The Guttmacher Institute, which focuses on advances in sexual and reproductive health in the United States, recently released a new short video that summarizes key facts about abortion in the U.S. The facts about who gets abortions and why might surprise you.
Here are some of the abortion facts that might surprise you:
- Almost 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion before age 45.
- Most women having abortions are in their 20s.
- Teens account for less than 2 in 10 abortions, most of those teens being 18 or 19.
- 6 in 10 women who have abortions already have one child or more.
- 3 of 4 who have abortions describe themselves as religiously affiliated.
Find these facts hard to hear? Well, there's more ...
WATCH the video from the Guttmacher Institute:
While the video points out that many women who have abortions don't have adequate access to birth control, quality healthcare, educational opportunities, or good jobs, it also says that despite these factors, there will always be women who need abortions. This is a truth many people don't want to face, but whether we face it or not, it still remains a fact.
The fact being many American men and women will have sex -- with or without contraceptives, with or without loving one another, with or without having the emotional or financial means to raise a child, with or without a good education or good jobs -- and in some cases, the woman will become pregnant. Some of these same women will not want, for a million different reasons, to become a mom, become a mom again, or carry the pregnancy to term and will want an abortion.
The fact that there will always be an ongoing need for safe abortion services is the most critical point made in the Guttmacher video and the most important thing we should be addressing when it comes to the abortion conversation. Many pro-choice advocates even have trouble talking about this truth without falling back on the more rare cases for abortion, like rape, incest, or life of the mother. And while those cases are horrific, real, and do occur, they make up for very few of the total abortions in this country.
So where does that leave us?
Should we do our absolute best to educate women and men and teens about abstinence and birth control in order to reduce the number of abortions in this country? Absolutely. Should we provide easy, affordable access to contraceptives? Good God, yes! Should we hope and pray every day that the number and need for abortions decline? Of course. But at the same time, we must also keep abortion safe and legal and covered by private insurance plans and public insurance programs for the women who will need one. Because whether we believe in abortion or not, there will always be women who need an abortion -- currently 1 in 3 of you reading this -- and whose lives depend on abortion being safe. It's a fact.
What is your personal reaction or solution to this undeniable fact?
Image via YouTube