Planned Parenthood has long claimed that legal abortion promotes maternal health. But a report published in Ireland in December contradicts that notion. The report, entitled Ireland’s Gain, published December 15 by the Pension And Population Research Institute (PAPRI) of London, shows positive women’s health trends, and positive population trends, while Ireland’s restrictive abortion law has been enforced over 40 years.

The study compares the populations living in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland with those in Scotland and England (where abortion laws are much more permissive), and examines women’s health indicators and trends between 1969-2009.

The report examines numerous women’s health factors, including fertility, premature birth rates, stillbirth rates, mental health resource usage, medication usage for mental health, breast cancer rates, and immunological disorders.

Among other health factors, the report looked at maternal mortality. Maternal death rates per 100,000 live births are significantly higher in the English/Welsh populations and Scottish populations (10/100,000 in England/Wales, and 10-12/100,000 in Scotland) compared to the Irish population (1-2/100,000 live births in the Irish Republic).

(The report is available here on the website of the Pension and Population Research Institute under “Published Papers.”)