Skip to comments.Homicide the No. 1 cause of death for pregnant women
Posted on 02/23/2005 1:22:49 PM PST by LibertyJihad
The killing of a pregnant woman is horrifying enough. But the murders of Lisa Underwood, who was carrying a baby, and her 7-year-old son underscore a problem largely unknown to the public: Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.
"What pregnant women do not know is that instead of facing joyful celebration at the announcement of pregnancy, too many face violence and death," said American College of Nurse-Midwives Executive Director Deanne Williams, in a 2003 report on maternal homicides.
"When we think of all the other things that cause women to die during pregnancy, such as infection or hemorrhaging, the fact that homicide far outweighs those things tells you it's a significant problem," said Phyllis Sharps, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University's school of nursing who researches violence against women.
Many women who are pregnant or have just delivered a baby and are fleeing an abusive partner find their way to The Family Place in Dallas, a domestic violence shelter, said Executive Director Paige Flink. "Where we think it's a time where women should be revered and taken care of, these men think it's taking the focus off of them," Ms. Flink said. "Sometimes it's a question of jealousy or paternity."
Two studies published in recent years have shed light on the problem of maternal homicides: A 2003 study in the American College of Nurse-Midwives' Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health identified homicide as the leading cause of death among pregnant women. That conclusion also was reached in a study published in 2001 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In January, after studying death records across the country, The Washington Post reported that 1,367 pregnant women and new mothers had been murdered since 1990.
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
The article states that 1,367 pregnant women and new mothers had been murdered since 1990. This equates to approximately 97 pregnant women murdered per year.
According to FBI statistics, approximately 1,966 females between the ages of 13 and 44 were murdered in 2000. If they were murdered on a random basis, we could expect 189 of the victims to be pregnant because 9.6 percent of all American women between the ages of 14 and 44 were pregnant in 2000 (assuming 5.04 million pregnant women from a pool of 52.3 million women between the ages of 14 and 44).
Not only do these numbers refute the implication that pregnant women face a greater risk of being murdered, they suggest that pregnancy provides some protection from murder.
It doesn't surprise me. My Dh and I were talking about this last night and he said it seems more and more men are being taught that if instigated violence is ok and they actually come to believe it, and than a few of these men actually commit this violence against women. Sick, just sick!
The really important question is, how many of these pregnant women were married? And how many shacking up with "boyfriends?" In the Domestic Violence Industry, all men are abusers but some reliable statistics reveal that the greatest percentage by far of abused/battered/and (probably) murdered women, preggers or otherwise, were single, not married.
The Heritage Foundation stated unequivocally that the women least likely to be harmed by men are married women. You'll never read about that in the liberal MSM.
The story doesn't say that more pregnant women are murdered than non-pregnant women, it says that among pregnant women who die, murder is the number one cause of death (as opposed to illness or pregnancy-related problems.) And that makes sense, sad and sick as it is, because women run a higher statistical risk of being murdered at home by a boyfriend or spouse than men do, and that carries over into pregnant women.
This seems awfully thin.
The abstract of the study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Family Medicine Women's Health notes that the authors "discovered thirteen homicides of pregnant women" and that "These thirteen unreported deaths account for 38 percent of pregnancy-associated deaths" in Washington DC.
So, they leave aside deaths not associated with pregnancy - for instance accidents and then we have a sample of 38 deaths during pregnancy and of this sample, 13 were due to murder. "Small sample size" is simply screaming from this study.
Please note also that the sample is drawn from Washington DC - a city with a very high murder rate.
...and John Kerry voted against "Laci's Law" which helps protect pregnant women and their unborn children, also making it 2 crimes against the offender when it's assault or worse. I guess he had another "plan" to deal with these crimes.
Good sleuthing. If the number one cause of death among pregnant women is murder, why is that? Most pregnant women aren't going to be going hungry, most aren't on drugs, most aren't driving as much etc etc. (Women already have fewer car accidents than men) It makes total sense that, since pregnant women are more risk averse and healthy , they aren't likely to die anyway; and it thus makes sense that when they are dying it's from murder.
Naturally , the feminists in academia want to continue their dialectic just a little while longer... at tax payer expense, no less.
I recall reading an article about this exact same thing and the exact same statistics a few months ago.
Recyling old lies?
Sounds like desperation on the part of the Pro-abortion crowd to try to 'scare' women out of motherhood.
So they are telling us that no other cause of death is anywhere near 100 per year. I am kind of surprised considering the millions of children born each year.
The reason that I'm dubious...how does accidental death figure in the causes of death among pregnant women? Does murder really outstrip car accidents as a cause of death of pregnant women...or have they factored that out?
No, it does not appear that pregnancy is a factor in murder. If anything, being pregnant protects against murder because the pregant woman is more likely to be married and at home instead of hanging around bars, clubs, and the streets (on the average).
Murder is bad all-around, but it does not disproportionately affect pregnant women. It does disproportionately affect males, but you won't see front page stories raising the alarm. There is no story here except for the hysterical rantings of feminists groups who want to create a new epidemic.
And the unspoken conclusion? "Therefore we need to keep abortion legal so we can protect these innocent women from homicidal men."
"So they are telling us that no other cause of death is anywhere near 100 per year. I am kind of surprised considering the millions of children born each year."
Homicide would not be the leading cause of death if the categories were defined differently. If different (but related) health disorders wre combined, they would by far be the leading cause. More smoke and mirrors from the feminists.
At what point did it become liberal or feminist to recognize that some pregnant women are murdered and to think that this is is wrong and should be prevented if at all possible? When Laci Petersen and her unborn child were murdered, conservatives were saddened but glad to see that at least people acknowledged that the baby's death was a murder, too. Now you're talking as though a pregnant women who is murdered is asking for it if she's unmarried (and what about someone like Laci who was married?) or that only a liberal would find it disturbing. I understand that it's not a huge epidemic, but if it's happening, it's happening and that's tragic.
And what's this about trying to scare women out of having children? Perhaps this has the opposite effect--it highlights that killing a pregnant woman is actually two murders and that motherhood is special and should be protected.
This has the unmistakable odor of feminist claptrap.
"No, it does not appear that pregnancy is a factor in murder. If anything, being pregnant protects against murder because the pregant woman is more likely to be married and at home instead of hanging around bars, clubs, and the streets (on the average)."
That's not what I said, nor is it what the article said. The article said that for pregnant women who die, murder is the number one cause, not illness or accidents. The article wasn't comparing murder rates between pregnant women, non-pregnant women, and men. It was only looking at pregnant women who die.
The statistics in the story smell funny. Looking at some government stats, accidents account for well over twice as many deaths as homicides for the 15-45 age group. The largest subcategory of these is motor vehicle accidents, which are more than 10 per 100,000 population more than all homicides.
One quibble with your analysis, it should be 141 victims expected to be pregnant because each is pregnant for only three quarters of the year.
I think the main problem with the story is that it tries to magnify the threat based on "protected status". Murder is bad for everyone not just pregnant women (who in fact are murdered less than non-pregnant women). It reminds me of the headline "Hurricane Slams Florida Coast: Women and Blacks Suffer".
We as a culture have removed barriers which have stood for thousands of years, forgetting why they were there in the first place.
Ok, if your point is that by focusing on pregnant women the article implies that pregnant women are more important than others or implies that the risk is bigger than it is, I see your point. I think motherhood is special and that the murder of a pregnant woman should be treated as a double murder, but I see your point. But what you said before seemed to miss the point of the article--the article looked only at pregnant women and never compared murder rates for pregnant v. non-pregnant women, yet you started talking about how being pregnant doesn't make you more likely to be murdered than a non-pregnant woman.
The article implied that homicide is the no. 1 killer of pregnant women because men are killing their pregnant girlfriends/wifes. That is false and the numbers do not support such false implications.
Look at these quotes from the article, and tell me if they don't imply that pregnant women face a higher risk of violence a the hands of their mates?
"An infant needs a lot more care, attention and time," he said. "Some men don't like that, and are threatened by children and even fetuses. So we see an escalation of violence during pregnancy."
"Where we think it's a time where women should be revered and taken care of, these men think it's taking the focus off of them," Ms. Flink said. "Sometimes it's a question of jealousy or paternity."
So you're saying that the statement:
"What pregnant women do not know is that instead of facing joyful celebration at the announcement of pregnancy, too many face violence and death,"
Is not trying to scare women out of becoming pregnant?
OK, so the media repeats feminist claptrap. I already knew that. The media ran with the "Superbowl" hoax, the "more women murdered in the US than soldiers killed in Vietnam" hoax, the "domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women" hoax, the "March of Dimes" hoax, the "1-in-4 college women raped" hoax, and countless others.
The feminists think these headlines up, and the media blow them at us until "everybody knows" they're true. Except they aren't true; it's all feminist claptrap.
"Homicide the No. 1 cause of death for pregnant women"
Woman Charged With Cutting Off Boyfriend's Penis (and flushing it)
"One quibble with your analysis, it should be 141 victims expected to be pregnant because each is pregnant for only three quarters of the year."
The National Center for Health Statistics recorded approximately 4.04 million live births in 2000 for women between 14 and 44, so all of these women were pregnant during 2000. Approximately 1 million women between the ages 14 and 44 who were pregnant in 2000 didn't give birth until the first three months of 2001. This brings my total to 5.04 million pregnant women in 2000.
(My count is incredibly conservative because I don't include the 1 million fetal losses in 2000miscarriages from eight weeks forwardor the 1.3 million abortions estimated by the center. Some of these women could have aborted, miscarried, and given birthor any combination of twoin the same year and ended up being counted a couple of times. For the purposes of streamlining my argument, I deliberately ignored the minuscule number of women who had two successful pregnancies in 15 months in 2000.)
Its hogwash, both studies eliminate any cause of death that is not deemed "pregnancy related" including accidents and illnesses not associated with prganancy but arbitrarily decide to classify murder as "pregnancy related". Easy to come to this kind of conclusion if you care to follow the authors' taste for data manipulation.
Agreed. This article is bull. What it fails to mention is the number one cause of murder of unborn babies is women..and "doctors."
The shamelessness of the world is staggering. What kind of evil concocts lies like that? What kind of fools believe it?
According to the article (and I have no idea if it's numbers are right or not but for the sake of argument let's assume so) the number one reason for death among pregnant women who die is murder. If a higher number of those murders come at the hands of a boyfriend/spouse than someone else, then yes, pregnant women do face a higher risk of being murdered by a boyfriend/spouse than of dying by other means. That doesn't mean pregnant women face a higher risk than any other type of person or that all (or even a large number) of pregnant women face that risk. But some do, and it may well be that more pregnant women die under that risk than do under the risk of infection, illness, etc. during pregnancy.
I never said that these numbers could or should be used to support some crusade against men or that it means all (or even many) men are abusers. But some are, and sometimes two people die as a result. I know that the feminists like to use these numbers to attack men, but that doesn't mean the numbers themselves are anti-male. In fact, as we saw during the Laci Petersen case, when a pregnant women is murdered some people become more willing to see the unborn child as a human with a right to live, so the numbers about murder of pregnant women could be used to support a decidely un-feminist cause.
Ahh, that does change things. I didn't realize that they didn't include accidental death in the numbers. I guess that proves the point that you can make statistics say anything.
However, I still think that instead of having a kneejerk "this is crap" response and assuming that any mention of a man killing a woman is propaganda, we should look for ways to refocus the debate to address the fact that when a pregnant woman is murdered by anybody, including another woman, it is a double murder. Obviously the feminists don't like this because it opens the door to saying abortion is murder.
I agree with the substance of your post, but I'm still left asking "why did the newspaper run this story?" What was the purpose other than to advance an anti-male agenda?
Out of 5.04 million pregnant women per year, 97 are murdered. Thats 1.92 murders per 100,000, far less than the national average. Printing "Homicide is no. 1 killer of pregnant women" along with anectdotal stories of men hurting/killing pregnant mates, does nothing but create the misperception that lots of men are killing lots of pregnant women. That is misleading and thus, the story is bad journalism with an agenda.
I don't view reports of domestic violence or reports of the murder of pregnant women as propaganda - but I view these two papers as being slipshod.
I do however agree that revulsion at the murder of a pregnant women and her foetus *does* do quite a lot to raise the view in peoples' minds of unborn children as human beings and thus makes things difficult for those who would gladly view any infant as not a human being until he exits the womb.
Ok, I was viewing that as a different issue. I thought we were talking about the numbers themselves, but you're right if we shift to looking at the motives of the writer and paper. I just misunderstood what you were reacting to--I thought you were calling the numbers themselves liberal concoctions (although I didn't realize that the study ignored other causes of death for pregnant women, which does call the numbers themselves into question. Car accidents are probably a higher cause of death among pregnant women than murder.)
And it makes as much sense that sex is the main cause of pregnancy, therefore it was sex that caused the murder. Or, not really....
Stats are for fools needing encouragement and for the government to spend more money.
Good response. You may just survive!! LOL
Freepers know their stuff!
Good work, but this is one of those stories that doesn't get through the first filter for me. Odd statistical claims provided by people with an agenda (e.g. researcher of violence against women) usually means such a lack of credibility as to make further inquiry a waste of time. "Heterosexual women fastest growing category of new AIDS cases." "20% of all children in America going hungry." "One in three persons homosexual."
"60% of all WalMart shoppers overweight" is a statistic I'd probably swallow because (a) it comports with my own observations and (b) no one is going to follow up with a demand for my money or sympathy.
This comment by itself is enough to disqualify the entire article and associated "research" as liberal claptrap.
This has the same smell.
"Some" women? Who said it was liberal or feminist to recognize that "some" women are murdered? It certainly wasn't me.
The point I was making was that simply because the number one cause of death among pregnant women is murder doesn't mean that pregnant women are being targeted. The statistics show that most Pregnant aren't getting murdered and are being murdered at a lesser rate than non-pregnant women. All that the data cited in the article shows is that pregnant women, if they should die, probably have been murdered. As I've already stated, when you look at the average pregnant woman's lifestyle, you see there is little reason for them to die unexpectedly in the first place : they are well nourished, generally well cared for (they tend tto see the doctor frequently) and they are risk averse. It's little wonder that when they do die that it was due to, more often than any other particular cause, a homicide. WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT ARE USUALLY HEALTHY. THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR A PREGNANT WOMAN TO DIE. THEY ARE GENERALLY BETWEEN THE AGES OF 25 -35. THIS IS NOT AN AGE DURING WHICH A WOMAN GENERALLY DIES.
Lots of bad things happen, and they are, more often than not, tragic, disturbing etc. etc. But that doesn't mean they are statistically alarming and should be treated as an epidemic.
you nailed it.
Just a wild-assed guess, but I imagine that, at one time, pregnancy and childbirth complications were the number one killers of pregnant women. Homicide was probably a distant second, but still there.
Medical advances removed pregnancy and childbirth complications to a sufficient extent that homicide rose to first place.
Am I right?
Along the same lines:
In past decades, enemy fire and disease were the overwhelming causes of wartime deaths of U.S. soldiers. Friendly fire was a more remote cause of death.
By Gulf War I, enemy fire and disease were, to a significant extent, removed as causes of deaths of U.S. soldiers. Thus the headlines: FRIENDLY FIRE PRIMARY CAUSE OF DEATHS OF U.S. SOLDIERS!
Domestic Violence Industry ?
Negating, cynical and misogynistic comment.
Ding, ding, ding; yes you are correct.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported two years ago that homicide is the number one cause of death of pregnant women in America.