Archive for before Roe

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.

Abortion victim imagery credited for win against 1972 abortion proposal in Michigan

Posted in Abortion Victim Images, Black Babies, Black Genocide, Black leaders on abortion, Black Women, Blacks protest abortionn with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2019 by saynsumthn

The use of abortion victim imagery has been a debated topic for the pro-life movement for many years but the fact is that showing the American public what abortion looks like has been instrumental in changing hearts and minds on the humanity of the preborn person in the womb. The use of victim images dates back to the days prior to and just after legalization of abortion both at the state level and the federal level.

In 1972, a year before the infamous Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion on demand in the nation, the State of Michigan asked voters to vote on Proposition B which would, “Allow abortion under certain circumstances.”

According to information obtained from the October 18, 1972 Claire Sentinel, the proposal would allow for only licensed physicians in hospitals or clinic settings to perform abortions rather than “allowing abortions to be [sic] preformed by the same hucksters who have been operating illegally for years.”

Image: michigan proposal b 1972 on abortion

Michigan proposal b 1972 on abortion

According to other reports, the measure was proposed to permit a woman to have an abortion for any reason up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Backers of the abortion measure claimed the move would make abortions more available to the “poorer segment of the population,” according to a October 19, 1972 report by Wakefield News.

As a result, a coalition of pro-life groups, A Voice of the Unborn, under the direction of Detroit resident Dr. Richards Jaynes, launched an offensive. The coalition included the Michigan Catholic Conference as well as the Right to Life Committee and the Southern Baptist Church.

“The humanity of the child is the only issue,” Dr. Jaynes told the Holland Evening Sentinel on September 02, 1972 . “Nobody has a right to deprive him of his life, not even his mother.”

Pro-life activist Lynn Mills, who uncovered the flyer, told this blog that she remembers proponents of the pro-life measure, “Coming into my school in Livonia and explaining all of the different types of abortions.”

The organization mailed pamphlets like the one seen below (archived at the Bentley Historical Library) to the community. And, they  included abortion victim imagery:

Image: Michigan proposal to legalize abortion news 1972 pro-life pamphlet

Michigan proposal to legalize abortion news 1972 pro-life pamphlet

The effort paid off because voters rejected the measure.

 

Image: michigan proposal to legalize abortion news 1972

Michigan proposal to legalize abortion news 1972

According to historian Daniel K Williams in his book, Defenders of the Unborn, the group had mailed the brochures to 250,000 African Americans households, linking abortion concerns to race.

The strategy, Williams said originated with African American Democratic state representative and civil rights activist Rosetta Ferguson, who joined the cause as director of Michigan’s Voice of the Unborn.

 

Image: Voice of the Unborn advertisement 1972 Michigan

Voice of the Unborn advertisement 1972 Michigan

Ferguson called abortion legalization, “Black Genocide.”

Ferguson was not alone in linking abortion to eugenics and genocide.

This blog has extensive research documenting how Black leaders, including many Black women understood that abortion was targeting their community.

The use of abortion victim imagery also inspired the pro-life movement’s iconic “precious feet” pin.

Dr. Sacco’s image of aborted baby

In the early 1970’s, Dr. Russell Sacco, a urologist from Oregon began reading “anatomical books,” and when the Supreme Court ruled that murdering the preborn was “legal,” the doctor became, in his words, “furious.”

It was shortly after this that Sacco met a pathologist who had preserved aborted babies’ bodies in a bucket of formaldehyde, which he showed Sacco. “… [I]n the bucket were about seven or eight infant bodies. It was a little bit shocking for me to see that but, there they were.”

Dr. Sacco said he took out “one body at a time” to photograph them. Then, he cataloged each child and their estimated ages.

After developing the film, he discovered that the images of the feet were “better than I had thought. I really thought that… maybe God did that one for me.”

The image, which Dr. Sacco refused to copyright so it could be used worldwide, has been referred to as “Tiny Feet,” “Little Feet,” and “Precious Feet.”

Dr. Sacco’s picture of aborted baby feet

Sacco later met Dr. Jack Willke who asked to use those images in his book Handbook on Abortion. Following that, the picture was printed in early pro-life brochures such as “Life and Death” and “Did you Know?” The photo soon “went viral,” as they say, and was published in countless flyers, books and pamphlets. That photo then inspired an Arizona couple, Ellis and Virginia Evers, the founders of Heritage House, which now offers the pins for purchase.

History of legal abortion prior to Roe

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion Death Prior to Roe, Abortion History, Abortion Numbers, Abortion prior to Roe, Abortion stats, American Law Institute, Guttmacher, Home Use Abortion, Illegal abortion, State Abortion Stats, States prior to Roe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2018 by saynsumthn

Legal abortion equals more abortion, and America’s history is proof of this

abortion

Prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision, each state had its own abortion laws. Many had laws on the books banning it completely, but others legalized it in some form well before 1973. Roe didn’t become Roe overnight. We can trace its roots back more than a decade prior. And as is usually the case with abortion, once an inch is given, so to speak, those in favor of it tend take a mile. Here’s where it began:

1959: American Law Institute passes model penal code to liberalize abortion, the basis for Roe v. Wade

In 1959, the American Law Institute (A.L.I.), an organization of American lawyers and other elite members of the judiciary, whose mission was the reform of American law, proposed that therapeutic abortions should be legal. Although the first draft of the Model Penal Code to liberalize abortion was released on May 21, 1959, the final version was issued in 1962.

Image: American Law Institute-ALI model penal code on abortion (Image: CDC)

American Law Institute-ALI model penal code on abortion (Image: CDC)

The law proposed that “[a] licensed physician is justified in terminating a pregnancy if he believes there is a substantial risk:

(1) When continuation of pregnancy would gravely impair the physical and mental health of the mother; or

(2) When the child might be born with grave physical or mental defect; or

(3) When the pregnancy resulted from rape, incest, or other felonious intercourse.”

American Law Institute, Model Penal Code on Abortion (Image: Chicago Tribune, 1966)

The ALI’s Model Penal Code was the premise of the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. At that time a large percentage of states allowed abortion only when the woman’s life was endangered. By 1967, three states had liberalized it; according to Time.com, by 1968, four of five states—Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia and Maryland, had authorized it “if the child is likely to be born defective,” but “California did not sanction this ground because Governor Ronald Reagan threatened to veto any bill that included it.”

READ: Not just Nazis: The grisly history of research on abortion survivors

According to the Washington Post, “Through the mid-1960s, 44 states outlawed abortion in nearly all situations that did not threaten the life or health of the mother.”

In 1966, abortion was still illegal in all fifty states, according to Dr. and Mrs. John C. Willke. However, in 1966, Mississippi altered its existing law by adding rape as an indication for a hospital abortion, according to the CDC’s first abortion surveillance report in 1969. And, according to National Right To Life’s timeline, in 1954, Alabama permitted abortions for the mother’s physical health.

According to Dr. Willke, “The Bureau of Vital Statistics reported only 160 mothers had died from abortion in 1966 in the entire USA.”

1973: Abortion legalized nationwide by Supreme Court, with more than 600,000 abortions 

In 1969, the CDC estimates that there were 22,670 abortions. As more states began to legalize it, the numbers climbed dramatically. By 1970, the CDC reported 193,491, and the list went on:

1971: 485,816
1972: 586,760
1973: 615,831

After the U.S. Supreme Court decided to legalize abortion nationwide by a 7 to 2 decision in Roe v. Wade, the CDC Abortion Surveillance report from 1973 indicates that a total of 615,831 legal procedures were reported from 50 states and the District of Columbia and New York City.

Image: Abortions reported to CDC prior to 1973

Abortions reported to CDC prior to 1973

 

Alan F. Guttmacher, MD, who served as Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s president from 1962–1974, responded to the ruling by stating, “I think that to raise the dignity of woman and give her freedom of choice in this area is an extraordinary event. I think that Jan 22, 1973, will be a historic day.”

According to the CDC, in ten states, abortions outnumbered live births among teens 15 years and younger.

By race, the numbers broke down as follows:

  • 67.7% were white
  • 25.7% were Black or other races
  • 6.6% reported race was unknown

At the time the initial report was filed, the CDC reported that 51 deaths related to legal, illegal, and spontaneous abortions had been reported in 1973, and 71 in 1972. However, those reports were eventually updated.

READ: These Black leaders in history viewed abortion as Black genocide

In this table from the CDC report (shown below), 39 women died from illegal abortion in 1972, and 19 in 1973 while 24 died from legal abortion in 1972 and 25 died in 1973.

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

Live Action News has previously documented how the abortion lobby falsely claimed that hundreds of thousands of women died annually from illegal terminations, in a deliberate effort to push abortion on the nation. Standing in stark contrast to this is the breakdown of the estimated numbers going back to 1930. Clearly, the claims that hundreds of thousands of women were dying was a complete falsehood — and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL, later admitted as much:

Image: Illegal Abortion Deaths according to various sources, 1930 to 1979 – updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

Illegal Abortion Deaths according to various sources, 1930 to 1979 – updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

Roe v. Wade was filed by Norma McCorvey, known as ‘Roe,’ and was argued by Sarah Weddington. McCorvey would later admit that the claim that she had become pregnant through rape was fabricated. In fact, McCorvey’s child was never aborted. Her baby was born while the case was still being argued and she ultimately placed her child for adoption.

McCorvey became a staunch pro-life advocate and later expressed sorrow for her participation in the infamous court decision, working to overturn the case up until her passing in February of 2017 at the age of 69.

Click here for more details on state legalization prior to Roe.

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