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Rebuttal to the Center for Reproductive Rights Report “Forsaken Lives”


This document is a rebuttal to the 2010 report by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)
entitled “Forsaken Lives: The Harmful Impact of the Philippine Criminal Abortion Ban.” It
consists of two parts: (1) A proof that the most important statistical assertions in the report
are completely false; and (2) An examination of the core beliefs and methodology of the CRR

Part 1. The CRR Report Forsakes Truth — and Documentation.

Introduction. The CRR spared no expense on its “Forsaken Lives” report, which is sumptuously
illustrated, expertly written, and skillfully laid out, and which features a very impressive seven
hundred footnotes. The report is designed to look authoritative and intimidating, and was the
lead document on the CRR’s Web site for several weeks.
However, those who examine it closely will note that it frequently employs the tactic of
distraction . It addresses and thoroughly documents many topics that are unrelated to or only
minimally relevant to its central points, which are;

(1) illegal abortion kills a thousand women annually in the Philippines;

(2) 90,000 women annually seek treatment for complications due to illegal abortions;
(3) 560,000 illegal abortions are committed in the Philippines each year;
(4) 1.9 million pregnancies in the Philippines are “unintended” every year;
(5) the ban on abortion is the cause of high maternal mortality in the Philippines; and
(6) rape, incest, fatal birth defects and threats to the life of the mother are the primary
reasons that women seek abortions in the Philippines.

While the report itself boasts hundreds of footnotes, these six key points are either not
documented at all or are based on flawed analyses. This renders the entire report useless for
the purpose of making decisions regarding Philippine abortion law, because what remains is nothing
more than one hundred pages of unsupported opinion and testimony from mostly anonymous
The remainder of this section addresses and refutes the six primary assertions of the report
“Forsaken Lives.”

Allegations (1) and (2): Illegal Abortion Mortality and Morbidity. Let us begin by
examining the primary allegation put forth by the Center for Reproductive Rights in its report;

Despite the criminal ban, in 2008 alone, an estimated 560,000 induced abortions
took place in the Philippines; 90,000 women sought treatment for complications and
1,000 women died [pages 13 and 22].

“Pro-choice” groups routinely use very large, round numbers when speaking of illegal abortions
in a nation and deaths resulting from them. However, it is obvious that no organization or person
can make an accurate estimate of the number of illegal abortions or resulting maternal deaths in
a country with strict abortion laws, due to the very fact that it is an underground procedure. In
fact, the CRR concedes this point several times in its report;

Statistical information on the harm wrought by the criminalization of abortion is

extremely limited. Criminal abortion bans result in an absence of official data on
the incidence of unsafe abortion procedures and related complications and
fatalities, obscuring the harmful impact of legal restrictions and penalties. … This
report relies on secondary sources containing public health data relating to unsafe
abortion, which is very limited as a result of the criminal ban. … Due to the illegal
status of abortion, it is impossible to determine the exact number of unsafe
abortion deaths and cases of morbidity [pages 13, 21 and 30].

So — exactly how does the CRR arrive at the figure of a thousand women dying? “Forsaken
Lives” uses as its source a document published by the Guttmacher Institute, which states that

Projections based on data from 2000 indicate that about 1,000 women in the
Philippines died as a result of abortion in 2008; as many as 90,000 were
hospitalized for complications [1].

Interestingly, these assertions are not footnoted in the Guttmacher Institute report either.
All we see is a vague claim by the AGI that “Pregnancy-related deaths among women were
estimated using national-level maternal mortality estimates from the World Health Organization
for 2000 and 2000 estimates of mortality from induced abortion” [page 3]. In fact, the CRR
contradicts itself in “Forsaken Lives” when it claims that “Criminalization of abortion has not
prevented abortions in the Philippines, but it has made it extremely unsafe, leading directly to
the preventable deaths of thousands of women each year” [page 14, emphasis added].
We should point out that “pro-choice” groups have a very long history of lying about the
number of women who die from illegal abortions, simply because they know that playing on the
sympathy of the legislatures and the people is a very effective tactic. A very few of the
numerous examples of how they have exaggerated in the past are shown in Appendix A. This
dismal record of strategic dishonesty alone should lead us to mistrust the CRR’s estimates,
especially since they are not supported by documentation.

Allegation (3): 560,000 Illegal Abortions Annually. As noted above, “Forsaken Lives” claims
that 560,000 illegal abortions take place in the Philippines each year. The report also admits that
very little documentation exists to back up this claim.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 1,150,000 legal abortions took place in the
United States in 2008 [2]. This would mean that the abortion rate among women of childbearing
age in the Philippines — where abortion is illegal — is 57 percent higher than it is in the United
States where it is legal, and where many abortions are paid for by the state.
This makes no sense, even taking into consideration the poverty of the Philippines and the
differences between cultures.
“Pro-choice” groups frequently claim that legalizing abortion will decrease its incidence. This
makes no sense whatever. It is impossible to name one other crime that, if legalized, will
decrease in frequency. If this principle were true, then all crimes should be legalized so that the
overall crime rate will decrease.

Allegation (4): 1,900,000 Unintended Pregnancies Annually. In its report, the Center for
Reproductive Rights seems to be profoundly confused as to exactly how many unintended
pregnancies, total pregnancies and abortions occur in the Philippines every year. In fact, the
report quotes several different estimates;

• The CRR says that “Unintended pregnancies pose a significant threat to women’s lives in the
Philippines as 17% of all such pregnancies are terminated” [page 31 of “Forsaken Lives”]. 17
percent of 1.9 million is 323,000 abortions, significantly lower than the 560,000 claimed by
the CRR several times elsewhere in its report.
• The CRR quotes “… an estimated 2.29 million pregnancies in the Philippines in 2008 …” [page
31]. Earlier on page 31, the CRR claims that 54% of all pregnancies are “unintended.” This
would mean a total of (2.29 million X 54%) = 1,237,000 unintended pregnancies, not 1.9 million.
• The reference for these numbers is a Guttmacher Institute (AGI) paper, which nowhere
mentions the number 2.29 million. Instead, this paper mentions a total of 3,371,000
pregnancies, 54% of which are unintended, for a total of 1.8 million.[3]
• “Forsaken Lives” quotes the Philippines Population Commission, which says that “one in every
seven pregnancies is terminated by abortion each year in the Philippines” [page 88]. If this
were true, there would be 560,000 X 7 = 3,900,000 pregnancies annually in the nation.

Although it certainly is considerate of the Center for Reproductive Rights and the
Guttmacher Institute to give us multiple “choices” so that we may select the one we want to
believe, this hardly qualifies as competent math — or as good research.

Allegation (5): The Ban on Abortion is the Cause of High Maternal Mortality.

“Forsaken Lives” claims that “The Philippines has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios
in the Western Pacific Region, as defined by the WHO, at 230 maternal deaths per 100,000 live

births; the regional average is 82” [page 31]. The implication, of course, is that the legalization
of abortion in the Philippines will greatly decrease its maternal mortality ratio.
What the CRR fails to mention, of course, is that the source table for this statistic also shows
that Cambodia, with abortion on demand, has a maternal mortality ratio of 540 per 100,000 live
births, more than twice the rate of the Philippines.[4] The maternal mortality ratios of other
nations in the region of the Philippines and of the world show plainly that the general overall
quality of medical care, not the status of abortion law, is the primary determinant of maternal
mortality. For example, Ireland, which prohibits abortion, has the world’s lowest maternal
mortality rate, at just one death per 100,000 live births.
The CRR also ignores the fact that legalized abortion has led to a great increase in maternal
deaths by cultural means. For example, at least three major studies have shown that the most
common cause of fatalities among pregnant women in the USA is murder, and statistics show that
almost one-third of these are due to men who kill their wives or girlfriends because they refuse
to get an abortion. When abortion is freely and easily available, men murder their pregnant wives
and girlfriends because their babies stand in the way of their own ambitions or, frequently, are
the product of adultery. This amounts to 30 to 50 murders annually in the United States which,
when combined with the 15 to 20 who die from legal abortion complications annually, means that
more women are dying in the United States of abortion-related causes now than before it was
legalized. [5]

Allegation (6): The “Hard Cases” Account for Most Illegal Abortions.

Typically, “pro-choice” groups depend upon a professional and glossy presentation, and the CRR
report is no exception. The bulk of “Forsaken Lives” consists of supposed heartrending (and
anonymous) tales of women who have died from illegal abortions or who have been mutilated and
physically abused by health care professionals.
Significantly, the report is lacking verifiable documentation on specific illegal abortion deaths,
instead relying entirely on the “hard case” stories, such as;

• “Maricel,” who died of an illegal abortion after undergoing abdominal massage and
catheterization [pages 10-12];
• “Haydee,” a forty-year old mother of one whose life would be endangered by her pregnancy
[pages 38-41];
• “Isabel,” a 15-year-old who was raped at knifepoint [pages 45 and 58];
• “Ana,” who had had seven children and was raped [pages 46-48];
• “Mylene,” who was raped and died when she tried to end her own pregnancy pages 62-64];
• “Cielo,” who was also raped, ended her pregnancy by deep massage, and was then abused by
hospital staff when she sought post-abortion care [pages 74-76];
• “Lisa,” who at nineteen already had three children and was pregnant again, and who was
physically tied to a hospital bed [pages 90-92].

In summary, the CRR is trying to present as its typical abortion cases four rapes, one case
where the mother was killed by an illegal abortion, one case where the life of the mother was
endangered, and one case where the mother was physically abused by hospital staff. Notably,
there is a total of only one footnote for these stories — for the interview of an “unnamed health
Are these really typical abortion cases in Asia?
The Guttmacher Institute has done numerous studies throughout the world on why women
obtain abortions. These studies should be given credibility, since the Guttmacher Institute
interviews the women themselves.
The AGI interviewed more than 44,000 women in eleven different Asian nations and found the
following reasons given by women for obtaining abortions;

Wanted to postpone childbearing — 29%

Wants no (more) children — 36%
A baby would disrupt job or education — 6%
Can’t afford a baby — 5%
Relationship problems — 4%
I’m too young — 1%,

for a total of 80 percent[6].

These are not the kind of reasons that most people would support for abortion, and the Center
for Reproductive Rights knows this. So it instead emphasizes the relatively rare “hard cases” in
order to elicit sympathy for its cause, which is to legalize abortion throughout all nine months of
pregnancy for any reason whatsoever — or for no reason at all.
Most of the supposed “hard cases” abortions in Asia are threats to maternal physical or
mental health, accounting for 14 percent of all abortions. But the CRR and other population
growth groups use the World Health Organization definition of “health,” which is "A state of
complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or
Such expansive misuse of this term means that “pro-choice” people can justify literally all
abortions on the grounds of "protecting maternal health." In fact, Jane Hodgson, one of the
members of the Board of Directors of the Center for Reproductive Rights, has said that "In my
medical judgment, every pregnancy that is not wanted by the patient, I feel there is a medical
indication to abort a pregnancy where it is not wanted. In good faith, I would recommend on a
medical basis, you understand, that, and it would be 100% ... I think they are all medically
necessary” [8].
“Forsaken Lives” is generously sprinkled with the stories of women who died from illegal
abortions or who were raped and desperate. In reality, the only hard case specifically mentioned
by the AGI paper was fetal malformations (4 percent). Abortion for rape and incest was so
infrequent that it did not even make the list.

Part 2. What Kind of Organization is the Center for Reproductive Rights?

Introduction. In order to understand the motivations behind the CRR’s report “Forsaken
Lives,” it is necessary to examine the group and its leaders to perceive just what kind of an
organization it is, and to see exactly what its goals really are.
The CRR attempts to disguise itself as a human rights defender or as an impartial advocate
for pregnant women. However, in reality it is a $20 million-a-year organization whose objective is
to legalize abortion worldwide by whatever means possible — while ignoring the voices and the
wills of the people.
The CRR is funded by large multinational foundations whose primary emphasis is not on
authentic economic development, but on population control. These include the Hewlett
Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Open
Society Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which supports and helps
implement the brutal Chinese forced-abortion and one-child program.

The CRR Has a History of Supporting Reproductive Coercion. Even the very name of the
organization — “Center for Reproductive Rights” — is designed to be deliberately misleading.
Presumably an organization that supports “reproductive rights” would support the right of women
to have several children if they so chose. On the very first page of “Forsaken Lives,” the CRR
describes its vision as:

… a world where every woman is free to decide whether and when to have children;
where every woman has access to the best reproductive healthcare available; and
where every woman can exercise her choices without coercion or discrimination.

In reality, the CRR is a single-purpose population control organization which supports only one
aspect of “reproductive rights” — the bearing of as few children as possible, even if it does
include “coercion or discrimination.”
For example, from 1996 to 1998, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori enacted a draconian
compulsory “family planning” program that forcibly sterilized more than 200,000 Peruvian women.
When this program was exposed and condemned, the CRR, which claims to be on the side of
women, said that

Peru's Minister of Health issued an apology on Wednesday for the forced

sterilization of indigenous women during the presidency of Alberto Fujimori. ... CRLP
is concerned that Wednesday's apology is part of a right-wing strategy to limit
family planning options in Peru. High-ranking officials in the current government are
known to be tied to ultra-conservative Catholic Church groups.”[9]

Despite its name and its claims, the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Board of Directors is
populated by people who have actively supported and facilitated reproductive coercion against
women on a massive scale. These include;

• Dr. Jane Hodgson, who has asked "Is adolescent pregnancy a disease? We have laws
regarding other epidemics. We have mandatory immunizations, but we have no law prohibiting
motherhood before the age of 14 in our supposedly-civilized society. We ought to mandate
against continuing pregnancy in the very young — say, those less than 14 years."[10]
• Nafis Sadik, former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an
enthusiastic supporter of the brutal and inhumane Chinese forced-abortion program. She has
said that "China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable
achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth over the
past 10 years. Now the country could offer its experiences and special experts to help other
countries."[11] In fact, when Sadik headed the UNFPA, it cooperated actively with the
Chinese one-child program. She said that "I am China's old friend. ... China has made an
indelible mark in the global population community. It is to be congratulated on its successful
programs. ... I feel a great sense of pride that UNFPA made the wise decision to resist
external pressures and continue its fruitful cooperation with China. ... I am confident that the
cooperation between UNFPA and China will not only continue, but will also be further
strengthened in the future."[12] The CRR itself also supports UNFPA; it signed a November
2008 document entitled “Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration,”
urging that the United States restore its funding to UNFPA — funding that was cut off
precisely because the UNFPA implements and supports the Chinese forced abortion program.
• Dr. Sheldon Segal developed the implantable Norplant, which was produced by Wyeth-Ayerst
Laboratories. Women filed more than two hundred lawsuits against Wyeth-Ayerst
Laboratories because of the terrible injuries they suffered from it.[13] The legal complaints
described inadequate warnings of side effects, prolonged menstrual bleeding, headaches,
large weight gains, personality disorders, hair loss and depression. Norplant had been tested
on poor women in several developing countries, including Haiti, Indonesia, Brazil and
Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi health advocacy group UBINIG uncovered "gross violations of
medical ethics" in the testing and distribution of Norplant. Medical personnel did not inform
Bangladeshi women that the drug was experimental and that it had possible side effects.
They bribed many women to use the drug and instructed them not to report side effects so
the test program results would be skewed to show lower complication rates. When women
became too sick to avoid seeking medical attention, medics withheld proper care from them,
and told them that they would have to refund the cost of the Norplant if it was removed — an
impossibility since this sum was more than a year's wages. Many women suffered severe eye
problems and even blindness, yet the summary reports on the effectiveness of Norplant
contained absolutely no mention of these side effects.[14]

It is obvious that the Center for Reproductive Rights has little regard for women. Its sole
objective is to ensure that women in poor nations have as few children as possible.

How Does the Center for Reproductive Rights Achieve Its Goals? In 2003, the minutes of
several confidential CRR strategy sessions were read into the December 8 Congressional Record

over the strenuous objections of the group.[15] These minutes reveal that the Center for
Reproductive Rights is perhaps the most extremist pro-abortion organization in the world.
The notes revealed the following;

• The CRR says that “We have to fight harder, be a little dirtier. . . . there is a stealth quality
to the work: we are achieving incremental recognition of values without a huge amount of
scrutiny from the opposition. These lower profile victories will gradually put us in a strong
position to assert a broad consensus around our assertions.”
• The CRR even opposed the American Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which prohibited the barbaric
practice of almost entirely delivering healthy second- and third-trimester preborn children
and then killing them by piercing their skulls and sucking out their brains.
• The CRR demonstrates its utter contempt of those governments, organizations and individuals
which oppose its agenda in good faith, calling them “reactionary” and “anti-woman,” and stating
that “women's right to choose has always needed, and will need again, the protection of the
judiciary from hostile majorities,” demonstrating that the group it is elitist and anti-
• The CRR states its opposition to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, which offer women real
material, monetary, medical and spiritual help, thereby demonstrating that it is truly “pro-
• The CRR intends to completely eliminate parental rights concerning their daughter’s health
care, thereby contributing to the breakdown of the family;
• The CRR is even fighting to “undoing child abuse reporting requirements with respect to
nonabusive sexual relations.” In other words, the group is actively supporting and enabling
pedophilia and child sexual molestation;
• The CRR states that minors (with no lower age limit) have a “right to have sex,” once again
showing that the CRR supports pedophilia;
• The CRR says that "Abortion is a medical procedure and all medical students who enter the
OB/GYN specialty should be required to learn the procedure.” In other words, the CRR says
that any medical student who is pro-life should automatically be excluded from the practice
of obstetrics and gynecology, which is viewpoint discrimination of the most coercive kind.

These minutes are by no means the only proof of the CRR’s extremism. Since its founding in
1992, it has proven that it has never met an abortion it didn’t simply adore;

• In 2003, the CRR filed suit against the state of Kansas in the United States because of a law
mandating that professionals (doctors, nurses, counselors and teachers) report sexual activity
by girls 15 years of age and younger. This law was designed to expose the many cases of very
young girls being raped or becoming the victims of incest, but the CRR was completely
indifferent to their plight, instead championing the “right to privacy.” [16]
• A 2006 shadow report by the CRR claims that one of the ways that the United States
violated international law is by making it a crime to endanger the life of a preborn child
through excessive drinking or drug use. The CRR said that "Such discriminatory legislation

and practices subject women to forms of civil or criminal liability that are never imposed on
men." This is not surprising, since men, as far as we know, cannot get pregnant.[17]
• In “Forsaken Lives,” the CRR says that “[t]hese tragic and preventable deaths are a direct
consequence of the nation’s restrictive abortion Law …” [foreword, page 9], and that “Further,
the high incidence of illegal and unsafe abortion in the Philippines is a direct consequence of
the restrictive abortion law …” [page 18]. This statement is ridiculous on its face. It is
equivalent to saying that laws against murder are directly responsible for murderers killing
other people, and that laws against rape are what motivate rapists to attack women. In
reality, illegal abortion deaths are due to the failure to enforce the laws against illegal
abortion by arresting the illegal abortionists. This possibility is not even mentioned by the
CRR in its report, because it knows full well that the continuing butchery of women is actually
good for its cause.

Conclusion. The CRR poses as a typical liberal group that accepts all viewpoints and that is
inclusive, tolerant and nonjudgmental. However, it does not hesitate to condemn those who
disagree with it in good faith.
The Foreword by Alfredo F. Tadiar claims that

To oppose legislation on religious or moral grounds not believed in by many, both

members and nonmembers of the church, can only be described by those advocating
for law reform, as insensitive and callous. … Forsaken by the fundamentalist
religious hierarchy and by the Philippine government is indeed an eloquent adjective
to describe the lives of these unfortunate women whose excruciating experiences
are detailed in this report.

Certainly Judge Tadiar is aware that the Catholic Church is the primary organization that
assists women in crisis pregnancies in the Philippines. Perhaps he has heard of the “Rachels,”
members of which are women who have been psychologically or physically wounded by abortion,
contraception and sterilization. He must be familiar with the “Home for the Angels,” founded and
operated by Manila Mayor Jose Atienza (so roundly condemned in the report) and his wife Beng,
which has placed more than 300 babies in adoptive homes since its founding in 1995.
Mayor Atienza also supports the pregnancy counseling centers operated by the group “Pro-Life
Philippines,” which has saved thousands of girls and women from abortion. Many maternity homes
run by religious and private NGOs have assisted thousands of these mothers, some survivors of
rape and incest, to bring their babies to birth. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) Office on Women has counseling centers in many dioceses that have likewise
extended help to hundreds of sexual abused and battered women and pregnant girls and those in
marital difficulties. Finally, for centuries, the Catholic Church and its religious orders and
organizations have run and funded hundreds of hospitals, charity clinics, schools, social service
centers, community development services, and shelters and homes for disadvantaged girls and

By contrast, the Center for Reproductive Rights does not actually help women; it prefers not
to get its hands dirty by caring for handicapped babies or by assisting families. It instead sits in
its air-conditioned ivory tower and condemns those who truly care about women and help them.
Of course, the CRR is not content merely to condemn the Catholic Church — It wants the
Church to change its teachings on abortion and contraception to suit its agenda.
Pages 22 to 26 of “Forsaken Lives” contains a long laundry list of nearly forty
recommendations that various bodies should follow, one of which is “The Catholic Bishop’s
Conference of the Philippines should: … Take positive steps to promote women’s survival, health,
and economic empowerment by supporting their reproductive needs and choices” [page 24]
The CRR mentions “separation of Church and state” eleven times in its report, but seems to
have no trouble with trying to impose its own will upon the Catholic Church. As usual, the “pro-
choice” idea is that the Church must meekly and silently retreat whenever the state advances.
Apparently, the CRR believes that, just because it is a religious body, the Catholic Church has
fewer rights than other entities, as evidenced by its “recommendation” that the Church jettison
its pro-life beliefs.
And, of course, the entirety of “Forsaken Lives” is a strenuous exercise in avoiding the central
point: That the unborn child is a living member of the human family. This is not an “ideologically
driven” concept, [pages 18 and 85], a “Catholic concept” [page 79], or even a “religious doctrine”
[page 86]. It is a scientific fact that can be proven through simple genetics.
In summary, it is up to those who want to legalize abortion to prove that the unborn child is
not a living human being. Since this is an impossible task, the Center for Reproductive Rights
prefers to ignore and bypass the will of the people and legalize abortion through the massive,
remote and unaccountable mechanisms of the United Nations.


1. Guttmacher Institute. “Meeting Women’s Contraceptive Needs in the Philippines.” In Brief,

2009 Series, No. 1, page 2, available at
2. Stanley K. Henshaw and Kathryn Kost. "Trends in the Characteristics of Women Obtaining
Abortions, 1974 to 2004." The Guttmacher Institute [New York, 2009]. Appendix Table 1,
"Number of Legal Abortions, by State of Occurrence," pages 18 and 19. Available at
pdf The number of surgical and medical abortions in the USA for the year 2008 is linearly
extrapolated from the statistics given in the article and is 1.15 million. According to the
United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN), the population of women aged 15-49
in the United States in 2008 was 75.6 million, and the population of women aged 15-49 in the
Philippines in the same year was 23.4 million. This would mean that the abortion rate per
million women of childbearing age in the Philippines in 2008, according to the CRR, was
(560,000/23,400,000) = 23,930 per million, and the abortion rate per million women of
childbearing age in the United States in 2008 was (1,150,000/75,600,000) = 15,210 per

million. In conclusion, the rate in the Philippines is therefore (23,930/15,210) = 57 percent
higher than in the United States.
3. Guttmacher Institute. “Meeting Women’s Contraceptive Needs in the Philippines.” In Brief,
2009 Series, No. 1, page 2, available at See Table 1 on page 2.
4. World Health Organization. World Health Statistics 2010. Table 4, “Maternal Mortality
Ratio (per 100,000 live births),” page 26. Available at
5. “Violence Against Pregnant Women is Not Uncommon.” Associated Press, April 25, 2003. For
documentation on nearly four hundred women killed by “safe and legal” abortion in the United
States, in addition to articles on hundreds of women murdered because they refused to obtain
abortions, see
6. Akinrinola Bankole, Susheela Singh and Taylor Haas. "Reasons Why Women Have Induced
Abortions: Evidence from 27 Countries." International Family Planning Perspectives, Volume
24, Number 3 (August 1998). Table 2, "Percentage Distribution of Women Who Had an
Abortion, by Main Reason Given for Seeking Abortion, Various Countries and Years."
Available at
7. “Frequently Asked Questions: What is the WHO Definition of Health?” World Health
Organization Web site at
8. Jane Hodgson, M.D., transcript, August 3, 1977, at 99-101, McRae v. Califano, 491 F.Supp. 630
(E.D.N.Y. 1980), rev'd sub nom. Harris v. McRae , 100 S. Ct. 2671 (1980).
9. Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP, now the Center for Reproductive Rights) press
release, quoted in "Coercion Better than Catholicism According to Peruvian Women's Groups."
Friday FAX [C-FAM (the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute)], July 25, 2003.
Strangely, and to its credit, the CRR also issued a 1999 report entitled Silence and Complicity:
Violence Against Women in Peruvian Public Health Facilities, which documented the terrible
violations of women’s rights that took place in Peru’s family planning clinics during this period.
10. Jane Hodgson, at the May 28-30, 1980 National Abortion Federation (NAF) conference in
Washington, D.C., quoted in Mary Meehan and Elizabeth Moore. "Forced Abortion Suggested
at Clinic Owner's Conference." National Right to Life News, June 2, 1980, pages 1 and 13.
11. Nafis Sadik, former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),
quoted by China's official news agency Xinhua on April, 11, 1991. Also described in "Canada
Donates $9 Million to UNFPA — Funders of China's One-Child Policy." LifeSite Daily News,
May 7, 2001.
12. Excerpts from remarks by Nafis Sadik, former Executive Director of the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA), during her acceptance of the People's Republic of China's
"Population Prize Award." "Joining China, Girl Scouts Honor Former UNFPA Chief Sadik."
Friday Fax (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM)), August 16, 2002 [Volume 5,
Number 34]. Also see State Family Planning Commission of China. "Population Prize Award
Ceremony, Speech by Nafis Sadik," January 12, 2002, and Steve Mosher. "UN Population
Controllers Support Forced Abortion, Lose US Funding." Population Research Institute Weekly
Briefing, August 2, 2002 [Volume 4, Number 18].

13. Associated Press. "Publicity Blamed for Drop in Norplant Use." San Francisco Chronicle,
August 12, 1995, page A5.
14. British Broadcasting Corporation. Horizon Television Show entitled "The Human Laboratory,"
broadcast of November 7, 1995; Elizabeth Sobo. "Norplant: Lab-Tested on Third World
Women." Our Sunday Visitor , February 3, 1991, pages 10 and 11.
15. The Congressional Record, December 8, 2003, pages E2534 to E2547.
16. Steve Painter. “Group Challenges Law Requiring Sex Reporting.” The Wichita [Kansas] Eagle,
October 8, 2003.
17. Center for Reproductive Rights. "Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States: A
Shadow Report," submitted July 10, 2006 to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Recommended Reading on the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Stephen M. Krason, J.D., Ph.D. “The International Pro-Abortion Litigation Strategy: An Anti-
Democratic Plan to Force Legalized Abortion on the World’s Governments.” Catholic Family &
Human Rights Institute White Paper Series Number Six, 2006.

Appendix A

Some Examples of “Pro-Choice” Lies About the

Number of Illegal Abortion Deaths in Various Nations

Example #1: Mexico

Number of Deaths Claimed: 140,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 159
Factor of Exaggeration: 88,000 percent
Reference: Dr. Salvador Sandoval's letter in the April 2, 1992 issue of the Merced Sun-Star,
and James A. Miller's rebuttal in the April 30, 1992 issue of the same publication

Example #2: The United States

Number of Deaths Claimed: 5,000 to 10,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 57
Factor of Exaggeration: 8,800 to 17,500 percent
Background: Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of the National Association for the
Repeal of Abortion Laws (now NARAL Pro-Choice America), and the former owner of the largest
abortion clinic in the world (the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, or C*R*A*S*H)
admitted that “pro-choicers” deliberately lied about illegal abortion deaths;

How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In NARAL, we
generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but
when we spoke of the latter it was always '5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.' I
confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did
too if they stopped to think of it. But in the 'morality' of our revolution, it was a
useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest
statistics? The overriding concern was to get the [abortion] laws eliminated, and
anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.

Reference: Bernard Nathanson, M.D. Aborting America [Garden City, New York:
Doubleday, 1979], page 193.


Example #3: Brazil

Number of Deaths Claimed: 400,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 241
Factor of Exaggeration: 166,000 percent

Background: BENFAM, the Brazilian affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation
(IPPF), produced this huge number of 400,000 annual deaths. Brazilian Institute of Geography
and Statistics (IBGE) figures showed that only 55,066 Brazilian women between the ages of 14
and 50 died of all causes in 1980, when this number was publicized. The IBGE figures were
confirmed by World Health Organization (WHO) statistics showing that 41,685 Brazilian women
between the ages of 15 and 41 died of all causes in 1986!

Reference: Reuters, November 13, 1991. Also see the December 30, 1991 letter of Dr.
Geraldo Hideu Osanai, President, Associacao Pro-Vida de Brasilia to Andrew M. Nibley and
Thomas D. Thompson of the Reuters News Agency in New York City.


Example #4: India

Number of Deaths Claimed: 600,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 1,800
Factor of Exaggeration: 33,000 percent
Reference: Priya Darshini. "Abortions Increase in India." The Oregonian [Portland, Oregon],
September 3, 1989, page A9.

Example #5: Italy

Number of Deaths Claimed: 20,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 55
Factor of Exaggeration: 36,400 percent
Reference: D. Kurchoff, Deutsches Arztblatt, Volume 69, Number 27, October 26, 1972.

Example #6: Germany

Number of Deaths Claimed: 15,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 100
Factor of Exaggeration: 15,000 percent
Reference: D. Kurchoff, Deutsches Arztblatt, Volume 69, Number 27, October 26, 1972.

Example #7: Portugal

Number of Deaths Claimed: 2,000
Actual Number of Deaths: 12
Factor of Exaggeration: 16,700 percent
Reference: D. Kurchoff, Deutsches Arztblatt, Volume 69, Number 27, October 26, 1972.

Brian Clowes, Ph.D.
Human Life International
4 Family Life Lane
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
Telephone: (540) 622-5241
E-mail address: