact that, even when Federal programs paid for poor women's abortions, there were still deaths due to illegal abortions. There will always be women who abort themselves for the sake of absolute privacy, even if all barriers to obtaining abortions have been eliminated.

Comparative Hazard Levels. 

By saying that 'abortion is safer than childbirth,' the pro-aborts are implying that abortion is preferable to childbirth, based on an analysis of the comparative hazards of both.

If the pro-aborts were to be consistent, therefore, they should also list (and discourage) all other activities that women participate in that are also more dangerous than abortion.

The pro-abortionists, in pursuit of this hallowed consistency, should also prohibit women from smoking, traveling, swimming, and riding a bicycle and participating in most other sports, because the risks of these activities are greater than the risks of abortion as well.

In fact, pro-abortionists should vigorously insist that women should never shower or take a bath, since more women die in the bathtub each year that are killed by abortion and childbirth combined!

The comparative risks of common activities engaged in by American women are shown in Figure 59-4. Figure 59-2 calculates the actual comparative hazards of childbirth and abortion.

Figure 59-2 shows that the maternal death rates for childbirth and abortion are almost identical, despite the pro-abortion claim that abortion is up to 1,000 times safer than childbirth. The actual averages for the decade of the 1980s are as follows;


Description of Activity                                      Probability of Death

Heart Disease                                                         22.5% (1 out of 4)
All cancers, except breast cancer                            13.3% (1 out of 8)
Mountain climbing
   (15 years of participation)                                    8.99% (1 out of 11)
Smoking (30 years of
   smoking one pack a day)                                     3.79% (1 out of 26)
Breast cancer                                                         2.43% (1 out of 42)
Hang gliding (15 years of participation)                    1.71% (1 out of 58)
Car/aircraft accidents                                              1.52% (1 out of 66)
Alpine hiking (15 years of participation)                   0.90% (1 out of 111)
Murder                                                                   0.72% (1 out of 139)
Scuba diving/boating
   (15 years of participation)                                    0.45% (1 out of 222)
Suicide                                                                   0.42% (1 out of 238)
Parachuting (1,500 freefall jumps)                           0.36% (1 out of 278)
Alpine skiing (15 years of participation)                   0.30% (1 out of 333)
Snowmobiling (15 years of participation)                0.195% (1 out of 513)
Drowning                                                              0.165% (1 out of 614)
Bicycling (15 years of participation)                       0.018% (1 out of 5,630)
Cross-country skiing
   (15 years of participation)                                   0.015% (1 out of 6,667)
ABORTION (assumes two during lifetime)            0.014% (1 out of 6,944)
CHILDBIRTH (assumes two children,
   including Cesarian deliveries)                              0.011% (1 out of 9,260)

References. (1) United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Reference Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States. 1990 (110th Edition). Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. Table 115, "Deaths and Death Rates, By Selected Causes: 1970 to 1988." (2) "Killer Sports." U.S. News and World Report, January 15, 1990, page 67.


                                                                               8.1 per 100,000 births.

                                                                               8.0 per 100,000 abortions.

These numbers give us food for thought: How can abortion be such an "insignificant procedure equal in hazard to a tonsillectomy or a penicillin shot" if its death rate is virtually identical to that of a full nine month's pregnancy and several hours of labor?

What About Other Dangers? 

Yet another reason why pro-abort hand-wringing over the 'hazards' of childbirth rings hollow is that the same people who compare the relative risks of abortion and childbirth simply ignore surgical threats to maternal health that dwarf those posed by abortion and childbirth combined.

What about Cesarian sections? The risk of death for a cesarian is two to four times that of natural childbirth, and the frequency of Caesareans have risen from 5 percent to 25 percent of all births, primarily for the convenience of the (usually male) doctors.[47]

This means that at least one thousand women die from mostly unnecessary C-sections each year, but we do not hear a peep from the pro-aborts about such widespread abuse.

And what about hysterectomies? This is perhaps the most-abused operation aimed at either sex, and is used for a variety of purposes, from birth control to controlling headaches. It is estimated that more than 500 women per year die from hysterectomies.[48]

Yet, once again, we do not hear any objections from the pro-aborts.

If pro-abortionists were really concerned about women's health, they would not be attacking or denigrating childbirth they would instead be vigilantly monitoring the proliferating abuses related to unnecessary C-sections and hysterectomies.

References: Maternal Deaths and Abortion.

[1] Bernard Nathanson, M.D. Aborting America. Doubleday, 1979, page 193.

[2] Marian Faux. Roe v. Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmark Supreme Court Decision That Made Abortion Legal. MacMillan Publishers, 370 pages, 1990. Reviewed by Maggie Gallagher on page 45 of the July 22, 1988 issue of National Review.

[3] Malcolm Potts, Peter Diggory and John Peel. Abortion. Cambridge University Press, 1970.

[4] "Unfinished Business: Birth Control and Women's Liberation." Sisterhood is Powerful (Robin Morgan, editor). New York: Vintage Books, 1970. Page 260.

[5] Christopher Tietze, M.D., and Stanley K. Henshaw, M.D. Induced Abortion: A World Review. New York: The Population Council, 1986 (6th Edition). Page 107.

[6] Christopher Tietze, M.D. Induced Abortion: A World View, 1983. New York: The Population Council, 1983.

[7] John Benditt. "Special Report: Second-Trimester Abortions in the United States." Alan Guttmacher Institute's Family Planning Perspectives, November/December 1979, pages 358 to 361.

[8] Psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Kummer, quoted by Lester Kinsolving. "What About Therapeutic Abortion?" Christian Century, May 13, 1964, page 634.

[9] Stanley K. Henshaw, Jacqueline Darroch Forrest, and Jennifer Van Vort. "Abortion Services in the United States, 1984 and 1985." Family Planning Perspectives, March/April 1987, pages 67 and 68.

[10] Michael Fumento. "The Dying Dutchman: Coming Soon to a Nursing Home Near You." The American Spectator, October 1991, pages 18 to 22.

[11] Todd Ackerman. "'Pro-Choicers' Pushing Home Abortion Kits." National Catholic Register, September 3, 1989, page 1.

[12] Matthew J. Bulfin, M.D. "Deaths and Near Deaths With Legal Abortions." Paper presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Convention at Disney World, Florida, on October 28, 1975.

[13] Chicago Sun-Times, November 19, 1978.

[14] In the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, Civil Action No. 73CV497-W-3.

[15] Tulsa Tribune, July 13, 1987.

[16] Des Moines Register, May 5, 1983

[17] Willard Cates, quoted in Liz Jeffries and Rick Edmonds. "Abortion: The Dreaded Complication." Philadelphia Enquirer, August 2, 1981.

[18] United States Public Health Service. Handbook on the Reporting of Induced Termination of Pregnancy. USPHS, PHS 7901117, pages 2 and 11.

[19] State of California, Department of Vital Statistics. California Vital Statistics (1986). Table A-2, "Maternal Deaths by Selected Causes of Death, California, 1960-1984 (By Place of Residence)."

[20] Christopher Tietze, Jean Pakter, and George Berger. "Mortality with Legal Abortion in New York City, 1970-1973: A Preliminary Report." Journal of the American Medical Association, July 30, 1973.

[21] United Nations Demographic Yearbook, 1978. New York: United Nations, 1979.

[22] "Women Are Not Incubators!: The Assault on Abortion Rights." Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States, Revolutionary Worker, November 6, 1989. Also distributed as a special reprint booklet, pages 4 and 40.

[23] Brett Harvey. "The Morning After." Mother Jones, May 1989, pages 28 to 31 and 43.

[24] Sherry Matulis. "Why Abortion Must Remain the Law of the Land." The Humanist, July/August 1992, pages 35 to 37 and 49. Adapted from her 1991 "Humanist Heroine Award" speech.

[25] Quoted from the May 22, 1985 Congressional Record and quoted in "Wimps of the Week," The Review of the NEWS, July 3, 1985, pages 55 and 56.

[26] "Pro-Life Action League Helps Expose Pro-Abortion "Bomber."" The Advocate [publication of Advocates for Life Ministries], Portland, Oregon, May 1988, page 10. Also see Patt Morrison. "Pro-Choice Activist Faces Sentence for Phony Threats to Bomb Clinics." Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1987.

[27] Rebecca Salstrom. "Menstrual Extraction: Is Self Help Making a Comeback?" WomenWise [a publication of the New Hampshire Federation of Feminist Womens Health Centers], Spring 1992, page 6.

[28] Janice Perrone. "Controversial Abortion Approach." American Medical News, January 12, 1990, pages 9 and 18 to 20.

[29] Candy Berkebile. "Feminists Teach "Do-It-Yourself" Abortions." Quoted in Family Voice [a publication of Concerned Women for America], June 1992, pages 12 and 13.

[30] New York Times, October 6, 1982.

[31] Albert Altchek, M.D. Emergency Medicine, September 1973.

[32] Ruth Barnett. They Weep On My Doorstep. Beaverton, Oregon: Halo Publishers, 1969. Pages 9, 36, 39, 40, 46, and 70.

[33] Jann Mitchell. "My Mother, Ruth Barnett." The Oregonian, October 27, 1987.

[34] Anne Nicol Gaylor. Abortion is a Blessing. New York, New York: Psychological Dimensions, Inc. 1975, 124 pages. Page 8.

[35] D. Kurchoff, Deutsches Arztblatt, Volume 69, Number 27, October 26, 1972. Also Portuguese Anuario Estatistico, Tables 11, 16, and 111. Also John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe and Kathleen Essex. "Protecting Life in Brazil." HLI Reports, September 1989, page 1.

[36] Jodi L. Jacobson. "Coming to Grips With Abortion." Pages 114 to 131. In the Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 1991 Report. W.W. Norton Publishers, London, 1991. Also issued as Worldwatch Paper #97, The Global Politics of Abortion.

[37] Khama Rogo. "Induced Abortion in Africa" (unpublished draft), prepared for the Population Association of America annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, May 2 to May 3, 1990. Also in page 129.

[38] Priya Darshini. "Abortions Increase in India." The Oregonian, September 3, 1989, page A9.

[39] November 13, 1991. Reuters news service releases of various titles to newspapers all over the world. Also see the December 30, 1991 letter of Dr. Geraldo Hideu Osanai, President, Associacao Pro-Vida de Brasilia to Andrew M. Nibley and Thomas D. Thompson of the Reuters News Agency in New York City.

[40] Primum Non Nocere, Volume IV, Number 1, 1983.

[41] Undated letter from Mrs. Mattie Byrd (mother of Belinda Byrd, who died January 27, 1987), quoted in Feminists for Life of America amicus brief in the case of Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services, No. 88-605.

[42] National Abortion Federation booklet, "Twelve Years of Legal Abortion." 1985, pages 2 and 7.

[43] Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer. A Woman's Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486. Four Walls Eight Windows Press, Post Office 548, Village Station, New York, New York 10014. 1992, 271 pages. Page 68.

[44] Atlanta Journal and Constitution, April 5, 1989.

[45] Lise Fortier, M.D., Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. OB/GYN News, December 1, 1980.

[46] Robert G. Marshall. "Is Abortion Safer Than Childbirth? Reasons for Doubt." Article published in 1984 by the American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554.

[47] Diana B. Pelitti "In-Hospital Maternal Mortality in the United States: Time Trends and Relation to Method of Delivery." Obstetrics & Gynecology, January 1982, page 6.

[48] Ruth Toumala. "Hysterectomy." Harvard Medical School Health Letter, May 1988, page 8. Also see Richard C. Dicker "Complications of Abdominal and Vaginal Hysterectomy Among Women of Reproductive Age in the United States." American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, December 1, 1982, pages 841 to 848.

Further Reading: Maternal Deaths and Abortion.

Ruth Barnett. They Weep on My Doorstep
Halo Publishers, Portland, Oregon. May be ordered from Post Office Box 1383, Silver Springs, Florida 32688-1383. 223 pages. This is a fascinating account of a naturopath who committed illegal abortions in Portland, Oregon, with the full knowledge of the authorities, for more than 40 years. This book tells the real story of what illegal abortions were like before Roe v. Wade: Barnett describes how immaculate her clinic was, how few complications she had (no deaths in 40,000 abortions), how phony the "back-alley" abortion stories are, and how she accumulated millions of dollars and lives a lavish lifestyle. This book is a "must-read" for any pro-life activist who wants the real scoop on the days of illegal abortions, and not some weepy propaganda piece by fictionalized "brutalized" women.

Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer. A Woman's Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486
New York: Four Walls Eight Windows Press. 1992. It is an ominous sign of the times that illegal abortion manuals were printed by the Neofeminists 25 years ago in secrecy and passed hand to hand, and now they are sold in mainline bookstores and sit innocently on library shelves. This book was written by the Neofeminists in anticipation of tougher days, and is a totally unselfconscious description and endorsement of all of the 'self-help' methods of abortion.

Suzanne Gage. When Birth Control Fails: How to Abort Ourselves Safely
Speculum Press/Self-Health Circle, Inc., Post Office Box 1063, Hollywood, California 90028. 1979, 54 pages. A very interesting short book on the equipment that has been used in the past by women's illegal abortion circles, and which will be used in the future when women set up "Jane" networks once again. This book (and others like it) will then be of interest to pro-life activists who are working to derail the abortion movement's "underground railroads." This book shows how to self-examine, how to construct the Del-Em home suction abortion machine, and also gives information on herbal abortions.

Anne Nicol Gaylor. Abortion is a Blessing
New York: Psychological Dimensions Publishers. 1975, 122 pages. This amazingly-entitled book, by a Zero Population Growth fanatic (who hypocritically has four children), accurately reflects the author's attitudes. The book jerkily swings from third-rate psychological analysis of the "antis" (that's us, folks) to virulent anti-Catholic tirades ("card-carrying Catholics" shouldn't be allowed to sit on juries when abortion is involved) to stomach-turning and obviously false tearjerker stories of desperate women who were butchered by illegal abortions. The book makes fascinating reading, however, for many reasons: The crude and nightmarish cartoons (one of which shows a one-ton embryo strangling its mother with its umbilical cord) to women's accounts of trips to Mexico for illegal abortions, which were performed in spotless facilities by polite and accomplished doctors a very far cry indeed from the alleged butchery that modern pro-aborts like to snivel about.

Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D., Dennis J. Horan, and David Mall (editors). New Perspectives on Human Abortion
Frederick, Maryland: Aletheia Books, University Publications of America, 1981. A superb compilation of essays by the most experienced pro-lifers in the land, dealing with virtually all of the basic issues involved in taking human life. An excellent primer for any pro-life activist. Articles include "Abortion Related Maternal Mortality: An In-Depth Analysis," on pages 69 to 91, and "An Objective Model for Estimating Criminal Abortions and its Implications for Public Policy," on pages 164 to 181.

Ellen Messer and Kathryn E. May. Back Rooms: Voices From the Illegal Abortion Era
St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010. 1988, 230 pages. This interesting book tells the stories of about 25 women who had abortions before it was legal in this country. Several obvious features give it away as a pro-abortion propaganda/fiction piece; all of the women are anonymous; pro-lifers and anyone who stood in the way of "progressive" abortion law repeal or reform are painted as demons; the abortionists are depicted as heros; and there is a special chapter canonizing Lawrence Lader, Bill Baird, and the "reverend" Robert Hare. Spend a rainy day counting the literally hundreds of inconsistencies physical impossibilities.

Ann Saltenberger. Every Woman Has the Right to Know the Dangers of Legal Abortion
1983, 237 pages. Order from Air-Plus Enterprises, Post Office Box 367, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028, or Sun Life, Greystone, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. Reviewed by Daniel J. Martin, M.D. on page 8 of the November 24, 1983 issue of National Right to Life News. This book goes into minute detail about every imaginable type of physical or psychological harm that could possibly arise from abortion. It also addresses the impact on other family members, particularly siblings. The appendix to the book features over 300 references.

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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia published by American Life League.