Tuesday, February 14, 2006

How do abortion deaths compare to childbirth deaths?

Let's check a couple of studies.

Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Maternal Deaths Associated
with Barbiturate Anesthetics -- New York City
reports 27 general anesthesia deaths in New York City abortions from 1972 through 1985.

The average NYC abortions per year year for that period is 102,799, times the 14 years covered = 1,439,188
The 27 general anesthesia deaths divided by 1,439,188 is 19 per million.

Anesthesia or Analgesia Related Deaths of Women From Legal Abortion notes that 27 deaths noted by the CDC during 1980-1985 were related to general anesthesia. The CDC also noted 9,445,900 abortions during that time. That's 2.86 reported general anesthesia deaths per million abortions. Either women in New York City are 6.6 times more likely to die from anesthesia complications during abortions than women elsewhere in the country, or the CDC is grossly under-reporting anesthesia deaths from abortions.

Anesthesia-Related Maternal Mortality looks at the number of deaths per million live births in the US. It reports that anesthesia-related maternal deaths in the US fell from 4.3 per million live births to 1.7 per million live births over the period 1979 - 1990.

So here are the estimates of risk of general anesthesia deaths:

Abortion in New York City, 1972-1985: 19 per million
Abortion in the US, 1980-1985: 2.86 per million.
Childbirth in the US, late 1970s, early 1980s: 4.3 per million
Childbirth in the US, late 1990s, 1.7 per million


For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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