Abortion is a subject that brings up a complex debate in many societies today. Is there a point in time when an unborn child moves from a mass of cells to a legally defined human life? The ethics of this debate cause strong feelings on both sides of the equation, but everyone can agree that a botched abortion does no one any good.
Facts About Botched Abortions
1. 1 out of every 3 pregnancies in the world today is considered an unplanned pregnancy.
2. 1 in 4 women live in a nation where abortion laws are highly restrictive.
3. Making abortion illegal or legal has no effect on the total number of abortions performed in the world.
4. Half of the unplanned pregnancies will result in the decision to have an abortion, with half of those abortions being conducted in unsafe conditions.
5. 1 woman dies every 7 minutes in the world today because of a botched abortion.
6. 22%. That’s the percentage of pregnancies that will end in abortion every year.
7. 43% of the women who identify a religious preference when receiving an abortion list it as “Protestant.”
8. 83% of the women who will seek out an abortion are unmarried.
9. Women living below the poverty level are 4x more likely to seek out an abortion.
10. In the United States, there are 1,270 babies who have been born alive after a botched abortion.
11. Prior to Roe vs. Wade in the United States, more than 5,000 women per year were killed because of botched abortions.
12. 98% of the unsafe abortions that are performed every year occur in developing nations.
13. 6,000. That’s the number of US women who will have an abortion this year and have serious complications from it as a result.
14. In the US, 11 out of every 100,000 women will die because of childbirth.
15. 30 abortion clinics were closed in the United States in 2013 because of botched abortions.
16. In 1930, abortion deaths were 18% of the total maternal deaths that were listed in the United States [2,700 deaths]. In three decades, those numbers dropped to 200 deaths per year in the US.
17. In the State of Texas, about 1,000 women who seek out an abortion must be hospitalized because it has been botched in some way.
18. 6%. That’s the percentage of women who will seek out a medication-induced abortion and will later require a surgical abortion.
Although 1,200 children per year are born as a result of botched abortions, many more women die every year because of them. Women who are desperate are going to take desperate measures to remove a pregnancy. When abortion access is minimized, unsafe options are going to be accessed. That may take an unplanned pregnancy and turn it into an unplanned death.
Why Do We Still Have Botched Abortions?
In the United States, abortion was generally considered to be permitted at its founding, a fact that those who promote the religion of the US forefathers may not even realize. Abortion was permitted until the mid-1800’s, when it was eventually made illegal by almost all states. When those 19th century laws began to be re-evaluated in the 1960’s, the Supreme Court ruled on Roe vs. Wade.
When taking a look at pre-Roe data from North Carolina and then extrapolating it to the entire US, there were an estimated 829,000 illegal or self-induced abortions that were performed in 1967 alone. In some years, there may have been as many as 1.2 million illegal abortions.
Whenever abortions are performed in unsafe conditions, there is a chance that it will be botched. Botched abortions may result in an injury or death to the mother, the live birth of a premature child, or both. Although the facts about botched abortions are considered to be under-reported, the fact still remains that safer conditions will still produce safer results.
There are several unconfirmed reports of children who are born alive from an abortion, but then left to die. These are the botched abortions that are the most troubling to everyone. When an infant is born live, what responsibilities do all parties have in this situation, even if it was from an attempted abortion? This may require specific legislation to resolve.
If we want to learn one lesson from history, it should be this: when abortion is legal and contraception is widely available, both the rate of abortion and the number of unplanned pregnancies plummets. Those are figures that all of us can get behind.