Want to reduce abortions? Start by reducing contraception.

By Maggie DeWitte, IFL Executive Director

I know that sounds counterintuitive.  People assume that the way to reduce abortion is to promote comprehensive sexual education and increase access to contraception. 

This simply isn’t true.  Contraception has been readily available in the United States for decades and the number of abortions has continued to go up at an alarming rate. 62 million lives have been lost and that number is growning.

According to the research by the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm, over half the woman who go into the clinic for an abortion were using some kind of contraceptive method the month they became pregnant.  If we were giving contraception a grade, it would be a big fat F. 

Contraception is clearly not the solution to the problem of abortion.  Quite the opposite is true. The abortion industry has figured out that in order to keep woman coming in for abortions, they keep women coming in for contraceptives.

Contraception gives women a false sense of security. 

And that false sense leads to taking greater risks.  According to a British Medical Journal Study, contraception use, sexual behavior, and STD’s show concern about “risk compensation” which means there is a greater chance individuals will engage in risky sexual behavior when they think the risk has been eliminated.

A pat response when the subject of contraception comes up is that we need it in order to prevent teenage pregnancy, as if teenagers are animals and incapable of controlling themselves. The real answer is that we need to promote abstinence. Teenagers are less likely to be consistent in their use of contraception and use it properly, and when they do become pregnant, they are more vulnerable and less equipped to handle the consequences than adults are.

I could site several more studies on this, but I think you get the idea.  This also does not even address the multiple studies on the severe health risks associated with contraception and its abortifacient nature, both of which are serious considerations when using contraception.

Our society is saturated in sex; we have an epidemic of STD’s and Pornography and we have now gotten to a point where people are questioning whether we can define a person as male or female and redefined the definition of marriage.  It seems in many respects; we are going in the wrong direction.

The topic of contraception is one that I have been passionate about for many years.  As I have looked at how we really reduce abortion, it seems so clear to me that we need to start at the very beginning.  God created man and woman and he told them to be fruitful and multiply.  We have perverted what God has intended for our sexuality.  We have taken the sacred, God-given gift of sexuality and reduced it to mere gratification.

It all started with the sexual revolution.

Of course abortions were taking place before then, but it was the Sexual Revolution and the birth control pill that dramatically increased abortions and the steep decline in our culture. It was meant to empower woman and give them freedom and equality with men.  But it didn’t do any of that.  It was only natural that it would lead to the idea that the only way to advance in society would be to have the right to kill the child in her womb.   

When we look at reducing abortion, we often look to the laws and legislation that will impact the abortion rate.  At the same time, we are constantly preaching the need to ‘change hearts and minds.’  And both things are needed. 

But I genuinely believe that the key to unraveling the mess we have made in our families and relationships is to deal with the lie of contraception.  The only way we are really going to reduce the abortion rate is by taking back our God-given sexuality.  It's by teaching our children from an early age that they matter; that they have dignity, and they have worth.  And that dignity and worth doesn’t come from how they look or what they do; it is simply because they are made in the image of God.  It means teaching our children what it means to be a man and be a woman and how each sex perfectly compliments the other.

So, I will end where I started.  Do you want to reduce abortion?  Let’s start by reducing the contraceptive mentality.

adam and eve

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1: 28

Maggie DeWitte
Maggie DeWitte

Contraception Research

The Journal of Health Economics Professor David Patton, who is an author of many studies on contraception states, there is “no evidence” that access to family planning reduces the abortion rate."  He states, “It is clear that providing more family planning clinics, far from having the effect of reducing conception rates, has actually led to an increase…. The availability of the morning-after pill seems to be encouraging risky behavior. It appears that if people have access to family planning advice, they think they automatically have a lower risk of pregnancy.”

A study published in the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics by researchers at Yale, Duke University, and the US Centers for Disease Control in 2012 stated: “Programs that increase access to contraception are found to decrease teen pregnancies in the short run but increase them in the long run.”

A publication in Ava Maria Law Review in 2015 analyzed the policies of 28 states that required health plans to cover contraception.  The study revealed that states with mandates to cover contraception had similar rates of unintended pregnancies as states with no mandate.  And the states with the mandates had higher abortion rates than the states that did not have it.