Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Abortion Debate

So of course as I'm reading stuff about the anti-evolution nonsense going on down in Florida, somebody mentions abortion as another religious over-reaction, which reminded me of a thought I had recently.

Since the religious belief seems to be that life begins at conception, I was wondering what the actual miscarriage rate is. Since, presumably, the God of the Gaps is the one causing miscarriages and that's all fine, but once a person decides to do it, it's murder.

It's unfortunately a bit hard to get good numbers, since many miscarriages could happen without anyone realizing. According to this site, 15-20% of pregnancies ended in miscarriages in 2003. That's basically in line with what I've read elsewhere. This site suggests it could be as high as 50%. This site suggests up to three quarters of all fertilized eggs (a.k.a. conception) are lost.

Statscan has some abortion numbers, suggesting about 30 abortions per 100 live births, which would presumably mean about 23% of non-miscarried pregnancies are aborted. I find that surprisingly high to be honest. That also doesn't prove the point I was expecting to make, that abortions would be statistically insignificant compared to miscarriages, but there you go.

I'm pretty sure based on those numbers that it's pretty hard to justify bombing / shooting / murdering someone attempting to enter an abortion clinic. Then again, maybe I'm just way off base, in the same way that running someone off the road can't be justified just because lots of people die in car accidents. Maybe it's just my lack of empathy talking. Or maybe I just really need to go to bed.

In any case, I still think the wisest thing suggested on the subject is to ensure abortion is legal, safe and rare. I couldn't recall who said that, but a quick search on Google leads me to believe it was Bill Clinton. Regardless, I still believe it's the wisest thing I have ever heard said on the matter.

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