Just after last year’s UN child summit, David Hansen, a political advisor in Norway’s Department of International Aid, admitted that the term “reproductive rights” in UN documents includes “safe” abortions. He added that it is important for Norway to emphasize nations who allow abortion are responsible to do it in a proper way.

Later, Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, minister of culture and church and the leader of the supposedly pro-life Christian People’s Party (Kristelig Folkeparti or KrF), followed up, saying, “Each year 800,000 women die in developing countries because abortions are not performed in a medically proper way. Is it ethically right to cut ourselves off the possibility to help these women? Then the consequence can be two murders and not one.”

According to Jostein Sandsmark, a reporter for Dagen, the 800,000 figure is 130 times higher than that estimated by the American Life League and 11.5 times higher than even the United Nations Population Fund figures. Sandsmark said that the policy of the KrF is that abortion is not acceptable for Norway, but in the countries where it is legal, it should be “safe.”

When the minister was asked about the high figure, Sandsmark said she responded, “I got the figure 800,000 from our Department of International Aid. I have no reason to doubt it.” After being confronted with the disparity between her figures and other sources, Sandmark reported Haugland became confused and started an investigation to find out why her information was so grossly inaccurate.

“I have to check it out before I can give any further commentary,” she stated.

Pro-lifers in other countries consulted by Sandsmark found nothing surprising. This politician is grossly misinformed, comments Doug Sylva, director of research at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in New York.

Hillary White, director of research for Campaign Life Coalition in Toronto, compares the Norwegian figure with the pro-abortion lie in the U.S. that before Roe v. Wade, “hundreds of thousands” of women died each year from backstreet abortions.

“The Norwegian number is, by the way, the biggest number claim I have seen so far. It is very likely not just an exaggerated statistic, but an outright lie.”

Sandsmark says that Dagen newspaper will be awaiting the minister’s further clarification.