All around the nation, Republican-led legislatures are passing Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that are based largely on the false claim that abortion is a highly risky medical procedure. They pretend that they do this out of concern for women’s health. Tara Culp-Ressler points out the lie:
There’s no telling how the courts will ultimately rule on TRAP laws, but one thing is clear: This entire issue isn’t based on any medical evidence.
There isn’t any data proving that patients at abortion clinics are receiving substandard care. When it comes to first-trimester abortions, the rate of serious complications — issues that may land a woman in the hospital — is less than 0.05 percent. The risk of dying from an abortion is considerably smaller, estimated as occurring in 0.0006 percent of all legal surgical abortions. To put that in perspective, the risk of death associated with childbirth is about 14 times higher.
Medically speaking, there are dozens of common medical procedures that are considered to be very safe but that are still riskier than abortion. The mortality rates are higher for gallbladder removal, knee replacement surgery, bariatric surgery, and hernia surgery.
There are also non-surgical procedures sometimes performed outside of hospital settings that are more likely to kill people than abortion, but that don’t face the same type of regulation that abortion does. “As an example, the mortality rate associated with a colonoscopy is more than 40 times greater than that of abortion,” Jeanne Conry, the former president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the largest group of OB-GYNs in the country, recently explained to Kaiser Health News. But no one is passing state laws to crack down on gastroenterologists.
Because those claims are lies. TRAP laws have nothing to do with protecting women’s healthy, they have only to do with preventing women from controlling their own reproduction.