Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Study: Abortion rates continue to fall thanks to contraception

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Birth control

It’s long been known among rational folks that the single best way to lower abortion rates is to grant easy access to birth control. Contra anti-abortionists’ claims, no-one in the pro-choice camp pretends that abortions are awesome and that women should get them willy-nilly (hence why the label “pro-abortion” is so blatantly wrong). Pregnancy termination is a ghastly, invasive and emotionally taxing experience, which is precisely why birth control is so important, as it allows everyone to avoid the whole messy affair altogether, at least until they’re ready.

And now, a new government study reflects this obvious reality:

The report from the National Center for Health Statistics stated that in 2008, the pregnancy rate for the 20 to 24 age group was 163 per 1,000 women. By comparison, in 1990 that demographic had a pregnancy rate of 198.5 per 1,000, which was nearly 18 percent higher than in 2008.

Pregnancy rates for women between the ages of 25 and 29 fell a more modest 6 percent during the same time period, to 167.9 per 1,000, according to statistics in the report.

The abortion rate also declined among women in their early 20s, to 38.4 per 1,000 women in 2008 from 56.7 per 1,000 in 1990, the report said. That represented a drop of 32 percent.

The article goes on to quote more statistics showing how teen and unwanted pregnancy rates – and pregnancy terminations – are on the downward slide all around the world, and have been for decades. And allowing both men and women to obtain and use proper reproductive protections is the direct cause.

Meanwhile, one can only wonder how all those anti-choice activists can cling to the mantle of “pro-life” despite simultaneously trying to ban abortions while restricting the options that allow women to have fewer unwanted pregnancies in the first place. A harsher critic might blame it on malice, but the reality is that they’re simply too delusional to realize that taking away people’s options never stops the unwanted behavior – it simply pushes people into desperation, which can only lead to even worse results.

(via ThinkProgress)