In light of many studies and a recent AP article, if people were truly interested in significantly reducing the number of abortions being performed, they would first look at the demographics of those receiving abortion services and specifically, the conditions in which unintended pregnancies and resulting abortions are more likely to occur.
A common misconception is that most abortions are had by unwed teens or ‘loose’ women, and it’s usually due to the ‘immorality’ of these women. Mass media plays a major role in forming this image, with stories and movies that portray unintended, teen pregnancy in such light terms.
However, the facts show this just isn’t true. Of women who terminate their pregnancies, only about 17% are teens, half are 25 or older with even more than that having already had at least one child. In spite of these readily available statistics, much legislative energy is still being spent trying to enact parental notification laws across the United States. New Hampshire is an example of a state, looking to pass bills related to these laws.
An unintended pregnancy can create quite an economic strain, and all too often, women who are getting abortions are acting in the interests of the children they already have. Looking around, we can see that ignorance and misperceptions are all too common regarding who has abortions and why.
Of course, most people don’t trouble themselves with the use of demographic analyses of various social phenomena, especially abortions. Most see or imagine one specific situation, and can’t seem to imagine the many other factors that may affect a woman’s situation. While this doesn’t preclude opinions on the subject, it definitely reduces the number of those that can be considered valid. Like many other social issues, abortion has many factors, many elements that rule out any single ‘solution’, for it has too many complexities to be pushed into the realm of either/or, or all right or all wrong.