Here’s a really good video on abortion worldwide from Guttmacher:
This video makes a couple of points I’ve made here a few times.
One, criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop it; where abortion is illegal, it just goes underground. In fact, abortion is mostly illegal in the parts of the world with the highest rates of abortion, and mostly legal where the abortion rate is lowest. What really makes a difference in abortion rate is not criminalization of abortion, but use of contraceptives.
Two, globally, almost all of the women who die from complications of abortion got their abortions where they were illegal. Restricting abortion to “protect” women’s health is like restricting soap to protect cleanliness.
And then there is this:
In a study to be published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers “recruited more than 9,250 women ages fourteen to forty-five from St. Louis city and county for the five-year project” and educated them on different types of birth control. Seventy-five percent of the women chose implantable methods.
Five years later, the women included in the study had had nearly five times fewer abortions than the national average would have predicted, and and the rate of teenage pregnancies fell by an astounding 82%.
If Republicans get out of the way of public health and allow free contraception to be implemented nationwide, researchers concluded free birth control could prevent over a million unplanned pregnancies and over 800,000 abortions a year.
(The pro-reproduction rights people rarely have used this well documented fact as a counter-argument to criminalizing abortion, and some of them argue that promising to reduce abortion through wider contraception use amounts to admitting that abortion is “bad,” so they won’t do it. Needless to say — I think that’s stupid.)