User:Woozle/2009-01-16 Guttmacher Institute

From Issuepedia

Inquiry

Submitted to the Guttmacher Institute's public policy center:

I'm researching the claim that "abortion is being used as birth control".

Although this is a rather vague claim (how many prior successful uses of contraception does it take before a pregnant woman can be cleared of this accusation?), I am wondering if you have any data which might shed some light on it.

Response

Thank you for contacting the Guttmacher Institute. To shed some light on this claim, I can direct you to our resources on repeat abortion in the U.S. From our report, Trends in the Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions, 1974-2004, we know that although 47% of abortions are obtained by women who have had a prior abortion, the proportion of second and subsequent abortions has recently begun to fall and there is no evidence that abortion is being used as a primary method of birth control. At the end of this report, Tables 7A - 7D contain the number and percentage of abortions by woman's number of prior induced abortions over time so you can see the trends for yourself.

You'll also find much on the breakdowns of abortions by individual occurrence as well as the circumstances surrounding repeat abortion in our other report, Repeat Abortion in the US. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

analysis

also posted here, an ongoing debate on abortion and other liberal-conservative disagreements

She's answering a slightly different question than the one I asked: Is abortion being used as a primary method of birth control?

However, this may be the only unambiguous way to legitimately phrase this question. The original question, "Is abortion being used as birth control?" is technically true 100% of the time.

This may explain why it's such a popular claim among anti-abortionists. Liberals perhaps see the literal (but meaningless) question, and without thinking about it automatically insert the "primary" in order to make it a meaningful question -- and then find themselves arguing against a statement which, on the face of it, is undeniably true.

But as we've seen, anti-abortionists (the pro-fetal position) don't consider abortion to be legit even as a fallback (non-primary) when contraception has failed, while pro-choicers do.

So once again, it comes down to whether the survival of the fetus is more important than the mother's quality of life.

...Or, really, the quality of life of mother and child, since if the mother is living in poverty, the child will as well (barring unusual circumstances)...

...except for adoption, about which I don't yet know enough. If a mother wants to abort a fetus and someone offers to adopt it, are the mother's maternity expenses generally paid from that point forward? In other words, how does choosing adoption over abortion affect the mother financially?