Illegal Abortion Myths: What Would America Look Like Without Abortions?

Illegal Abortion Myths: What Would America Look Like Without Abortions?

by Maria Vitale

August 27, 2010 Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.
To those who came of age long after 1973, it’s understandably difficult to imagine America without legal abortion. After all, they can’t remember a time when abortions were not routinely carried out. They grew up thinking that, if birth control failed to prevent pregnancy, abortion was the back-up plan.

But even proponents of legal abortion have said they believe that Roe v. Wade’s days are numbered. They realize that the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion could be overturned in our lifetime.

So the question becomes, what would an America without legal abortion look like?

Abortion supporters would have you believe that the major consequence of outlawing abortion is that deaths from illegal abortions will become epidemic. But history does not bear out that supposition.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League who became pro-life, admitted that he lied about the number of women who perished from illegal abortions before 1973. Nathanson was quoted as saying, “We spoke of 5,000 ”“ 10,000 deaths a year”¦I confess that I knew the figures were totally was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?”

Information from the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that it wasn’t the legalization of abortion that reduced the number of abortion-related deaths. Rather, it was the introduction of antibiotics which helped to save women’s lives.

Another myth about making abortion illegal is that it would result in the jailing of women. But it would be the abortion practitioners, not the female victims, who would be held accountable for the crime of abortion.

Just imagine the victim impact statements that would be read at the court proceedings. Women would talk about how they ached for the children that they lost and how they had been robbed of the priceless gift of motherhood. They would speak of infections, hemorrhaging, perforations of the uterus, convulsions, and endotoxic shock. They would talk of their thoughts of suicide, and the endless agony that propelled them into drug and alcohol abuse.

Fathers would talk about lost opportunities””never being able to play catch with their sons”¦never being able to walk their daughters down the aisle. They would speak of relationships that were torn asunder by the abortionist’s knife.

Grandparents would speak of the unbearable pain of never being able to hold their grandchildren in their arms…never being able to tuck their grandchildren in at night. They would talk of a branch of the family tree that had been severed by abortion”¦and of a line of descendants who would never see the light of day.

Abortion claims many victims, in addition to the more than 50 million children who have been lost since 1973. One can only hope that the law will someday recognize the tragic toll that abortion has taken on America, lamenting the many victims this heinous crime against humanity has left in its wake.

Buzz up!