To further clarify my views:
As for whether or not the majority of women use abortion as after-the-fact birth control: Do I have references/facts? No. I do have friends in my life as a teen that had abortions. More than one girl, and in some case, more than one abortion in a short amount of time. Personal anecdote. I realize that’s not scientifically acceptable. Another poster mentioned the majority of women were using birth control when they got pregnant. She has no more facts to back that up than I do. Also, using birth control here and there ( i.e. improperly, missing multiple pills, forgetting condoms ) is not the same as actively being on birth control in my opinion.
I feel very strongly about birth control. I watched many friends get pregnant. We were all promiscuous. I did not have sex ed, and I do not come from a family with high levels of education or wealth. I still knew enough before having sex to go to my local Planned Parenthood and immediately start the pill and to use condoms. I also used Planned Parenthood to make sure I got HIV tests every couple of years. I knew that I had risky sexual and drug behaviors. I’m not a saint. When used properly, birth control is 99% reliable. In my experience, it’s also easily obtainable. The statement about after-the-fact BC is not coming from a place of judgment. It’s coming from what I have witnessed. I have actually accompanied friends to abortion clinics so that they would have support, though I disagreed strongly with the decision and am bothered by being a silent partner in it to this day.
Most of the girls I knew and women I currently know have gotten pregnant while not using birth control. Unplanned babies but with no plans of using protection. It’s a contradiction that bothers me greatly. More anecdotal evidence, but if you watch shows like Teen Mom, you will see a trend of nothing being done to prevent conception.
I do have one hard fact: Since 1967, over 56,000,000 babies have been aborted in the US alone. 56 million. I realize that is hard to conceptualize, but that is a staggering number. That should be an alarming number. That should be a frightening number. At current abortion rates ( provided by Planned Parenthood itself with no bias ) 33% of American women will have an abortion at some point.
I find it very hard to believe that a woman’s choice to have an abortion is being seriously impeded by abortion legislature when the numbers are so very, very high.
As for low-cost clinics: That brings me back to low-cost clinics. Obviously, despite being pro-life, I have used Planned Parenthood. I have respect for low-cost women’s health clinics. They serve a very vital role for women. At the same time, it disturbs me that these organizations provide so many abortions. There is a reason abortion bills tend to go after them.
While I use Planned Parenthood, it would be wise for people to do more reading about that history of that organization and comments made by its founder. There is some truly shocking stuff there.
Personhood: The contradictions as pointed out by Carolf are many. I have personal beliefs stemming from religion. I believe a child has a soul as soon as those first cells form.
Religion aside, there are too many legal and societal contradictions. Miscarriage is tragic. Abortion is nothing more than doctor-assisted miscarriage. Causing harm to a pregnant woman can lead to a charge of murder due to loss of pregnancy. How can we, as a society, reconcile these things? If it is murder for an outside person to brutalize a pregant woman to the point that she loses that child, how is it not murder for that woman to abort? I don’t say that to offend or to make those here who have had abortions feel horrible. I say it because surely it must be recognized that a serious contradiction exists there.
As for the 20 weeks thing, a 5-month-old fetus can feel pain. Nerves are connected at that point. That child can hear. That child can suck his thumb. That child is moving inside you. I can’t comprehend abortion at that stage. It’s horrifying.
My religion would call for me to support a total ban on abortion. I am torn, but there is a bit of a gray area to me. I do worry about young girls and back-alley abortions. But abortion reform? Tougher laws? Absolutely. 56,000,000 aborted children. Our society has become too numb.