What's Happened With Abortion Since Roe v Wade

Of all of the oddities in the abortion argument I’ve heard over time, one recently by an advocate of “maximum choice” was the most curious. The argument was in defense of how many lives abortion had “saved”. On one hand, it’s not without some merit. There are abortions that occur to protect a mother who might not survive pregnancy and birth. I understand those and on a personal note wouldn’t argue standing in the way of that “choice”. But still, the idea of abortions saving lives is an unusual one. Abortion is not the gateway for life. None of us would be here if our parents made that “choice”. That’s the reality.

A few months ago, when this debate was ramping up at the onset of Florida’s state session with a “heartbeat bill” that failed to pass in our state, I mentioned that the Marist polling showed a massive 75% of Americans in favor of restrictions on abortions. Also, 61% of Americans who ID as being pro-choice do believe there should be timelines placed on legal abortions based on the stage of life that’s been achieved.

At the time I mentioned education. I believe that all men and women should be educated about what happens during an abortion at the stage of the pregnancy they’re in during the procedure. Having attempted to watch an abortion at every stage of pregnancy, I can tell you the difference is vast and likely in ways most never imagine without the information. 

While Florida didn’t pass the reform, other states like Georgia, Missouri, and Alabama, did. The average detectable heartbeat occurs in the sixth week of pregnancy. That’s become a rallying cry for pro-life groups to unite behind. What hasn’t been as universally accepted in pro-life circles is the extent to which Alabama’s law went especially when it didn't include exceptions for forced circumstances like rape. 

But the question once again is about life, right? And one’s right to it. Let's revisit the information I shared with you when New York and Virginia were advancing their “post-birth” abortion bills. In January during the debates in New York and Virginia that included advocacy for “post-birth” abortions, I shared this with you the scientific definition of life. Now, take the scientific definition and apply it to the abortion argument. There are yes and no answers to all of these circumstances. As early as conception is there:

  1. The capacity for growth? - Yes
  2. Potential to reproduce?- Yes
  3. Potential for functional activity? - Yes
  4. Continual change preceding death? - Yes

Pregnancy, as early as conception, fits every scientific characteristic of life. 

Since Roe v Wade in 1973, there have been more than 61,303,000 abortions. The average age of a first-time mother is 26. The average number of children per family is 1.9. According to my calculations, 37% of those aborted would have had an average of 1.9 children. That’s an additional 43.1 million people that never happened multi-generationally at this point. The net impact since 1973 is over 104 million, or nearly a third of the US population. Using CDC statistics, 0.6% of pregnancies threaten a mother’s life. That means that abortions since 1973 would have saved 624,000 women while preventing more than 103 million lives. So the abortion saving lives thing is a tough sale. 

Photo by: JASPER JACOBS/AFP/Getty Images



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