As more scientific data becomes available, more Americans become pro-life. Technological innovations (ultrasounds that show the fetus in detail as an active baby) as well as easy access to medical research and other information on the Internet have substantiated the pro-life position and exposed the myths behind the “pro-choice” campaign. The most recent poll of college freshmen (400 universities polled by UCLA) revealed that only 55 percent believed that abortion should be legal (as compared with 64 percent 10 years earlier). In February 2004, a Newsweek poll revealed that only 3 percent of 18 to 29 year olds said that abortion was the most important issue facing women today. Indeed, feminists agree that abortion is facing its “most serious threat in decades.” The mantra about abortion is to make it “safe, legal and rare.” Yet, over one million children are aborted in the United States every year. Over 40 million abortions have been performed since Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in 1973.The abortion rate for unmarried women is four times greater than that of married women. Six million American women become pregnant every year almost half of them are unmarried and half of those have an abortion with the other half becoming single mothers.Women choose abortion primarily because they lack the financial and emotional resources for another choice (Alan Guttmacher Institute). Crisis pregnancy center personnel hear unmarried women say that their “boyfriend” or “partner” is making them have an abortion.In 1996, women ages 20-24 had over 400,000 abortions, about one-third of the total performed that year. These are not immature or ill-informed girls. In 1960, 60 percent of unmarried pregnant women married the father of their baby before the baby was born; in 1994, only 23 percent did.Pro-abortion rhetoric focuses on the danger of “back-alley” abortions, but legalized abortion is not safe. Abortion is four times deadlier than childbirth.Evidence is mounting that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer commonly called the ABC link. Eleven out of 12 studies of American women report an increased risk of breast cancer after an induced abortion, while 25 studies out of 31 conducted around the world indicate an increased risk. A British study found that one induced abortion increased the risk of cancer, on average, by 30 percent.More and more studies are indicating other health problems associated with abortions. For instance: sterility and infertility (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and Journal of Infectious Diseases), future pregnancy complications (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology), and later general serious, even fatal, complications (Southern Medical Journal).Emotional, mental and psychological effects are 63 percent more common after an abortion than after a delivery. Doctors even have a name for it: post-abortion syndrome (PAS). Problems also include increased drug and alcohol abuse, insomnia, nightmares and eating disorders.Women who have an abortion are 6 times more likely to commit suicide than women who deliver a baby (The British Medical Journal).Women with a history of abortion are twice as likely to use alcohol, five times more likely to use illicit drugs and ten times more likely to use marijuana when carrying a pregnancy to term than a woman delivering her first pregnancy (The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology).Abortion can affect a woman’s sexuality; 30-50 percent of women who undergo abortion experience sexual dysfunction or develop a promiscuous lifestyle (Social Science and Medicine).affect a woman’s marriage. There are reports of links between post-abortion couples and the increased likelihood of divorce or separation (Family Planning Perspectives and Social Science and Medicine).
- The number of abortion clinics in the United States decreased by over 40 percent between 1940 and 1998 because not enough doctors were willing to provide abortions and fewer women were asking for them.
- In 1980 there were only 500 crisis pregnancy centers in the United States. By 1990 there were 2,000, and now there are at least 4,000.
Janice Shaw Crouse is senior fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute.