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Male GOP Expert on Woman's Bodies Says No Woman Dies in Childbirth -- He's Dead Wrong

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) told reporters that an abortion exception is never necessary to save a woman’s life.
 
 
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On Thursday, after his debate against Demcorat Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)  told reporters that an abortion exception is never necessary to save a woman’s life,  explaining, “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a woman dying from childbirth. Walsh claimed pro-choice advocates simply used the prospect of maternal death “to make us look unreasonable.”

Walsh went on to assert that women whose health would be jeopardized if they carry their fetus to term are simply using the exception as a “tool” to get an abortion for “any reason.”

With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance…There’s no such exception as life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing,  with advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions anytime under any reason.

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In fact, pregnancy-related deaths  have increased in the US, climbing to a rate of 15.1 deaths for every 100,00 live births. Walsh’s own colleague, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA),  spoke on the House floor in 2011 about getting an abortion because her life was in jeopardy.

By pretending these women don’t exist, Walsh joins the ranks of his other colleague, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who ignited a firestorm over his opposition to a rape exception because “if  it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Aviva Shen is Associate Editor of ThinkProgress. Before joining CAP, Aviva interned and wrote for Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, and New York Magazine. She also worked for the Slate Political Gabfest, a weekly politics podcast from Slate Magazine.

 
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