A woman sits at a cafe table with a group of other people in animated discussion; photo by Jessica Da Rosa via Unsplash.
News + Advocacy

How To Make Talking About Abortions Easier

No matter which side of the argument you fall on; abortion remains a hotly debated issue that often involves intense emotion, discomfort and (sometimes deliberate) misinformation. Here in the U.S.; after a recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that could strike down abortion access, the topic of reproductive rights is front and centre.

If you want to engage in conversation with someone about the importance of protecting abortion access and the right to choose; you’ll likely come across several key misconceptions that you may want to address …

Foreground Text: How to Make Talking About Abortion Easier; a blog post on Transatlantic Notes. Background Image: A woman sits at a cafe table with a group of other people in animated discussion; photo by Jessica Da Rosa via Unsplash.

Using protection stops the need for abortion; just be more careful …

While it’s encouraging that a range of contraception methods and devices have very high levels of efficacy (especially implants, vasectomies and hormone-releasing IUDs); no protection is considered 100% effective. Incorrect/inconsistent use of any method (including male/female condoms, pills, diaphragms, withdrawal, etc) can result in unintended pregnancy (accidents do happen; we all know this). It’s equally significant to note that not every method of contraception will be suitable (or available) for everyone looking to use them.

In the United States, any employer offering health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for example, can cite religious or moral reasoning to refuse employee contraceptive coverage. Between 70,000 and 126,000 people use the ACA to access free reproductive care (in many instances because of low income). Since the news broke that Roe v. Wade is likely to be repealed in the Summer; there’s growing momentum among some Republican-led states to look into banning contraceptives too.

The fact that almost every aspect of reproductive care is under threat shows that this isn’t about stopping abortions from happening; if it was, education and free/affordable access to all preventative methods would be made comprehensively and equitably more available.

Further Reading: Half of States Set to Ban Abortion Have No Sex Ed Requirements (The 74)
Selection of reproductive health supplies: pills, diaphragm, condoms, vaginal ring, IUD, implant, dmpa, emergency contraception and contraceptive pills; photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition via Unsplash.
photo via Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Unsplash

Getting abortions goes against God …

This extremely narrow outlook ignores the fact that there are a plethora of multi-denominational religions that hold a diverse range of positions about abortions within the United States. Forcing adherence to one specific, narrow set of beliefs flies in the face of religious freedom, as guaranteed by the First Amendment; which also includes the protected right to not practice any religion at all and forbids Congress from promoting one religion over another. Pushing religious views onto others, especially by way of legislation is unconstitutional and borders on indoctrination.

People getting abortions need to find God …

According to data collected by the Guttmacher Institute, 62% of people who have had an abortion in the U.S. are religiously affiliated; including Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelical Protestants (among others). People from all faiths, spiritualities and belief systems access abortion services because it’s a personal choice that should remain protected. 

Abortions are unsafe and lead to reproductive problems later on …

Legalized abortion is actually safer than childbirth in the United States. In fact, this country has the highest maternal mortality rates of any developed country; in addition, it’s the only industrialized nation in the world where this trend is rising. A briefing by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), for example, found that mortality rates for legal abortion is around 0.7 deaths for every 100,000 procedures; whereas rates for childbirth are about nine deaths for every 100,000 deliveries. The AAAS also found that there were no long-term or increased future risks of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, congenital defects, premature births or infertility.

Having an abortion through a safe, sanitary, highly trained health-care provider is one of the safest medical procedures available.

Abortion rights supporters attend a rally holding up signs with the slogan, Bans Off Our Bodies; photo by Gayatri Malhotra via Unsplash.
photo via Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash

Bans stop all abortions …

Significant worldwide research carried out in 2020 found that abortion rates were roughly the same in countries where it’s legal as those where it isn’t. The data (and history) clearly show that restricting or preventing access does not reduce the need or number of abortions. Many will have no choice but to seek out potentially unsafe medications and procedures that place their health and lives at risk; particularly those who cannot comfortably afford travel to places/facilities where abortions are still available.  

People having abortions are [insert inaccurate/misleading information] …

Here are some quick facts about who is having abortions in the United States that may help you understand the issue further (all data comes from the Guttmacher Institute unless otherwise stated):

  • 92.7% have abortions at or before 13 weeks gestation (CDC)
  • 75% were from low income families with many at/below the federal poverty level
  • 59% already had children; many citing the financial strain on their ability to care for their current children as reason for terminating a pregnancy
  • 61% were aged between 20 and 29 years old
  • 51% were using a contraceptive method in the month they became pregnant
  • 95% of participants in a Social Science & Medicine study found that patients didn’t regret getting an abortion; with most feeling a sense of relief

Every person in this country deserves having equality and control over their personal and private reproductive decisions. Implementing legislation that removes self-determination from anyone who can fall pregnant (including queer women, transgender men and nonbinary people) effectively robs vast sections of society of their dignity.

Reproductive freedom is critical to a whole range of issues. If we can’t take charge of this most personal aspect of our lives, we can’t take care of anything. It should not be seen as a privilege or as a benefit, but a fundamental human right. | Faye Wattleton

Are you having conversations about reproductive rights? What information do you want to share?


Further Info:

The Right to an Abortion Is Supported by the Text and History of the Constitution – Constitutional Accountability Center

How Is Birth Control Different From an Abortion? – WebMD

34 thoughts on “How To Make Talking About Abortions Easier”

  1. Thank you for sharing some good information, it can definitely be a difficult topic to discuss for many people.

    Like

  2. Some really informative points here, Molly. Particularly that banning legal abortions won’t make stop illegal, unsafe abortions, from which more women could die. It’s a very sad state of affairs in America at the moment.

    Like

  3. I’ve been in so many conversations about abortion and sometimes they’re really difficult to have. Great information!

    Like

  4. Your statistics further support the need for women to have the choice to have abortions.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  5. This is an incredible post, and keep sharing information like this. Information on this issue is vital, and the more accurate information out there, the better. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  6. Such a great post, love all the facts and stats in this! It’s so scary that people’s right to have an abortion might be taken away.

    Corinne x

    Like

  7. This is a tough topic indeed. I’m pro-life but I’m also pro-choice and I believe no woman considers abortion lightly. I think each woman should be supported, counseled, and provided with unbiased information about their options. Thank you for taking up this delicate issue and providing ways to discuss it more openly.

    Like

    1. I think there are many people who are in line with your stance too; they’re pro-life (for themselves and their own decisions) and understand that if they get to make that choice for themselves then other people should have that right too (pro-choice). Thanks for sharing your perspective; it’s valuable in this topic that impacts us all.

      Like

  8. This is such an informative write-up. There’s so much misinformation floating around that the powerful use conveniently to suit their needs. Some of the rules and laws are archaic and have no place in modern, progressive society. It’s all about the need to control. And I love this line: “Every person in this country [the world] deserves having equality and control over their personal and private reproductive decisions.” Thank you for sharing. Loved the post.
    Je

    Like

  9. As a male, I was against abortion. The only circumstance where I believe abortion was warranted is pregnancy from a rape incident. There are so many women today who have had an abortion and consequently are unable to have children. Today, I believe that women should have the freedom to do what they want with their bodies. At the end of the day, she will have to live with her decision.

    Like

    1. Abortions will not usually affect future fertility; there are of course an extremely rare number that may encounter issues (usually related to an infection, etc); but generally it’s an extremely safe procedure/medication. As with all health decisions; this needs to be left up to the individual and it’s so worrying that this is something a lot of people will lose the right to do. I agree that everyone should have the freedom to do what they want with their bodies; I hope this right ends up being vigorously protected. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Like

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly informative post. There’s SO much misinformation out there and it’s important to address it, especially when you’re having a conversation with someone. I live in Canada and many of us are having important conversations about our reproductive rights. Thanks again!

    Like

    1. It’s good to have conversations but over the last number of years it’s been made almost impossible with the misinformation being spread (which is clearly the point). I hope Roe is protected but I think we can all see where this is going. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  11. I think that the statistics you provided in this post speak for themselves. Sometimes, apart from a decision, abortion is also necessary.
    In any case, the decision to have or not have an abortion but be a fundamental right of each woman. I hate it when people talk about other people’s actions and decisions as if it is something that their opinion should be valued.

    Like

  12. This is a complicated topic to talk about. I recently stumbled on a roundtable TV show where, several religion experts stated that now religion is abortin considered a sin or against God, and that even in Islamic countries it’s legal. (I have had a chance to recheck, but doubt they would lie).
    And really in USA employers can decide what health care their employees can get? Getting pregnant should be against their interest?

    Like

    1. It’s a really hard topic made even more complicated by the misinformation and the interests of certain groups being forced on others (like the employer situation). It’s truly an individual choice and I hope that right is protected. Thanks so much for reading!

      Like

Leave a Reply to Molly Transatlantic Notes Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s