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Fearmongering About Maternal Mortality To Push The Abortion Narrative Doesn’t Help Pregnant Women. Here’s How To Actually Help

By Andrea Mew··  14 min read
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Unless you have a family member, loved one, friend, or colleague affected by it, you might not think that death from pregnancy still happens today.

In fiction, we’ve been fed a rich diet of “mother died in childbirth” stories, whether it's from books like the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights or films like Interview with the Vampire and even Star Wars: Episode III. You might be shocked to learn that maternal mortality is not a thing of the past, but rather is getting worse as time goes on in America.

Worldwide, pregnancy-related deaths have actually been on a downward trend, yet in the United States, data shows that pregnancy-related mortality has risen significantly over the past 30 years. What’s worse, more than 60% of those deaths were preventable.

So in our post-Roe dialogue, can we start talking about improving our healthcare system and finding ways to support pregnant women in prenatal, birth, and postpartum stages instead of pushing impressionable people and powerful corporations to help women get more abortions?

Point Blank, the Abortion Industry Discriminates Based on Race

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing more and more young women wave flags and buy bumper stickers plastered with phrases like “I Stand With Planned Parenthood.” Funny enough, those same young women were also posting black squares in support of the BLM movement and sharing links to bundle money for anti-racist funds. It’s high time we set the record straight – the abortion industry is actually racist in its origins and continues to harm more black women and other racial minorities to this day.

Did you know that 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods? It’s already bad enough that American women are dying at higher rates than any other developed country despite our healthcare system being some of the most advanced, but black women are over three times more likely to die during pregnancy and postpartum than any other race.

Whether it's hemorrhaging, contracting infections, developing cardiovascular conditions, or even suffering conditions like Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders like postpartum depression, black mothers experience pregnancy-related complications at much higher rates than white mothers.

Black women are over three times more likely to die during pregnancy and postpartum than any other race.

Let’s bring it back to Planned Parenthood again. The fact that abortions are now marketed as healthcare and young women opt to abort their unwanted babies instead of carrying them to full-term is largely the fault of the sexual revolution that organizations like Planned Parenthood feed on. It’s widely known that Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a racist and eugenicist.

In founding this organization, she essentially advocated for a eugenics program: “the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks – those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”

Years after Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, the abortion rate for black women is nearly five times higher than the rate for white women, and despite making up only 13% of America’s female population, black women statistically contribute to 38% of abortions. Remember when I mentioned the seemingly coincidental locations of Planned Parenthood’s surgical facilities? 

You’re not a conspiracy theorist for thinking that’s suspicious. While society casually pretends that abortion is medical treatment rather than what it truly is – unnecessary infanticide – Planned Parenthood conveniently sets up shop in some of the most densely populated locations of racial minorities. Here’s some more food for thought: Planned Parenthood swore up and down that abortions only made up about 3% of their services, yet since Roe v. Wade has been overturned, clinics appear to be closing their doors left and right. Shouldn’t that 97% of other services be keeping them open, or was that number just a myth all along? 

“It’s extremely insulting that the predatory abortion industry is trying to convince women that they need abortion to be healthy and successful,” expressed Brooke Paz, the Government Affairs Coordinator for Students for Life America, whom I chatted with in the aftermath of the Roe decision. “Abortion is a completely unnatural process that violently ends the life of an innocent preborn child, while also threatening significant risks to a woman’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.”

What’s actually going on is that real pregnancy resources are being shoved aside, and abortions are being promoted in their place. As former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson said, "At Planned Parenthood, we were to turn every telephone call and every client visit into a revenue-generating visit. We didn’t provide prenatal care. We don't get kickbacks if a woman chooses adoption. So the only way that we can make money on a pregnant woman is to sell her an abortion.”

While women in general are hurt by this, minority women are the most affected. Wouldn’t Margaret Sanger be proud?

Let’s Not Ignore That Chemical Abortion Threatens Women’s Lives

If we want to speak honestly about the real threat to women’s lives, it’s worth knowing that the abortion industry has shifted its business model in a way that could cause more cases of pregnancy-related mortality. The chemical abortion pill market is booming as an alternative to physical procedures, allowing women to essentially have a DIY abortion without professional oversight.

These pills actually cause four times the number of complications as surgical abortions do and leave women risking death at rates of up to 10 times higher

“The rate of abortion-related emergency room visits following a chemical abortion increased over 500% from 2002 through 2015, according to an analysis of Medicaid claims data,” the Charlotte Lozier Institute for research and public policy expertise explained in a piece that also reveals how chemical abortion procedures have jumped 30% in popularity.

“Any OB/GYN worth their salt will tell you that abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life,” Paz shared. “In fact, emergency medical conditions that may be present later in pregnancy often cannot be resolved by abortion because of the hours to days it takes to commit the procedure.”

Chemical abortion pills actually cause four times the number of complications as surgical abortions.

According to Paz, her organization has discovered that chemical abortions not only lead to immune system inhibition, future fertility issues, depression and anxiety, but also suicidal thoughts, ideations, and unfortunately actions.

“It’s ironic that abortion proponents are suddenly concerned about ‘back-alley abortions’ and maternal life despite their rabid advocacy for the distribution of dangerous chemical abortion pills without professional medical oversight,” Paz said.

It should be noted that there is no national abortion reporting law, so there isn’t accurate data for the exact rate of adverse effects or amount of chemical abortion-related deaths, but that fact alone shows how irresponsible and frankly dishonest the abortion industry is being. How can anyone be held accountable for the unnecessary loss of mothers’ lives if cases aren’t being properly reported?

How Can We Help Women in Their Prenatal Days?

I live in California, where our state legislature is developing SB 1142, a bill that provides state funding to make California a magnet state for women wanting an abortion who live in states where it’s not an option. Travel costs, lodging expenses, childcare, abortion provisions, and even compensation for lost wages while in California are included this bill.

Frankly, I’m already disturbed that a private employer would pay for their employee to travel to abort their child so that they can continue being a happy little worker-bee. California’s bill is yet another example of how misguided my state’s leaders are on what should be a healthcare priority. We shouldn’t be funneling more money into funding abortions for women from other states. If California has that money readily available in our budget (which our governor touts as a surplus), then perhaps it should be put toward prenatal care.

Prenatal care means a lot more than just taking a prenatal vitamin. When mothers don’t take care of their health and their baby’s health while in the womb, the baby is three times more likely to have a low birth weight, and what’s worse, they’re five times more likely to die if their mother didn’t seek prenatal care.

Studies have shown that while 77.1% of women overall initiated prenatal care in their first trimester, young women, less educated women, women on their fourth birth and beyond, and women belonging to racial and ethnic minorities were less likely to get prenatal care until their second or third trimester – if at all.

Already, Medicare offers prenatal care either for free or at reduced, varying rates, depending on which state you live in. For women without health insurance or whose healthcare access might not be sufficient in prenatal care, there’s no shortage of pregnancy centers that provide free services and assistance with materials. 

There’s no shortage of pregnancy centers that provide free services and assistance with materials. 

Take one example of many: Heartbeat International. Not only do they provide equipment and resources for pregnancy resource centers, clinics, and adoption agencies nationwide, but they also have an affiliate organization called the National Housing Coalition that has a directory for pregnant women in need of maternity homes. Since the SCOTUS’s draft opinion about Roe v. Wade potentially being overturned was leaked in May, one in every six of their organizations has reported attacks from protesters. For being open and not providing abortions, their centers have had death threats, property destruction, and faced other forms of harassment.

Isn’t it logically backward and frankly regressive that pro-choice activists have called for violence against the very places which offer critical prenatal care to underserved communities that might not have the same level of access as others? Resources, baby supplies, financial aid, hotline access, counseling – all available for free, yet oftentimes shoved aside while abortion procedures are glorified. There are even organizations dedicated to women whose unborn children have been given a life-limiting diagnosis like Carrying to Term that entirely nullify the cases that pro-abortion activists try to use as their shining examples for why a woman needs an abortion. 

How Can We Help Women in Their Postpartum Days?

What about during birth and postpartum? Well, let’s start with the tragic pregnancies that end in a baby’s death. Sometimes, women who have had natural miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies are told that they have had an abortion and that banning abortions means they can’t receive treatment for these tragedies. This is entirely false and is no way to actually support a woman who just lost her child. 

Honest OB/GYNs and medical professionals will admit that ectopic pregnancies are not abortions. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This means that not only will the embryo inevitably die, but it’s a life-threatening scenario for the mother. The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is to remove the embryo (which can’t be saved) with the intention of saving the mother’s life. A miscarriage means that the baby dies in the womb without any outside cause or intervention influencing it. Both of these situations are 100% different from an abortion, which is the intentional killing of the baby in the womb for the sole purpose of killing the baby.

More false information is being debunked by board-certified OB/GYNs who aren’t on board with abortion, like the rumor that women may not be able to receive critical care for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, or other complications when they do go to give birth. We can’t conflate lifesaving healthcare with life-ending abortion, since those circumstances are not the direct or intentional killing of preborn children and no law views them as abortion procedures. Abortion bans will never and have never prevented doctors from legally giving care to mothers in these scenarios.

“30+ years of delivering thousands of babies and I’ve never had to intentionally kill a fetus to save a mom, and never lost a mom who would have been saved by an abortion,” said Dr. Brent Boles, a practicing, board-certified OB/GYN and Medical Director of Heartbeat International on Twitter. “It’s never needed to save a woman’s life, and saving women with miscarriages and ectopics also isn’t abortion.”

Let me reiterate that just like how prenatal care is widely available yet disregarded by pro-choice activists, postpartum support will always be out there for women in need through a variety of abortion-free pregnancy resource centers. Abortion is not necessary for reducing pregnancy-related mortality.

How many women will be too scared to seek out miscarriage treatment or ectopic pregnancy care if they are misled to believe that A) these are abortions and B) these life-saving procedures are banned?

There Are Endless Options for Safe, Compassionate Care

Already, there are many local maternity homes that are either meant for pregnant women or new mothers who need somewhere safe to live or extra assistance while they continue their education or work. Need babysitting, a ride to appointments, tutoring for older children, odd jobs done around the house, or affordable childcare? Care Net has programs that offer all of this and more. I already mentioned the fact that financial aid is on the table with many of these organizations, but the resources go even further. There’s even a National Diaper Bank Network that assists families who struggle to afford diapers. 

The resources are out there, and there is even upcoming legislation based on a female-developed framework by groups like the Independent Women’s Forum to restructure parental leave. No expecting mother or new mother has to suffer in silence and turn to abortion as her “best” option. What’s missing in this equation is widespread education for the exhaustive list of options that don’t result in the death of a child.

Postpartum support needs to address the fact that some of the leading causes of death for a new mother are suicide and overdose. This is especially the case with non-Hispanic white women whose leading cause of death postpartum was due to mental health conditions. 

Postpartum support needs to address that some of the leading causes of death for a new mother are suicide and overdose. 

Why? Doctors believe it’s due to women lacking education, referral resources, time, and reimbursement for proper maternal mental health screenings and treatments. And for those who do go through with an abortion, research has confirmed on numerous occasions that abortion trauma is a real thing, despite pro-abortion activists downplaying the severity of mental health complications that can and do arise post-abortion. Again, the resources to counter these difficulties are out there, but women hear pregnancy resource centers slandered by pro-abortion activists and fail to get the truth. 

“We call ourselves pro-life for a reason,” Paz said. “We believe in preserving human life, and that means treating miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and other physical life-threatening circumstances with quality, life-sustaining care. That care does not include abortion.”

Overall, Roe v. Wade being overturned will not increase maternal mortality and we will likely see pregnancy-related deaths decrease, as demonstrated by data from other countries before and after they legalized abortion. Those researchers suggest that because abortions are banned, there’s more of a priority placed on improved care for pregnant women and mothers such as “better emergency obstetric care, transportation to emergency obstetric care, delivery by trained birth attendants, education for women, and better postnatal care for mothers and infants.”

Closing Thoughts

With the dishearteningly high rate that the United States currently faces for pregnancy-related mortality, we can only hope that our post-Roe nation will follow in the footsteps of other countries that increased critical care and, as a result, saw a decrease in maternal mortality. We owe it to the women who have been wronged by the abortion industry. We owe it to all women to properly address maternal care instead of putting a priority on convenience and ignoring the consequences of abortion.

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