Study: Abortion is more common where it's illegal

LONDON - Abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal and nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority in developing countries, a new study concludes.
Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.

This is an example of correlation, not causation. However, what it does indicate is that outlawing abortion is not necessarily the best means to the end of reducing abortions.

Unfortunately people have always killed unwanted children. Abortion was one common method, as was exposure. But just because people do it doesn’t mean it should be legal.

Old article already discussed…(January)

Guttmacher Institute study:shrug:

No causality established.

Ignores the more likely causes…poverty, sexual promiscuity etc.

Ignores the reality that abortions skyrocketed after Roe v Wade in the US

The whole underlying article uses suspect statistics and was a thinly veiled attempt to justify abortion on the grounds of the risks involved in “backstreet” abortions. Using the same sources cited in the article, the number of U.S. abortions (where abortion is not only legal but apparently an inalienable right since Roe vs. Wade) per 1,000 is higher than the cited figures in the article. Pro-choice advocates should just be honest and admit that they sanction murder and accept that one day they will face the consequences.

Taken from one of the comments to the article:

Have to wonder who paid for the study. One question I have is that if abortion in a country is illegal how do they know that a woman got an abortion? I doubt she will run around and tell anyone that she did.

Read more:’s%20illegal,%20study%20says#ixzz1t1ypLHTG

Moreover the article is a mixtures of unrelated numbers that makes it hardly scientific.

All abortions are unsafe. It’s extremely dangerous for the child who is murdered.

Nevermind that all that “wide spread birth control” includes a great many chemical abortions caused by the pill and other drugs.


I note that there is no documentation backing up this “news” article.

What a load of ****.


And another link:
Illegal Abortions: The Myth and the Cure

The Guttmacher Institute - the same Institute which is a research arm of Planned Parenthood which has a direct monetary interest in legal abortion. And Guttmacher Institute have been found wrong before with their faulty ‘98% of Catholics use contraception’ claim which was debunked by the Washington Post.

**…John Smeaton, director of SPUC, said: “The WHO routinely makes unsubstantiated claims about so-called ‘unsafe’ or illegal abortion. It is one of the world’s major pro-abortion bodies. The Guttmacher Institute is the research arm of the worldwide pro-abortion lobby. The report is pro-abortion propaganda, and should be dismissed as such.

“Promoters of legal abortion have a proven track-record of making wildly exaggerated claims about the number of so-called ‘unsafe’ or illegal abortions. Such false claims were made in 1967 to lobby for the UK’s Abortion Act and in the 1970s to justify the US’s Roe v Wade decision. The late Dr Bernard Nathanson, the US abortion pioneer who became pro-life, admitted that he deliberately exaggerated the estimated number of illegal abortions five-fold when campaigning for abortion legalisation.

“The truth is that countries with strict laws against abortion have lower maternal death rates than countries which allow abortion widely. Ireland, where abortion is banned, has one of the world’s best maternal health records. Legalised abortion does nothing to improve medical care.”

In October 2009 the Guttmacher Institute claimed that “unsafe” abortions killed 70,000 women a year and that the abortion rate was roughly equal in regions where it was legal and where it was illegal. The figures were widely disputed.

In its 2007 report, Unsafe Abortion, the WHO conceded: “Where induced abortion is restricted and largely inaccessible, or legal but difficult to obtain, little information is available on abortion practice. In such circumstances, it is difficult to quantify and classify abortion. What information is available is inevitably not completely relaible.”

The United Nations population division calls the estimates “quite speculative since hard data are missing for the large majority of countries”.**

According to and (which give different sets of stats) the top offenders whichever way you slice it are all countries where abortion is legal :shrug:

Abortion is illegal in Ireland but legal in England and England has the highest abortion rate in Europe.

I haven’t clicked the link or read whatever blurb is on that page, but possible confounding variables immediately come to mind regarding such a conclusion: Countries that have embraced abortion will necessarily embrace other evils also, like contraception and – more to the point – abortifacient medications. We should therefore expect the number of babies killed manually to be higher in countries where it is illegal, because where it is legal they are also killed chemically – the deaths not being recorded, sometimes not even being observed – and not being allowed to exist in the first place. To be clear, I think the point here is over-the-counter chemical abortions which will shift the numbers from manual to chemical. (I think the number of unwanted pregnancies reduced via contraception is negligible.)

(Of course contraception leads to abortion, as people rely upon it and then fail to use it properly, and even when used properly most methods continue to have a “fail rate”.)

I wonder why pro-life organizations don’t collect their own statistics in a rigorous manner. It would seem to me that if you were really interested in reducing the number of abortions, the first steps would be to get a solid picture of where they are happening, why, and how effective various methods are at preventing them (e.g. legislation.) As it stands, there are only 2 consistent sources for abortion statistics, Guttmacher and the CDC. If either organization reports “inconvenient” statistics, the results are dismissed by pro-lifers as biased.

I think this situation is very convenient for pro-life organizations. They are very secure in their finances when no one is quantifying their job performance. If the CDC or Guttmacher reports that their efforts have no real effect on abortion rates, they can simply dismiss the reports. All they have to do is create an air of urgency about this or that current event, and the donations will consistently pour in.

That would be a good point if it were at all true. However, the morning after pill is in fact legal in Mexico.

The problem TheTrueCentrist is that that’s a utilitarian paradigm or a pragmatic one. We don’t outlaw abortion only to reduce it, we outlaw abortion because it is wrong. It’s the same as murder, and we don’t ever permit murder (I’ll ignore whether war, death by police and capital punishment are murder in this case).

Secondly you contradict yourself. You said this is only an example of correlation. Perhaps in areas where abortion and other forms of birth control are available, more children are killed early on by RU486 or intra uterine contraceptive devices OR prevented by regular birth control (ethinyl estradiol, depo provera), hence there is reduced demand and utilisation of abortion proper, but one could probably still achieve this effect by outlawing instrumental/procedural abortion and allow for other forms of birth control.

But again that’s also morally wrong.

This article is from January and was discussed when it was published

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