Maternal Death

Blogged by James Preece on 16th November 2012

I'm sure you've all read in the news by now about the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar and I hope her husband and family are in your prayers.

Pro-choice campaigners have jumped on this to say that Savita died because abortion is illegal in Ireland and that if abortion were legal in Ireland then she would have survived. That's debatable. Many questions have been raised about the treatment Savita received and it's by no means certain that the lack of abortion was the deciding factor in her death.

What pro-choice campaigners are careful to avoid mentioning is the number of perfectly healthy women with perfectly healthy babies who die during abortion procedures. If abortion had been illegal, those women would still be alive.

The real elephant in the room here are the World Health Organisation statistics on Maternal Mortality Rates (pdf report). Here are the figures for the number of maternal deaths in 2010 per 100,000 live births in those terrifying dangerous countries where abortion is illegal...

Poland: 5
Malta: 8
Ireland: 6

So in Ireland, in 2010, six pregnant women died for every 100,000 live births. Now let's compare that with some civilised, safe countries where abortion is legal...

United States of America: 21
United Kingdom: 12

This is the real scandal - here in the UK pregnant women are twice as likely to die as in Ireland. That's my wife and daughters (and yours) we are talking about here. Yet where is the outrage? The protests? Who cares about the women who die in the UK who wouldn't have died in Ireland?

Nobody. Because their deaths cannot be cynically exploited for political gain.

So here's an idea, before the highly civilised baby-killling types get on their high horse about the death of Savita Halappanavar, perhaps they could explain why it is that so many more mothers are dying in hospitals where abortion is allowed?