More and more states in the US are working to ban abortion, but will this stop the use of abortion as a form of birth control? Many classical liberals would argue that one’s physical existence imposes a legal and moral duty to respect the life of others, and not to injure or end it. If women would be more responsible and take personal accountability for their actions, the rate of abortions would go down tremendously.
In 1970, “Jane Roe” filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County in Texas. She challenged a Texas law that made abortion illegal except by a doctor’s orders to save a woman’s life. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court recognized that the decision of whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy belonged to the individual and not the government.
After the reversal of Roe v. Wade in 2022, many women felt a personal attack on their rights to privacy and their own bodies. However, the overturning of Roe v. Wade did not ban abortion; it turned the decision over to the states. Abortion as a service is now like any other service or good in the marketplace – if one marketplace (in this case, states) does not offer what you are looking for, you have 49 others to browse from.
There were 620,327 abortions performed in the United States in 2020. Of these abortions, rates were higher among adolescents (19 and under) and lowest among women aged 25-39. Many pro-choice advocates argue that in the case of rape, women should have access to abortion. However, only one per cent of abortions are due to rape. In that case, there are also options other than abortion. Women can put the baby up for adoption and if they don’t want to carry the child of their rapist, they have access to the morning-after pill, which stops or delays the release of an egg from the ovary.
In 2022, Stacy A. Henigsman, a doctor who specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology, reviewed a 2013 study that analysed the reasons women sought an abortion in the United States. Seventy-five per cent of abortions were due to timing, fifty-three per cent due to other personal priorities, forty per cent due to financial reasons, thirty-one per cent due to partner-related concerns, and twelve per cent due to health-related reasons.
One can see the majority of abortions in the United States are used as a method of birth control given the reason they were performed. Over half of these abortions could have been prevented with better decision-making and the use of preventative birth control. Because there are resources that can be used to prevent pregnancy, states should outlaw abortion used for any reason other than that of health-related concerns, either to the mother or child.
Some may argue they don’t have access to affordable birth control, but in the United States women have access to free birth control through the Affordable Care Act. Women who lack health insurance can also access free or low-cost birth control options through a local non-profit, community, or university clinic. There are seven different types of birth control available to all women. Different options for birth control include the pill, shot, implant, patch, IUD, vaginal ring, and barrier methods. Along with female barrier methods, there are also male barrier methods that can be used during intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
In America, birth control can cost a woman anywhere between twenty and eight hundred dollars per year. Condoms on the other hand are typically inexpensive and can sometimes be free. Due to the many resources available to prevent conception, abortion should not be treated or used as a form of birth control.
When used in this way at any point during a pregnancy, women are ending the innocent and precious life of an unborn child. Every citizen is entitled to life, not the right to end one.