The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reports more statistical distortions in activist literature favoring the legalization of abortion.
Various international organizations have claimed that over half a million women die from pregnancy complications each year. Organizations like the World Health Organization, the UN Children's Fund(UNICEF) and the UN Population Fund have used the figure as a justification for legalizing abortion. However, with the figure's accuracy found to be doubtful, that real motivation for the push to legalize abortion worldwide has come under criticism.
The former head of the UN statistics office, Dr. Joseph Chamie, said the numbers and causes of global maternal deaths cannot be confirmed. Most countries around the world do not report deaths at all, many do not report the sex of the deceased, and few report the cause of death.
The World Health Organization has admitted in a recent communiqué that close to two-thirds of deaths go unreported in the national statistics of most developing countries. Only 31 of the 193 states have reliable cause-of-death statistics. The UN Population Division's report "The World's Women 2005: Progress in Statistics" itself said "more than a third of the 204 countries or areas examined did not report deaths by cause, sex and age even once." It continued: “even where the deaths are derived from a civil registration with complete coverage, maternal deaths may be missed or not correctly identified, thus compromising the reliability of such statistics.”
The Women Deliver conference in London recently used the maternal deaths figure of 500,000 in its call for universal abortion on demand. One conference delegate critical of its actions said other changes were necessary:
“With all this evidence that the number of maternal deaths and deaths from abortion is impossible to know, it is egregious that WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and others build policy prescriptions - especially the highly controversial promotion of abortion rights - on virtually no data. Instead, “attention should be placed upon building good health care systems that not only provide decent care but provide registries of births and deaths so that sound policy to address maternal mortality can be made," the delegate said.