Virginia's New Anti-Abortion Law Will Increase Maternal Mortality

This bill (First-Trimester Abortion Clinics Should Be Regulated as Hospitals, is not about protection of women, for access to legal abortion DECREASES maternal mortality. The American Medical Association has closely studied the decrease in maternal mortality due to abortion before and after Roe v. Wade:

"Deaths from legal abortion declined fivefold between 1973 and 1985 (from 3.3 deaths to 0.4 death per 100 000 procedures), reflecting increased physician education and skills, improvements in medical technology, and, notably, the earlier termination of pregnancy. The risk of death from legal abortion is higher among minority women and women over the age of 35 years, and increases with gestational age. Legal-abortion mortality between 1979 and 1985 was 0.6 death per 100 000 procedures, more than 10 times lower than the 9.1 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births between 1979 and 1986."

Only a licensed physician is allowed to provide abortions in Virginia ( So abortion clinics are indeed already regulated, as one would expect.

This bill does not change any requirements in terms of the actual abortion. The bill would change nothing except restricting access.

According to

"Virginia took a big step Thursday toward eliminating most of the state's 21 abortion clinics, approving a bill that would likely make rules so strict the medical centers would be forced to close, Democrats and abortion rights supporters said. Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican and Catholic, supports the measure and when he signs it into law, Virginia will become the first state to require clinics that provide first-trimester abortions to meet the same standards as hospitals. The requirements could include anything from expensive structural changes like widening hallways to increased training and mandatory equipment the clinics currently don't have. While abortion providers must be licensed in Virginia, the clinics resemble dentists' offices and are considered physicians offices, similar to those that provide plastic and corrective eye surgeries, colonoscopies and a host of other medical procedures."

If government officials want to protect women and children there are plenty of ways to do so. But in this case, "pro-life" has the usual ideological meaning: legislation that will increase maternal deaths, coming from the party claiming to abhor the governmental abridgment of freedom, and coated in the Orwellian rhetoric of "protecting women."

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