Duh of the Day: Criminalizing Abortion Makes No Difference

Except, of course, to make the same number of abortions less safe for the women who get them.

After eight years of research tracing abortion trends, a Guttmacher Institute and World Health Organization study has found that "women are just as likely to get an abortion in countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal."

In a study examining abortion trends from 1995 to 2003, experts also found that abortion rates are virtually equal in rich and poor countries, and that half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe.

…"The legal status of abortion has never dissuaded women and couples, who, for whatever reason, seek to end pregnancy," Beth Fredrick of the International Women's Health Coalition in the U.S. said in an accompanying commentary.
Given that the findings also include that the vast majority of abortions take place in the developing world and that almost 97 percent of all unsafe abortions take place in poor countries, one might reasonably conclude, as pro-choice advocates (and the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization and the International Women's Health Coaltion et al) have been saying for years, that poverty and lack of access to proper healthcare are the most frequently responsible factors underlying the decision to seek abortions.

As I've mentioned before, "Can't afford a baby now" is cited by 73% of women in the US as their reason for seeking an abortion.

In the qualitative sample, of women who stated that they could not afford to have a child now, the majority had children already. Financial difficulties included the absence of support from the father of either the current pregnancy or the woman’s other children, anticipating not being able to continue working or to find work while pregnant or caring for a newborn, not having the resources to support a child whose conception was not planned and lacking health insurance.
Additionally, about one-fourth of participants in the qualitative sample cited her own health or possible health problems with the fetus as reasons for the abortion, citing concerns including "a lack of prenatal care."

Anti-choicers can continue barking their "perfect world" bullshit sanctimony about how no woman who can't have a baby should ever get pregnant, but that just isn't going to happen—and even if it did, it still wouldn't stop circumstances from changing; anti-choicers may have noticed their god likes to play a little trick sometimes in which he snatches Daddy to heaven before Baby's even born, for example.

This new study concludes that one in five pregnancies ends in abortion worldwide, and that every year around 70,000 women die and 5 million more are injured, some permanently, from unsafe abortions. We know that access to birth control, access to proper healthcare, access to proper nutrition, and reduced poverty are the best methods for reducing abortion. Anyone who looks at those numbers—one in five, seventy thousand, five million, every year—and still refuses to endorse anything but some abstinence-only, criminalized abortion, get-what-you-deserve bullshit has absolutely no damn business calling him/herself "pro-life." End of story.

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