Whenever abortion is debated there’s always someone who says that it must be legal because of rape and incest. But is that really why women get abortions?

No, they haven’t been victimized, which is a comforting thought, but are having abortions because of socioeconomic reasons. One study, that collected data from 14 countries, showed that in six of these countries that were the reason for 27%-40% of the women. In five countries the most frequently reported reason was that abortion was used to limit childbearing. In other words it’s use as contraception, something feminists often claim happens very seldom. In Nepal the numbers for this are 20% and in Azerbaijan it’s 64%. In Belgium the reason was partner-related (23%) and socioeconomic concerns (23%), while in Kyrgyzstan the risk to maternal health was reported in 44% procent of the cases.

An older study, from 2005, showed that 74% had an abortion because having a child would interfere with education/work or due to their ability to care for dependents. 73% said that they couldn’t afford a baby at the moment and that they didn’t want to be single mothers. 48% were having relationship problems. Almost four in 10 women said they had had the children that they wanted to have and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. Less than 1% said that the most important reason was that their parents or partner wanted them to an have the abortion.

Statistics from medical journals and government surveys in the USA show that only 0,36% of abortions were done to save the life/health of the mother (5 200 per year). In 0,09% the reason was rape/incest (1 300 per year). 0,24% was done for fetal birth defects (3 470 per year) and 0,69% was done for all of these reasons combined (9 970 per year). That means that 99,31% of abortions are performed for social or economic reasons.

So one of the most used argument hardly justify the millions of abortions that are performed around the world every year. Most of them could be avoided with the necessary help and support as the gravity of taking a life takes precedence over selfish reasons.

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