“In 2011, nearly half (45 percent, or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Specifically, 27 percent of all pregnancies were ‘wanted later’ and 18 percent of pregnancies were ‘unwanted.’ ” — January 2019, Fact Sheet, Unintended Pregnancy in the United States, Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive research organization founded in 1968
When conscience calls, for many, it seems to choose the most pragmatic when it comes to priorities of survival. With states across the country taking sides on the issue of abortion, we have to wonder why there is such a dire effort to change the course of the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling, which allowed for safe access to abortions in light of dangerous procedures, while making a waning issue such a tremendously divisive political one. While the obvious argument always goes back to religious conviction and government don’t mix, i.e., separation of church and state, clearly, that perspective isn’t stopping politicians from getting involved at any opportunity. Further, there are enough women who support the pro-life movement, that the call to fight for my body, my choice, will continue to be met with fierce opposition.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, total number of legally induced abortions for 2015 (the most recent year available) was 638,169, from 49 reporting areas. Compared with 2014, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions for 2015 decreased 2 percent. Additionally, from 2006 to 2015, the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 24 percent, 26 percent, and 19 percent, respectively. In 2015, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2006-2015).
According to a 2004 Guttmacher Institute survey of 1,209 post-abortive women, the breakdown of the top reasons cited in the survey: 25 percent were not ready for a child, 23 percent can’t afford a baby, 19 percent were done having children, 8 percent didn’t want to be a single mother.
Regardless of the debate on sexual morality, most people are fully aware that actions have consequences, so if the abortion debate actually was redirected back to where it mattered, such as enabling couples and single parents with the resources they need, maybe we can make the abortion debate even less relevant by helping. By focusing on helping families with the resources they need to feel reasonably confident their offspring will have a fair shot, then who knows how much more the abortion rate may be diminished. Also, when it comes to family dysfunction, there’s enough anecdotal evidence on top of studies that show that money, or lack thereof, is a top ranking reason for it. And with the national birth rates at their lowest level in 32 years, according to the CDC, really, what are so many truly fighting about?
Money, fear of having nothing, losing everything.
Along with the ultimate American Dream of homeownership came with it a vision of family gatherings, festive times, people smiling and enjoying their lives. The American Reality, one of discord and division over political issues. While abstinence-only programs fail many of those who are taught it, more people are reporting not to be having sex generally for all sorts of reasons. The fact is, if we can minimize the controversy of abortion by helping families succeed together, along with the fact that more people are choosing abstinence or birth control out of priorities and circumstance, then why aren’t pro-life advocates choosing that path of financial security? Or is this really about putting people in power?
It’s not a wonder the debate is so fierce when it rests all decisions of parenting on one person despite the fact it takes two to consensually conceive. While the term family values has become a conservative slogan, maybe it’s time they put their money where their mouth is and actually do something to very literally stop a significant number of abortions. Otherwise, this debate being relegated only to a moral one will further the fight against each other while ignoring the issue that so many people simply don’t want children. If finances weren’t an issue, then how many abortions would we have?