I was vaguely aware that abortion is very common in Cuba. But until a friend forwarded me a story from the New York Times, I had no idea that abortion is rampant.
The narrative arc is build around an unmarried couple that has (as the headline suggests) “An abundance of love” but no kids. And that’s because they’ve already aborted two.
The story, written by Azam Ahmed, strongly suggests she would abort future pregnancies–a reflection of many factors, including
Abortion is legal, free and commonly practiced. There is no stigma attached to the procedure, helping to make Cuba’s reported abortion rates among the highest in the world. In many respects, abortion is viewed as another manner of birth control.
Tragically, abortion appears to be woven into the culture. Women in Cuba, Ahmed writes,
speak openly about abortions, and lines at clinics often wrap around the building.
By the numbers, the country exhibits a rate of nearly 30 abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age, according to 2010 data compiled by the United Nations. Among countries that permit abortion, only Russia had a higher rate. In the United States, 2011 figures show a rate of about 17.
The epidemic of abortion is not new. The couple tell Ahmed that their mothers each had four abortions. The man, “smirking,” says the woman’s aunt had “undergone 10 procedures.”
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As you would expect, Cuba is in a demographic free fall. Already with one of the oldest populations in all of Latin America, “Experts predict that 50 years from now, Cuba’s population will have fallen by a third,” Ahmed writes. “More than 40 percent of the country will be older than 60.”
Of course this being the New York Times the story must state the political correct conclusion. That
experts caution that the liberal abortion policy is not responsible for the declining population. Rather, it is a symptom of a larger issue. Generally speaking, many Cubans simply believe they cannot afford a child.
I’m assuming no one is saying that abortion on demand and in huge numbers is the SOLE reason for declining population. The country is run by a dictator, is desperately poor, and many millions have already fled the country.
But to explain how abortion has been routinized, destigmatized, and made just another form of “birth control” and then dismiss its significance in the graying of the population, is preposterous.
The Cuban government “recognizes” the problem, Ahmed writes. It has “begun to circulate pro-pregnancy pamphlets and fliers to encourage young couples to keep their children. Some women said that in recent months, government doctors had discouraged them from having abortions…”
If we can judge by the final two paragraphs, having loosened the abortion-on-demand juggernaut, the government’s efforts are almost bound to fail.
He giggled quietly and looped his arm through hers. Ultimately, he said, they do want a family. The when of the matter would come in the not-too-distant future, he hoped.
“We don’t want to pressure ourselves,” [he] said. “We want to live our lives, day by day, each day in its own time.”
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.