14 October 2009

Study: when abortions are outlawed, only outlaws get abortions

The Guttmacher Institute has released a study that shows what most women already know anyway: when abortions are outlawed, only outlaws will get abortions:
The Guttmacher Institute's survey found abortion occurs at roughly equal rates in regions where it is legal and regions where it is highly restricted.

It did note that improved access to contraception had cut the overall abortion rate over the last decade.

But unsafe abortions, primarily illegal, have remained almost static.
In other words, banning abortions doesn't make the abortion rate go down. It only makes the safe abortion rate go down. It drives women to get illegal, dangerous abortions, either self-induced or performed by unlicensed practitioners using abortifacient toxins, such as "pouches containing arsenic" -- I like the phrase poison pessary myself. These practices lead to hospitalizations, lifelong disability, future infertility, and early death. When such a woman seeks an abortion because she already has children at home, then now we're talking motherless children, to the tune of 70,000 dead mothers globally every year.

On the other hand, when women are educated about contraception and can obtain it, the rate of unwanted pregnancies goes down -- which means fewer abortions, whether safe or unsafe, legal or illegal.

Because about 1/3 of all American women will have at least 1 abortion during their childbearing years, you know a woman who's had an abortion, whether she's told you or not. Women will seek abortions whether they are safe, legal, and fully paid by insurance, or whether they have to get them under less feminist circumstances. If you care about women, mothers, and children, then you care about their access to safe, legal abortion.

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