Guttmacher Study on Abortion

The comprehensive study which shows that laws criminalizing abortion do not reduce the number of abortions.  Worldwide abortions declined from 1995-2003.  The decline was steepest in countries were abortion was broadly legal and safe and prevention of unwanted pregnancy was the focus of policy.

From the article:

For every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15–44) worldwide, 29 were estimated to have had an induced abortion in 2003, compared with 35 in 1995. The decline was most substantial in Europe, where the rate fell from 48 to 28 abortions per 1,000 women, largely because of dramatic declines in Eastern Europe. On the whole, the abortion rate decreased more in developed countries, where abortion is generally safe and legal on broad grounds (from 39 to 26), than in developing countries, where the procedure is largely illegal and unsafe (from 34 to 29). Significantly, the abortion rate for 2003 was roughly equal in developed and developing regions—26 and 29, respectively—despite abortion being largely illegal in developing regions. Health consequences, however, vary greatly between the two regions, since abortion is generally safe where it is broadly legal and mostly unsafe where restricted.

I have my own moral ambivalence (meaning pulled in 2 directions not apathy) around abortion, being an adopted child.  Nevertheless I have never found myself on board with the legal position of the pro-Life movement in the US.  i.e. The goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.  It seems to me much more seeped religiously in the holiness tradition, the downside of which has always been a separation of individual souls from the reality of the world.  The ones who do no wrong–according to their standard of holiness–are free of the consequences of the evil in the world.  They simply pass the moral upright law and need not consider whether that actually helps reduce the evil in the world.

[For the record, I’m equally disgusted by the pro-choice lobbies, they also of the same position though in the reverse.  What matters most are laws/rights, not my own relationship with all beings.  Not responsibility.  Not consequence.]

26/29 per 1,000 is still too high.  Better than 35 no doubt.  But still too many.  And rather than actually work on the problem itself, the politics and moral arguments are built around the laws and the rules.  Which again has no practical effect on unborn babies/fetuses.  It signifies to me that both sides are more interested in their own righteousness than the issue itself.  Hypocrisy abounding in all directions.

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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