What Roe v. Wade has wrought


The stunning statistic that 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion made headlines recently. As that news was sinking in came the revelations out of Philadelphia about the appalling, truly sickening activities of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. So far he has been charged with eight counts of murder. Seven of those involve late-term babies whom he killed after they were born by sticking scissors into the backs of their necks and severing their spinal cords. He called it "snipping." He is also charged in the death of a woman who died after an overdose following an abortion.

An article at National Review Online reported another statistic regarding abortion from the book Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. This one is both striking and telling: After abortion was legalized in the Roe v. Wade ruling, the rate of conceptions rose almost 30 percent, while the rate of births decreased by 6 percent. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out: People behave differently when they know abortion is an option.

For those who argue that abortion should remain legal in order to protect women from dangerous, back-alley procedures, there really is no getting around the fact that legalized abortion invites, well, abortions. According to a survey by the Guttmacher Institute, among women who had abortions, the vast majority either did not use contraception at all, or used it "inconsistently." For many women, abortion is their contraception, or at least their back-up plan.

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"Pro-choice" activists can argue all they want that their goal is to keep abortion "safe, legal, and rare," but the fact is that as long as it's legal, it won't be rare. According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States since Roe v. Wade became law 38 years ago.

Marcia Segelstein
Marcia Segelstein


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