I often hear abortion defended for two reasons: rape and the life of the mother being in jeopardy. It turns out these are two of the least common reasons why women have abortions in the United States. That’s not according to me, but according to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization started by Planned Parenthood.
Consider Michelle Williams’s acceptance speech last week at the Golden Globe Awards. She talked about decisions she’s made in her life that have allowed her to “live a life of her own making” and that wouldn’t have been possible “without employing a woman’s right to choose.” In other words, she couldn’t have pursued and advanced her career without killing her child through abortion.
It turns out that Williams’s explanation, according to the Guttmacher Institute, is the number one reason women have abortions. Their research article cites “Having a baby would dramatically change my life” as the number one reason, accounting for 74% of the women who had abortions in 2004. The subcategories of that reason include “Would interfere with education,” “Would interfere with job/employment/career,” and “Have other children or dependents.”
Sadly, the top six “most important reasons” why women have abortions are all socio-economic reasons and account for 86% of all abortions. In fact, “Was a victim of rape” accounts for <0.5%, and the life of the mother being in jeopardy isn’t even identified as a quantifiable reason since it rarely occurs today (health of the mother is mentioned, but the report is referring to treatable and not life-threatening conditions).
Though abortion-choice advocates love to use rape and the life of the mother as rhetorically powerful reasons for why abortion should remain legal, they don’t explain why most women have abortions. The number of women who have abortions because of rape or their own life being in danger pales in comparison to the number of women who, like Williams, will kill their unborn child to fulfill their life goals.
I’m mad that our laws permit such a barbaric practice like abortion, but I’m sad for people like Michelle Williams. She’s also a precious human being made in the image of God. But she’s been deceived into believing it’s worth sacrificing your child for fame and fortune. I pray that one day she realizes her grievous error and turns to the One who makes all life worth cherishing.
Source: “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives,” in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118.