Doctor's 1974 Testimony Shows Just How Dangerous It Is When Abortion Is Illegal

"I have seen women die from illegal abortions; many women die."

Over 40 years after it was given, one doctor's Congressional testimony offers a chilling reminder of how fatal restricted abortion access can be. 

Fusion editor Taryn Hillin recently unearthed a 1974 testimony from a congressional hearing on the possibility of adding a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment would have essentially reversed the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling protecthing a woman's right to choose, instead valuing a fetus over a woman's health and safety. Thankfully, the amendment never passed. 

Dr. Michael Levi, an OBGYN and a former attending physician at Harlem Hospital, gave a harrowing first-hand account of what happens when a woman's right to choose is taken away.

Below is an excerpt:

"Prior to the liberalization of the New York abortion law, I have seen women die from illegal abortions; many women die," Levi said during his testimony, adding later that "19,830,000 women each year will suffer death and complications because of illegal abortions" worldwide. 

Currently, 47,000 women die every year around the world due to unsafe abortions with millions more seriously injured. Almost all of these deaths and injuries are preventable if women had safe and legal access to abortion.  

Towards the end of his testimony, Levi once again explained how important legal abortions are to the safety and well-being of women. 

“I am committed to legalized abortion -- morally, professionally and humanly because of the experiences before legal abortion and after liberalization of the laws," he said. "Legalization [of abortion] means safety, not permissiveness; education, not ignorance; dignity, not shame."

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