At the recent Republican debate held at the Reagan library, I found it hard to swallow the phoniness.
A fake video followed by fake outrage! Carly Fiorina gave a diva performance. Clenched teeth, seething rage, talk of butchered babies, body parts sold to Frankenstein labs for blood money. The image was one of a coven of Planned Parenthood witches with baby blood dripping from their fangs sucking at the Obama-supplied teet of government money… a horrific culture of death and big government that Carly will squelch like a cockroach. Man, she is impressive, if you ignore the content and concentrate on just the atmospherics.
So what’s the truth? Are abortions in America a run away epidemic? Are organizations like Planned Parenthood, motivated by gain and a liberal (meaning immoral) mindset, adding to the epidemic?
Let’s take a look at abortions in America.
The simple fact is that you reduce abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies, specially among unmarried teens and underprivileged young women. Planned Parenthood and many other subsidized organizations spend a bulk of their effort in preventing unwanted pregnancies – through advice, free contraception and a presentation of options to young women. And how have they done?
Here’s a chart showing the U. S. abortion rate since 1980. (Data from Guttmacher Institute)
After 1990 the abortion rate has steadily come down from approximately 1.6 million abortions per year to about 1.0 million in 2012, which is the date where the latest figures are available (the red dot in the above diagram). It’s projected to be even lower today at less than 900,000. A large part of the gain has occurred under the Obama and Clinton administrations although the decline has been steady for 25 years. This data is from the Guttmacher Institute which collects detailed statistics on women’s health issues.
The decline is a direct result of reducing unwanted pregnancies – teenage pregnancies are down by 40% in the US in the last 7 years. That’s how you reduce abortions – not by criminalizing it, or taking away reproduction-based counseling provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood.
What would be an ideal goal for America?
But not because it is illegal or difficult to have one.
Zero abortions, because we have young women in charge of their lives, supported by community, counseled on their options, and completing their educations, instead of having to drop out to be single mothers. There are far too many young women in this country that face very difficult choices – poverty, broken homes, alcoholism in the family, hopelessness and community indifference. For such women Planned Parenthood provides education, support and options such as contraception, adoption and unfortunately even abortions.
By insisting that we should shut down public resources for Planned Parenthood we will not achieve the goal of zero abortions, we will do the opposite.
So, Carly, what do you say – let’s double the support for organizations like Planned Parenthood and accelerate our journey to Zero Abortions?