NRL News

A vain attempt to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie

by | Jan 3, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

Anyone who follows knows that while it advertises itself as a non-partisan seeker after truth, its real agenda is to prop up conclusions it agrees with and find some tortuous way to disregard, dismantle, and trivializes conclusions it disagrees with.

Here’s the latest example, as relates to us single-issue pro-lifers : “Was Abortion the ‘Leading Cause of Death’ in 2018?”

You would think that would be a fairly straightforward question. Does abortion account for more deaths in 2018 than other leading cause– heart disease and stroke. But, you would be wrong.

Stick with me on this one. Bethania Palma’s turgid diatribe would be funny were it not emblematic of so many self-described fact-checkers. (Or, as Snopes like to say, “battle against misinformation.”)

Here’s how it proceeds.

Palma’s antenna are raised because Breitbart, a conservative site, was one of the first (if not the first) to discuss the numbers from Worldometers, a real-time tool that bases its figures on the latest statistics on worldwide abortions published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

So Palma writes

According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

However, the most recent figure on abortions from WHO we could locate dated from 2014 and was slightly higher than Worldometers’ tally. WHO estimated that between 2010 and 2014, an average of 56 million induced abortions occurred worldwide each year.

If WHO’s estimate of 56 million abortions annually held steady through 2016, when they released their survey on the top ten leading causes of death globally, it would be true that the number of abortions worldwide outnumbered overall deaths from heart disease and stroke, the top two causes of death that year. In 2016, ischemic heart disease and stroke killed a total of 15.2 million people worldwide, according to WHO, noting that “These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years”:

So abortion is the leading cause of death in 2018, right? Not so fast, Palma writes. The conclusion is problematic on two fronts.

First (and I actually did chuckle when I read this)

We can infer from WHO statistics that the difference between the number of abortions worldwide versus the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke worldwide is not a new dynamic, although viral stories proclaiming that abortions “now” outnumber deaths from those other causes imply that fact is a recent development.

Get it? If some/many/most accounts suggest this “is a recent development” (I have no idea how many did), it is misleading. Really? What if the accounts emphasized that in 2018 abortion continued to be the leading cause of death, would she be happier? Of course not.


Stating that abortion is the “leading cause of death” worldwide (as opposed to a medical procedure) is a problematic pronouncement, because that stance takes a political position, one which is at odds with the scientific/medical world. The medical community does not confer personhood upon fetuses that are not viable outside the womb, so counting abortion as a “cause of death” does not align with the practices of health organizations such as WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as Heather Boonstra, director of public policy for the reproductive health research organization Guttmacher Institute, told us:

Abortion is a legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure in the United States. It’s not considered a cause of death by CDC, WHO and other leading authorities, and statistics on induced abortion are excluded in the CDC’s national fetal-death statistics.

Palma then spins off into areas that have zero to do with abortion being the leading cause of death. By piling on non-sequitur after non-sequitur, clearly Palma hope the reader will forget that (a) this has nothing to do with the topic at hand; and (b) everyone who is not a pro-abortion ideologue understands that abortion equals death.

Indeed, if you go to, you notice two things. They are very careful not to include spontaneous abortions (miscarriages). And they define abortion thusly:

Definition: An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death. {Underlining added.}

Author Shannon Alder put it perfectly: “The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion