Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Why Women Get Abortions

I wrote an article last week on why Planned Parenthood should not receive federal funding in the US. To read this article, click here. I received an interesting response to this article, part of which read:

Have you lost your damn mind???? A very, very small percentages of abortions are done because of a woman accidentally got pregnant and didn't want/couldn't support the baby. There are a lot done because of medical reasons too - because the mother will die, or because the baby has died or will die immediately after being born.

Maybe if this commenter knew the facts, she would not make such a claim. The reason for getting an abortion is divided into two sections:

1) Woman becomes pregnant "accidentally" and did not want to or could not support a baby

2) A woman's life is in jeopardy unless she has an abortion.

I could not find very many statistics on the reasons for which women choose to abort their babies. The only resource I could find was from Planned Parenthood's own statistics division, known as the Guttmacher Institute (named after Margaret Sanger's successor as President of Planned Parenthood Alan Guttmacher). Obviously, if any data were reported in favor of abortion, it would come from here.

The research from this organization reports the following reasons for a 10 year period:
  • 25.5% Want to postpone childbearing
  • 21.3% Cannot afford a baby
  • 14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
  • 12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
  • 10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job
  • 7.9% Want no (more) children
  • 3.3% Risk to fetal health
  • 2.8% Risk to maternal health
  • 2.1% Other

Remember the two categories first proposed? Here's how they would break down:

1) Woman becomes pregnant "accidentally" and did not want to or could not support a baby - 91.8%

2) A woman's life is in jeopardy unless she has an abortion. - 6.1%

3) Other - 2.1%

As we can clearly see, the vast majority of abortions have nothing to do with health considerations. Instead, innocent children are killed because their mothers want to further their education, would prefer not to have children, don't have enough money to raise them a certain way, etc.

Not to begrudge the tiny percentage that went to health reasons, but I think these statistics need to be sorted out as well. What does risk to fetal health mean? I'm assuming this would include mothers who abort their babies because the baby could have a birth defect or be hard to care for. It doesn't specify the severity of the health issue, so theoretically anything could be claimed as the reason.

In terms of the mother's health, it lists 2.8%, but again, what does this mean? Not all of this is for mothers whose lives are in imminent danger unless their child is killed. It could include smaller medical issues.

It's also worth noting that if there were a case where a mother's life was in danger, the life-threatening illness or disorder can be treated even if as an unintended side-effect, the child in the womb dies. This is permissible under Catholic morals.

It is also worth noting the case where the baby would be born dead. This one seems easy morally-speaking. If someone is going to die sometime in the future, that does not give us the right to terminate his or her life NOW. If the baby truly would die upon birth, why artificially speed up the process?

And on the last point of not telling a woman (or man) what to do with their body, I do not wish to do that. I am only advocating for another person, the unborn child.


  1. Are you in a position to decide how all women should handle a problematic pregnancy?

    If so, please provide your credentials & your law enforcement badge number.

  2. Morals must ultimately have a source. If that source is not God, morals are really of little relevance on any subject. However, I believe God is the originator of morality. One reason I believe this that I believe there are REAL morals, not just group decisions. It is wrong to torture an innocent person for fun, even if everyone in a culture accepts it. I do not believe it's simply a "choice" or personal opinion, but it is a universal, unchanging moral law. In order to be that, God must exist, otherwise it's just a matter of consensus.

    God wanted us to understand and know how to live so he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to live among us. Jesus established a Church, which teaches on faith and morals.

    The Church elaborates on the laws of God, and this guides my moral compass. How a woman should handle her pregnancy is something the laws of God decide. A woman can choose to accept God's teachings or reject them. The thoughts I expressed above are not my mere opinions, but rather the teachings of the infallible Church.