The Contraceptive CHOICE Project just added a little more evidence to something that’s so blindingly obvious that it should come as a surprise to nobody. It turns out that when you provide actual women who want birth control with access to birth control, they have way fewer abortions! Weird.
The project enrolled 9,256 women aged 14 to 45 from the St. Louis area. For three years, the women were given their choice of birth control at no cost.
The national rate of abortion is 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women. The rate for women in the project? 4.4 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000.
The effect on teen births was even more remarkable, dropping from 34.3 births per 1000 teens to 6.3. SIX POINT THREE! That’s a better than 80% drop. Let’s see how ‘abstinence only education’ stacks up to that.
Anyway, it’s hardly surprising that ubiquitous birth control has this effect, but it’s nice to have some actual numbers.
From the TIME Magazine article:
The findings come amidst contention over President Obama’s health-care law, which offers women FDA-approved birth control without a copay. As of August 1, contraception is covered for women signing up for new health insurance plans or renewing their existing plans.
“[C]hanges in contraceptive policy simulating the Contraceptive Choice Project would prevent as many as 41% to 71% of abortions performed annually in the United States,” the study’s authors wrote.
Nearly half of the more than 6 million pregnancies that occur each year are unintended, and about 43% of them end in abortion. Further, about 1 million births are unintended, costing U.S. taxpayers about $11 billion a year in associated expenses. Low-income women with less education are far more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than their wealthier, educated peers.
So! Now that that’s nice and settled, I expect religious conservatives and the pro-life movement to embrace this common-sense solution to one of the major issues of our age and back universally available birth control.
After all, if you believe that abortion is murder, and that ending it is one of the most important moral considerations we face, this should be a no-brainer.
Waiting … waiting … sigh.