Rule of Fixed Birth Preventions
Posted on August 17, 2016
Here is an important bit of social science on abortion reduction you may have vaguely intuited, but I’ll bet you never quite heard stated clearly. It doesn’t have a name, so I am going to call it the rule of fixed birth preventions. According to this rule, the number of abortions plus the number of conceptions prevented by contraceptive efforts in a given time period is constant (in the sense that it is very unresponsive to public policy in a democracy).
NA + NC = constant.
(Note: there are exceptions to this rule in non-democracies. e.g. Red china criminalized large families, leading to increases in both abortion and contraception.)
1. It is actually very easy to reduce abortion in many ways, all of which are focused on contraception. Just do everything you can to make contraception free and simple and guiltless and effective and automatic and low fuss and approved. Almost no one wants to have an abortion if they can avoid it with minimal fuss. SO almost the only abortions you end up with are people who changed their minds after getting pregnant about having a kid at this time. (Countries that do this right have 1/4 the abortion rate we have.)
2. It is extremely hard to reduce abortion by criminalizing it. Criminalizing it is not an effective way of encouraging birth control. However it is a very effective way of encouraging current and future illegal abortions. (Countries that criminalize apparently have much higher abortion rates than we do, mostly illegal ones.)
3. The Catholic project consists in trying reduce both abortions and effective means of contraception at the same time. It is doomed not merely to failure, but to utter ineffectuality.