A new poll by VOX has again shown the answer is not as easy as it may seem.
Vox then conducted 100 interviews to hearth e reasoning; have a look and listen!
thanks to Joe Posner and Vox!
I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.
I’m not the only one who is frustrated with, and even a little bit exhausted by, the “Pro life” versus “Pro Choice” debate. I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to wade through all of the issues, and why I feel how I do about it. And I’ve arrived at three reasons I find the whole dialogue – if you can call it that – terribly wanting.
1. The Debate is Inherently (and Ironically) Dehumanizing.
2. “Pro Life” and “Pro Choice” Doesn’t Represent Most People.
3. The Pro-Life Position Feels Disingenuous to Many People.
USA Today reported on teen births this week, noting the 2012 US average at 29.4 births per 1000 women aged 15-19. The lowest rates fell in the Northeast with New Hampshire leading at 13.8. The highest rates fell in the South and Southwest, with New Mexico and Oklahoma sharing the honors at 47.5 and 47.3 respectively. The ethnic tallies showed Asians lowest at 9.7 and Hispanics highest at 46.3.
Overall, the average age of new mothers has risen while the incidence of teen pregnancy, though still troublesome, has dropped, and the state variances prove striking differences among youth behavior across the country.
While on the topic, we had a look at the US teen numbers in an international comparison from last year of 16 countries.
Despite improvements overall to the US data, in this group of western nations, only Romania comes in with higher teenage pregnancy rates than the US. It is also interesting to note the similarity in the birth/abortion option quotas between the two nations and how dramatically opposite these run from countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
Switzerland posts an astounding low rate of only 7 pregnancies per 1000 teens, only 15% of the US rate, while the Netherlands, Germany and Italy run second lowest with 12 and 13 pregnancies per 1000.
Why is it these countries have relatively rare incidence of teenage pregnancy? What can we do to markedly change that?
The title is becoming commonplace, almost, but what is remarkable about the current decision is that Arizona’s three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took the opportunity in their judgment against Arizona’s off-label restrictions to single out two brethren courts that did not strike down similar legislation. The Fifth Circuit upheld a Texas law and the Sixth Circuit upheld an Oklahoma law, both of which this Ninth Court now cites as “inconsistent with the undue burden test” meaning basically that their decisions break with Supreme Court precedent. This is an outright invitation for the Supreme Court to take up those cases and declare the respective legislative efforts unconstitutional.
Will they do it?
Supreme Court photo thanks to Kjetil Ree
Time for great news.
All but six states posted decreases in their abortion rates from 2008 to 2011. Alaska, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Wyoming posted gains. With rates at 27 to 34 abortions per thousand women, the Northeast Corridor, namely New York, Maryland, DC, Delaware and New Jersey were home to the highest abortion rates. At the lowest rates of one to five per thousand, Wyoming, Mississippi, South Dakota, Kentucky and Missouri lead the scoreboards, though the numbers tally only in-state activity. So outliers such as Wyoming, for example, where more than 90 percent of abortion patients in 2009 went out of state for their operation, fair better than they should and hide the tales of tribulations for their citizens.
Though the data reflects 2011 activity (you would think compiling got quicker with computers…), at least it is fairly clear that none of the abortion restrictions led to this development, i.e. unwanted pregnancy declines were organic. Maybe that is the best news yet. Let’s continue to make pro-plan the agenda.
The Guttmacher Institue offers a US map with good albeit now somewhat dated data points on each State for your reference. And the Washington Post compiled nice graphics here and here for State trends and comparisons.
How is your State fairing?
In a new survey by the Univision organization covering 12,038 self-identified Catholics, 78% of all responders supported the use of contraceptives. Topping the list was Latin America at 91% favorable, Europe with 86% in favor and the US at 79% yes. The Philippines with 68% not in favor were the most strongly opposed and Africa posted 54% against contraception.
These results are consistent with the Gallop poll conducted in 2012 and prove again that vast the majority Catholics are in disagreement with key policies of their own Church.
The perhaps most surprising results from the poll were regarding abortion, where overall 9% responded in favor in all cases and 57% feel it should be allowed in some cases.. In the US, only 20% of participants feel abortion should not be allowed at all.
The survey was conducted in 9 languages, across 5 continents and in 12 countries with self-identified Catholics. These 12 countries represent 61% of the world’s Catholic population.
What do you think?
As many news feeds have consolidated and well documented, legal access to abortion services has become restricted over the past few years. The latest report from Erik Eckholm for the New York Times includes the graphic shared here that portrays the news in no uncertain form: State legislatures passed 70 new abortion restrictions in 2013 and more over the past three years than they did from 2000 to 2010.
Here a summary of legislation enacted in 2013
3 Bans on abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization (22 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period)
4 Restrictions related to reason for abortion, like gender or fetal impairment
4 Amendments to abortion reporting laws
9 Restrictions on abortion providers
10 Limitations on insurance coverage of abortion
17 Limitations on medication abortion
23 Other, includes parental involvement requirements, bans on abortion at 6 or 12 weeks, ultrasound requirements and extended waiting periods.
For the discerning observer, however, some details seem worth dissecting.
1. Restrictions related to reason for abortion includes gender and fetal impairment. For many, these may seem two vastly different reasons, one sounding like but I wanted a boy/girl and the other where something terrible has gone wrong, often cases where the fetus may not make it or be born into a life of tubings. Our supporters may astound at the former, yet sympathize with the latter.
2. Bans on abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization also seems to be a melting pot. Many fetal deformities are not assessed prior to this time. Is it fair for legislatures to lump expecting parents now facing traumatic circumstances in with those who may just decide very late?
3. The new Restrictions on abortion providers include requiring doctors performing abortions to have local hospital admitting privileges and imposing surgery-center standards on abortion clinics. Here again, what do we believe? What is truly in a woman’s best interest? Many medical procedures nowadays are performed in-office and all procedures are not without risk. For example, plastic surgery and vascular surgery are regularly performed in practices. Are these also unregulated? Actually, we understand no. The same requirements of local hospital registration and surgery-center standards apply. Are the standards inappropriate? Do we accept lesser standards for the sake of upholding access to abortion?
4. Waiting periods: many strong pro-choicers argue against any waiting period at all; they support abortion-on-demand. The cases of failing access to birth control and lack of education are often cited in defense. But the fact is, about half of women having abortions today have been there before, at least once. So the reasoning is shaky. Perhaps such waiting periods would enable care-givers at least two chances to consult patients on their going forward needs. Would this help reduce repeat visits? Imagine, we could halve the abortion rate just by eliminating repeat business. Why is this so difficult?
It seems obscene to even have to pose these questions, yet being in favor of legal abortion access is not without it testing our common sense and any realm of limits.
Here is a full schedule of state laws provided by the Guttmacher Institute if you would like to check where your state stands.
As we move forward toward hopefully keeping legal abortion available and safe, yet making it the rare exception, we need to be cautious of assessments and labeling all legislative initiatives as direct assaults rather than efforts to also bring individual accountability and responsibility into these services. Would you agree?
So the title of the article really should read
“Women Now Planning Their Families” or “Less Unintended Pregnancies Among Women”
Women are being empowered to take charge of their lives and plan their families through the use of contraception, including for teens, simply waiting longer before becoming sexually active.
More such highlights, please!
Read the CNN interview here