Reduce abortion; give to Planned Parenthood

Yes.  Seriously.  If you want less abortions then you should want more people having easy access to contraception– a major mission of Planned Parenthood.  Slate’s Will Saletan spells it out:

What happens when you provide condoms and contraceptive services? Women who don’t want to get pregnant don’t get pregnant. Which means fewer women are in the market for abortions. The abortion business dries up.

That’s what was happening from 1995 to 2003, according to an analysis published two weeks ago in the Lancet. The article, Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide form 1995 to 2008, finds that the global number of abortions fell from 45.6 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003. But by 2008, the number had risen to 43.8 million. On a per capita basis, from 1995 to 2003, the number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age fell from 35 to 29. From 2003 to 2008, the rate hardly moved, from 29 to 28.

Why did the decline stop? Look at the trend data published last year by the United Nations in World Contraceptive Use 2010. From 1995 to 2000, contraceptive prevalence increased worldwide at an annual rate of nearly half a percentage point. From 2000 to 2005, the rate of increase dropped in half. From 2005 to 2009, it stopped altogether. The abortion rate stopped falling when the contraception rate stopped rising.

When you break down the data by region, the pattern becomes even clearer. The Lancetarticle reports:

We found that the proportion of women living under liberal abortion laws is inversely associated with the abortion rate in the subregions of the world. Other studies have found that abortion incidence is inversely associated with the level of contraceptive use, especially where fertility rates are holding steady, and there is a positive correlation between unmet need for contraception and abortion levels…

In other words, if you outlaw abortion and limit contraception, you get more abortions, because more women who don’t want to have babies get pregnant. And when women who don’t want to have babies get pregnant, they find ways to get abortions, whether you like it or not. The way to get fewer abortions is to provide contraception—and to teach people to use it diligently, which is a moral project, not just a technical one. That way, fewer women who don’t want to have babies get pregnant. And the abortion rate goes down.

Apparently, the evil morons at Planned Parenthood haven’t figured this out. They’re trying to flood the world with contraceptives. If they succeed, they’re going to shrink global demand for abortions. They’re killing their own abortion business.

Why not help them?

Personally, I’d really like to see fewer abortions.  It just seems to me that the evidence is pretty overwhelming that the way to do this is not an ineffective moral condemnation of abortion and the attempt to make abortion harder to legally obtain for pregnant women, but rather to ensure that there are far fewer women with unwanted pregnancies.    There seem to be some in the pro-life movement who realize this, but not many.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Reduce abortion; give to Planned Parenthood

  1. bryncomeuax says:

    i agree and so do alot of other people but there need to be better demonstration of the data. when you say inverse proportion nobody knbows what direction you mean cause there not in college right now.
    with conrtaception people have more sex since its not perfect theres more pregnancy and abortion. however if contraception was perfect this would not be true.
    without contraception theres more unplanned pregnancy and std’s
    without sex violent crime and depresion mental illness probably goes up
    but theres no graph with absolute facts to show all of his even though there could be. since theres certainly enough data to show it.
    the bottom line is people have a right and a need to have sex married or not they also have a right and a need to birthcontroll
    if thye are paying for insurance they have a right to vote for people to require birth controll to be made availa ble. im sorry taking the whol box of pills can cause an abortion but the reality is that it prevents contraception and does not cause abortion. but the right want to argue this rather that get the facts. regardless they dont seem to care about kids and families as much as they do about wether they are the ones paying for someone elses sex life. that seems to be the bottom line when i talk to people. an bout. this they dont like having to be the ones who paid for an abortion or for condoms its more important that how much of a problem it is.

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