Do Contraceptives Reduce Abortion Rates?

Pro-abortion march
Pro-abortion march (Photo credit: American Life League)

So the previously bold statement that “contraception reduces abortion rates” must be reconfigured to reflect the truth. Contraception reduces abortion rates primarily in regions that already use abortion as a primary method of family planning, and thus already have extremely high abortion rates. […]

Contraception has been shown to decrease abortion rates primarily in countries with already high abortion rates. These represent a minority of countries. Contraception has been shown to increase abortion rates primarily in countries with already low abortion rates. These represent a majority of countries. Contraception has been shown to slightly reduce abortion rates after its initial increase of abortion rates, but has never been shown to reduce abortion rates back to pre-contraception levels.

This is what Marc argues on his blog (Bad Catholic).

He continues that for countries with low abortion rates

An honest look at the data shows that in virtually every country that increased the use of contraception, there was a simultaneous increase in that country’s abortion rate. In England (Rise in contraceptive usesimultaneous rise in abortions), France (Rise in contraceptive usesimultaneous rise in abortions), Australia, (Rise in contraceptive usesimultaneous rise in abortions), Portugal (Whose abortion rate only began to rise after 1999, after oral contraceptive methods were made widely available), Canada (Whose abortion rate only began to rise after the legalization of oral contraceptives in 1969), and, as the Guttmacher Institute shows, Singapore, Cuba, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Korea, to name a few.

And of course, we saw this rise in the land of the free and home of the brave. Contraceptive devices gained popularity throughout the 1900′s, and were “legalized” in 1965. The widespread proliferation of contraceptive devices followed. The abortion rate began to creep up at this same time, after 1965, from 0.02 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 1965 to 16.33 in 1973, when abortion was legalized.

and also;

The Guttmacher Institute claims that in non abortion-culture countries, “after fertility levels stabilized…contraceptive usecontinued to increase and abortion rates fell.” They do not mention that these abortion rates fell and stabilized at rate far higher than the abortion rate before the introduction of contraception.

(Funnily enough, this was seen in Turkey, one of the three countries the Guttmacher Institute cites to support their claims that weren’t Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Bulgaria. In the study The Role of Contraceptive Changes in the Decline of Induced Abortion in Turkey – which Guttmacher cites – it is shown that in 1983, when contraception laws were first liberalized, abortion ended 12.1% of all pregnancies. As contraceptive used increased, the abortion rate increased, until 1988, when abortion ended 23.6% of pregnancies. Thanks to the improved use and availability of contraception, the rate then began to decrease, until, by 1998, abortion ended 15.7% of all pregnancies. Here the abortion rate dipped, rose, and leveled, and by 2007, abortion ended 17.0% of all pregnancies in Turkey, representing an overall increase in abortion.)

Go here to read the whole post. Please, don’t criticize the article in the comments section until you’ve read all of it. I’d hate to have to readdress criticisms she already addressed.

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I’m Tracy

One thought on “Do Contraceptives Reduce Abortion Rates?”

  1. Education is the first step to solving problems. The second is teaching people how to use what they have learned.

    The problem I see is none of the sources used in the article are credible enough for me to take it seriously outside of interesting discussion. I have seen the increased rates of teen pregnancies with the abstinence only education. And I also know that abortion is illegal in many countries around the world. Part of the problem is that more liberal views will increase the support of women’s right to chose and you will see an increase in them choosing.

    The systemic problem is that just putting contraception out there like so much confetti is that you aren’t instructing in its proper use. People still open packages with their teeth. The need for proper education will always trump any topical solution we decide to apply. Proper family planning coupled with contraception and responsibility will lower abortion rates. Again i cant speak to her statistics because statistics are so much flotsam and her sources aren’t necessarily credible.

    This was a disappointing post for me because you usually give a lot more of your self to the post and i enjoy hearing what research you have done and your opinion. Instead of a singular article what other articles do you have and have you read. What studies have you researched and why should we listen to those. Linking to another blog isn’t really interesting for this particular discussion since the person making the blog post isn’t necessarily qualified to make the evaluation of the data that they did.

    For that matter i can only speak from personal experience with what i have seen growing up and personal anecdotes are one of the lowest forms of evidence.

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