MYTH: Abortion is only legal through the first trimester.
FACT: Due to the radical scope of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, a right to abortion was effectively established for the entire term of pregnancy for virtually any reason, whether for sake of personal finances, social convenience, or individual lifestyle...Therefore, no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever exist in the United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy.
FACT: Over 77,000 abortions take place every year in the United States after the sixteenth week of pregnancy.
MYTH: Women really need abortion for health reasons.
FACT: An Alan Guttmacher Institute survey found that nearly one-half of women obtaining abortions said they used no birth control method during the month they got pregnant.
FACT: Add to this the fact that, at most, only five percent of all abortions are done for the mother's physical or psychological health. Rape and incest are cited as reasons for less than 1 % of all abortions.
FACT: Nationally, 82 % of women obtaining abortions are unmarried. The statistics strongly suggest abortion is used as birth control.
MYTH: No one knows when human life begins.
FACT: The California Medical Association referred to "the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at fertilization and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death.
MYTH: Abortion is an unfortunate necessity and doesn't happen often.
FACT: 1.4 million abortions take place each year in the United States. Nearly one in three pregnancies ends in abortion.
MYTH: We need abortion to reduce child abuse. Wanted children will not become abused children.
FACT: Abortion has done nothing to reduce child abuse. Actually child abuse increased over 1000% from 1973, the year abortion was legalized throughout the United States, to 1986.
MYTH: The typical abortive women is a poor, black teen.
FACT: Two-thirds of women getting abortions are between the ages of 20 and 24. Sixty-eight percent are white. And two-thirds have an annual income of over $11,000.
The Myth of Mass Back-Alley Abortion Deaths*
We already know legal abortions are not safe - they can and do cause women to lose their lives and harm women physically and emotionally. So let's address some other issues.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, admits his group lied about the number of women who died from illegal abortions when testifying before the Supreme Court in 1972. "We spoke of 5,000 - 10,000 deaths a year.... I confess that I knew the figures were totally false ... it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?"
That claim of thousands of maternal deaths due to illegal abortion doesn't measure up when compared with other statistics. About 50,000 women of child-bearing age die each year -- from all causes combined. To suggest that 10,000 of these deaths were from illegal abortion would make that the cause of one out of every five deaths, or twenty percent. This would have made illegal abortion the leading cause of death among women in that age group.
What, then, did cause abortion-related deaths due to illegal abortions? According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the legalization of abortion was not responsible for reducing abortion-related deaths. This discovery of antibiotics in the 1940's did that by providing effective treatment for infections.
The National Center for Heath Statistics reveals that before 1941, there were over 1,400 abortion-related deaths. Yet after Penicillin became available to control infections, the number of deaths was reduced in the 1950's to approximately 250 per year. By 1966, with abortion still illegal in all states, the number of deaths had dropped steadily to 120. The reason? New and better antibiotics, better surgery and the establishment of intensive care units in hospitals. This was in the face of a rising population.
Between 1967 and 1970 sixteen states legalized abortion. In most it was limited, only for rape, incest and severe fetal handicaps or deformities, and when the pregnancy jeopardized the life of the mother (all of which constitute only 5% of the abortion cases today). There were two notable exceptions - California in 1967 and New York in 1970 legalized abortion on demand.
Legalizing abortion should have eliminated some deaths related to illegal abortions. That is not the case. In the years from 1963-1969, there were an average of approximately 55 deaths per year due to illegal abortions. In 1970, after this initial wave of laws legalizing abortions, there were 109. Deaths from illegal abortions increased.
By the year before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision allowing legal abortion on demand in all fifty states, the death rate for illegal abortions had fallen to 24 in 1972 (with 25 additional deaths as a result of legal abortions). Now abortion was legal in all fifty states and back alley abortions eliminated with their alleged total of maternal deaths. In 1973 there should have been a sharp drop in abortion-related deaths if abortion advocates were right that legalizing abortion would make abortion safe.
Yet abortion-related deaths increased again with 25 deaths resulting from legal abortion in 1973, 26 in 1974 and 29 in 1975.
Some have claimed that the number of illegal abortion-related deaths were not reported accurately or underreported. Yet, when a woman was seriously injured by an abortion, she went to another doctor for care. The abortion practitioner was rarely involved at that point. The new doctor in many cases had to attempt to save the mother's life. In cases of maternal death, this new doctor was required to report, and falsification of the death certificate was a felony. Therefore, prior to legalization of abortion, it's safe to say deaths from illegal abortions were rarely covered up.
Yet, even if the case can be made that deaths resulting from illegal abortions were underreported, it is equally safe to say that deaths resulting from legal abortions are underreported. In Maryland in 1991, there were four women who died from legal abortions that year. None of the four were reported to the Federal Centers for Disease Control for its statistics. Whereas prior to the legalization of abortion a second doctor, with little or no reason to cover up a death for which he or she was not responsible, was involved in an attempt to save the mother's life; with legalized abortion the abortion practitioner is usually the one attempting to save the mother's life when the abortion threatens her life.
Other specific instances help us see how reporting for the number of deaths related to illegal abortions may be low: In 1977 an Ohio doctor noted that while the official statistics showed no abortion-related deaths in Ohio that year, he personally knew of two. If one doctor knew of two cases, how many were there really?
Abortion was legalized in California in 1967. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times in 1972, official records showed four legal abortion-related deaths in the entire country from 1967 to 1972. Yet a reporter for that paper uncovered three deaths only in Los Angeles in just one month in 1972.
A reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times uncovered 12 legal abortion-related deaths in that city in 1978. The government statistics show only 16 deaths for the entire country in that year.
Another important point is that many of the abortion practitioners performing abortions after Roe v. Wade were the same people performing illegal abortions. In the July 1960 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, an article by Dr. Mary Calderon, then medical director of Planned Parenthood, which stated:
Here is a candid admission that not only are illegal abortions not being done by quack doctors but that the death rate from illegal abortions was "low." This flies in the face of claims of several thousand women losing their lives to illegal abortions and the claim that illegal abortions were performed by quack doctors and not by physicians.
As we can see, "Never again" never was. There were not several thousand women losing their lives due to illegal abortions performed by quack doctors. Effective medical treatments helped reduce abortion related deaths and the legalization of abortion never played a significant role (and never will) in affecting the numbers of women who died from legal or illegal abortion-related deaths. That women continue to die from so-called "safe, legal" abortions (perhaps in greater numbers than we know) is a clear indication that abortion is unsafe and hurts women - legal or otherwise.
Legalizing Abortion will Reduce Child Abuse
In 1973, when abortion became legal in the United States, there were 167,000 cases of child abuse and neglect reported. Yet in 1980 there were 785,100 cases - an increase of 370% from 1973. Furthermore, in 1987, there were 2,025,200 cases reported, which represents an increase of 1112%. (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect; National Analysis of Official Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting).
Rather than helping stop child abuse, legal abortion has actually contributed to its sharp rise due to the effects abortion has had on women's self-esteem and the ability to deal with stress. Dr. Philip Ney in a widely read study on the connection between abortion and child abuse notes:
Having an Abortion will Help our Relationship by
Removing the Stress of a Pregnancy
Abortions are not Mentally or Emotionally Harmful
Immediately after an abortion, many women report a feeling of relief ... which is what all abortionists want you to hear. What you won't hear of is the guilt and depression that frequently follows. A national poll found that at least 56% of women experience a sense of guilt over their decision, though the pollster himself acknowledged that many women will not even admit having had an abortion.  In fact, a five-year study shows that 25% of women who have had abortions sought out psychiatric care, versus just 3% of women who have not had abortions.  Further, numerous studies reveal that women who have had an abortion experience a high incidence of depression, stress, low self-esteem, suicidal feelings and substance abuse. 
Abortion Surveillance 1985, Center for Disease Control, Table #18.
Induced Abortion: World Review 1983, by Christopher Tietze, The Population Council, p 103
Maternal Mortality Surveillance 1979-1986, Centers for Disease Control, M&M Weekly report July 1991, Vol. 40, No. SS-1.
 John Nolt and Dennis Rohatyn, Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Logic (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1988), 172. in The Problem of Abortion, 2nd ed., ed. Joel Feinberg (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1984), 103.
 See Daniel Callahan, Abortion: Law, Choice, and Morality (New York: Macmillan, 1970), 132-36; and Stephen Krason, Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984), 301-10.
 Bernard Nathanson, M.D., Aborting America (New York: Doubleday, 1979), 193.
 From the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics Center for Disease Control, as cited in Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Wilke, Abortion: Questions and Answers, rev. ed. (Cincinnati: Hayes Publishing, 1988), 101-2.
 From Dr. Hellegers's testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Constitutional Amendments, April 25, 1 1974; cited in John Jefferson Davis, Abortion and the Christian (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1984), 75.
 From the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics Center for Disease Control, as cited in Wilke, 101-2.
 See Davis, 75.
 See note 10; Callahan, 132-36; Krason, 301-10.
 Barbara J. Syska, Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D., and Dennis O'Hare, "An Objective Model for Estimating Criminal Abortions and Its Implications for Public Policy," in New Perspectives on Human Abortion, ed. Thomas Hilgers, M.D., Dennis J. Horan, and David Mall (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1981), 78.
 Mary Calderone, "Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem," in American Journal of Health 50 (July 1960):949.
 George Skelton, "Many in Survey Who Had Abortion Cite Guilt Feelings," Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1989, p. 28.
 "Report on the Committee on the Operation of the Abortion Law," p. 321. Ottawa, 1977.
 Vincent M. Rue, "The Psychological Realities of Induced Abortion," Post-Abortion aftermath: A Comprehensive Consideration, Michael T. Mannion, Editor, Sheed & Ward, 1994, p. 543.