CBS Falsely Equates Abortion Bans with High Maternal Mortality Rates

News & Politics

On Wednesday night’s CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell and correspondent Elise Preston decided to tie pro-life laws in Republican states with higher maternal mortality rates despite providing no evidence or explanation for how the two are tied together. 

O’Donnell kicked off the dishonest segment by randomly bringing up abortion restrictions. “Despite spending more on health care than any other country, America continues to have the highest maternal mortality rate compared to other wealthy nations. Now new abortion bans are limiting women’s healthcare options even more,” O’Donnell cried.

She never explained how the two are related, but that wasn’t the point. The goal was to put the idea in viewers’ heads. 

Picking up where O’Donnell left off, Preston talked to a man who lost his wife while she was in labor (click expand to read): 

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ELISE PRESTON: Charles Johnson is trying to fill the void for his two sons, but the loss of their mother, Kira, in 2016, is too deep. 

JOHNSON: Kira was rocked when I see these boys and how amazing they are, it’s bittersweet. 

PRESTON: It was supposed to be a routine c-section. 

JOHNSON: The doors to the operating room opened, and they closed behind Kira and that’s the last time I saw her alive. 

PRESTON: In the U.S., at least 3,000 mothers have died during childbirth since 2016. 12 of the states that have the most restrictive abortion laws also have maternal mortality rates above the national average. Nationwide, black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy. 

Preston never explained how exactly Johnson’s wife died, nor did she explain how abortion bans contributed to her death. 

She then interviewed an abortionist who runs an organization called Physicians for Reproductive Health, which is a leftist term for abortion (click expand to read): 

DOCTOR JAMILA PERRITT (CEO, PHYSICIANS FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH): I’m as terrified as the people I take care of. Survival beyond pregnancy is the least of what we deserve. 

PRESTON: OB/GYN doctor Jamila Perritt says the blame goes beyond women simply having access to quality care. How do we get to black women dying at a rate three to four times? 

PERRITT: We didn’t get here overnight. I’ll tell you that. There’s lots of evidence, lots of research that shows black women are treated differently when we see seek care. We’re not listened to in the same way. We’re given a different level of care, a lesser level of care. 

This segment was purposefully vague in order to scare viewers into believing abortion bans lead to increased maternal mortality rates. This is despite the fact that as previously reported here at NewsBusters, there isn’t one state in the United States that prevents a woman from receiving an abortion if her life is at risk. 

This deceptive segment from CBS was made possible by TD Ameritrade. Their information is linked so you can let them know about the biased news they fund. 

To read the transcript of this segment click “expand”: 

CBS Evening News
August 17, 2022
6:48:41 p.m. Eastern 

NORAH O’DONNELL: Despite spending more on health care than any other country, America continues to have the highest maternal mortality rate compared to other wealthy nations. Now new abortion bans are limiting women’s healthcare options even more. CBS’s Elise Preston goes in-depth to look at the problem and possible solutions. 

CHARLES JOHNSON: I got you! 

ELISE PRESTON: Charles Johnson is trying to fill the void for his two sons, but the loss of their mother, Kira, in 2016, is too deep. 

JOHNSON: Kira was rocked when I see these boys and how amazing they are, it’s bittersweet. 

PRESTON: It was supposed to be a routine c-section. 

JOHNSON: The doors to the operating room opened, and they closed behind Kira and that’s the last time I saw her alive. 

PRESTON: In the U.S., at least 3,000 mothers have died during childbirth since 2016. 12 of the states that have the most restrictive abortion laws also have maternal mortality rates above the national average. Nationwide, black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy. 

DOCTOR JAMILA PERRITT (CEO, PHYSICIANS FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH): I’m as terrified as the people I take care of. Survival beyond pregnancy is the least of what we deserve. 

PRESTON: OB/GYN doctor Jamila Perritt says the blame goes beyond women simply having access to quality care. How do we get to black women dying at a rate three to four times? 

PERRITT: We didn’t get here overnight. I’ll tell you that. There’s lots of evidence, lots of research that shows black women are treated differently when we see seek care. We’re not listened to in the same way. We’re given a different level of care, a lesser level of care. 

[…]

PRESTON: Johnson is now sharing his wife’s story to help other vulnerable mothers. 

JOHNSON: Every time I share my experience it’s extremely painful. It’s literally the worst thing that’s ever happened. But my hope is that by telling the story, it will help prevent what happened to our family from happening to other families. 

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