Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie to pass the bill prohibiting federal funds for Planned Parenthood is declared a great victory by “pro-life” ideologues. But, do they understand?
Abortion is the most common method of controlling reproduction since recorded time. Since 1957, contraceptive drugs have become the primary means of preventing unwanted pregnancy. Planned Parenthood is a major resource for contraceptives and health surveillance, especially for indigent and poor women.
Federal abortion-funding has been prohibited except for rape, incest and lethal maternal threat.
Abortion decreased from 30 percent to 19 percent of pregnancies between 1980 and 2014, largely due to contraception. Still, 45 percent of pregnancies are unwanted, of which 40 percent are aborted.
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Reported religion: Catholic, 24 percent; mainline Protestant, 17 percent; evangelical Protestant, 13 percent; other, 8 percent.
Education (graduates): high school, 91 percent; college, 21 percent.
Age: (under 19), 11 percent; (20-24), 34 percent; (25-29), 27 percent; (over 30), 28 percent.
Financial: 49 percent below poverty level; 26 percent, one- to two-times poverty level.
Married: 14 percent; co-habiting, 31 percent.
Prior children: One, 26 percent; two or more, 33 percent.
Birthrate decreased 13 percent from 2008 to 2011.
Teenager birthrate decreased 40 percent (2008-2014).
Pregnancy weeks: (less than eight), 66 percent; (nine to 12), 23 percent; (13 to 20), 10 percent; (more than 21), 1.3 percent.
Maternal death: less than 1 per 1 million abortions; 5,800 per 1 million live-births.
Defunding Planned Parenthood is a pyrrhic victory of dogma over fact, predictably resulting in more unwanted pregnancies, abortions and greater maternal injury, infertility and death as illegal “back-alley,” non-sterile abortions are again performed as we older physicians witnessed before Roe v. Wade.
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