"Having An Abortion Means You're Irresponsible!"
When someone accidentally winds up pregnant, it's easy to judge them or their partner for being irresponsible. We all sat through the same sex education classes, where we were taught that responsible sex-havers always use contraception, and that any "accidents" are the result of wanton recklessness. This is a big talking point among the anti-abortion crowd, who argue that abortion is merely a way for the irresponsible to avoid having to deal with the consequences of their (in)action, and therefore shouldn't exist.
Except this argument doesn't hold up. There isn't a clear-cut line between "responsible" and "irresponsible" sex, because when it comes down to it, you can be the most cautious sexer to ever exist and still wind up with an unwanted pregnancy, because no form of contraception is 100% effective. According to both the CDC and Planned Parenthood, the pill is only 93% effective, while condoms are on average only 85% effective (and that's if you use them precisely right).
Thaninee/Adobe StockFor reference, 85% constitutes slightly better odds than a single round of Russian Roulette, a game known for being consistently safe.
If you want to improve your chances, there are implants and the buddy system, as well as good ol' abstinence. At some point, though, we're going to have to get over the idea that "responsible" sex has as much to do with numbers as it does behavior -- as well as the idea that the actions of "irresponsible" people justify stripping the rights of "responsible" people.
This ties into another popular anti-abortion talking point, that having an abortion means that someone doesn't care about children and/or the sanctity of human life. But in the U.S., 60% of abortions are sought by people who already have children. Many are sought by people who describe themselves as religious. One study found that out of 670 women surveyed, 53% described the decision to have an abortion as "very or somewhat difficult."
It's not just America, either. Despite an increase in the number of countries to legalize abortion in the last two decades, the worldwide abortion rate has dropped. This is something you wouldn't expect if we were treating safe, legal access to abortion as an invitation to participate in The Purge: Kidz.
"Most People Regret Their Abortions!"
The problem with debunking the idea that people who receive abortions are heartless monsters is that it hands the opposition a different stick with which they can beat abortion rights. If people who receive abortions care about the decision, doesn't it make sense to restrict access to abortion in order to spare people from regretting their decision down the line?