Republican Policies Cause More Abortions Than They Prevent

Charles Edward Miller / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Conservative lawmakers have largely failed to address the reasons for why women seek abortions in the first place.

While many conservative lawmakers claim that they are anti-abortion because they advocate for the lives of the unborn, their policies, in reality, “are designed to inflict maximum punishment on expectant mothers and their newborn children,” Think Progress reports.

Abortion rates have naturally declined within the past four decades—in 1984, there were 364 abortions per 1,000 live births, the Centers for Disease Control found. But by 2015, that number was cut by roughly 50 percent.

And while the factors influencing access to abortion have changed dramatically over time, the reason why women seek abortions has remained relatively static, largely as a result of conservative lawmakers’ refusal to offer women better resources.

In both the 1980’s and in 2004, the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health non-profit research group, found that “having a baby would dramatically change my life” and “I can’t afford a baby now” were the two most commonly cited reasons for why people want abortions. Nearly 75 percent of respondents indicated these two responses.

Moreover, over 33 percent said that having a child would get in the way of their job, and nearly the same percent said that they couldn’t pay for a child because they were pursuing an education, or planned to.

And while liberal lawmakers have advocated for decades to expand access to care for both mothers and low-income households in general, conservatives have repeatedly pushed back.

If Republicans truly wanted to decrease the number of abortions in the U.S., they would tackle the reasons why women seek them in the first place.

Read the full story here.