Let's start with abortion deaths prior to widespread legalization:
Thus endeth the officially recognized era of "back alley abortion".
And now we enter the era of safe and legal abortion. You can look on the chart below for the impact widespread legalization had on abortion deaths. I marked vertical lines at 1970 (when New York and California became the first states to legalize abortion on demand) and 1973 (when Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion on demand nationwide).
If you're having a hard time spotting it, I'll zoom in a bit on abortion deaths since 1960. Note that I marked New York and California's legalization and Roe vs. Wade for you:
Now, why am I looking at all these abortion deaths?
It's very important that we understand history. Prochoicers need to grasp that abortion being illegal doesn't mean no alternative but the coathanger, and prolifers need to understand that simply criminalizing abortion isn't enough. Only when we study the impact of laws and attitudes on abortion practice can we develop effective strategies for what most of us agree is a common goal: Reducing abortion. For, as with any other human evil, we can never make it entirely go away.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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