Case Study: The Use of Contraceptives Lowers the Number of Abortions

The claim is frequently made by IPP/WHR affiliates that the use of birth control lowers the number of unplanned pregnancies and, therefore, the number of abortions. In a january 6, 1996 article printed in La Prensa, Dr. Alfonso Lavergne, executive director of APLASA (IPPF/WHR's Panama Affiliate) makes the claim that if a woman "has access to safe contraceptives, then the possibilities of a pregnancy are minimal." He goes on to claim that providing family planning will help reduce the need for abortion.

On the surface, this claim appears to be reasonable. It seems obvious that, if one uses some type of birth control when engaging in sexual intercourse, one will be less likely to get pregnant than if one used no means of birth control. So the general public believes IPPF/WHR's claim and sees the distribution of contraceptives as part of the solution to the "abortion problem." Yet there are number of studies and facts which have become known over the last 50 years that cast a large cloud of doubt over Planned Parenthood's claim.

The Facts

In his 1970 book, Abortion: The Myths, the Realities and the Arguments, Germain Grisez cited several historical studies, including:
-A 1935 study by Regine Stix, which included data that showed that 635 pregnancies of 1,633 persons who were using contraceptives were aborted. Stix wrote that: "Nearly 40% of the accidental pregnancies (pregnancies experienced while contraceptives were being used) were terminated by illegal abortion, while less than 4% of those pregnancies experienced when no contraceptives were used were so terminated."

-In 1939, Raymond Pearl, a Johns Hopkins professor and noted authority, wrote: "Those who practice contraception as part of their sex life, by their own admission, resort to criminally induced abortions about three times as often propotionately as do their comparable non-contraceptor contemporaries."

-In Great Britain, in 1949, a report prepared for the Royal Commission on Population found that the incidence of induced abortion as a percentage of all pregnancies was nine times higher for women using contraceptives than for women not using birth control.

At a planned Parenthood Federation of America-sponsored 1995 conference, Dr. Alfred Kinsey stated:

-At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortion in the group which, in general, most frequently uses contraceptives.

A 1962 Japanese report documents a guidance program in contraception that involved 2,230 couples. The program was aimed at teaching these couples how to use contraception. The program resulted in significant increases in induced abortions per 100 wives - from 6.3 the year before the program to 9.2 in its first year of operation. Even in the fourth year of the program, the tendency of couple to have an induced abortion once they did become pregnant remained high - more than 50 percent above the pre-guidance level.

Another study concluded that:

-The data illustrate clearly that the likelihood of induced abortions is much greater in women who have contraceptive failures than in women who have not used birth control at all.

The fact that contraceptives fail a percentage of the time is just the reason why the Planned Parenthood "solution" of stopping abortions through the use od contraceptives will not work. Planned Parenthood is well aware of this "fallacy" in its plan.

In its 1975 Five Year Plan, Planned Parenthood Federation of America stated a goal in "reaffirming and protecting the legitimacy of induced abortion as a necessary back-up to contraceptive failure."

Again, in 1982, PPFA pointed out the failure of contraception to lower abortion rates. It stated that, despite more use of contraceptives by teens, teenage pregnancy rates continued to rise and births to teens declined because teens used abortion more frequently.

(James W. Sedlak, et al., "Deadly Deception: International Planned Parenthood's Assault on Your Children, Your Family and Your Nation's Sovereignty," Vol. 1, pages 18-20)

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