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Nations with permissive abortion laws do not experience lower rates of maternal mortality compared to nations with restrictive abortion laws according to new data published by the United Nations Populations Division.

Pro-abortion advocates have long argued that the right to abortion should be guaranteed by international law because restricting abortion leads to high maternal mortality.

But an examination and comparison of 4 countries of the developed world tells a far different story…

The data are found in "The World Mortality Report: 2005" which was published by the UN Population Division at the start of this year. Completed over the course of 2005, it "is the first report of its kind produced by the" UN Population Division. It measures mortality, including maternal and infant mortality, for all the world's countries.

According to the report, Russia, where abortion is legal, has a maternal mortality rate of 67 deaths for every 100,000 births. The United States, where there are almost no restrictions on abortion, has a rate of 17 deaths for every 100,000 births.

Both Ireland and Poland, favorite targets of the pro-abortion radicals for their strong restrictions on abortion, have better maternal mortality rates than Russia and the US. Ireland has the lowest rate of the four countries with only 5 deaths for every 100,000 births. In Poland, which like Russia was recently freed from communism, the maternal mortality rate is 13 deaths for every 100,000 births.

Liberal abortion laws do not seem to decrease infant mortality either even if one does not consider abortion to be an instance of infant mortality. Ireland also has the lowest rate in this category with 6 deaths for every 1,000 live births. Both Poland and the US have an infant mortality rate of 7 deaths for every 1,000 live babies born. Russia has a much higher infant mortality rate, of 12 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

Because the state of record keeping and the regularity of government censuses is not uniformly advanced throughout the world, the report warns that "it is important [for readers] to be cautious about the comparability of the mortality estimates presented [therein]… for different countries."

All the above figures quoted from the report are from tabulations recorded from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2004. In all cases, the report uses the most current data that the UN Population Division was able to obtain at the time.

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[18Feb06, By Bradford Short, C-Fam, 212-754-5948,]