Friday, October 12, 2007

Abortion rates similar regardless of lawfulness

One area where I am definitely in the minority with my friends, church, and readers of this blog is that I'm neither passionate about abortion nor interested in changing its legal status.

I've never been convinced that a first-term fetus should have all the rights given to "persons". But that isn't to say that I'm all the comfortable with them. I do see abortions as tragedies. Not because I equate it with killing, but because a couple somewhere didn't plan well and/or aren't responsible. I'd much rather see an increased push/funding/public awareness for contraception and a real discussion of the emotional effects of abortions on women. Former President Clinton said it the best when he said that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare."

My position has never won me many friends inside my church or even with my group of friends. Most of my friends see abortion as murder and think it should outlawed. Some new research published today in the Lancet demonstrates that regardless of lawfulness women still seek abortions. In most of the world, abortion procedures are dangerous and cause the death of about 70,000 women die every year.

Does research like this and changing cultural opinions about abortion mean that abortion has become established in American culture? Does it effect your beliefs about how to approach abortion? Is there a better approach than "safe, legal and rare"? What is it?