Why 3,000 is an accurate and comprehensive amount of daily abortions

Maverick Students for Life at the 2017 March for Life in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of Maria Nevada
Lily Gilliland

Recently, Mavericks Students for Life held a peaceful display known as “The Cemetery of the Innocents.” In this display, the organization placed 3,000 white flags inside the UNO Pep Bowl to bring awareness to and honor the 3,000 lives lost to abortion daily in the United States.

Mavericks Students for Life is an organization that stands by the integrity to spread accurate information, as we have sought to do with all the events we hold. However, it has come to our attention that many students may have missed the sources provided in our display, as many of our signs were vandalized and stolen.

It is our goal to spread accurate awareness and information about abortion. Which is why we feel obligated to reiterate this information about our sources and offer an explanation as to why our sources from The World Health Organization (WHO) are more accurate and inclusive.

In response to the Women’s Resource Center’s claim that our data is “dangerous and stigmatizing” we felt it necessary to explain why this is not so. The Women’s Resource Center claims that there are only 1,788 abortions per day in the United States.  While this is true, according to data collected by the CDC in 2014 this data is based only on legal, induced abortions that states voluntarily report. Meaning, a lot of data are excluded.

According to the CDC’s website, the center requests abortion data from all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, but “the reporting areas provide this information voluntarily, in 2014, data were received from 49 reporting areas.” The CDC’s website goes on to say that data was only collected from 48 areas since 2004-2014.

Absent from the CDC’s data is California, who according to the Guttmacher Institute, a Planned Parenthood-linked group, has one of the highest per capita abortion rates which is responsible for 17 perscent of all the abortions in the U.S.

Per the Guttmacher Institute, “In 2014, some 157,350 abortions were provided in California” which accounts for approximately 431 abortions per day in California alone, which is not included in the CDC’s dataset.

In addition to states that aren’t required to report to the CDC, the CDC does not report data on chemical abortions and illegal, “back alley” abortions. Our data, however, was sourced from the World Health Organization (a pro-choice organization) which provides a more comprehensive estimate.

Looking at the CDC’s data, as well as information on abortions within the states that don’t report to the CDC and chemical, unrecorded and illegal abortions, this is how we came to the number 3,000.

For instance, according to the Guttmacher Institute, “approximately 926,200 abortions were performed in 2014” which averages out to 2,538 abortions per day. Again, this does not include unreported abortions, which may bring the total to far exceed the widely accepted statistic of 3,000 abortions per day.

Maverick for Life chose to use this number because we feel it is a more accurate and inclusive representation of abortion statistics in the U.S. Though we understand why some individuals may favor the CDC’s data, we do not appreciate the implication that we are liars and stigmatizes. Although the WHO’s data is an estimate, it is certainly representative of real numbers, more so than the CDC’s.

Regardless of the numbers we choose to go by, I think we can all agree that there is great discrepancy in the data, and there should be a more comprehensive and required method of reporting abortion statistics—like we do with far less controversial statistics such as water pollution and the flu.

We need to know how many women are having abortions so we know how many women we are failing, because abortion is a sign that we have failed women. In this way we can start providing resources for women who are either post-abortive or contemplating abortion. Unfortunately, there is not a law that requires uniform reporting of abortion statistics.

Whether it be 1,788 or 3,000, any abortion is far too many and all sides can agree that being faced with an abortion is a situation no woman should have to be faced with, as it would be physically and mentally wearing in any woman’s life. It is clear that abortion is a sign we as a society have failed women—to say that women are not strong enough to overcome adversity in their lives is to imply that women are weak.

I, like many other women do not believe that a child is the end of a professional or social life. But I do believe that telling a woman this is true is in fact harmful to her social and professional life, as well as her general well-being. We should instead empower women to overcome the specific adversities that women face on a day-to-day basis by assuring women that they are strong enough to handle any hardship that may come their way.