February 21, 2024

How to Reduce Abortions

Life 7 to 12 Weeks HEader

One of the arguments that I’ve frequently come upon when discussing abortions is that “if we made it illegal it wouldn’t stop.” It is followed up by a list of things that we could do to help limit abortion.

And these are all good things:

  • Care for the mothers
  • Supply the mothers with food, aid, clothing, support
  • Do a better job with sex education
  • Educate about adoption

And we could go off on a tangent here talking about what each of these means and whose responsibility it is to do each of these things. That’ll have to wait for another time.

Right now, I want to focus on the main premise, that if we made it illegal it would not solve the problem.

Abortion Statistics

Observe the following table:

YearStatesLegal Abortions

<1967 0 8,000
1968 5 18,000
1969 9 50,000
1973 ALL 744,600
1980 ALL 1,553,900
1990 ALL 1,609,000
2003 ALL 1,313,000 (est)

As you can see, making abortion legal had a great impact on the number of abortions that were performed. In 1990, the highest amount of babies were killed. Those children never will have children, and never have grandchildren.

The reason I display these stats is to draw the comparison. When abortion was illegal, the number was extremely low, and we could easily [butts]. that if it was to become illegal again we would be saving 1,305,000 lives a year.

Right now, roughly 1 in 4 babies conceived in America dies by abortion, and only 1-2% of abortions come from the hard cases of rape or incest, and yet it’s legal in America to kill the baby during any of the 9 months of pregnancy (although no longer through Partial Birth Abortion).

More “Back Alley” Abortions

The subsequent argument that is made is that if we make abortion illegal it’ll just move to the back alley. Now, I’d first have to say that makes absolutely no sense if it’s an elective abortion. I don’t know that any mother is going to risk her life in the “back alley” to have their child killed.

But more to the point, look at what actually happened to a country that did it. Poland, as it left Soviet control, moved from legal abortion to illegal. The results do not bear out the claims of the pro-abortion/pro-choice movement.

Over the course of time from 1960 to 1998 there went from 150,400 abortions down to 253. Not only that, but the number of infants that died and mothers that died also decreased.

In summary, then, here we have a large nation that, for 4½ decades, had abortion-on-request, paid for by the state. Certainly, the practice of abortion in Poland had become deeply ingrained. Then came independence and a law that took the total number of abortions down to 0.004% of what it had been, contrary to all predictions by government agencies, the media, the UN and Planned Parenthood.

To perhaps everyone’s surprise, there have been 25% fewer miscarriages and 30% fewer women dying compared with what it had been while abortion was legal. In the latest annual report, 21 women died from pregnancy-related problems, with none listed as dying from illegal abortions.

These are firm statistics. The facts above have been annually reported and heatedly discussed by the Polish parliament, its ministries of health, labor, social welfare and education, as well as by mass media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and anyone else interested in the problem.

So, all this argument has left is the idea that we shouldn’t punish, we should just educate, but that is a poor solution, as we’ll see through some subsequent posts…

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8 thoughts on “How to Reduce Abortions

  1. These are good statistics. But you’ll have to bear with my ignorance for a moment…

    If abortion was illegal in every state in 1967, how were there 8,000 legal abortions?

    Amanda’s last blog post..Pros and Cons

  2. The column with the label that says “States” shows how many states had legal abortions that year. I’m new to this chart as well, but from what I gather there were actually states that had legal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade, but Roe v. Wade mandated it for all states.

    Same thing with if Roe was overturned. It would not immediately ban abortion in all states, but simply revert back to the state’s laws on the matter. Hence why there are many southern states that have “if the Supreme Court overturns Roe, then all abortions are banned” language on their books now.

    One of the arguments that Constitution purists make is that Roe is bad law because it breaks apart Federalism– that the states should have been free to make up their own minds because there’s no right to an abortion in the federal Constitution. I tend to agree with this position as well.

  3. Of course, if some states have legal abortion and others don’t, there will be a great increase in travel to that state for that purpose (just as people went to Nevada for quick divorces before no-fault divorce.)

  4. That’s true, Katie. I’m sure there would be a lot of interstate travel. In a lot of ways it parallels slavery where you would then have some pro-life states and some that are not. Then those that allowed it would have to decide the morality of it and be accountable for their decisions. I believe that you might even see people moving from pro-abortion states to pro-life states (though I don’t know if it would be massive quantities).

    And there’s the Unseen factor. If states stood for life, would God bless them more than those that did not?

  5. In 1967, Colorado legalized abortion. Perhaps the 8,000 legal abortions were from Colorado.

    The chart is a bit misleading too. It says <1967 as if abortion were illegal since the begining of time. In fact, the first state to limit abortion was Connecticut in 1821, but less than half the states had followed suit by 1860.

  6. @Kelly: Do you think that the numbers of abortions prior to 1860 were big? I can’t imagine that they were that big considering the state of medicine at the time.

    In any case, great observations.

  7. Interesting information. Abortions are too easy to come by in the US. Perhaps if they were more difficult to come by (people having to travel to different states) then women would think twice about having unprotected sex. It has been obvious for quite some time that women are using abortion as a form of birth control. Getting a liberal to admit it though is just about impossible.

  8. @Thrifty Karen: Like all debate– liberals like to take the discussion to the edges. Rather than talk about all of those women that are having abortions which are convenient, they’d rather talk the hard cases, thereby implying that they’re all hard cases.

    And yet there are many babies that are losing their lives to a choice because “I’m not ready” which is sometimes code for “I’m happy with my life and a baby would ruin it.”

    I’ve always argued, however, that these women usually know the natural result of the activity that they’re involved in. They’re just choosing to ignore it until there is a new life, and then they act as if someone’s played a nasty trick on them.

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