NOW Boss Flunks Health: Abortion Helps Prevent the 'Heartbreak of Infant Mortality’

Here's a "health" or "science" gaffe the media will ignore. Terry O’Neill, the leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a regular guest on Ed Schultz’s show (or MSNBC in general). It would be fun to watch Ed try to noodle this concept from O’Neill latest Huffington Post article: Abortion is “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

Isn’t abortion a major cause of infant mortality? It hardly prevents infant mortality, unless somehow “fetal mortality” isn’t a social problem of any kind, but a boon to society. (HT Lifenews.com) Abortion is just “medical care,” no mortality worth discussing:

After all, that’s what it is — essential, effective medical care. Let’s take a break from the political side of the discussion about choice and look at it from a different point of view. How do birth control and abortion care improve the public health?

Each year, about one million infants die on the same day they’re born. This includes about 11,300 infants in the United States. That’s 30 infant deaths each and every day! If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is....

From a public health point of view, abortion care, no less than contraception, is an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality, and to prevent another tragedy as well — maternal death....

A big part of this shameful failure of our public health system is the fact that the U.S. has the highest adolescent birth rate of any industrialized country. And because teen mothers tend to be poorer, less educated and receive less prenatal care than older women, babies born to teen mothers are more likely to be low birth weight and be born prematurely, and to die in their first month.


To die in their first month of life is much more tragic, apparently than being "terminated" before birth, when the human being is simply a "choice." This is about as scientific as Todd Akin's talk of  female bodies shutting down their fertility in a sexual assault.

Predictably, O’Neill tries to turn this around on the pro-lifers, for restrictrions on abortion cause maternal death:

Now, many factors are behind these statistics, including an improvement in how maternal deaths are reported. But do the math -- as more states like Texas and North Carolina restrict access to abortion care, more women are dying in childbirth or pregnancy, and more infants are not surviving to their first birthday.

Shouldn't that be a NOW slogan, on their T-shirts: "Making sure more infants are not surviving to their first birthday"?

O'Neill lectured: "Politicians may try to separate out abortion, or abortion and contraception, from the continuum of women's reproductive health care, but when they do, women's lives are needlessly cut short. Whatever you call that, you can't call it 'pro-life.'"

The NOW boss announced (as she does routinely) on the May 2 All In With Chris Hayes: "Clearly, abortions are far safer than childbirth." And they say conservatives dismiss half of humanity?

O'Neill wants a different lingo: "I'll continue to fight for reproductive rights and choice -- but when I talk about abortion, I'll call it abortion care. And so should you." (Italics hers.)

The Huffington Post employed promotional language underneath this piece: "This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with National Women's Health Week, May 11-17." They also promoted the Obama HHS website Womenshealthcare.gov.

Who says the Left sounds like they got an A in health class?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis