Sometimes a headline makes you stop and shake your head in wonder at who could have written such a thing in good conscience. On September 27, a United Nations news headline read: Repealing anti-abortion laws would save the lives of nearly 50,000 women a year – UN experts
The assertion is made that unsafe abortion practices result in the deaths of approximately 50,000 women worldwide each year. UN experts recommend removing barriers, discrimination and any criminalization of abortion to remedy this problem. “We cannot tolerate the severe violation of women’s human rights on the basis of their sex and biological differences,” said the experts.
But wait. I don’t mean to demean the 50,000 preventable deaths from unsafe abortions – preventable deaths are always sad and worth examining. In Canada alone, however, abortion numbers are estimated at 100,000 per year, as our flag display so vividly illustrated in Manitoba recently. In the United States, that number jumps to at least 700,000, if not closer to a million.
That’s only two countries in this big wide world! If we assume half of those aborted babies are girls (and it’s likely actually more than half), we very quickly get to at least half a million women who are never given a chance at life.
Further, to claim that we cannot tolerate differences for women on the basis of their sex is to say we cannot tolerate the difference that defines them as women. Women are made with a biological gift, not a curse, and as long as we continue to treat abortion access as a necessity, we continue to further the illusion that pregnancy and childbearing are a curse of which the effects must be minimized.
To suggest that repealing anti-abortion laws will actually save the lives of women is misleading, inaccurate, or downright delusional. Abortion never saves lives: abortion is, by definition, the taking of a life. The United Nations continues to push on a global scale the Western view of abortion as integral to success for women and, as such, they do nothing to improve any women’s lives in a meaningful way.