Myths/reducing access to abortion services reduces abortions

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Myth: Reducing access to abortion services reduces the number of abortions performed.

Myth

This is essentially the sole rationale behind the forced birth movement's war on abortion providers: that making abortion illegal, or otherwise reducing access to abortion services, will reduce the number of "killings" of "innocent lives" (by which they mean induced abortions). It is almost never actually stated, helping to solidify its place as fact in the popular understanding.

Reality

Reducing access to abortions does not reduce the number of abortions[1]; it just makes them more dangerous, putting more lives at risk.

Induced abortion in a proper medical facility is a very safe procedure – not only safer than when desperate women attempt to use household implements to induce an abortion themselves, or turn to shady illegal (and therefore unregulated) back-alley providers, but even safer than the act of giving birth. "Pro-life" activists are actually harming life when they work against access to safe abortions.

Note

Note that this argument does not apply to gun regulation, in that making access to guns more difficult does actually reduce gun violence.

Footnotes

  1. Guttmacher Institute, Facts on Induced Abortion Worldwide, November 2015 (archive): "Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America—regions in which abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. The rate is 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds."