Often is discussing abortion we hear the refrain that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.  As most of you would expect I find myself to be mostly pro life.  The same position as the church.  In other words opposition to abortion in 97% of cases with the exception being rape, incest, and health.

Lets look at these three things based on the data and see how they relate to each other. I am using the Guttmacher research and the CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6001a1.htm?s_cid=ss6001a1_was the basis for this post. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

Abortion is mostly physically safe. The data suggests that first trimester abortions are very safe. The longer the pregnancy the less safe they apparently get. But even later term abortions are for the most part safe.  Once abortions moved from back alleys into hospitals the total number of abortions skyrocketed.  The total number of deaths relating to abortion in the latest year available (2006) according to the CDC was 9.

Abortions are legal in the US. There are however some more restrictive laws in various states. Most of these laws involve waiting periods, parental notification, ultrasounds etc. I do think they serve to reduce abortion rates based on the CDC data but if you want an abortion in a more restrictive state you can get one.  Some states have very few restrictions on abortion.  These states NY and CA in particular account for an outsized percentage of US abortions.  NYC in particular has very very high abortion rates according to the CDC.  I would almost say that there is a culture in NYC based on the data that encourages abortions

Abortions are simply not rare.  Guttmacher states that 3-10 women by the end of their child bearing years will have an abortion.  Other studies suggest somewhere north of 40%.  I am not sure exactly where it lies but the numbers are really high.  MP’s and missionaries working in the US esp in areas with less restrictive abortion laws will tell you if asked that a majority of female converts need additional interviews due to a history of abortion in their background prior to baptism. 

I personally believe that a societal framework of safe and legal abortion leads logically and tragically to abortion being common.  This is how its played out in the US since 1973.   I really don’t want to argue about the politics of abortion on this thread.  People simply talk past each other.  Instead lets look at the data and discuss.  I know this is impossible :)