Young Democrats of Harford County

For Democrats of all ages and other like-minded folks in Harford County, Maryland.

“Abortion rates same whether legal or not”

Posted by Annie on November 1, 2007

Ah, abortion.  Whether you consider yourself pro-choice, pro-life, anti-choice, or pro-privacy, this article makes a fascinating point that is worth considering in the abortion debate. 

“Abortion rates same whether legal or not”

“Women are just as likely to get an abortion in countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal, according to research published Friday.  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.”

A study done by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization shows that making abortion illegal DOES NOT reduce the number of abortions that take place in a country.  It does however increase the number of unsafe abortions that jeopardize women’s lives.  70,000 women worldwide die every year from unsafe abortions and 5 million are injured, some permanently.  What does reduce the number of abortions?  Increased availability of birth control.  So if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, it wouldn’t make much of a dent in the number of abortions in this country, but it would increase the number of women dying or getting hurt.

And in my opinion, if you consider yourself “pro-life,” you should also be opposed to the death penalty and supportive of universal health care, Social Security, and a living wage.  It seems that many people who are pro-life are opposed to these ideas that would help support a person throughout his or her life.  It’s as if once a child is born, the “pro-life” fight is over and that child is on their own. 


6 Responses to ““Abortion rates same whether legal or not””

  1. trumanesque said

    This study seems to validate the reasons behind the legalization movement in the first place. People forget that this movement was led, in part, by clergy who were concerned about the effects of unsafe abortions.

    The larger point is this: Almost no one is “pro abortion.” Nobody is happy that abortions occur. The question is, and has always been, how best to minimize the number of abortions that occur. As this study suggests, outlawing abortions is not an effective method of preventing them. Better try something else.

    Related to this, and kalmia78’s comment, an article in the Sun this morning reports that 67 percent of Americans believe birth control should be available through schools. Let’s see if those who believe in majority rule for other issues (gay marriage, English-only laws to name a few) get behind this stat and agree to make it available in their own children’s schools.

  2. piperj3cub said

    It is certainly the case that next to nobody is actually “pro-abortion”, which leads to the question as to why conservatives and progressives alike are not trying to wage a “war” on something other than abortion specifically… how about wage a war on undesired pregnancy? How about pursuing abstinence, but making it clear that birth-control, condemns, and other methods to avoid STD’s and pregnancy are available? Is there something wrong with doing this? “Hey kids… we are begging you not to have sex, but if you are going to, for crying out loud use protection!” Sounds reasonable to me (which is probably why the republicans are unwilling to pursue such an initiative).

    In a related note… does anybody else find it obnoxious that the republicans often rail about being “pro-life” while being so quick to put criminals to death, or to invade another country killing perhaps hundreds of thousands of its citizens? Isn’t it just gut-wrenching to hear a republican talk about reducing the size and influence of government, and then trying to pass laws that tell you what to do with your own body? Abortion is a medical procedure. The truth is that doctors and patients are the only ones qualified to make decisions about abortion and its use. Congress mind as well pass a law that outlaws heart bypass surgery. If the republicans and other anti-abortion advocates wanted to REALLY make a difference, they would fight to fund research about the causes of rape and teenage pregnancies and quickly try to enact legislation that remedies the situations that lead to the undesired pregnancies to begin with! The beauty with this is that everybody is happy… reduced or no abortions along with improving the quality of life of those directly impacted. Imagine that… politicians working to improve the quality of life for the citizens of the United States and the world. Oh yeah… that is what the Democratic Party is all about!

  3. Jebediah said


  4. Jebediah said

    many women die from “legal, SAFE, and rare” abortion procedures every year, but planned parenthood covers it up. not shocking considering this group fails to alert parents about their children who have been raped, or girls who fail to notify their parents of what they are doing. your number of 70K also includes legal. in the year before roe v wade became legal, 17 deaths were related to illegal abortions. this issue isnt about whether this is a life or not, everyone pretty much agrees on that, it is whether a woman has the right to kill her own baby. whata great way to promote feminism and women’s rights — killing your defenseless baby.

  5. kalmia78 said

    Do you really think that a statistic from when abortion was illegal about how many women died from illegal abortions is accurate?! Who would have reported those deaths, the woman who died or the person who performed the illegal abortion in the alley? Yes, that statistic of 70,000 you mentioned does include current legal abortions, but it states those 70,000 deaths are from “unsafe abortions.” If you look at the statistics for countries, North America has very few “unsafe abortions” in the sense that they take place in environments with emergency medical care and not in someone’s kitchen with a coat hanger. Southeastern Asia, South America, and Africa had the largest percentages of the unsafe abortions that this study was counting in that statistic.

    I agree with Trumanesque; very few people are happy about abortions happening but it’s better to keep it legal and safe and focus on preventing the unwanted pregnancies in the first place. If we took more preventative steps through education and more open discussion about sexuality, this wouldn’t be much of an issue.

    And it is an issue of whether it’s a life or not if you are saying it’s “killing your defenseless baby.”

  6. Kim McCarthy said

    Jebediah, my friend, do you have a uterus? Thought not. Until you get one, I am afraid you do not get to weigh in on this one. Sorry. Also, having obviously never been a young woman, you cannot begin to understand the mind of a teen. Thank goodness there are places that a young woman can turn when she feels that she cannot speak to her parents.

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