Abortion Rates Drop When Birth Control Usage Goes Up, Yet Republicans Want to Limit Access to Birth Control

Preventing abortions seems to rank fairly high on the Republican party platform, but one of the most effective ways to see this through is to make birth control easily accessible. Affordable and accessible contraception reduces the chances of an unplanned pregnancy, which oftentimes does lead to termination.

Since 1980, the number of abortions per 1,000 women has dropped by nearly half. The early 80s also happen to coincide with the introduction of low dose hormonal birth control to the market, as well as a safe and effective copper-based IUD.

It’s almost as if women would much rather use contraception and not get pregnant in the first place as opposed to using an abortion as their primary means of birth control. The concept isn’t too difficult to wrap your head around, but Republicans in Congress seem to be taking a counter-productive approach to the situation: reduce access to birth control and reduce access to abortions.

For the most part, it comes down to a vocal minority and the interests of big business. Most Republican voters approve of birth control, by a wide margin, with 87% of them finding it morally acceptable according to a 2016 Gallup survey. It seems to be a subsection of the 13% who don’t find it acceptable attempting to drive legislation on the issue.

Taking a more critical look at it, that vocal minority is more of a scapegoat than anything else for legislators, a group they can point to and say “I’m doing this for you” when they vote to restrict access to contraception and other women’s health services. Big businesses are the real shot callers with most legislators and the issue of birth control happens to be a means to an end for them.

On one hand, by focusing attention on access to what should be (and is in most of the developed world) affordable contraception, economic issues which can have a very significant effect on businesses and individuals, can be passed without as much fanfare. Birth control itself is not a very profitable product, but those born of unplanned pregnancies will go on to directly or indirectly support millions of dollars’ worth of economic activity in their lifetimes, primarily benefiting — you guessed it — big businesses.

The health of American citizens should not be as contentious of an issue as what it has been in the political climate of the last 20 years. Easy access to contraception has absolutely resulted in fewer abortions, but it’s important to ask ourselves the question of why some people claim to want to end abortion, yet do seemingly all that they can to make sure that doesn’t become reality.

Taking a more critical look at it, that vocal minority is more of a scapegoat than anything else for legislators, a group they can point to and say “I’m doing this for you” when they vote to restrict access to contraception and other women’s health services.

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