David M Rothschild on Posted on

The media is too willing to report what people say their policies will do, rather than what their policies actually do. One clear example is so-called-Pro-Life policies. The “pro-life” policies will, without question: increase the number of abortions, increase the rate of maternal mortality, and decrease the health of children.

1) Abstinence only education increases amount of unprotected sex leading to more unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted-infections: basically, young adults will have sex at the same rate as with comprehensive sexual education, but since they are told birth control does not work, they will not use it. So, same amount of sex, just less birth control.

2) Reducing access to birth control increases amount of unprotected sex leading to more unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted-infections: “pro-life” advocates also want to make it more difficult to get birth control by pulling it from heathcare insurance and/or adding in parental controls. Again, not having birth control does not stop people from having sex, it just increases the amount of un-safe sex.

3) Blocking access to legal abortion means more un-safe abortions: it will likely decrease the overall amount of abortions (contingent on not also banning birth control, which would more than off-set the legality). Illegal abortions are not safe. Roughly 68,000 women die each year from un-safe, illegal abortions. This burden falls primarily on lower income women. Obviously this is very acute for pregnant women whose pregnancy directly threatens their health, but are unable to get a safe and legal abortion.

4) Reducing access to women’s healthcare means more maternal fatality: the United States has a maternal fatality crisis, but the “pro-life” policy is to close clinics and insurance coverage that concentrate on women’s health. This is likely already leading the US problem and will only exacerbate it.

5) Fighting against maternity leave, and children’s healthcare, means worse outcomes for children: the same “pro-life” groups are against maternity leave that would allow working mothers to be with their infants and healthcare for needy children. Obviously this is very bad for the health of children.