The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler thoroughly destroyed the argument by Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies, who regularly claim that thousands of women died before Roe v. Wade. In a recent article for the Washington Post, Kessler gives this claim the dreaded 4 Pinocchios, meaning the statement is utterly devoid of the truth.
“Wen is a doctor, and the ACOG is made up of doctors. They should know better than to peddle statistics based on data that predates the advent of antibiotics. Even given the fuzzy nature of the data and estimates, there is no evidence that in the years immediately preceding the Supreme Court’s decision, thousands of women died every year in the United States from illegal abortions. Wen’s repeated use of this number reminds us of the shoddy data used by human trafficking opponents. Unsafe abortion is certainly a serious issue, especially in countries with inadequate medical facilities. But advocates hurt their cause when they use figures that do not withstand scrutiny. These numbers were debunked in 1969 — 50 years ago — by a statistician celebrated by Planned Parenthood. There’s no reason to use them today.”
Writing on Facebook, Kristan Hawkins noted, “Even the Washington Post is now admitting what we’ve been saying for decades. Before Roe, thousands of women DID NOT die every year from illegal abortions. In 1972, the year before Roe was decided, the CDC recorded the number of deaths in the United States from legal abortions at 24 and from illegal abortions at 39.”
No One Is Surprised By This.
Of course, pro-lifers have known this for years. For example, Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of NARAL and later a convert to the pro-life cause, said:
“We fed the public a line of deceit, dishonesty, a fabrication of statistics and figures. We succeeded [in breaking down the laws limiting abortions] because the time was right and the news media cooperated. We sensationalized the effects of illegal abortions, and fabricated polls which indicated that 85% of the public favoured unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5%. We unashamedly lied, and yet our statements were quoted [by the media] as though they had been written in law.”
We are glad to see the Washington Post fact-check Planned Parenthood on one of its many lies.