Yesterday I linked Helen Alvaré’s comments on the recent Obama Admin decision. Here are a couple of additional pieces. One is political scientist Michael New’s “Our Fears Are Realized.” Prof. New has presented some of his research on the effects of abortion laws at a UFL conference.
Another is by Greg Pfundstein: “The Misguided Birth-Control Crusade Continues.” Let me highlight just this: “Several economic studies, notably one by Berkeley economists Akerlof, Yellen, and Katz, indicate that access to contraception and abortion alters the sex and mating markets and, through risk compensation, actually increase the number of unintended pregnancies.”
A (different – and non-Catholic) political scientist I know once made what I think is a related point. Using contraception is in some significant respects easier than abstaining at times when procreation would be imprudent (or otherwise undesired). (Self-control is difficult.) But not using contraception is easier still (even if it’s free, one has to make some effort to obtain and use it – and making an effort is difficult). If you promote contraception, you’re sending a message that it’s okay to do what’s easiest. But not using contraception is really easiest. Thus, you’re promoting a way of thinking that, in the end, leads to more, rather than fewer, “unintended” pregnancies.
Whether you think in terms of ‘risk compensation,’ then, or in a somewhat different way, you have reason to doubt that promoting contraception makes sense as a way of preventing “unintended” pregnancies (and abortions).
Add to that the philosophical connection between abortion and contraception, and you have reason, as a pro-lifer, to be very concerned about the Obama decision.