Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Abortion and the law

Let's get one thing clear: I'm against abortion. I think it's a tragedy no matter what the circumstances. I definitely think it is the taking of a life. But I don't think women should be punished by having to put their lives or their fertility at risk in order to have one. And because I think abortion is the taking of a life I want to support what will really reduce the number of abortions - not what will make abortion foes feel self-righteous about it all.

It has clearly been demonstrated that abortion rates are lowest where it is legal and where birth control is easily available.

Now it is also clear that criminalizing abortion does not make it less likely to happen. It does, however make it less likely to be safe. Take a look at this article called "Abortion rates same whether legal or not":

LONDON - Women are just as likely to get an abortion in countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal, according to research published Friday.

In a study examining abortion trends from 1995 to 2003, experts also found that abortion rates are virtually equal in rich and poor countries, and that half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe.

The study was done by Gilda Sedgh of the Guttmacher Institute in the United States and colleagues from the World Health Organization. It was published in an edition of The Lancet medical journal devoted to maternal health.

“The legal status of abortion has never dissuaded women and couples, who, for whatever reason, seek to end pregnancy,” Beth Fredrick of the International Women’s Health Coalition in the U.S. said in an accompanying commentary.

Maternal mortalityAbortion accounts for 13 percent of maternal mortality worldwide. About 70,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions. An additional 5 million women suffer permanent or temporary injury.

“The continuing high incidence of unsafe abortion in developing countries represents a public health crisis and a human rights atrocity,” Fredrick wrote.

Five MILLION women suffer injury from unsafe abortions EVERY YEAR. And 70,000 die. That is truly an atrocity. Let's keep abortions safe, legal, and rare.

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