Basic Facts about Abortion

(Compiled by Garrett Hardin.Professor of Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.) The problem of abortion is a moral one. Ethical solution must take the following facts into account:

  • Abortion has been used by more than 99 percent of all societies known.
  • Abortion, per se, causes no psychological damage.
  • Abortion does not produce sterility.
  • Unwanted pregnancies occur most often in women least fitted for motherhood: the underaged, the overaged, and the psychologically disturbed.
  • A properly performed abortion is much less dangerous than a normal childbirth.
  • Religion has only a minor effect in discouraging abortion. (In Catholic Santiago, Chile, there are 50,000 abortions per year. At this rate, the U.S. should have over four million per year—vs. an estimated one million per year.)
  • Abortion is the most widely used single method of birth control today.
  • Abortion, when legal, is not expensive. (In Rumania, it used to cost less than $2.00. More recently, with a falling birth rate, Rumania has outlawed abortions.)
  • Improved methods of abortion will no doubt be developed.
  • Legalization of abortion only in cases of rape, incest, and probability of a deformed child would legitimize less than four percent of abortions now illegal.
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