November 26, 2012

If the 'pro-life' movement really cared about life...

The “pro-life” movement has become a joke. I simply can’t take it seriously. Case in point: Liberty University is again taking the Obama Administration to Court. Fox News reports:

“The school is challenging the constitutionality of the part of [the Affordable Care Act] that mandates employers provide insurance and whether forcing insurers to pay for birth control is unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause.[1]

If abortion is murder, as the Liberty crowd believes, then it should be doing all it can to support the administration’s requirement that insurers pay for birth control. Simply put, when women have free access to birth control, they have fewer unwanted pregnancies. And when women have fewer unwanted pregnancies, they have fewer abortions.

A recent study concluded that—quoting an AP story reprinted by none other than Fox News—“[f]ree birth control leads to fewer abortions.” The study tracked 9,000 St. Louis women who were offered free birth control. In what should have come as no surprise, these women had a significantly lower rate of unintended pregnancies than the general population. Teens in the study had especially low rates: “There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 per 1,000 teens in 2010.”[2]

The study further found that there were “substantially lower rates of abortion, when compared with women in the metro area and nationally: 4.4 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study, compared with 13.4 to 17 abortions per 1,000 women overall in the St. Louis region” and “almost 20 abortions per 1,000 women” nationally.

Sarah Kliff recently argued that better birth control methods—namely, intrauterine devices (IUDs)—are the most likely reason that the abortion rate has been falling. (Yes, the abortion rate has been falling.)[3] In the above study, women who used IUDs were 22 times less likely to have an unintended pregnancy than women using the pill. All of which led one of the study’s authors, Dr. Jeffery Peipert, to conclude that if women were given access to free IUDs the national abortion rate could very well drop by half.[4]

Which is why I can’t take so much of the “pro-life” crowd seriously. If they really cared about saving human lives, then they would take actions that would actually save human lives.

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[1] “Supreme Court orders new look at Liberty University’s health care coverage,” November 26, 2012.

[2] Lauran Neergaard, “Study: Free birth control leads to few abortions,” Associated Press, October 5, 2012.

[3]Surprise! The abortion rate just hit an all-time low,” Washington Post, November 23, 2012.

[4] Darshak Sanghavi, “Why Have Teen Pregnancy Rates Dropped?” Slate, July 31, 2012.

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