It is important to consider factual abortion statistics for the pro-abortion and pro-life arguments.
There are a startling 42 million abortions worldwide every year.
Over a lifetime, that totals about 1 abortion for every woman on the planet, and in fact, nearly 1 in 2 women worldwide will have an abortion in their lifetime.
I don’t care if you’re pro-life or pro-choice, these numbers are sobering. And let’s get real for a minute. Whether there are laws prohibiting abortion or not, there are going to be abortions.
Abortion fact: about 20 million women each year obtain abortions in countries where the practice is either illegal or restricted. Abortion is our reality.
I can’t really debate whether abortions should be legal under the “do the right thing” lens. That there are strong pro choice and pro life arguments in the abortion debate is not the point. The problem with the abortion debate is that it is about beliefs. Pro-lifers believe life begins at inception, while pro-choicers believe life starts at some later point – often defined as the point of viability of the fetus. And beliefs, by definition, are not provable. Depending on where you come out on this belief, you will argue that abortions are ethical or not.
Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, what is generally not debated is that having an abortion is an undesirable, difficult, emotional experience. In an ideal world, there would be no abortions. But these startling abortion statistics show the magnitude of the issue is huge. We should, therefore, work together to reduce abortions and more specifically the underlying causes for abortions.
What can we do? The US government, pro-life groups, pro-choice groups and anti-aids groups should band together in a (somewhat uncomfortable) alliance and focus their resources on the following areas.
Get real. Teenagers and young adults have sex. From a biological perspective, they are built to be reproducing by the time they hit their teens. And the reason teenagers hate you? Biological. It’s time for them to become independent contributors to the tribe, break away from the family, and start their own. Now, we’ve evolved societally a lot since the last ice age, and thankfully our kids don’t need to start hunting saber-tooth tigers at age 13 anymore. Let me tell you from personal experience. The basic biological drives are still there. In a MAJOR way. As a 16-year-old boy, I spent an amazing amount of time chasing girls and trying to get laid. I was not in any way unique. Have you ever read Romeo and Juliet? This has been going on for the history of mankind. There is NOTHING you can do to stop it. That’s not going to change. According to a Rutgers article:
“Just over half of teenage girls have experienced first sexual intercourse by age 17.  Teenage girls are sexually active for seven or eight years on average before marriage. Indeed, premarital sex has become something of a misnomer. Sex is increasingly detached from the promise or expectation of marriage.”
Another study finds that about 7% of men and 20% of women are virgins when they marry.
What we can change is the consequences. And that starts with sex education. You need to educate kids at a young age – starting at about 12 – about sex, their urges, the process and the disastrous CONSEQUENCES of unprotected sex. We need to have real, frank conversations about this. And it doesn’t start and end with a single day in a 7th-grade health class (as it did with me). This needs to be an ongoing, reinforced message delivered over and over by schools, parents, public service announcements, etc, etc, etc. It’s about building a culture of awareness that if you’re going to have sex, you BETTER have protected sex.
Distribution of free birth control
The thing about sex is that it’s a completely natural and beautiful part of life. And it’s even more beautiful if this act doesn’t result in an unwanted pregnancy. It’s so unbelievably simple. Wear a condom. This simple act would reduce by 99% the number of abortions annually. The pro-life groups should be handing our condoms on the streets if they really want to do something about abortions.
This is where it gets really, really strange. Many (most?) of the opponents of abortion rights are also the opponents of sex education and the distribution of free contraceptives. That, in my opinion, is stunningly hypocritical and stupid. Let’s focus on the goals and the results. Over a lifetime, that’s on average 1 abortion for every woman in the world. HORRIFIC! START HANDING OUT CONDOMS TODAY!!!!!
So look, should abortions be legal? Illegal? It doesn’t matter, because it won’t dramatically change the number of abortions performed worldwide. Let’s get real about the fact that young adults have sex, most abortions are from young adults, and that there are things we can do about it TODAY.