Statistics about low abortion and teen birth rates are generally considered to be a good thing. But, with discussions about access and funding of birth control happening across the country, who will actually pay attention to the study that says free birth control is responsible for dropping these rates?
An extensive study from the Washington University in St. Louis says that access to free birth control leads to low teen birth and abortion rates. After letting 9,000 mostly poor and/or uninsured women in the city choose what type of contraception they’d use if it were free, researchers found that women that have access to free contraception don’t get pregnant as often. Huge shocker (sarcasm alert).
And because unintended pregnancies weren’t occurring as often, women weren’t having as many abortions. Between 4.4 and 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women happened, far lower than the national rate of 20 abortions per 1,000 women. So, can we all just agree that if abortion is “bad”, then contraception is good, and stop pretending that telling people not to have sex outside of marriage is effective?
No. Of course not. Because people such as Jeanne Monahan from the Family Research Council believe that giving people birth control makes them have more, riskier sex. She suggests that by making all types of contraception readily available, including those that are less effective, it will actually cause more unplanned pregnancies. Interestingly enough, however, when given the choice of contraception, 75 percent of the study’s participants went with the long-lasting IUD.
Turns out, when left to their own devices, women can make decisions.
Leah graduated from Ryerson University with her Bachelor of Journalism. She’s currently interning at a design magazine in Toronto and spending her spare time baking tasty cupcakes. You can follow her @ElleandBee.