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Pro-life Activists' Arguments and the Truth Behind Them

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Abortion has been a hot topic, since federal law protected a woman’s right to choose an abortion in the court case Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 (“How Did Abortion Become Legal?”). Roe v. Wade was a woman named Norma McCorvey, who was not married but was pregnant who wanted an abortion. The Texas law denied her request to get an abortion, so she filed a federal lawsuit to have the Texas law declared unconstitutional. She argued that it was her right to decide if she wanted to get an abortion or not. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with her and she was allowed to get an abortion (“How Did Abortion Become Legal?”). Since 1973, pro-life activists have mentioned things that might make you think twice about getting an abortion. Pro-life supporters’ arguments against abortion often lacks the truth. Therefore, pro-life activists should use credible evidence to support their accusations.

The first fact that pro-life activist has declared to support their fight against abortion is that abortion can cause breast cancer. A brochure written by pro-life supporters’ stated, “The Institute of Medicine, lists abortion as a risk factor for having a premature birth in subsequent pregnancies…early premature birth increases the mother’s breast cancer risk (Abortion Raises Breast Cancer Risk). However, studies have proven that abortion causing breast cancer is a myth. According to the American Cancer Institute, in February 2003, a panel of experts convened by the National Cancer Institute to evaluate the scientific data concluded that studies have clearly established that induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk (“Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk”). If pro-life activist stated the facts about the real side effects of abortions, it would make women a lot more comfortable when thinking about if an abortion is right for them.

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The second claim pro-life supporters’ have informed the public with is an abortion can cause death; The Post Abortion Review Newsletter listed that, “A study published in the August edition of the Southern Medical Journal reveals that women who have abortions are at significantly higher risk of death than women who give birth….They discovered that women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die in the following two years” (Readron 1). Well the World Health Organization stated otherwise, “In the United States, legal induced abortion results in only 0.6 deaths per 100,000 procedures” (Facts on Induced Abortion Worldwide). In addition, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Guttmacher Institute stated that, “In a 2012 study assessing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Guttmacher Institute found that actually giving birth is far likelier to kill a woman than having an abortion; risk of death associated with childbirth is approximately 14 times higher than that with abortion” (AlterNet and Holloway). Pro-life activist have went overboard stretching the truth about abortion causing death to scare women from thinking about getting an abortion.

The third accusation pro-lifers’ told society that its true abortion may lead to infertility after their first abortion or after several abortions. Ohio Right to Life quotes Dr. Bohumil Stipal, Czechoslovakia’s Deputy Minister of Health, who stated: “Roughly 25% of the women who interrupt their first pregnancy have remained permanently childless” (“Abortion Complications”). Although, several new studies have proven that their accusation is false such as the Guttmacher Institute study that stated, “About one-half of the women who had abortions in 2002 had already had a prior abortion, and “given a rate of 21 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44, one out of every 100 women in this age-group obtained a second or higher-order abortion.” There has not been a wide scale medical study of the future fertility of women who have had multiple abortions, but a 1983 review of the data found that “the risk of low birth weight, preterm delivery or mid-trimester spontaneous abortion in a pregnancy following [suction curettage] is not significantly higher than the risk of adverse outcomes of a first pregnancy carried to term”(Carmon). The only reasonable fact that could make the pro-life supporters’ statement true if they mentioned abortion procedures that included the surgical procedure of dilation and curettage caused infertility. For example, “…abortions were usually performed with sharp curettage, which is no longer used in the U.S. for the main procedure. A representative from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists referred us to Tanfer Tunc’s Technologies Of Choice: A History of Abortion Techniques in the United States, 1850-1950 which states that “in 1965, 71 percent of legal abortions in the United States were performed using the surgical procedure of dilation and curettage. By 1972, approximately the same percentage, 72.6 percent, of legal abortions in the United States were performed using…the electrical vacuum aspirator”(Carmon). So, their claim is no longer valid considering the United States as adapted to the new form of abortion procedures.

In conclusion, pro-life activist has used their statements to fight against supporters of pro-choice, but their statements seem to fall far from the truth. Their false accusations about abortion causing breast cancer, possible death, or leading to infertility could scare away women who have decided to get an abortion. Pro-life activists need to list true statements with supporting evidence and they could gather a larger support system and not have people questioning every statement they release about abortion.

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