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LETTER: Criminalizing abortions won't stop abortions

I am incredibly disappointed in the fear-mongering tactics utilized by CMU Students for Life in their recent display “What has Roe Done.”

The display alleged that abortion is dangerous for women, even though abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available. In fact, a recent study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology concluded that abortion is 14 times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term.

The display depicts the few rare cases of abortion complications that have led to the death of the mother. One such case is 29-year-old teacher, Jennifer Morbelli, who died due to complications during an abortion performed 33 weeks into her pregnancy. The pregnancy had been wanted, but Morbelli chose to obtain an abortion when the fetus developed abnormalities.

This was a very rare, higher-risk case. Only 1 percent of abortions occur after the first 21 weeks of pregnancy and yet, Students for Life is using this example to scare women into keeping pregnancies. This is a gross example of how the “pro-life” movement misconstrues information.

The situation is made even more despicable when one considers the fact that Morbelli’s mother has asked that her daughter’s story be left out of “pro-life” propaganda. If Students for Life actually cared about the safety of women, they would not be working to make abortion illegal.

Studies conducted by scientists from the World Health Organization have concluded that the legality of abortion does not impact the rate at which it occurs. It does, however, have a significant impact on safety. According to the Guttmacher Institute, U.S. abortion results in maternal death in 0.6 per 100,000 cases. Before abortion was legalized in the U.S., the rate was 50 times higher.

Making abortion illegal won't stop abortions. It will stop safe abortions. Students for Life should stop pretending to care about the safety of women when their advocacy will actually lead to more dangerous abortions.

Ashlea Phenicie

Public Relations Chair

Voices for Planned Parenthood