The BIG Lie: Fein-stein on 'Deaths From Illegal Abortions'
The most outlandish bout of political theater on abortion this week occurred while Sen. Dianne Fein-stein (D-CA) was lecturing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — an originalist whose jurisprudence doesn’t bode well for judicial despotism like Roe v. Wade. On Wednesday, Fein-stein ridiculously asserted, “In the 1950s and ‘60s, the two decades before Roe, deaths from illegal abortions in this country ran between 200,000 and 1.2 million. … So, a lot of women died.”
These numbers were supposedly obtained from the Guttmacher Institute, but as the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams reveals, Fein-stein was spewing fake news: “The Guttmacher Institute has reported no such thing. What Sen. Fein-stein claimed during Wednesday’s hearing is either her own ignorant misreading of the institute’s reporting or it’s an intentional, outright lie.”
Instead, Guttmacher reports, “Estimates of the number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and 1960s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. One analysis, extrapolating from data from North Carolina, concluded that an estimated 829,000 illegal or self-induced abortions occurred in 1967.” Fein-stein is conflating two very distinct things — the estimated number of unlawful abortions every year before they became legal, and maternal deaths. So her assertion this week that up to 1.2 million mothers died because abortion wasn’t yet legal — and therefore hazardous to the mother — is a fabrication.
Yet she does unintentionally make a very important point. A huge number of people diddie every year during that period. In fact, a life is taken every time an abortion occurs, regardless of whether or not abortion is legal. Legality makes no difference. Remember, 60 million babies have been terminated since abortion was legalized. Fein-stein told Kavanaugh, “How you make a judgment on these issues is really important to our vote as to whether to support you or not. Because I don’t want to go back to those death tolls in this country.” The truth is, even if abortion procedures went from hazardous to “safe,” those death tolls never actually went away.