Legal abortion deaths were higher than illegal ones, prior to Roe versus Wade

David Reardon cites statistics from Hilger’s Medical Hazards of Abortion on abortion deaths after abortion was legalized in New York (before Roe versus Wade):

“In contrast to New York’s “official” safety record for abortion, a 1971 study done by Dr. Joseph J Rovinsky concluded that the actual abortion mortality rate in New York, was no less than 38 per 100,000. Indeed, by 1972, the year prior to Roe versus Wade, the reported number of women who died from legal abortion exceeded the number dying from illegal abortion by almost 2 to 1.

Only after all requirements for reporting were struck down [did] the number of reported deaths from legal abortion even begin to level off.”

Hilger’s Medical Hazards of Abortion, Abortion and Social Justice, 63 Quoted in David C Reardon Aborted Women: Silent No More (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway books, 1987) 112

When abortion was legalized, many “back alley” abortionist simply hung up their shingles and began practicing abortion legally. Read about illegal abortions and abortion deaths here. Read about women who have died from legal abortion here.

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About Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a freelance writer and journalist who works for Live Action. and is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
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