Fact Check: Kamala Harris Falsely Claims ‘Women Will Die’ Due to Abortion Restrictions

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) falsely claimed during the Democrat debate Tuesday night that “women will die, poor women, women of color will die” because Republican-led states have passed abortion restrictions.

Sen. Kamala Harris said during the segment of the debate on health care in Ohio that Republicans “have passed laws that will virtually prevent women from having access to reproductive healthcare.”

She added:

And it is not an exaggeration to say, women will die, poor women, women of color will die because these Republican legislators in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with their bodies. Women are the majority of the population in this country. People need to keep their hands off of women’s bodies and let women make the decisions about healthcare issues in America today.

Harris’s statement is a deception that has been spread by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry for years, but has reached feverish pitch since the pro-life Trump administration has now appointed two Supreme Court justices who intend to interpret the Constitution as it was originally written.

The fear for abortion rights supporters is that Roe v. Wade will ultimately be overturned. Proponents of abortion have increasingly made more claims that “women will die” if this happens, hoping to feed the narrative that a multitude of women died before the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling that invented a right to abortion.

Prior to her recent sudden termination from Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen, its former president, was a frequent guest on talk shows and posted to Twitter that, if her organization is defunded or abortion is banned, women’s lives will be endangered.

“Thousands of women died before Roe v. Wade,” Wen told the Daily Show. “That could happen now.”

However, Planned Parenthood’s own fact sheets tell a very different story.

The abortion industry giant states:

In 1965, when abortion was still illegal nationwide except in cases of life endangerment, at least 193 women died from illegal abortions, and illegal abortion accounted for nearly 17 percent of all deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth in that year (Gold, 1990; NCHS, 1967).

The pro-choice Guttmacher Institute also reported:

By 1950, illegal abortion deaths fell to “just over 300,” likely “because of the introduction of antibiotics in 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections frequently developed after illegal abortion.”

By 1965, “the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 1972, the year before the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe, 24 women died from legal induced abortion – legal in a handful of states in which abortion in some very limited cases was permitted – and 39 women died from illegal abortion.

In 1973, when the Supreme Court created a right to abortion, CDC reported 19 deaths from illegal abortions and 25 deaths from legal abortions.

Though abortion reporting measures have not been consistent – leading to differing results – none of the reports gave the indication that “thousands” of women died in illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade.

As pro-life organization Live Action reported, NARAL founder and former abortionist Bernard Nathanson admitted he and others fabricated large numbers of deaths from illegal abortions prior to the high court’s decision in Roe.

According to the report, in his 1979 book, Aborting America, Nathanson called the “thousands” claim a “nice, round, shocking figure.”

Life News reported Nathanson said of the fabrication, “[I]n the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?”

Wen and now other abortion industry leaders and their political allies, however, are still suggesting “women will die” if abortion is banned. The fact is, women still die during “legal” abortions and “thousands” of children die each year because abortion is not banned.

Sen. Kamala Harris especially claimed “women of color” will die. Ironically, Planned Parenthood aborts the lives of more than 300,000 children each year, and 18 million of the 59 million abortions that have been performed in this country since the Roe v. Wade decision have ended the lives of babies “of color.”

Harris likely interjected the comments about abortion in the wake of complaints by Planned Parenthood and its allies that Democrats had failed to raise the issue of abortion rights during any of their debates thus far. Planned Parenthood responded favorably on Twitter to Harris’s remarks:

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