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How Can the Rate of Abortion Really Be Reduced?

Posted by on Apr. 5, 2014 at 6:28 PM
  • 66 Replies
1 mom liked this

What actions will actually reduce the rate of abortion?  Restrictive laws?  Forcing women to have ultrasounds before they can have an abortion?  Contraception?  Education?  Anything else? 

Results of one study:

Free Birth Control Cuts Abortion Rate by 62 Percent

 



Providing free, reliable birth control to women could prevent between 41 percent and 71 percent of abortions in the United States, new research finds.

In a study published today (Oct. 4) in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers provided free methods of reversible, reliable contraception to more than 9,000 teens and women in the St. Louis area. They found that the program reduced the abortion rate among these women by 62 percent to 78 percent.

"The impact of providing no-cost birth control was far greater than we expected in terms of unintended pregnancies," lead author Jeff Peipert, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine, said in a statement. "We think improving access to birth control, particularly IUDs [intrauterine devices] and [hormone] implants, coupled with education on the most effective methods, has the potential to significantly decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in this country."

The findings have implications for public policy, especially given that President Obama's health-care plan requires employers to offer plans that include birth control coverage. This requirement has been a point of controversy in the lead-up to the 2012 election.

Between 2006 and 2008, 49 percent of all pregnancies in America were unplanned, according to the CDC's National Survey of Family Growth. About 43 percent of these unintended pregnancies ended in abortion. Meanwhile, a 2011 study in the journal Contraception estimated that unintended births cost U.S. taxpayers about $11 billion a year.

To see if access to free contraception could budge those numbers, Peipert and his colleagues recruited 9,256 women ages 14 to 45 living in the St. Louis area through flyers, doctors and word-of-mouth. They also recruited patients from the city's two abortion clinics. Participants were given the option of using any reversible birth control method, from the birth control pill to a hormonal birth control patch to a long-lasting IUD or hormonal implant. [7 Surprising Facts About the Pill]

More than half of the women chose IUDs, 17 percent picked hormonal implants (tiny rods placed under the skin that release hormones), and the rest chose pills, patches and other hormonal methods. As a result, the researchers found, both teen births and overall abortion rates plummeted.

Among women in the free contraceptive program, the teen birth rate was 6.3 per 1,000 women, a huge difference from the national teen birth rate of 34.3 per 1,000 women.

Likewise, the abortion rate among women in the program was 4.4 to 7.5 per 1,000 between 2008 and 2010. Nationally, there are 19.6 abortions per every thousand women, a 62 percent to 78 percent difference. In the St. Louis area, the overall abortion rate in that time frame was between 13.4 and 17 abortions per 1,000 women.

The study highlights the importance of long-acting contraception methods such as the IUD, researchers said. Birth control pills have a higher failure rate than these methods, because women have to remember to take a pill at the same time every day. But IUDs, which last about 10 years, can cost more than $800, the researchers said, putting them out of reach for many lower-income women who may not be able to come up with that kind of money in one lump sum.

"Unintended pregnancy remains a major health problem in the United States, with higher proportions among teenagers and women with less education and lower economic status," Peipert said. "The results of this study demonstrate that we can reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and this is key to reducing abortions in this country."

by on Apr. 5, 2014 at 6:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Apr. 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM
4 moms liked this

PamR
by Platinum Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 6:35 PM
3 moms liked this

I would really love to see an intelligent discussion of this without the religious mud-slinging on either side.

jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Apr. 5, 2014 at 6:58 PM
5 moms liked this

I realize there are some who honestly believe that birth control is not right - that it blocks or prevents a child from being born.  So this can really be a touchy subject on both sides.

However, I agree that using birth control, consistently, will contribute to less abortions.  That, really, is to be expected.  There are some who will not use birth control and will still use abortion as birth control, which I then have a problem with.  

I also feel that the tighter restrictions, which I listed in a different thread, also contribute some to the lower abortion numbers.

Even though education can or could be helpful when taught to tweens and teens, there are still some barriers that the education, itself, disagrees with what some parents feel are right or wrong about what their children should know or not know.  Examples include teaching more leniency about sex and that it's okay, as long as they are protected.  They are not the ones who should be encouraging children to have sex while so young, in the first place.  Offering birth control in schools also go against the parents' authority with how they choose to raise their children.  Yet, an argument is that "kids are going to have sex, anyway, so let's get them protected."  Unfortunately, that is true, in some respects.  However, some would prefer to help kids understand why waiting is important.  

Another problem, is that while a good many parents communicate with their children about sex, abstinence, birth control, etc., there are also a good many who don't (like my mom didn't.)  This was just a side note - I'm not quite sure where my mind was trying to go with this part, lol.

PamR
by Platinum Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting jcribb16:

I realize there are some who honestly believe that birth control is not right - that it blocks or prevents a child from being born.  So this can really be a touchy subject on both sides.

However, I agree that using birth control, consistently, will contribute to less abortions.  That, really, is to be expected.  There are some who will not use birth control and will still use abortion as birth control, which I then have a problem with.  

I also feel that the tighter restrictions, which I listed in a different thread, also contribute some to the lower abortion numbers.

Even though education can or could be helpful when taught to tweens and teens, there are still some barriers that the education, itself, disagrees with what some parents feel are right or wrong about what their children should know or not know.  Examples include teaching more leniency about sex and that it's okay, as long as they are protected.  They are not the ones who should be encouraging children to have sex while so young, in the first place.  Offering birth control in schools also go against the parents' authority with how they choose to raise their children.  Yet, an argument is that "kids are going to have sex, anyway, so let's get them protected."  Unfortunately, that is true, in some respects.  However, some would prefer to help kids understand why waiting is important.  

Another problem, is that while a good many parents communicate with their children about sex, abstinence, birth control, etc., there are also a good many who don't (like my mom didn't.)  This was just a side note - I'm not quite sure where my mind was trying to go with this part, lol.

As far as education goes, there are parents who might object because their personal beliefs don't agree with what is being taught. Parents do have the right to opt out for their child. And I do think parents should be passing on their beliefs to their children. But I also think these abstinence pledges signed by middle schoolers are ridiculous, and I'm afraid it actually cuts out some level of communication between parent and child because the child won't feel comfortable discussing sex with their parents. They signed the pledge, that should be it, right 

I am in favor of comprehensive sex ed, that truthfully addresses all aspects of sexuality, including the potential physical and emotional consequences.  I think discussing abstinence as the safest option should be a part of it, but I also think discussions of how to practice safe sex and prevent pregnancy is necessary. Talking truthfully to teenagers, who are bombarded with unrealistic sexual images constantly, is the only way to approach it. They're pretty savvy, they know when you're bus.inv them. 

Given that the lowest rates of abortion exist in the countries with the most lenient laws along with the best education and access to affordable birth control, it seems obvious that the direction to go in is providing better education and contraceptive access. When we close places like PP clinics, we cut off access to birth control for many women, while doing virtually nothing to impact the rate of abortion. 

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM
3 moms liked this

IDK, I don't think it's THE solution. For some, it could help if that is their alternative. I do however think that mindset in general is a problem though, because it doesn't get to the root of it, it's like a bandaid, and I also think it fosters a very poor image of women.

In college I remember kids could get free access to birth control. I knew girls who used abortion as their means of contraception. Made no difference. I worked as an NPin sliding scale clinics where they gave out free condoms, easy access to the pill, most often free or extremely low cost. Many times girls didn't want to deal with it "too hard to remember"... "how about the shot" but then they don't return routinely.

What, they can't help themselves? They have to sleep with someone? Is this another ploy to try to justify free access to birth control under the ACA? What's the motive here? Just because women can have sex, it's a right, with no consequence or responsibility?

I try to think better of people than that. I don't think they are just like dogs governed by their hormones. People have the ability to make rational choices.

My honest opinion? If people learn to take responsibility it wouldn't be a problem. In the bigger picture? I think if we as a country get back to family values- it would make a huge difference. I'd suggest getting to the root of the problem- it's far bigger than education, or contraception.

Donna6503
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM
4 moms liked this
Hopefully, people won't misbehave on this post and get it blocked.



What I'm about to be say will be controversial; we need to teach "maturity" we need to get away from providing an "adolescent" stage of life. We need to get away from the "in between" from child to adult.

You are either a child, not ready to leave home, or you're an adult and ready to leave home.

I know it's very simplistic; but, why do we, as a society, feel the need to have an adolescent period of life ... Let alone, the need to extend into their mid twenties?
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PamR
by Platinum Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Not all unplanned pregnancies are happening to young unmarried women. The rate of unplanned pregnancy in this country is 49 percent. That has to include a fair number of married women. I think that's where very clearly educating people comes in. A lot of people seem pretty ignorant about preventing pregnancy. I can remember one genius I knew when I was a young woman who thought you took a birth control pill every time you had sex. 

Quoting Ziva65:

IDK, I don't htink it's THE solution. For some, it could help if that is their alternative. I do however think that mindset in general is a problem though, because it doesn't get to the root of it, it's like a bandaid, and I also think it fosters a very poor image of women.

In college I remember kids could get free access to birth control. I knew girls who used abortion as their means of contraception. Made no difference. I worked as an NPin sliding scale clinics where they gave out free condoms, easy access to the pill, most often free or extremely low cost. Many times girls didn't want to deal with it "too hard to remember"... "how about the shot" but then they don't return routinely.

What, they can't help themselves? They have to sleep with someone? Is this another ploy to try to justify free access to birth control under the ACA? What's the motive here? Just because women can have sex, it's a right, with no consequence or responsibility?

I try to think better of people than that. I don't think they are just like dogs governed by their hormones. People have the ability to make rational choices.

My honest opinion? If people learn to take responsibility it wouldn't be a problem. In the bigger picture? I think if we as a country get back to family values- it would make a huge difference. I'd suggest getting to the root of the problem- it's far bigger than education, or contraception.


VeronicaTex
by on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:45 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with what Ziva says below.

I explain my ideas now:

I believe that males' and females'  (especially teenagers) motives and reasons for sex should be taught.

They both want to feel good, but must be told that there are consequences and the best kind of birth control is abstinence.

For the most part, the male sex drive is strong at a younger age.  

It seems to me that many males are more interested in the "conquering" aspect of sex.

The females, I believe, are more in a still maturing, "romantic" state if you will. and are looking for affirmation and love.


In any event, everyone should be responsible.

The value of life should also be part of the education as well.

Veronica





Quoting Ziva65:


My honest opinion? If people learn to take responsibility it wouldn't be a problem. 


Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:55 PM

 I didn't say they were unmarried- in fact, my friend from college in her 30's (married for the 3rd time) was STILL using abortion as her means of contraception... I happened to run into her a few years ago, now we are both close to 50- when I was an NP walking through the Gyn department... I couldn't believe it.

With unplanned pregnancy- that would certainly be addressed with responsibility. It doesn't by any means negate education- but as you said it needs to be the proper education. Educaiton is a piece, contraception (for some) is a piece, responsibility is the whole pie.

However, I think "free contraception" as referenced in the post isn't the "magic" answer

Quoting PamR:

Not all unplanned pregnancies are happening to young unmarried women. The rate of unplanned pregnancy in this country is 49 percent. That has to include a fair number of married women. I think that's where very clearly educating people comes in. A lot of people seem pretty ignorant about preventing pregnancy. I can remember one genius I knew when I was a young woman who thought you took a birth control pill every time you had sex. 

Quoting Ziva65:

IDK, I don't htink it's THE solution. For some, it could help if that is their alternative. I do however think that mindset in general is a problem though, because it doesn't get to the root of it, it's like a bandaid, and I also think it fosters a very poor image of women.

In college I remember kids could get free access to birth control. I knew girls who used abortion as their means of contraception. Made no difference. I worked as an NPin sliding scale clinics where they gave out free condoms, easy access to the pill, most often free or extremely low cost. Many times girls didn't want to deal with it "too hard to remember"... "how about the shot" but then they don't return routinely.

What, they can't help themselves? They have to sleep with someone? Is this another ploy to try to justify free access to birth control under the ACA? What's the motive here? Just because women can have sex, it's a right, with no consequence or responsibility?

I try to think better of people than that. I don't think they are just like dogs governed by their hormones. People have the ability to make rational choices.

My honest opinion? If people learn to take responsibility it wouldn't be a problem. In the bigger picture? I think if we as a country get back to family values- it would make a huge difference. I'd suggest getting to the root of the problem- it's far bigger than education, or contraception.

 

 

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 7:57 PM
3 moms liked this

 I agree with you.

The value of life is a big one... that goes to family values, and societal values. Personally- that is the biggest part lacking in the whole picture, JMO. It seems pretty non-existent today. We are the minority in this thought process though...

Quoting VeronicaTex:

I agree with what Ziva says below.

I explain my ideas now:

I believe that males' and females'  (especially teenagers) motives and reasons for sex should be taught.

They both want to feel good, but must be told that there are consequences and the best kind of birth control is abstinence.

For the most part, the male sex drive is strong at a younger age.  

It seems to me that many males are more interested in the "conquering" aspect of sex.

The females, I believe, are more in a still maturing, "romantic" state if you will. and are looking for affirmation and love.

 

In any event, everyone should be responsible.

The value of life should also be part of the education as well.

Veronica

 

 

Quoting Ziva65:

 

My honest opinion? If people learn to take responsibility it wouldn't be a problem. 

 

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