Why Banning Abortion is Terrible For Public Health

Dispelling myths and looking to science

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


Pictured: A medical fact. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash

Abortion is in the news again, because in the United States a leaked Supreme Court document appears to show that the landmark Roe v Wade decision will be overturned shortly. This will almost certainly have the practical impact of making abortion illegal across a number of American states, and highly restricted in others.

As a man who does not have a uterus, there’s not all that much I can say about abortion on a personal level. It’s unlikely in the extreme that I will ever personally have to have one, and from an ethical standpoint all I can say is that it’s been more than a decade since I did a degree in bioethics and my opinion probably isn’t very useful there either.

According to stock photos, ethics requires much shaking of hands. Photo: Cytonn Photography / Unsplash

However, there is one thing that I’m quite good at — fact-checking scientific questions online. So, here are some of the things bound to come up in the abortion debate, and why in general banning abortion is, from a scientific standpoint, not a very good idea.

Abortion Isn’t Bad For Your Health

Now, I know this is a contentious topic, because many people will start to argue about the fetus vs the mother, but disregarding the ethics one thing is quite clear: modern abortions are really quite safe. Your risk of death from having an abortion is similar to that of having a tooth removed, or running a marathon.

Pictured: Not in danger of being banned, for some reason. Photo: Miguel A. Amutio / Unsplash

While there are endless scare stories about breast cancer and depression, the evidence doesn’t really support the idea that abortion causes those issues either. Abortions are not without risk, but in general no more so than any other simple medical procedure you can get, especially medical abortions which are much more common these days than they once were.

Who Gets Abortions?

There is often a lot of misinformation when it comes to the characteristics of the…