Today’s Solutions: October 16, 2021

Texas’ newly implemented restrictive abortion ban has drawn criticism and outrage from women’s rights proponents, but whether you support abortion access or not, research has demonstrated that abortion rates remain fairly steady across countries, regardless of abortion bans, and that countries in which abortion is legal and accessible actually have lower abortion rates.

These lower rates generally also correspond with across the board higher quality women’s health resources and sex education. These strategies are more effective at reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions while improving women’s health and bodily autonomy as a whole.

Comprehensive sex education 

Research from the University of Washington shows that students who receive comprehensive and medically accurate sex education are significantly less likely to experience unwanted pregnancy than peers who receive no sex education or abstinence-only education. According to a Planned Parenthood poll, 96 percent of parents support sex education being taught to high schoolers. Despite this, only 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education in high school curriculums, and only 18 require the information to be medically accurate. Unsurprisingly, the state with the highest teen pregnancy rate, Arkansas, also does not mandate sex education.

Affordable and available contraception 

The Contraceptive CHOICE Project, launched in St. Louis, Missouri in 2007, is an example of the effects of free and accessible contraception. The program enrolled 9,000 women to receive free contraceptive counseling and the contraception of their choice. Among teenage participants, the annual abortion rate was 9.7 per 1,000 teens, far lower than the 2008 national rate of 41.5 abortions per 1,000 sexually active teens. In Colorado, a program that made contraception free to teens and low-income women successfully dropped the statewide abortion rate by 42 percent.

Regardless of one’s stance on the moral implications of abortion, data has demonstrated over and over again that banning abortions increases the number of deaths due to unsanctioned abortions and does nothing to reduce the number of abortions conducted. Abortion rates have been steadily decreasing in the US, primarily due to increased access to contraceptives, and if we would like to continue this trend, improved sex education and increased access to healthcare and contraceptives are the best way to proceed.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This therapeutic plant could help reduce morphine tolerance and opiate addiction

Opioid overdoses are on the rise in the US and around the world, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Addiction treatment, harm reduction, and improved health access are all effective strategies for addressing ... Read More

New treatment kills cancer cells in terminally ill patients

There are about 12,200 new head and neck cancer cases in the UK every year, and many of these patients are diagnosed at advanced stages when the disease is very difficult to treat. The standard ... Read More

6 Ways we can help our dogs live long and healthy lives

Research has shown that having a dog can help boost our physical and mental health as well as make us feel younger. Pets are an enormous source of joy and comfort, and as dog parents, ... Read More

Grauer’s gorilla population makes surprising comeback in DRC

A recent study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has good news for gorillas. The study found that the number of Grauer’s gorillas, the world’s largest gorilla subspecies, has increased from 6,800 compared to ... Read More

New Zealand opens unusual vaccination destination for the weekend

New Zealand is getting an unconventional Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the form of a Boeing 787 plane. The winged vaccination site is being operated by Air New Zealand this weekend as part of the government’s ... Read More