Saturday, October 13, 2007

Legal or Not, Abortion Rates Compare

From the New York Times courtesy of AlterNet:

A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.

Moreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely. Globally, abortion accounts for 13 percent of women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, and there are 31 abortions for every 100 live births, the study said.


The data also suggested that the best way to reduce abortion rates was not to make abortion illegal but to make contraception more widely available, said Sharon Camp, chief executive of the Guttmacher Institute.


The study indicated that about 20 million abortions that would be considered unsafe are performed each year and that 67,000 women die as a result of complications from those abortions, most in countries where abortion is illegal.

Click here for the rest.

Just to spell this out a bit further, there is now solid quantitative evidence that much of the women's movement rhetoric on abortion these past three decades has been absolutely correct. Outlawing abortion will not end abortion: indeed, all that abortion bans do is kill women. That last clause bears repeating: abortion bans kill 67,000 women a year. These are real, live, grownup human beings, with lives, hopes, dreams, desires, and loved ones. They are not fetuses, which have the potential to become and have all that, but are not yet that. That is, these real lives are definitely more important than the potential and theoretical lives that abortion opponents seek to save.

"Pro-life." That moniker is now a much bigger joke than it has ever been. A sick joke. Abortion opponents want to raise that 67,000 to a remarkably higher number. "Pro-life" means pro-death. As the study notes, if abortion opponents were actually serious about reducing abortions, they'd get on the safe sex bandwagon and ride it to the barn. But no. They think that promotes sex, which is what they really oppose.

And they're willing to kill to get what they want.