Focus On The Family Falsely Claims Abortion Increases Stillborn Births, Warns Abortion Upsets ‘Healthy Balance’ Of Immigrants & Citizens

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, recently warned the people of Ireland — who voted to legalize abortion — with fear mongering and false claims.

Daly cited no sources for the claims in his blog, which began with the racially-tinged belief that too many refugees and abortions erode a “healthy balance” in a nation’s population:

Ireland also has the highest natural population increase, which is in stark contrast to other European countries that have plummeting birth rates while also accepting a large number of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Abortion will begin to erode this healthy balance.

Next, Daly made a false claim about stillbirths being caused by abortions:

The rate of stillborn births will increase, which is a complication that can occur after a woman’s had an abortion.

The American Pregnancy Association lists multiple possible causes for stillbirths, but never mentions abortion. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) never mentions abortion as a cause of stillbirths.

The CDC notes many possible factors for stillborn births, which include “having multiple pregnancies” and “having had a previous pregnancy loss,” which could be a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or an abortion.

Daly also claims that “Irish women who abort will suffer a higher risk for depression, substance abuse and suicide.”

This is a popular anti-abortion claim that has been brought into question.  A study published by the journal JAMA Psychiatry in 2016 found just the opposite, noted The Atlantic:

“We found no evidence that women who have abortions risk developing depression, anxiety or low self-esteem as a result of the abortion, either immediately following, or for up to five years after the abortion,” said M. Antonia Biggs, a social psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco and lead author on the study, in a statement.

Daly went on to make the false claim about abortion results in the “selling of aborted preborn baby body parts and tissue” for medical research:

A general devaluation of human life will occur, especially in the context of scientific experimentation.

We’ve seen this in the United States through the selling of aborted preborn baby body parts and tissue and the use of human embryonic stem cells in research studies.

It is actually illegal to sell body parts, but clinics that procure fetal tissue are entitled to compensation under the law.

Anti-abortion advocates often pointed to a highly-edited video filmed covertly at Planned Parenthood clinics to spread the claim mentioned by Daly.

Another falsehood is that abortion somehow caused fetal tissue research to happen in the U.S., but that type of research has been going on since the 1930s, noted CNN in 2015, long before abortion was legalized in 1973.

Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, expressed the medical organization’s support for fetal tissue research in 2016:

We recognize that decades of medical breakthroughs have resulted in lasting improvements in the lives of our patients and their families, and we celebrate our ability to not just treat, but in some cases, to actually prevent or even cure debilitating and life-threatening diseases.

(Sources: Focus on the Family, American Pregnancy AssociationCenters for Disease Control, The Washington Post, CNN, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)

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