The results of a new study just published in the journal Contraception on contraception use and abortion rates in Spain have researchers puzzled.
The study, conducted over ten years, was meant to “acquire information about the use of contraceptive methods in order to reduce the number of elective abortions.” From 1997-2007, researchers recorded the various contraceptive methods being used by a representative group of Spanish women, as well as their abortion rates.
What they discovered has them completely baffled—but is exactly what we at the Pro-Life Action League might have predicted: as contraception use increased, so did the abortion rate.
Researchers Puzzled by Results
In fact, while contraceptive use among these women went up significantly over that period—from 49.1% to 79.9%—the abortion rate rose even more dramatically—from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women.
In other words, a 63% increase in contraception use was accompanied by a 108% increase in abortions.
The Spanish researchers are completely at a loss to explain these results, concluding that “The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation.”
Their puzzlement is understandable: they set out with the assumption that contraception can be used to reduce abortion, hoping to fine-tune that basic approach. Instead, they found abortions only increased with more contraception.
More Contraception Means More Abortion—But Why?
The Spanish research team may be at a loss to explain these results, but they make perfect sense to pro-life advocates who have been saying for years that contraception is not the answer to abortion. (In fact, the Pro-Life Action League explored this topic at a 2006 conference entitled “Contraception Is Not the Answer”.)
The impact that contraceptive use has on people’s sexual behavior is profound. Contraception does not merely mitigate the effects of people’s risky sexual behavior—it radically alters their sexual behavior.
Seemingly free of the most significant and concerning consequence of sex—pregnancy—people behave differently, just as one would expect. They’re more willing to take sexual risks—more sexual partners, more casual sex, more “cheating” etc.—and the end result is more unplanned pregnancy, not less; more abortion, not less.
I’m not saying that using contraception will turn any given individual into a sexual amoralist. But that’s the aggregate effect on contraception across our society.
I’ll go even farther and say that the widespread use and availability of contraceptives has fundamentally altered the way our entire society thinks about sex. Sex has become decoupled from pregnancy (and therefore from marriage and family), a change that impacts even those who are not, at the moment at least, using contraception.
Further Study Called for—Let’s Have It!
For a more through discussion on the psychological, behavioral and social impact of contraception, see this page in the League’s Questions and Answers section.
Meanwhile, here’s hoping that the “further investigation” the authors of this new study are calling for takes place. If they study these issues honestly, they’ll find out that we pro-lifers have been right all along: contraception increases abortion.
HT: Jill Stanek.