Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke reports on disturbing figures* showing the womb remains the world’s most dangerous place for a child. (Story updated January 10, February 4).
Grotesquely and unnecessarily, abortion remains the leading cause of death in Australia and globally.
Australia contributes an estimated 70,000 annual abortion deaths; significantly more than deaths from cancer (47,753), heart disease (18,590), smoking (15,000), suicide (3,128), the road toll (1,050), homicide (414) and drowning (249).
Again, that equates to more than 191 children each day, 7.9 per hour!
Australian figures show 95% of these abortions are performed on physically healthy women carrying healthy children.
This is a national disaster that deserves the same determined national response that Governments have applied to reduce smoking, cancer, the road toll, suicide and heart disease, what we normally consider our biggest killers.
Yet most efforts in 2018 were devoted to making abortion more prevalent, accessible and acceptable instead of showing abortion is unwanted, unnecessary, unhelpful, unhealthy and unreasonable.
This is best illustrated by the legalisation of abortion in Ireland and Queensland and the introduction of exclusion zones outside abortion clinics in NSW and the ACT, preventing opponents from even standing quietly nearby and praying.
In December, the ALP National Conference in Adelaide confirmed its support for national abortion laws modelled on the most extreme, making the procedure more available and accessible, including in public hospitals.
The South Australian Greens ended the year with a bill seeking to allow abortion to term for any and all reasons. The bill, sponsored by the Greens’ Tammy Franks, has the support of the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition which includes abortion provider Marie Stopes. The coalition proudly tweeted: “New abortion bill in South Australia: no qualifications, no upper time limits, no abortion-specific regulations at all.” The bill is due for debate this month.
Such is the mindless defence of abortion at all costs, NSW repeatedly refuses to pass Zoe’s Law, an attempt to get justice for unborn babies killed in the womb as a result of a crime (specifically excepting abortion) against the mother, inspired by Brodie Donegan whose baby was killed in 2009 when a drunk and drugged driver hit the heavily pregnant mum. Zoe’s Law was first raised in 2014, but opponents say recognising the humanity, and therefore rights of unborn children, could ultimately lead to tighter abortion laws.
Our abortion obsession has been at the expense of little Australians in the womb, and the many women who didn’t want an abortion but felt they had no other choice due to pressure from culture, parents, partners and the medical profession.
High profile cases include “Miss X”, the Sydney woman paid $50,000 and coerced into abortion by her footballer partner through his manager. A second Sydney woman, Jaya Taki, came forward not long after to claim she had also been coerced into abortion by another footballer. Women’s advocates were noticeably absent in defending these and other women from coercion.
Abortion-on-demand means Australian women and girls are not required to have any form of counselling, see an ultrasound of their baby, or benefit from a cooling-off period between diagnosis and procedure. A teenager requiring a permission note from their guardian to attend a school excursion can independently demand an abortion.
Local and international reports from pregnancy counselling services and other research** say up to 75 per cent of women may be coerced into abortion, making a mockery of claims that the decision is a woman’s choice.
Globally, about 25% of all pregnancies result in abortion.
Australia’s abortion toll has fallen 6% (5,000) in the past decade based on most recent figures from South Australia and Western Australia, the only two States keeping track of abortions.
The Guttmacher Institute says while the number of global abortions is up six million from 50 million in 1990-1994, the rate of abortions per 1000 women has fallen from 40 to 35, most markedly in developed countries. Guttmacher blames the numerical increase on world population growth.
Australia’s abortion rate is somewhere between 13.5 and 15.1 per 1000 women of childbearing age based on SA and WA figures.
An ABC report says Australia’s abortion rate is therefore far lower than the 80,000 quoted over the past decade, based on two smaller States.
- Abortion statistics have been drawn from the Guttmacher Institute and WA and SA health department reports. Guttmacher admits the figures are not exact, with some groups claiming they have been purposely inflated and may be as low as 42 million. Other statistics are from World Vision Australia, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Royal Life Saving Australia, and the Australian Institute of Health.
- The ABC report warns national abortion statistics have been inflated by abortion providers wanting to normalise the procedure and promote long-lasting contraceptives.
- **David Reardon’s research in Aborted Women, Silent No More (Elliot Institute, 2002) and Passage Through Abortion: Personal and Social Reality of Women’s Experiences by Mary Zimmerman (Praeger Publishers, 1978) show 70 per cent of women would have continued an unplanned pregnancy if one significant person has encouraged them to do so.