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On reducing the number of abortions

Recently someone on Facebook responded to a post about Bernie Sanders and his remarks at Liberty University about abortion, with the following statement:
(under the cut because abortion argument)

“So there is now the abortion scorecard? So if I’m reading your post right, less is better?”

Now from a conversational standpoint, this is an absolutely classic foray into a whole bunch of tactics to argue a pro-life standpoint. The rest of the conversation usually ends up with statements like, “See, so you admit that abortion is wrong, why are you letting people kill babies?”

I’m tired of that conversation. It’s disingenuous. So this was my response:

“Pretty dang sure that most people think fewer abortions are better, people just disagree as to how to accomplish that end. Scientific study tells us that when incomes and education go up, the absolute number of abortions drops. Research tells us that when birth control is free and easily available and reliable, the pregnancy rate AND abortion rate among those most likely to abort plummets. That when people have financial support, heath care and economic opportunity with support for parenting while working, the abortion rate drops.

You know when it goes up? When women’s health care is hard to get. When the economy is bad. When opportunities and education are limited. When there are inadequate social and economic supports for pregnant women and young children.

“And forbidding abortion does not end abortion, it just means that women die from it more often. One woman I knew a long time ago said that when she got pregnant, she had a doctor put in an IUD and had another doctor take it out and did that until the pregnancy ended. And that’s MINOR compared to the lengths other women will go through.

“Guess what? I’m not a health care provider. But I know how to end an early pregnancy and could do it for someone if it was necessary. I hope to god it is never necessary. But women have been getting the information out literally since Roe v. Wade because we know how much threat there is to our bodily autonomy. NOTHING the law can do will prevent women who are determined not to have a baby from ending a pregnancy. But every action the Republicans have taken has been aimed at measures that can only increase the numbers of unwanted pregnancies.

“Now you tell me who wants there to be fewer abortions…. the people who fight to end subsidized health care and health clinics and contraception? Or the people who work very hard to help people not get pregnant when they don’t want to be?

“So called pro-lifers have a delusional idea that their stance is about “ending abortion”. It’s not. It’s about trying to control women. And it’s never going to work… it will just kill people. And that’s not really pro life, now, is it?”

Published in Feminism Political

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