Myths Surrounding Abortion Rights

“MYTH #1: ABORTION WAS A COMMON AND WIDELY ACCEPTED PRACTICE THROUGHOUT HISTORY. Truth: This inaccurate claim was repeated throughout the 1960s. The fact is that abortion was rare well into the 19th century. … If abortion is to be considered a common practice throughout history, the method was infanticide or abandonment.

MYTH #2: ROE WAS BASED ON A CAREFUL INVESTIGATION OF THE FACTS. Truth: When Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were tried in the lower courts there were no trials, and the judges did not look at evidence. One of the attorneys even stated that ‘the facts don’t matter.’

MYTH #3: WOMEN WERE DYING BY THE THOUSANDS BECAUSE OF BACK-ALLEY ABORTIONS. Truth: The number of maternal deaths from all causes was 780 in 1972 (down from 7,267 in 1942). Of the 780 maternal deaths, 140 were listed as “abortion deaths” by the National Center for Health Statistics, and included in this number were those deaths caused by spontaneous miscarriage.

MYTH #4: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FETUS WAS NEVER TREATED AS INFANTICIDE IN THE AMERICAN LEGAL TRADITION. Truth: Anglo-American law, in a tradition inherited from Roman law, had called the fetus an ‘unborn child’ or ‘child’ since at least the 1200s. In the 19th century statutes enacted in 17 states referred to the crime against an unborn child as ‘manslaughter,’ ‘murder,’ or ‘assault with intent to murder.’ Most of these statutes called the unborn child a ‘child,’ not a fetus or some term which could undermine the full personhood of the unborn.

MYTH #5: THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT IS ANTI-WOMEN. Truth: Women are less supportive of abortion than men. According to a 2010 Rasmussen poll, 53 percent of women believe abortions are too easy to get, compared with 42 percent of men. Likewise, 58 percent of women believe abortion is morally wrong in most cases; 49 percent of men agree with the same statement.”

“9 Myths,” Christian Headlines, June 24, 2022