New at Live Action: "Safe, Legal, and Rare"?

My latest Live Action post:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “We support a woman’s right to choose, but that doesn’t mean we think abortion is a good thing. We want abortion to be safe, legal, and rare, so we prefer to find ways to reduce women’s need for abortion.”

It’s a neat, tidy bit of rhetoric that enables pro-choicers to distance themselves from the injustice of abortion while simultaneously spinning policies like forced contraception coverage as somehow pro-life. It doesn’t hold up too well under logical scrutiny—if abortion isn’t the taking of an innocent life, then who cares how rare it is?—but on the whole, it’s been a useful propaganda tool.
However, over the weekend New York Times columnist Ross Douthat took a look at how well the “safe, legal, and rare” strategy has worked out. His conclusion? It hasn’t:

To begin with, a lack of contraceptive access simply doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in unplanned pregnancy in the United States. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.

Read the rest at Live Action.

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