Archive for the Mary Calderone Category

Don’t be fooled: Abortion bans didn’t result in thousands of deaths

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion Death Prior to Roe, Abortion History, Alan F. Guttmacher, Bernard Nathanson, Christopher Tietze, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Mary Calderone, NARAL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2019 by saynsumthn

abortion, abortion rates, Roe v. Wade

 

When abortion bans are in the news, the usual scare tactic claimed by abortion supporters is that when abortion is illegal, thousands of women die. They typically point to entirely fabricated numbers of women who died from illegal abortions just prior to Roe v. Wadeciting a debunked statistic of between 5,000 and 10,000 annually. A more recently cited number claiming “thousands of women [are] dying from abortion every year,” dates all the way back to the 1940’s — before antibiotics were invented. These inflated numbers were created intentionally to garner sympathy for decriminalizing abortion.

Live Action News has broken down this data in more detail previously, including debunking Planned Parenthood’s false claims multiple times. Here’s a summary of facts:

1. Hundreds of thousands of women did not die from illegal abortions annually

  • Former NARAL founder Bernard Nathanson admitted that the 5,000 to 10,000 death figure fed to the public and media in the late 1960’s was fabricated.
  • American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), found: ‘The frequently quoted figure of 5,000 – 10,000 deaths from abortion annually appears unrealistic….”
  • 1975 report by National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine noted: “It is difficult to find credible estimates of the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion. One estimate, which has been frequently quoted, is between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths per year. That is hardly plausible, considering that the total number of deaths of women aged 15-44 from all causes in the United States is approximately 50,000 annually, and the total number of deaths due to abortion reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has been below 500 since 1958 and below 100 since 1971.”
  • Others (see below) including abortion proponents, reveal illegal abortion death numbers drastically lower than what is regularly cited.

Image: Illegal Abortion Deaths 1930 to 1979 updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

Illegal Abortion Deaths 1930 to 1979 updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

2. Abortion death numbers were purposely inflated to scare politicians and manipulate the public

  • Dr. Christopher Tietze, an abortion advocate once awarded Planned Parenthood’s infamous Margaret Sanger Award, suggested in 1967 that the inflated illegal abortion death numbers were made up to scare politicians into legalizing abortion. “The higher estimates are made by people who feel in order to raise sympathy for liberalized abortion laws they have to make people afraid,” he said.

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967 b

 

3. The year Roe was decided, legal abortion killed more women than illegal abortion

  • By 1973, abortion had already been legalized in several states. CDC reports, which can be found in this table, reveal that in 1973, the year the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion, more women died from “legal” abortion than “illegal” abortions. (25 v. 19)

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

Live Action News previously documented that while legalizing abortion resulted in a drastic increase in abortions, it did not necessarily equate to safer abortions, especially in the first few years after Roe was decided. Even today, women are injured and killed after seeking legal abortions

4. No one knew exact illegal abortion death numbers, but acknowledged that numbers were inflated

  • In 1967, statistician Christopher Tietze called the inflated numbers “unmitigated nonsense,” adding, “we have no real basis for guessing which extreme is closer to the truth.” He then suggested that merely liberalizing abortion “probably would not have a big impact on mortality.”
  • In 1969, the very first abortion surveillance report was published by the Centers for Disease Control, noting a “lack of accurate incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality data” on abortion. According to this same CDC report, in 1966, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 189 maternal deaths from abortion complications.

Today, although the CDC reports legal abortion deaths, many believe they could be under-reported. Years ago, I was personally told by a medical examiner “off the record” that abortion deaths are “covered up regularly.”

5. Antibiotics decreased the number of Illegal abortion deaths

The Guttmacher Institute writes that by 1950, “just over 300” women died from illegal abortion, adding that it was most likely “because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion.”

6. Small percentage of women went to non-medical personal for illegal abortions

Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: “Whatever trouble arises usually comes after self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 per cent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of nonmedical abortionist.”

7. Physicians referred patients to colleagues for illegal abortions

Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: “Another corollary fact: physicians of impeccable standing are referring their patients for these illegal abortions to the colleagues whom they know are willing to perform them…”

8. Physicians committed the majority of illegal abortions

  • Former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher, Harvard Crimson December 5, 1967: “Seventy per cent of the illegal abortions in the country are performed by reputable physicians, each thinking himself a knight in white armor.”
  • Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: Called abortion “no longer a dangerous procedure,” because it was being committed by physicians, saying “…90 per cent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians.”

9. Illegal abortions were often classified as “therapeutic” (to save a woman’s life) so they could be done by doctors:

Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: “What we have to admit is, as was repeatedly emphasized, that most therapeutic abortions are in the strictest sense of the law actually illegal.”

For more, visit:

Read Part One of this “Don’t be fooled” series here.

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Early Planned Parenthood director: few women died from illegal abortion

Posted in Abortion Death Prior to Roe, Abortion History, Bernard Nathanson, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Mary Calderone, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Brochure, Planned Parenthood History, Planned Parenthood Life Begins with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2017 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood director and NARAL founder both admitted abortion kills human beings

An early Planned Parenthood director, who once admitted that few women died from illegal abortion because a majority were performed by physicians, also called abortion the “taking of a life” and “a traumatic experience that may have severe consequences later on.”

In 1953, Mary S. Calderone became the medical director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she remained in that position for eleven years. She resigned from Planned Parenthood after co-founding the Sex Information and Education Council (S.I.E.C.U.S.) in 1964 — an organization mired in controversy.

Mary S. Calderone, (image credit Library of Congress)

On October 19, 1959, Calderone presented a paper before the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) at the Eighty-Seventh Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was there that Calderone laid out her argument for legalizing abortion on the basis that illegal abortion was a “disease of society.”

The argument is ridiculous, but the information that Calderone presented to the APHA exposes the lie that led to the legalization of abortion to begin with, and that is how millions of women died every year from illegal abortions.

In her presentation, entitled Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem, the former Planned Parenthood director made it clear that she did not favor abortion and that she believed that abortion was a traumatic experience that takes a life, writing:

I ask you not to assume that I am indiscriminately for abortion.

Believe me, I am not. Aside from the fact that abortion is the taking of a life, I am also mindful of what was brought out by our psychiatrists – that in almost every case, abortion, whether legal or illegal, is a traumatic experience that may have severe consequences later on.

Before they made millions committing abortions, Planned Parenthood admitted that abortion takes human life. A Planned Parenthood pamphlet from 1952 reads, Abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun.

Planned Parenthood pamphlet 1952 life begins

Planned Parenthood pamphlet 1952 life begins

 

 

Another pamphlet from Planned Parenthood Federation of America also describes abortion as a procedure that “kills life after it has begun” and one which is “dangerous” to a woman’s “life and health.”

In her remarks, Calderone quoted a psychiatrist who described the kind of woman who would seek an abortion not as a person in charge of her own choices (as it was sold to the public), but as “a sick person”:

… [A]lthough the effort to obtain an induced abortion may indicate that the woman is physically ill, more often it reflects one or more of a complexity of factors, such as poor social or economic environment, disturbed marital relations, psychiatric or neurotic disturbances in the family or quite simply a need to keep her family at its present size.

There was general agreement with the words of one psychiatrist: “When a… responsible female seeks an abortion, unless the warrant for it is overwhelming as say in the case of rape or incest, we are in effect confronted both with a sick person and a sick situation.”

To Calderone, this was the impetus for pushing for abortion’s legalization. To do so, she and her colleagues had to admit that a majority of illegal abortions were being committed by physicians. And to do this, they had to dispel their long repeated myth that millions of women died every year from illegal abortion.

“Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure,” Calderone wrote. “This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physicians.”

Defund Planned Parenthood

She added:

… [T]he conference estimated that 90 per cent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians.

Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is.

Whatever trouble arises usually comes after self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 per cent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of nonmedical abortionist.

Calderone not only admitted that it was mainly physicians who were committing abortions, but also that women were getting referrals for illegal abortions from “physicians of impeccable standing,” not from back-alley quacks:

From the ethical standpoint, I see no difference between recommending an abortion and performing it. The moral responsibility is equal. So remember fact number three; abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians.

Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood

Calderone was joined in her admission by former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher, who stated at the 1967 Harvard Law School Forum, “Seventy per cent of the illegal abortions in the country are performed by reputable physicians, each thinking himself a knight in white armor.”

Calderone and Guttmacher were not always in agreement with the mission of Planned Parenthood. In his memoriam of Calderone after her death, Harold I. Lief wrote of the two Planned Parenthood officials:

When Mary was national director of Planned Parenthood in the early 1960’s, she came into conflict with Alan Guttmacher and the board board of Planned Parenthood…. [M]any people may not realize that 35 years ago Planned Parenthood opposed putting their resources into, or even advocating, sex education because they saw this as a diversion from their major task of providing birth control and abortion services…. She left Planned Parenthood and with a few like-minded colleagues, (of which I was one), formed SIECUS.

Guttmacher was not even initially for the use of abortion on demand, stating, “Abortion should be a back-up procedure for failed or failure-to-use effective contraception. It must never be the primary method of birth control.” (Source: AMA Congress on Environmental Health, May 4-5, 1970 speech by Alan F. Guttmacher, Page 63.)

The question is, how did the numbers of illegal abortion deaths get so inflated to begin with? The answer lies with Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the early activists in the fight for abortion’s decriminalization.

Nathanson was co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of the Abortion Laws (later known as NARAL),  and he also committed thousands of abortions before he repented and became pro-life.

In the video below, filmed just before his death, Dr. Nathanson admitted responsibility for over 75,000 abortions, which he called “the greatest mistake of my life.” Nathanson admitted, “One of our strategies, in order to mislead the American public, was to deny what we knew to be true: that an abortion kills an existing human being. We denied that fact in an effort to mislead the American public and the courts of this land.”

Nathanson admitted in other publications that he his colleagues lied about the numbers of illegal abortions and inflated the number of women during from illegal abortions:

We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200 – 250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000.

Calderone’s numbers were much lower than 100,000. She wrote:

In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind. In New York City in 1921 there were 144 abortion deaths, in 1951 there were only 15; and, while the abortion death rate was going down so strikingly in that 30-year period, we know what happened to the population and the birth rate.

As current society’s attitudes change toward legal abortion, supporters of the killing of preborn babies may be tempted to scare pro-life politicians by playing the “illegal abortion death” card again. This time around, when they make this false claim, we can remind them what one of Planned Parenthood’s early directors, along with one of the founders of NARAL, had to say about it.

This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Editors Note: This article has been updated to clarify Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s remarks about misleading the public on the number of illegal abortions as well as deaths from illegal abortion.

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