- 4 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
OK, so I realise this will be a hot button topic. I would like to say that I’m not interested in having some sort of moral debate here, but I am curious.
I was watching a film the other day where middle aged, middle class, American women are discussing their lives, and they all admit to having had at least one abortion. This is not the first film I’ve seen like this, either. And every time I see a film like that, I think how odd that is, because I don’t know anyone my age (30s) who has had an abortion. In fact, I only know one person IRL who had a D and C because they couldn’t find a heartbeat on the 12 week scan. I know 4 people who have had accidental pregnancies. Of those, one had the baby and three miscarried… of the three who miscarried, I know that two of them wanted to have the baby (after the initial shock and soul searching).
I mean, don’t get me wrong… I know loads of people who have had pregnancy scares (the vast majority of which were JUST scares), but I don’t actually think abortion is very common at all. The NHS estimates it at just under 18 per 1,000 pregnancies (1.8%) overall in 2011. Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213386/Commentary1.pdf
A quick look at some US statistics is confusing, however… the estimate here is that just under 50% of pregnancies are unplanned and roughly 50% of those end in abortion… a total rate of 25% ish. Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213386/Commentary1.pdf
Is that right? It doesn’t sound right. Has the source miscalculated? For one thing, I find it very hard to believe that about 50% of pregancies are unplanned in these days of women’s lib, and free/easily accessed contraception. I can’t really imagine it. That seems like an incredibly high rate of contraceptive failure. I would also say that the majority of my peers were using hormonal contraceptives by the time they were 16 (whether they were having sex or not… I went on it for skin problems), and most of my close friends were pretty good at using condoms as well.
Am I missing something here? Some sort of deep seated cultural difference? Or is there a miscalculation? It seems awfully odd to me, because it doesn’t chime with my experience.
NOTE: I realise that the total abortion rate for Europe as a whole is incredibly high… something like 33%. However, that statistic is skewed by the former Soviet Bloc countries, where abortion and contraception were illegal for a long time, and contraception remains expensive and difficult to obtain (in comparison to abortion, which is comparatively easier to obtain and can be cheaper).