In the Fatherless thread below, someone suggested that if contraception were more widely available, there would be less childbearing outside of wedlock. You would think so, but that’s not the way it’s played out, Ross Douthat writes. Excerpt:
When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.
In fact, says Ross, the data show that the reason blue states have lower teen childbearing rates than red states is because they also have higher abortion rates. Says Ross:
What’s intuitive isn’t always true, and if social conservatives haven’t figured out how to make all good things go together in post-sexual-revolution America, neither have social liberals.
At the very least, American conservatives are hardly crazy to reject a model for sex, marriage and family that seems to depend heavily on higher-than-average abortion rates. They’ve seen that future in places like liberal, cosmopolitan New York, where two in five pregnancies end in abortion. And it isn’t a pretty sight.