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'Pro-Life' is a killer


Last updated 12/12/2019 at 10:15pm

America has the highest rates of infant mortality – units are per 1,000 live births – and maternal mortality – units are per 100,000 live births – of any developed nation. Those two figures provide a measure of the quality of care received for prenatal and postnatal care, or lack of care. In 2015 and reported in 2017, America’s infant mortality rate was 5.7 versus 3.9 for developed nations; maternal mortality rate was 14 for the U.S., placing it 46th on a listing of all nations. The rate for the top-rated nations was 3.

Keep in mind that any rate above what’s do-able represents preventable deaths. And I say the “Pro-Life” movement is directly responsible for those. In their “slash and burn” approach to eliminate access to abortion, they have virtually eliminated access to reproductive health care for low-income women. You can see this approach in the state statistics. There’s a direct correlation: the stricter the abortion rules, the higher the mortality rates. I’m proud to say California’s rates are among the lowest in America at 4.3 for infant mortality and 4 for maternal mortality.

My understanding of the “Pro-Life” mission was to “defend the right to life of every innocent human being from the beginning of life to natural death.” Their actions indicate a shift to defend only en utero life and that only to the extent of a battle against abortion. If the “Pro-Life” contingent wants to eliminate abortion, they are going about it illogically.

They possibly may be able to make abortion illegal. But our experience with alcohol prohibition and the on-going “War on Drugs” shows that if people really want something, they’ll get it and legality be-damned. Making abortion illegal would pose a significant, but surmountable, obstacle for lower and middle economic class women. But women of means can take a plane, a train or auto to wherever abortion is legal, just as they always have, when necessary.

John H. Terrell


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