Why supporting abortion is a pro-life position

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 5/7/2018, 10:58 a.m.
The Legislature in Iowa has passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Senate File 359, or the "heartbeat ...
Anti-Abortion Protestors

For those who believe in abortion rights, it's a scary time. When Kevin Williamson, conservative writer for The Atlantic for all of two weeks, was let go after a firestorm over comments he made calling for women who've had abortions to be hanged, I wasn't surprised. I was, however, surprised that so many people considered Williamson's remarks to be "fringe." Williamson later wrote in The Washington Post to clarify, "That isn't my view at all."

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned anti-abortion activist, told LifeSiteNews, a so-called "news" website, in response to Williamson's comments, "As pro-lifers, we must preach mercy, not condemnation. We believe that abortion is the ultimate violence against women and their unborn children. We must not, in turn, respond with violence against those who are misled and living in spiritual blindness." A fine sentiment, to be sure, but one dripping with hypocrisy.

It is inherently violent to call for the demolition of Roe v. Wade, and wish to return to a time when abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women in the United States. By 1965, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth were the result of illegal abortions, and those were the deaths officials reported; the actual number of lives lost is undeniably much higher.

It's violent to continue to introduce anti-abortion restrictions when a 2017 study conducted by Ibis Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights found that states with the highest abortion restrictions also have the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. According to UN experts, repealing anti-abortion laws would save the lives of nearly 50,000 women a year.

It's violent for states to pass Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers laws that close clinics and limit access to a legal medical procedure. Before the US Supreme Court struck down House Bill 2 in Texas, in 2016 -- arguably responsible for the state's most rigorous abortion restrictions -- 21 clinics reportedly were shut down and only 19 remained to serve the second-most populous state. There are 5.4 million women of reproductive age living in Texas, and a 2016 report from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, based at the University of Texas at Austin, revealed that more than 100,000 of them attempted self-induced abortions. Meanwhile, Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.

In 2014, poor women accounted for 49% of abortion patients, according to the American Journal of Public Health, and numerous studies have shown that when women are denied access to abortion they're more likely to live in poverty, inhibiting their ability to seek out and pay for additional health care. According to Axios, the Trump administration is currently debating whether to cut off Title X family-planning funding to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, a move that would potentially force the organization to choose between losing the funding or ending abortion referrals. In 2015, according to the Guttmacher Institute, clinics funded by Title X provided contraceptive services to a reported 3.8 million women, helping to prevent 1.9 million pregnancies.