How to prevent abortion? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, January 26, 2008

How to prevent abortion?

Posted By on Sat, Jan 26, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Don't get pregnant. Sound sex education helps. From a New York Times editorial today on the decline in abortions -- lowest number since 1974 and and even bigger drop proportionally to the number of pregnancies:

Abortion opponents like the National Right to Life Committee seized upon the numbers as vindication for their strategy of demonizing abortion and making it harder for women to obtain one. Many states now mandate counseling sessions beforehand. But a harder look at the data suggests another explanation.

Almost two-thirds of the decline in the total number of abortions can be traced to eight jurisdictions with few or no abortion restrictions — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington State and the District of Columbia. These are places, notes the Guttmacher Institute’s president, Sharon Camp, that have shown a commitment to real sex education, largely departing from the Bush administration’s abstinence-only approach. These jurisdictions also help women avoid unintended pregnancies by making contraception widely available.

The lesson: prevention works. Restrictions on abortion serve mainly to hurt poor women by postponing abortions until later in pregnancy. While shifting social mores may change some people’s behavior, the best practical strategy for reducing abortions is to focus on helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies.

We once again in Arkansas are led by health officials who believe in comprehensive sex education.

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