Maternal Deaths Down In Nicaragua Once Abortion Is Eliminated

Unsuspecting pro-life cultures are regularly assaulted by the “logic” of the international abortion promoters who push their anti-life agenda into every culture that will cave in to the pressure. Their main argument goes roughly like this: “When abortion is not legal, women have abortions anyway but in unsafe conditions and back-alley clinics with untrained people who injure and kill them. All this death and injury is totally unnecessary and we could just solve the problem overnight by legalizing abortion to make it safe and keep all these poor women from dying.”

That’s the main argument which, in one form or another, is repeated ad nauseam by the abortion lobby to sympathetic healthcare providers, social workers, government leaders and the media. It can be an effective argument for legalized abortion because people are generally more willing to sacrifice the rights of the unseen child for the immediate perceived needs of the suffering woman. However, that argument is a ruse. Abortion doesn’t work the way they say it does. In reality, legalized abortion, besides killing babies, creates a climate of disrespect for women’s health that leads to a greater number of maternal deaths. Let’s take another look at the most fascinating and heroic case study in the abortion wars that our modern age has seen: Nicaragua.

That marvelous little pro-life country in Central America is a good example of what happens when a country chooses a culture of life. Remember that Nicaragua made abortion completely illegal in 2006 and then reaffirmed that prohibition in 2007. The overall positive results for Nicaraguan women have been just amazing. The abortion promoters screamed that making abortion illegal would cause women to die in droves because of more back-alley abortions, but that didn’t happen. In fact, the opposite is true – fewer women are dying now! A recent publication by Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health noted that the overall maternal mortality rate decreased by 58% in the year that abortion has been made totally illegal. There were 21 maternal deaths for 2007 compared to 50 maternal deaths the year before. This is a stunning reversal!

The lie that women will die from back-alley, “unsafe,” abortions is nothing but a scare tactic to coerce pro-life cultures into compliance with abortion. The truth is that abortion-free cultures have a greater respect for women and babies and are not subject to that degrading pall of killing that lies over the medical profession. In the case of Nicaragua, their rejection of abortion in 2006/2007 coincided – not surprisingly – with a greater provision of basic pre-natal services for pregnant women and accompaniment in childbirth which is what led to the surprising turn-around in the maternal death rate. Even aside from legal protection of babies, pro-life cultures just protect women better, it’s that simple.

We don’t have to listen to the liars who tell us that legalized abortion is “safe.” Women are much safer in countries where abortion is not legal. Abortion enthusiasts were never able to use the maternal death argument in abortion-free Ireland which has the lowest rate of maternal deaths in the world. They are also confounded by pro-life cultures like Poland that restricted abortion in 1993 and has seen a phenomenal increase in maternal wellbeing ever since.

The abortion promoters tell us that certain abortions are unsafe. They’re half right. Actually, all abortions are unsafe. The numbers don’t lie.

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  • dennisofraleigh

    The (alleged) ubiquity of “illegal abortions” causing high mortality rates among pregnant women in developing countries is all you hear from the forces of anti-life who seek to export the systematic killing of the unborn to as many developing countries as they possibly can. For these people abortion is not merely one service among many they seek to provide poor women. For them it is an obsession, overshadowing other programs (like providing potable water, good obstetrics, and improved hygiene).
    In addition we only have to look at our own country where abortion is a “right” to see that America’s infant mortality rates are much higher compared to less prosperous nations where abortion is banned.
    Thank you Fr. Euteneuer for setting the record straight.

  • HomeschoolNfpDad

    Indications such as these convince me that the primary motive of those who seek to export abortion is selfishness. There abortion exporters have either so bought in to the lies of abortion themselves that they feel they must convince, coerce, or impose these lies on others to justify their own decisions, or else they have become convinced that increasing numbers of people in poor countries are a direct threat to their affluent way of life here and elsewhere in the West. Indeed, the exportation of contraception follows the same logic. Those who use contraception themselves feel a need to share its alleged glories abroad in order to justify their own decisions, or else there is a fear that, absent contraception, armies of black- and brown-skinned folk will threaten the West, either by their very presence or by their increasing desire to emigrate here.

    Thus, the logic of abortion is intertwined with the logic of contraception is intertwined with the logic of immigration politics. And development aid is therefore directed towards abortion or contraception (or both) instead of towards actual development – or else all real development funding is tied directly to abortion or contraception programs. Too many people is viewed as the real problem, and the solution is now (as it has always been) to get rid of the people seen as undesirable. The Romans accomplished this purpose with crosses and coliseums and other instruments of highly visible death. We accomplish the same thing with the less visible – but equally evil – means of contraception and abortion.

    Indeed the only real difference between Right and Left in this country is that the Left has no qualms about killing through surgical intervention, while the Right is still a bit queasy about the bloodletting required to kill a child already implanted in his mother’s womb. Neither Left nor Right is particularly fond of immigration towards the West (Exhibit A is the Democratic Congress’s flat refusal to do anything, one way or the other, to change U.S. immigration policy, either to enforce to laws on the books or to modify them or to direct development funds to actual development works in poorer countries, which latter might stand a real chance of reducing immigration rates). The Left sees immigrants as a tool to be used towards the attainment of political power – which they subsequently use to kill more black and brown people through abortion. The Right sees immigrants as someone else’s problem, refusing to see any of them as a brother in need, and refusing to provide real development aid in the absence of contraception and sterilization “services.”

    One is as evil as the other.

  • Casper

    An abortion is not a “right” in this country. Privacy and autonomy are, access to medical/surgical care for every man, woman and child regardless of race, religion, or ethnicicity by a licensed physician is a “right”. Religion is a “right” and if your religion is against abortion then you have a “right” to never choose it. If abortion is not against my religion, I have a “right” to choose it if I wish and I have a “right” to safe access, and a “right” to procure the end result. Maternal mortality has dropped in Nicaragua due to improvements to the “right” to seek medical attention. It says nothing about clandestine abortion rates dropping due to keeping it illegal. The fetus still dies does it not whether legal or illegal? I thought the whole point to the abortion issue was the fetus and how many pregnancies we as a nation can prevent from being terminated? Keep “the right to choose” legal, less babies and women die when there is a choice.

  • c-kingsley

    Har, har, Casper!

    I’ll share in your joke — Murder is against my religion, so I won’t choose to do it. I don’t want to impose my religion on your neighbor, though, so good luck to you there. Robbery and rape are against my religion too, but I’m a firm believer in multi-culturalism, so I hope your neighbor is okay for you.

    You’re also illiterate? The article said that abortion went from Legal to Illegal in Nicaragua, not “keeping it illegal,” and maternal deaths went down. Yes, maternal health care increased, and Fr. Euteneuer and I (and many others) see this as directly related, not coincidental. When you really care for women, you’ll help them get health care, not abortions.

    (I forgot to take my sarcasma, today. Does it show? )

  • GaryT

    Domestic contraception also plays into the immigration issue. Our economy is expanding faster than our workforce. Perhaps because we are creating jobs but we aren’t having enough babies to fill the jobs. So we wind up with lots of demand for jobs and the only supply for them comes from immigrants.

  • GaryT

    And speaking of lies, I’ve thought it would be interesting to write on how the pro-abortion position requires lies for every subject there is:

    biology: “It’s not alive, it’s just a blob of cells”
    psychology: “There are no emotional repercussions for women following an abortion”
    math: “abortion is statistically safer than childbirth”
    medicine: “abortion has no other medical consequences (such as sterilization)
    law: “a pre-born human being is not a person”
    history: “abortion has always been about helping women (not killing ‘undesirables’)”
    politics “pro-choice is pro-women (of course we’re okay with female infanticide too)

    I’m sure you could go on…


  • nativity



    1. The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.(1) Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.

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