How to substantially and rationally cut the rate of abortions

December 11, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

Here is a stunning graphic from a television show called “Viewpoint,” featuring Eliot Spitzer:

So if you want to avoid abortions, make birth control freely available.  That’s one of the message of this short Guttmacher video:

Here is another Guttmacher video on the occurrence rates of abortion–it occurs more often in countries where it is illegal (which is often where contraception is not widely available).

The rational way to cut abortion rates is to make birth control freely available; the irrational way to cut abortion is to outlaw abortion. For those who adamantly oppose abortion, Adam Lee asks some pointed questions, including the following:

  1. Biological evidence suggests that a large number, if not a majority, of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted at a very early stage of pregnancy (by some estimates, as many as 50%). Do you consider this an ongoing humanitarian crisis that urgently needs medical research?
  2. If you could write the law however you saw fit, how would you enforce a ban on abortion? For example, in El Salvador, when women come to hospitals seeking treatment for a miscarriage, they can be detained until a forensic vagina investigator can arrive and perform an exam to see if they had an illegal abortion. Would you have something like this? If not, what enforcement mechanism would you have?
  3. Why do you think it is that so many proposed abortion bans have no exception for the woman’s life or health? (For example, anti-abortion laws with no health exceptions exist in Chile, Honduras, Suriname and El Salvador. Even in the U.S., similar bans have been passed by Republican legislatures in Indiana and South Dakota.) Do you think there should be such an exception?
  4. Would you permit exceptions to an abortion ban in the case of rape? If so, how would this work? For a pregnant woman to get an abortion, would she have to accuse a specific person of the crime, and would he have to be tracked down, arrested, charged, put on trial and convicted, all before the point of fetal viability?
  5. What do you think the penalty should be for doctors who perform abortion?
  6. What do you think the penalty should be for women who seek out an abortion?

I would ask many of the same questions Adam Lee asks.    I have set forth my views on abortion here.   I believe that the choice of abortion should be solely between a woman and her doctor for at least the first three months after pregnancy.

For those alleged literalists who oppose abortion based on the bible, where in the bible does it state that the union of an egg and sperm immediately becomes the equivalent of a born human being?  In fact, consider these passages indicating that breathing air is the key point in time:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”   Genesis 2:7

“Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.   Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”  Ezekiel 37: 4-7.


Category: Reproductive Rights

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. markwt says:

    You’re being rational again. You very well know why those who oppose abortion tend also to oppose contraception.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    At Big Think, Adam Lee shares some of the responses he has received from those who oppose abortions. His conclusion: “[T]he pervasive failure of anti-choicers to confront the reality of existing abortion bans is good evidence that they’ve never fully thought out the implications of their stance.”

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