Abortion is a subject that polarizes people and creates passionate debate on both sides of it. For those who are pro choice, the idea is simple. The law allows for abortion, which means a woman has the right to choose whether or not she ends her pregnancy. Instead of changing the laws and creating a pseudo-religious government to rule over women, having better access to contraception, meaningful sex education, and family planning services makes more sense.
Facts and Statistics About Abortion
1. 49% of pregnancies that happen in the United States every year are unintended. Half of those will result in an abortion.
2. According to StatPearls on the National Institute of Health website, the total abortion-related complication rate (including all sources of care including emergency departments and the original abortion facility) is approximately 2%.
3. 88% of abortions that take place in the US are performed during the first trimester. Only 2% of abortions happen after 21 weeks.
4. By the age of 45, 35% of women in the US will have had at least one abortion.
5. 87% of the counties in the United States do not have a single provider of abortions and women seeking one are referred to their closest clinic, which could be hundreds of miles away.
6. The percentage of US rural counties that have at least 1 abortion provider: 3%.
7. 23%. That’s the percentage of Catholics who believe that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Many protestant denominations support being Pro Choice.
8. Catholic women are 29% more likely than Protestants to have an abortion, but are as likely as all women nationally to do so.
9. In states without parental-involvement laws, 61% of parents know of their daughter’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.
10. Every year, 2% of women who are of child-bearing age will choose to have an abortion.
11. 2 out of 3 women who could become pregnant are actively using contraception to avoid becoming pregnant.
12. Only 5% of women who need contraception are not using a method while having intercourse, yet this small group accounts for 47% of the 3 million unplanned pregnancies that occur in the US every year.
13. Without publicly funded contraception services, the teen abortion rates in the US would rise by 58%.
14. The Guttmacher Institute founds that 1% of women have an abortion because of rape, and less than 0.5% have one because of incest.
15. The risk of death from childbirth is 10x higher than the risk of death from having an abortion.
16. 13% of pregnancy-related deaths worldwide are related to complications of unsafe abortion.
17. Nearly one-third of all abortions after 12 weeks are obtained by teenagers.
18. In one study of women who were having an abortion at 16 or more weeks, a substantial percentage said the delay occurred because they needed time to raise money.
19. Some states require women to wait anywhere from 8-27 hours between their first appointment and when the abortion procedure can be provided.
20. The Guttmacher Institute has found that 20-35% of Medicaid-eligible women who would choose abortion carry their pregnancies to term when public funds are not available.
Many believe that the Roe vs. Wade decision allows women to have an abortion any time they want, but this isn’t true. The decision allows for an abortion up until the point of viability. If a child can survive outside the womb, then an abortion according to Roe is considered illegal. This means the debate about abortion is more about when the definition of human life begins.
When Does Life Begin?
One of the most common arguments today against being Pro Choice is the fact that there is a strand of DNA in each cell of an embryo. This, as the argument says, clearly shows that human life begins at conception. The only problem with this argument is that there are DNA strands in many things. If someone exfoliates their skin, they are removing cells that have DNA in them. If the removal of a non-viable embryo is considered murder because there’s DNA in a cell, wouldn’t that logic also mean someone exfoliating would be a murder as well?
The facts are this: women who have access to contraception have fewer unplanned pregnancies. Fewer unplanned pregnancies lead to fewer abortions. This has been proven around the world and in the United States, yet age-appropriate sex education isn’t taught in the US in most schools. Abstinence-only is the dominant curriculum and there are only 2 curriculum options that are even factually accurate about sex and reproduction.
Women deserve better. They deserve to make a real choice, not one that is dictated by a politician or another’s religious leanings.