Fact: Pro-Choice Equals Pro-Abortion, Contraception Doesn’t Reduce Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 11, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fact: Pro-Choice Equals Pro-Abortion, Contraception Doesn’t Reduce Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 11
, 2009

LifeNews.com Note: As the founder and Editor of LifeNews.com, Steven Ertelt has provided the pro-life community with news via the Internet since 1993. He also has served as the president of Right to Life of Wyoming and is the Vice-President of LifeChoice Pregnancy Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The old adage is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s certainly the case with abortion advocates who rely on the same tired arguments to defend their views.

Evidence of this came in my emailbox over the last few days as abortion advocates responded to Lifenews.com news stories about children’s author Judy Blume advocating donations to the Planned Parenthood business that generates more than $1 billion in revenue annually by killing children.

In the emails, these pro-abortion activists relied on old antipode arguments that pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion and that contraception and birth control reduces the number of abortions.

News out of England today shows the opposite is true.

Reports from the British government indicate the number of teenage pregnancies and teen abortions are on the rise, as is the abortion rate — the percentage of teen pregnancies that end in abortion. That is now well over a half, but that’s exciting news to Ann Furedi, the head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, an abortion business.

"The fact that teenagers felt able to end their pregnancy in abortion is actually a positive sign," she said.

Teen pregnancies, teen abortions and the teen abortion rate are all on the rise and that’s a "positive sign" for Britain? Surely someone who claims a "pro-choice" position on abortion and is supposedly not in favor of abortions would at least join pro-life advocates in the disappointment that more young women who aren’t even allowed to consume alcohol are not only getting pregnant but taking the life of their child.

If this were an isolated case, then perhaps abortion advocates could get away with saying they are merely pro-choice. But the same guffaw-inducing statements were seen here in the United States recently.

US News & World Report contributing editor and PBS television show host Bonne Erbe came under fire for her celebration of abortion increases in light of the sour economy. Erbe celebrated the fact that women are turning to abortions who believe they can’t afford to have a baby.

"The media have also been rife with stories portraying this trend as something of a tragedy," she continues. "Let me propose a counter view: it is not."

The media wallah defended her views bemoaning the fact that food stamp usage is on the rise and saying abortions are apparently needed because "the last thing young, unemployed, or already large families should be doing is creating more mouths to feed."

The news out of England also again dispels the long-held myth that promoting contraception and birth control reduces the number of abortions.

According to the London Daily Mail teen pregnancy rates in England are now higher than they were in 1995 and pregnancies among girls under 16, below the age of sexual consent, are also at the highest level since 1998.

That is despite the British government spending £300 million (that’s over $454 million for those of us in the United States) in an attempt to cut the number of teen pregnancies in half by promoting comprehensive sexual education.

The British teen abortion rate, according to the newspaper, has also climbed steadily since 1999 when the government released its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

Again, that would be an aberration were it only an isolated case, but it is not.

Last year, officials in Sweden reported that the number of abortions increased 17 percent in Sweden from 2000 to 2007 despite sales of the morning after pill increasing during the same time period.

The morning after pill became a drug that could be sold over the counter in Sweden in 2001. In that time, sales of the drug tripled in the nation’s capital and doubled nationwide.

Still, new national figures show 37,205 abortions in Sweden in 2007, up approximately 17 percent from the 30,980 done in 2000. In Stockholm, 10,259 abortions were done — a 6.9 percent increase in just one year from the 2006 figures.

Meanwhile, last year the number of abortions in Scotland rose for the third straight year despite a heavy push for women to use the morning after pill.

Abortions in Scotland rose four percent according to a report from the British National Health Service and now number 13,703. That increase came after NHS reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.

Not only is the increased promoting of the morning after pill resulting in more abortions, not less, the number of women having repeat abortions is increasing as well.

NHS reports more than a quarter of women, 26.3 percent, who had an abortion in Scotland last year had at least one prior abortion before that. That’s 3,600 women who had one or more abortions prior, according to the government’s statistics.

Finally, a report from Planned Parenthood of Western Washington shows abortions are on the rise in Washington state even though it participated in Washington state’s Take Charge pilot program.

Take Charge is a Medicaid section 1115 Waiver program initiated in 2001 to provide free contraceptives to low-income women not already covered under Medicaid. It was originally funded for five years in 2001, then extended for three more years, and comes up for renewal in 2009.

Yet the PPWW annual report indicates abortions rose 16 percent from 7,790 in 2006 to 9,059 in 2007.

Abortion advocates have claimed higher use of the Plan B drug through over the counter sales will result in a drop in unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions.

Mary Emanuel, who runs the web site Abortion in Washington, studied the report and also found that the abortion increase occurred despite sales of over 106,000 emergency contraception kits to Planned Parenthood customers.

“Taxpayers are supposed to be saving money and there are supposed to be fewer abortions but with this program we are seeing the exact opposite," she said.

The failure of birth control, the morning after pill, and contraception to lower the number of abortions is no surprise to Dr. Joseph Stanford, associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

He says studies he and fellow researchers have done show a lower effectiveness rate than the 89 percent that Plan B maker Barr Laboratories claims.

"We did more a precise meta-analysis that shows it’s effective only 72 percent of the time, and even that number is optimistic," he indicated.

He said studies from Europe, China and the United States show that the morning after pill does not reduce abortions.

It is time for abortion advocates to admit some hard facts — pro-choice really means pro-abortion and promoting birth control and contraception doesn’t necessarily lead to a lowering of the number of abortions.

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