Yes, women are more likely to die from pregnancy than from abortion complications

Following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe V. Wade, some have taken to social media to discuss the risks of pregnancy versus abortion.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many states are moving to further restrict or protect abortion access following the overturning of Roe V. Wade.

In South Carolina, the fetal heartbeat law is already in effect, but state lawmakers are now considering legislation that would ban all abortions, except to save the life of the mother. The measure would also criminalize performing abortions.

Many are taking to social media with claims comparing the risks of undergoing an abortion with the risks of childbirth.

THE QUESTION

Are women more likely to die from childbirth complications than from complications from an abortion?

THE SOURCE

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, women are more likely to die from childbirth complications than from complications from an abortion.

WHAT WE FOUND

The CDC collects data on abortions through the National Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, and 48 states supply the agency with numbers on abortions and any related complications or deaths.

An NIH report shows less than 1% of women died from an abortion between 1998 and 2010.

"Abortion is one of the most scrutinized procedures in medicine," Swarz said. "We actually have really good data to show that abortion is very safe."

The NIH also found women are 14 times more likely to die from birthing complications than those related to an abortion.

"Pregnancy is a real stress on the body, and that stress on the body becomes more severe as people get later in pregnancy because they're supporting a much-larger growing thing inside their body," Swarz said. "In contrast, abortion occurs most frequently 90% of the time in the first trimester--so really early in pregnancy."

Swarz said some of the complications women might experience during childbirth is heavy bleeding or lacerations. He said during an abortion procedure, complications might include bleeding after an infection or problems during a surgical abortion.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

Related Stories