A 2012 study out of Chile examined trends in maternal death both when abortion was legal in Chile and after abortion was prohibited. The study found that death rates did not increase after abortion was made illegal. In fact, the maternal mortality ratio decreased from 41.3 deaths per 100,000 live births when abortion was legal, to just 12.7 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births after abortion was made illegal. Today, Chile has a lower maternal mortality ratio than the United States and it has the lowest maternal mortality ratio in all of Latin America. Moreover, the leading cause of death for a pregnant woman between 1957 and 1989 (the time in which abortion was legal) was abortion. This data convincingly demonstrates that the 1989 law prohibiting abortion has not put women’s lives at risk, effectively refuting the claims that abortion advocates routinely employ against most abortion restrictions.47


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