Posts Written by Joyce

Anti-choice researchers in Chile try to hide illegal abortion – and women who die from it

This article is cross-posted from

Anti-choice researchers recently published a dangerously flawed study that examined various factors associated with Chile’s declining maternal mortality rate, and concluded — incredibly — that the legal status of abortion has no influence on maternal deaths in Chile, a country that completely prohibited abortion for any reason in 1989.

The study, published in full online at PLoS ONE, is entitled “Women’s Education Level, Maternal Health Facilities, Abortion Legislation and Maternal Deaths: A Natural Experiment in Chile from 1957 to 2007.” It looks deceptively like a professional mainstream study. However, the lead author is Dr. Elard Koch of Chile’s Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception), who is clearly anti-choice and has been arguing for years that legalizing abortion does not improve maternal health, against all evidence to the contrary. The second author is John Thorp, an anti-choice doctor from North Carolina and member of the “Law of Life Project,” which sought to intervene last fall in a lawsuit by abortion providers against the state’s “Woman’s Right to Know Act.” The other five co-authors are all from Chile and appear to be Catholic doctors or researchers.

Koch et al.’s justification for their bizarre conclusion that criminalized abortion does not kill women, appears to be that unless official abortion numbers can be obtained from governments or hospital records, illegal abortion does ...