Here’s something unpleasant but interesting. What is more likely to kill you: an abortion or giving birth? According to a recent study reported by Genevra Pittman over at Reuters, having an abortion is safer than giving birth. (We’re talking about a legal abortion here, not the kind of filthy, back-alley number women have to resort to when their basic rights aren’t respected.)
U.S. researchers from Columbia University Medical Center have found that women are 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth than they are to die from complications from an abortion. Women who give birth are far more likely to experience high blood pressure, urinary tract infections and mental health conditions than women who have an abortion. Why? Well, for starters, women who have a baby are pregnant for a lot longer, which gives them more time to develop complications.
Of course, the study’s authors aren’t trying to persuade women to have an abortion instead of giving birth. Their underlying message is that both abortion and childbirth are relatively safe. But some medical professionals have indicated that these findings contradict the politically-motivated message that abortion is physically harmful to women. We tend to think of childbirth as natural and abortion as an invasive, elective procedure – but it turns out that having a baby is far more traumatic for a woman’s body.
This study also follows recent news that one in five births worldwide are terminated by abortion. And while the number of abortions worldwide has held steady, it is believed that the number of unsafe abortions is increasing. (Thanks, in part, to our Harper government.)