Are You Falling for the “Coat Hanger” Myth?

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

When I was in the process of reverting back to Catholicism 20 years ago and discovered that the abortion industry’s schtick about how “if abortion is illegal women will die from coat hanger abortions,” it was a moment of reckoning for me that I will never forget. It was the moment I realized that I was being manipulated by the very feminists in which I had placed all my trust.

A few days ago, an article written by Paul Stark appeared on National Right to Life News entitled, “The Coat Hangar is a Lie” and I couldn’t resist reporting on it because of having uncovered the same lie 20 years ago.

We’ve all heard the slogans. “Keep abortion legal or it’s back to the coat hanger for us!” “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will go back to dying from coat hanger abortions!”

For that matter, the coat hanger has become somewhat of a cottage industry. For example, Katelin Gibbs Jewelry even makes a coat hanger pin for women to wear and promises to donate half of the pricey bauble ($85) to Planned Parenthood. In 2014, the DC Abortion Fund gave away a coat hanger pendant to anyone willing to donate $10 or more a month to the nonprofit.

Planned Parenthood whips out the coat hanger myth every time they get caught doing something illegal and need to make it look as if they’re being persecuted by people who don’t care about women’s health.

But how much are they really caring about women when they use fear and phony facts to manipulate us? Is this the kind of “justice” they think we deserve?

As Stark points out in his excellent article, their whole “unsafe abortion argument” suffers from both a justice and an evidence problem.

Abortion, like murder, is unjust because it ends the life of a human being. The abortion lobby used to get around this argument by saying it’s “just a blob of cells” until ultra-sound technology proved them wrong. Now they simply cop-out of the science argument completely by changing the subject to “a woman’s right to choose.”

As for the evidence of the alleged back-alley death rate, abortion industry insiders such as former abortionist and NARAL co-founder Bernard Nathanson openly admitted that they have always known their maternal death numbers were ridiculously inflated.

“The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200 – 250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law,” Nathanson said.

As I mention in my book, We Need To Talk: God Speaks to a Modern Girl, women stopped dying from back alley abortions decades before Roe v. Wade with the discovery of penicillin. In 1941, abortion related deaths were at 1,400. By 1966, they were down to just 120.

Planned Parenthood was fully aware of this fact and knew that their “coat hanger” myth was based on a bold-faced lie. In the July 1960 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, an article by the medical director of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Mary Calderon, stated that 90 percent of abortions are done by physicians.

“Call them what you will, abortionists, or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; … They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is,” she gushed. “Abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians.”

Keep in mind, this was written 13 years before Roe v. Wade, when abortion was still technically illegal.

“This steep drop in deaths occurred before the 1973 legalization of abortion, which had no apparent effect on mortality rates,” Stark points out in his article.

The abortion lobby also plays fast and loose with the facts about unsafe abortion deaths by using examples outside of the U.S.

“They point to some countries (such as many in Africa) that prohibit abortion and suffer high maternal mortality rates and to other countries (such as most in Europe and North America) that permit abortion and boast low mortality. They infer from this correlation that laws against abortion cause a high incidence of maternal death. But that’s a fallacy,” Stark writes.

“The highest-mortality nations are developing countries with poor maternal health care; the lowest-mortality nations are developed countries with advanced maternal health care. This is true irrespective of abortion policy.”

For example, some countries that permit abortion have high rates of mortality because their health care system is so poor. Some countries that prohibit most abortions have very low rates of maternal death, in some cases even lower than in the U.S., such as Chile, Ireland, Poland, Malta, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Lebanon.

“The evidence from both the U.S. and around the world is clear,” Stark writes. “Legalized abortion is demonstrably unnecessary to have an excellent standard of women’s health.”

In other words, women are being manipulated by the very feminists who claim to be fighting for their rights!

When confronted, some argue that the coat hanger is simply a symbol of the injustice being done to women who are denied abortion. But does that make it right to deliberately frighten people and then use that fear to manipulate them? Isn’t that what terrorists do?

It’s about time we women stand up to these feminist bullies who treat us like a bunch of mindless lemmings who dare not be exposed to real information.

The abortion industry owes women something much more substantial than coat hanger pendants and pink hats. They owe us the facts, even if that means their house of cards comes tumbling down.

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®




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