Is the repeal of Roe v. Wade expected to increase the maternal death rate?

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
By Jacob Alabab-Moser

The maternal death rate in the U.S.—already among the highest in the developed world—is expected to rise following the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

Based solely on the fact that women are more likely to die giving birth than having a legal abortion, the University of Colorado, Boulder found that banning abortion would "increase maternal mortality by 24%."

According to a 2009 study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, abortion-related deaths are more frequent in countries with more restrictive abortion laws (34 deaths per 100,000 childbirths) than in countries with less restrictive laws (1 or fewer per 100,000 childbirths).

Unsafe abortions have a much higher fatality rate than legal abortions, further suggesting that restricting abortion access risks increasing abortion-related death. States with the tightest abortion restrictions prior to the repeal of Roe v. Wade had the highest rates of maternal mortality.

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