Think Abortion Laws Reduce Abortions? Think Again!

197881Since Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists have done everything they could to pass every restriction possible in order to block a woman’s constitutional right to a safe, legal abortion. Rather than address the root problems behind the need for an abortion, they have instead thrown up legal barrier after legal barrier, which has disproportionately affected poor and rural women who do not have the funds or ability to travel to a clinic. In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and other conservative states, the same people who complain about government intervention in healthcare are interfering in women’s healthcare under the banner of being “pro-life.”

These people are often really only concerned about making sure a fetus is brought to term and then absolving themselves of any societal responsibility to that human being from the cradle to the grave. Food? Not their problem. Education? Not their problem. Healthcare, including making sure unwanted pregnancies don’t happen to begin with? Ermagherd, SOCIALISM!!!!

One of the silliest things about many of these anti-abortion activists is that they’re often against any kind of gun control, you know, because gun laws don’t stop criminals from getting guns. At the same time, they firmly believe that with every anti-choice law they pass and every government regulation they place on abortion providers, the rate of abortions will continue to drop. In fact, they believe that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, abortions would cease to exist – and that’s utterly delusional. Here’s my friend James Schlarmann to explain a little more.

Maybe the most dangerous assumption that Pro-Lifers make is that they can ever actually stop women from terminating unwanted pregnancies. They make this assumption by just completely ignoring reality and history, because the simple truth is that evidence exists that ancient Egyptian women were inducing an “unnatural” end to their unwanted pregnancies, and we know that all over the world nearly every culture has seen its women trying to control reproductive decisions themselves. The danger in presuming you can legislate abortion out of existence of course is that it creates a black market for them, as we had in this country for decades, which turns them into far more dangerous procedures, that don’t happen any less frequently than when they are legal and safely administered. (Source)

I know that trying to explain statistics to people who believe that being gay is a choice and that a fertilized egg is worthy of government protection but a migrant child seeking asylum is not is like trying to catch a greased pig, but let’s go ahead and try anyhow.

No matter how many restrictions you place on abortion, it does not stop women from getting one. Sure, it may make it more difficult for women on a limited income, but it doesn’t magically make the problem go away. Here’s another pesky fact: In Canada there are zero laws against abortion, and the rate of abortions is lower than in the United States. Yes, you heard that right. Canada, our hockey and nationalized healthcare-loving neighbor to the north has a lower abortion rate than here in the United States, despite all of the laws here against it.

How could that be? For starters, Canada places a lot of emphasis on sex education. Here in the United States, the religious right does everything they can to shelter kids from the facts of life, or teach abstinence-only which is almost as ineffective as “praying away the gay.” They also do everything to shame women who have sex, block access to contraception by any means possible (including voting to defund Planned Parenthood) and when someone ends up pregnant, the wagging of fingers and judgmental remarks begin. Canada also has less of an issue with poverty, which is a large factor in the need for an abortion as well. Again, social conservatives blame the poor for their condition, slash the social safety net every chance they get, and then act astonished when a single mom gets an abortion because she can’t afford another child.

If the “pro-life” crowd really wanted to end abortions, they would support a system in which all women, regardless of income, have access to reproductive healthcare and contraception. They would support education in schools that doesn’t teach abstinence-only and not turn their backs on the poor – the opposite of what much of Christian America does now.

I would like to see there be no need for abortion, and I think Canada has shown us how it can be greatly decreased. The problem is the religious right will never go along with it because it would require them to do what may be the hardest thing of all – actually be Christians.


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