And, official public health figures from authorized US Government sources seemed toconfirm Blackmuns conclusion. In 1971, when the Roe and Doe cases were being argued before the Court, the maternal mortality stood at 18.8 deaths, per 100,000 births.3Thisfigure, according to the US Centers for Disease Control would drop in 1997 to roughly12.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 births.4Maternal deaths increased slightly to13.2/100,000 in 1999.5 However, even the best years of official reported deaths to women associated withchildbirth and pregnancy never came close to the worst years for deaths to women fromlegal abortion. The purported number of deaths from legal abortion, according to Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention abortion surveillance data. Mortality decreased by 90%from 4.1 deaths/100,000 legal induced abortions in 1972 to 0.4/100,000 in 1987. ... Thecase fatality rate for legal abortions during 1972-87 was 1.3 deaths/100,000 legalabortions.6 Critics of abortion safety suggested bogus safety comparisons by noting that, mostwomen dying from abortion were young, white, and healthy, while those dying fromchildbirth had serious underlying conditions.7Ever ready to defand abortion safetyclaims the CDC circled the statistical wagons by calculating, standardized abortion andchildbirth mortality rates between 1972 and 1978. We also adjusted independently for preexisting medical conditions. These adjustments for demographic and health differences between the two populations actually widened the difference in the mortality risk betweenabortion and childbirth. Thus, between 1972 and 1978, women were about seven times
Abortion, 45 Studies in Family Planning 6 (1969) (Japan, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary); Tietze &
Lehfeldt, Legal Abortion in Eastern Europe, 175 J. A. M. A. 1149, 1152 (April 1961). Other sources arediscussed in Lader 17-23.
Hilgers, Horan and Mall, New Perspectives on Human Abortion, Aletheia Books, University Publicationsof America, Frederick, Maryland, c. 1981, p 70, citing Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Provisional Statistics,Annual Summary for the United States, 1978, Dept. of HEW, Office of Health Research, Statistics andTechnology, National Center for Health Statistics, 27.9, 1979.
Berg CJ, Chang J, Callaghan WM, Whitehead SJ, Pregnancy-related mortality in the United States, 1991-1997, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2003 Feb;101(2):289-96; Division of Reproductive Health, NationalCenter for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Atlanta, Georgia.
Chang J, Elam-Evans LD, Berg CJ, Herndon J, Flowers L, Seed KA, Syverson CJ, Pregnancy-relatedmortality surveillance--United States, 19911999, MMWR Surveillance Summary. 2003 Feb 21;52(2):1-8,
Lawson HW, Frye A, Atrash HK, Smith JC, Shulman HB, Ramick M, Abortion mortality, United States,1972 through 1987, Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Nov;171(5):1365-72. Pregnancy and Infant HealthBranch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
LeBolt SA, Grimes DA, Cates W Jr., Mortality from abortion and childbirth. Are the populationscomparable? JAMA. 1982 Jul 9;248 (2):188-91.