Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The problem with comparing abortion numbers in developing and developed countries

Meghan McArdle, who is pro-choice, takes aim at the WHO estimate of estimates "study" regarding abortion numbers throughout the world.
Similarly, saying that "making abortion illegal doesn't reduce its incidence, but only makes it more dangerous" is nonsense on stilts when the comparison is largely between developed countries with legal abortion, and developing countries with illegal abortion. Having an abortion in Burundi would be more dangerous than having one in America even if their government legalized the procedure, made it free, and awarded a medal and a complimentary fruit basket to every woman who had one. I am pretty sure that abortion, like almost every other activity, gets more dangerous when it is legally prohibited. But from what I can make out, this study doesn't do a good job of demonstrating that truism.

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