Citing last week’s Guttmacher Institute report, Talbot writes:
Particularly noteworthy was the increase in the number of low-income and poor women who use long-acting methods provided by publicly funded birth-control services. According to the report, between 2006 and 2010 “the estimated number of unintended pregnancies averted by federally funded family-planning program” rose from 1.9 million to 2.2 million.
Talbot writes that no one can say for sure why the abortion rate has decreased, but offers some suggestions:
- The birth rate also declined
- The economy — birth rates tend to fall when times are tough
- Better contraceptives
Talbot rejects the idea that restrictive laws were responsible:
- Rates declined in all regions of the country.
- Rates declined in NY and other states that have not enacted new restrictions
- The decline began before restrictions were enacted.
Talbot explains that while new laws have not been effective in reducing the rate of abortions, they have made it more difficult to have an abortion early, which most Americans agree is desirable. In particular, laws against abortion drugs which are convenient, close off one avenue for timely action.
… when conservatives attack the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, or federally funded family-planning programs, they are working against the forces that are rendering abortion lees common. Undermining contraception and early abortion sabotages the future that most people want, one that express both their values and their common sense: fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions, too.
© William Hungerford – February 2014