A new study, conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Raymond and Dr. David Grimes and published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, indicates that the likelihood of women dying during childbirth is 14 times higher than the likelihood of dying during an abortion. According to the study, between 1998 and 2005, one woman died per every 11,000 pregnancies but only one woman died per every 167,000 legal abortions performed. Moreover, women who carried their pregnancy to term were more likely to experience high blood pressure, urinary tract infections, and mental health disorders than women who had abortions.

Bryna Harwood, an ob-gyn at the University of Illinois- Chicago, expressed her concern about state laws which require that women be read a list of abortion-related complications, some of which are not medically proven, by their doctors prior to obtaining abortions. She stated, “It is certainly an impediment to have the state dictate my informed consent process beyond the usual. Abortion care and pregnancy care should not really be any different than consenting people for any other procedure.”

The study was conducted as a collaboration between the Gynuity Health Projects of New York and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and used data compiled from government agencies. The researchers in the study indicated that the study was not intended to encourage women seek abortion services but instead to reveal that a legal abortion is a safe alternative for women who do not wish to carry their pregnancies to term.

International Business Times 1/28/12; Time 1/25/12; National Partnership for Women and Families 1/24/12

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