Pro-choice advocates spread a lot of myths to convince people that abortion is the best and most ethical decision to make. In this article I will be covering the top 5 myths they spread.
1) Life doesn’t begin at conception: This is false. During conception/fertilization is when life begins. First, there is a difference between fertilization and conception. Conception is a process made up of three phases; ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. Fertilization is the second phase of conception, where a new distinct human life is created. Fertilization is when life begins. It’s accurate to say life begins at conception, but it would be even more accurate to say life begins at fertilization.
It is a biological fact that life begins at fertilization. These facts are confirmed by scientific journals, embryology texts, and a majority of biologists.
According to a study by Steven Jacobs, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago, overall, 95% of all biologists agreed that human life begins at fertilization. All of this points to the fact that abortion is killing a human.
Here’s a list of some of the Embryology Books that cite that life begins at fertilization—
Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, 5th edition, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976
Human Embryology by F Beck, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985
McGraw-Hill’s textbook, “Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition
Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition
Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics by Greenhill and Friedman: W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1974
Essentials of Human Embryology by Keith L. Moore, Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988
2). Making abortion illegal will lead to thousands of women dying: Pro-choice advocates claim that making abortion illegal will lead to thousands of deaths annually— This is false. The basis of this claim is the idea that if abortion was made illegal, women will seek other illegal and unsafe methods to terminate their pregnancy. The data doesn’t support this claim. In 1972, the year before Roe vs Wade, the CDC started documenting the number of deaths associated with legal and illegal abortions. They documented 24 deaths from legal abortions and 39 from illegal abortions— that’s not a very large difference. Making abortion illegal would not lead to thousands of deaths. A mother’s life is not more in danger if abortion is made illegal.
3) Women who get raped want, need, and benefit from having an abortion: Statistically speaking, on average, rape victims don’t want, need, or benefit from having an abortion. An Elliot Institute study by David Reardon, Amy Sobie, and Julie Makimaa, found that 73% of pregnant rape victims choose to give birth. Out of the women who chose life, 64% of them chose to raise the child, while 36% chose to give their baby up for adoption. The study also found that 88% of women who decided to abort their baby ended up regretting it and felt they made the wrong decision.
Also, a study conducted in 1981 by Dr. Sandra Makhorn found similar results. The study indicated that 75 – 85% of impregnated rape victims did not choose to get an abortion. The study by Dr. Sandra Makhorn interviewed and surveyed rape victims who got pregnant. The results showed that a majority of the participants viewed their child positively and abortion negatively. They also felt that it was the rape, not the pregnancy, that was the source of their trauma.
According to Dr. Susan Makhorn, “Many women in this study initially had strong negative feelings and fears. Of those who continued their pregnancy, two-thirds developed more positive feelings toward their unborn child as the pregnancy progressed. Their feelings of self-esteem and contentedness improved during the pregnancy, while anxiety, depression, anger, and fear decreased.”
She also stated, “Beliefs that abortion involves violence, killing, or was immoral were the reasons most frequently reported for clients’ decisions against abortion. Client viewpoints such as abortion is a “violent way of ending a human life” or abortion is “killing” were noted. Others expressed the belief in an intrinsic meaning to human life, reflected in opinions such as “all life has the meaning” or “this child can bring love and happiness into someone’s life.” One pregnant victim related that she felt she would suffer more mental anguish by taking the life of the child.”
In the study, those who did get an abortion ended up regretting it. 93% of them said they would not recommend getting an abortion to others having the same problem. Only 7% felt that abortion was a good solution, and 43% felt that they were pressured into having an abortion.
Not one woman in the study that had the child regretted it.
It’s also worth noting, abortion because of rape is rare, making up somewhere between 0.3% and 1% of all abortions. If rape was the only exception for abortion, then 99% to 99.7% of all abortions would be banned.
4). There is no health care coverage for poor pregnant women: This is false. All pregnant women who have been United States citizens for at least five years and meet the income qualifications are eligible for Medicaid coverage. According to the National Health Law Program, “Medicaid coverage includes prenatal care, labor and delivery, and all medically necessary services regardless of whether they are directly related to the pregnancy.”
5) It’s unlikely that a baby would be adopted: The data supports the opposite conclusion. According to American Adoptions, “Some sources estimate that there are about 2 million couples currently waiting to adopt in the United States — which means there are as many as 36 waiting for families for every one child who is placed for adoption. Based on this couples waiting to adopt statistics, many couples are waiting to adopt.”
They also said, “In fact, according to one study covering families looking to adopt statistics, about 81.5 million Americans have considered adopting a child at one time in their lives. That’s about 40 percent of all U.S. adults, up from 36 percent in 1997.”
In addition, many adoptive parents will cover the medical cost of prenatal care before adopting the baby.
Jacobs , S. A. (2018). Biologists’ Consensus on ‘When Life Begins’.
McGuire, A. (2019, June 17). Cultivating a pro-adoption culture. Institute for Family Studies. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://ifstudies.org/blog/cultivating-a-pro-adoption-culture#:~:text=Some%20estimate%20it%20to%20be,adoption%20as%20a%20reproductive%20choice.
Kessler, G. (2019, May 31). Analysis | planned parenthood’s false stat: ‘thousands’ of women died every year before Roe. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/05/29/planned-parenthoods-false-stat-thousands-women-died-every-year-before-roe/
Abortion and “Health of the mother”. Focus on the Family. (2022, July 14). Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/abortion-and-health-of-the-mother/
Medicaid for pregnant women. Broward Healthy Start Coalition. (2020, May 21). Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://browardhsc.org/for-parents/medicaid-for-pregnant-women/#:~:text=All%20pregnant%20women%20who%20are,the%20first%20year%20of%20life.
Chen, A. (2021, August 11). Q&A on pregnant women’s coverage under Medicaid and the ACA. National Health Law Program. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://healthlaw.org/resource/qa-on-pregnant-womens-coverage-under-medicaid-and-the-aca/#:~:text=Yes.,directly%20related%20to%20the%20pregnancy.
Pew Research Center. (2022, July 9). America’s abortion quandary. Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/05/06/americas-abortion-quandary/
Pregnancy as a result of rape. Life Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://thelifeinstitute.net/learning-centre/women/sexual-assault/pregnancy-as-a-result-of-rape
Makhorn, S. (n.d.). Life matters pregnancy from rape. USCCB. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.usccb.org/committees/pro-life-activities/life-matters-pregnancy-rape
Zahn, D. (2018, December 12). The science is conclusive: That fetus is a baby. The Des Moines Register. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2018/12/12/science-conclusive-fetus-baby-iowa-fetal-heartbeat-law-abortion/2286938002/
Smith, S. (2020, November 7). Life begins at conception: All the science citations. The Scott Smith Blog. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.thescottsmithblog.com/2018/09/life-begins-at-conception-all-science.html?m=1
Willke, J. C. (2015, April 29). Rape pregnancies are rare. Life Issues Institute . Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://lifeissues.org/1999/04/rape-pregnancies-are-rare/
Finer, L. B., Dauphinee, L. A., & Frohwirth, L. F. (2005, September 1). Reasons U.S. women have abortions: Quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives
Hochman, N. (2022, May 5). A rape and incest exemption would still ban more than 98 percent of abortions. National Review. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/a-rape-and-incest-exemption-would-still-ban-more-than-98-percent-of-abortions/
Mahkorn, S. (1999). Report of Sandra Mahkorn, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. Issues in Law & Medicine, 14(4), 433. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A54636963/AONE?u=anon~a9241ed9&sid=googleScholar&xid=b15f45d6
Widaman, D. (2019). Studies show most rape survivors choose life for their babies – metro voice news. Metro Voice News. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/metrovoicenews.com/studies-show-most-rape-survivors-choose-life-for-their-babies/amp/