Thursday, July 25, 2013

Actually Reducing Abortion Rates

I sort of sympathize with anti-abortion feelings. 

I don't ultimately agree with that point of view, because to me abortion is an issue of body autonomy for the woman above all other considerations. The same bodily autonomy all adults have that protects us from being forced to donate kidneys, bone marrow, liver sections, etc., not even to save a life. Therefore I think no one should be empowered to force any woman to get or remain pregnant against her will, ever. 

Still, I sincerely understand the moral queasiness abortion invokes. And as with anti-abortion people, I and most other pro-choice people would like to reduce abortion rates too. However it is very important to me that such efforts be genuinely effective, be based on solid information, and cause the fewest possible harmful side effects.

Fortunately, we don't have to cast about in the dark, stumbling for effective strategies. We already have plenty of verifiable evidence from actual policies and rigorous studies. Sensible plans to reduce abortion should be built around: comprehensive sex education; free and universally available contraception; excellent pregnancy and child development assistance; and though it might seem counter intuitive, legal and available abortion.

Countries and communities that utilize those policies have drastically lower abortion rates than those that don't. It isn't magic or wishful thinking. Those strategies are by far the most effective at reducing abortion and do so without needlessly endangering women's lives or health. So I implore those who strongly oppose abortion to please endorse evidence based solutions and help implement them. If you can spare a few minutes, I highly recommend the essay "How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement" by Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism. 


Anne said...

That article was freak in' awesome and I just shared it myself.

Billtannica said...

Thanks, Anne