Young People Need Information About Birth Control

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Editor:

Anti-choice folks often ask an interesting question to support their views. “Do you know there have been about a million abortions per year in the United States since Roe v. Wade?” Perhaps other questions are also relevant.

Example: “Do you know how many abortions were performed in the United States in 1958? 1961? 1970? Do you know how many of those abortions resulted in the woman’s death?”

Of course, these questions can only be answered, “No,” because no one was keeping track before abortion was legal. I do know, however, of two illegal abortions performed in my tiny Midwestern town in 1958, so it obviously wasn’t a rarity.

Another: “Do you know how many legal abortions since Roe v. Wade resulted in the woman’s death?”

In answer to this, the CDC reports, “From 1993 to 1997, the case fatality rate was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions. This is much lower than the rate of maternal deaths for completed pregnancies.”

I have read numerous reports of damage, physical and emotional, to women due to abortion. I have also read numerous reports of damage, physical and emotional, to women due to childbirth. Either childbirth or abortion can result in depression, hemorrhage, sterility, high blood pressure, exacerbation of chronic illnesses, and a host of other conditions. The risks of one do not appear to substantially outweigh the risks of the other.

Considering all facts, it’s risky to get pregnant! That’s why young people need complete information about birth control. When a woman does become pregnant, let’s stop arguing, focus on the positive, and make all outcomes as safe as possible.

Pregnant women need prenatal care, counseling and parenting information. Abortions need to be accessible and done competently. Babies need nutritious food, a loving environment, and the promise of a good education.

Elaine Bohlmeyer

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