a) It is certain that the number of clandestine abortions has been inflated precisely to instill fear and to change the law. How do we know that?
- By the declarations made by doctors who have performed abortions. Bernard Nathanson, for example, estimates that the number of clandestine abortions in the USA has been considerably exaggerated.
- By noting the effect of the law on the birthrate, which usually falls after legalized abortion legislation.
b) The French experience -- alongside that of other countries in which abortion had been liberalized -- shows that the Veil-Pelletier law did not make clandestine abortions disappear (discreetly described as "non-census" births.) According to some estimates, clandestine abortions would be almost as numerous as those "official" abortions included in the count. All of which is to say that their number has not decreased.
Establishing an abortion mentality inevitably incites women to have them performed for motives which are not anticipated by the law, and thus are performed clandestinely and "under bad conditions." That is easily understood: Since in a democracy to forbid something without imposing a sanction makes no sense, decriminalizing abortion inevitably contributes toward creating an abortion mentality which multiplies abortions both legal and clandestine. In this way, the Soviet Union has at times had more abortions than births.