Monday, September 26, 2011

Educating Bryan Fischer

For a group that claims to be "pro-life" and "pro-family," the American Family Association and its representative Bryan Fischer sure don't seem to know much of anything about pregnancy. Listen to Fischer talk to Brad Pruitt, Executive Director of Yeson26, and see if your jaw doesn't just hit the floor in surprise:

That's right. According to Fischer, pregnancies that endanger the life of the mother are so rare that they practically never happen and have "virtually" never been written about in the medical literature.

Now let's look at a reality-based perspective courtesy of the American Pregnancy Association. Here are the pregnancy statistics for the United States:

 4,058,000 live births per year
 1,995,840 losses per year
~6,000,000 pregnancies per year

That's already bad news if you're unborn. You only have about a 66% chance of being born.

Now based on this, let's look at the kinds of losses:

64,000 - ectopic pregnancies
 6,000 - molar pregnancies (GTD or uterine cancer)

That's just about 1.2% of all pregnancies in the U.S. that can endanger the mother's life if not treated. The chances of saving the fertilized egg is so small and the risk of waiting can be so great that it's not feasible to even try to save it in most cases.

  26,000 - stillbirth.
600,000 - miscarriage

These can happen for a variety of reasons and many of them do not present a significant risk to the mother. However, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation, 18% of U.S. maternal deaths are caused by preeclampsia, eclampsia, HELLP Syndrome (which I have had), and other hypertensive issues. Many times women can get care soon enough to survive and deliver a healthy baby but, many times, they simply can't.

"875,000 women experience one or more pregnancy complications." Certainly not all of these are dangerous, much less fatal, but Fischer acts like this stuff doesn't happen at all. He seems to think that pregnancy is all roses for women.

Let's look at some world statistics from WHO:

     1500 - number of women who die every DAY from childbirth worldwide
536,000 - number of maternal deaths in 2005 in developing countries that were avoidable.

Four major killers of mothers:

1. Severe bleeding (usually postpartum)
2. Infections (usually postpartum)
3. Hyptertensive disorders
4. Obstructed labor

For Bryan Fischer to say that women almost never die in childbirth and that there is "virtually" no record of such in the medical literature either reflects the grossest ignorance possible or is a flat-out lie. Since he claims to have done the research before he states this, I think it's likely that he's just lying.

Something does indeed smell fishy, Mr. Fischer, but it isn't a red herring. It's you.