The debate and/or division among opponents and supporters of abortion may never end. That supposition is based partly on the near equal division in US politics demonstrated in the back and forth restoring and rescinding of the Mexico City Policy initiated in the Reagan years and named after the location of a UN conference on population where it was announced.
From the standpoint of ‘rights’ those who approve of abortion typically refer to it as a ‘woman’s right to choose’ and those reject it defend the rights of the child to live. In the Mexico City Policy debate those who oppose the policy say it not only denies money to NGOs who provide abortion but other contraceptive methods as well. And of course opponents of abortion who favor the policy typically indicate pro-choice advocates support abortion as a barbaric after-the-fact solution for irresponsible behavior and a failure to accept the consequences of their actions.
About the only thing the two sides agree on is encouraging a decrease in the number of unintended pregnancies. Pro-life advocates maintain that better alternatives for unintended pregnancies include abstinence and adoption. Many pro-choice advocates would likely support the notion expressed by Barack Obama during the presidential campaign. ‘Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,’ he said. ‘I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.’
Below is a brief review excerpt from USAID on President Bush restoring the policy in 2001 shortly after taking office. After that is a link to President Obama rescinding the policy shortly after he took office. After President Reagan initiated it in 1984 President Clinton rescinded it in 1993, again, shortly after taking office. The trend is painfully clear.
“This policy recognizes our country’s long history of providing international health care services, including voluntary family planning to couples around the world who want to make free and responsible decisions about the number and spacing of their children.”
The White House
January 22, 2001
On January 22, 2001, President George W. Bush announced reinstatement of the so-called Mexico City policy that required non-governmental organizations to “agree as a condition of their receipt of Federal funds that such organizations would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” The President is committed to maintaining the $425 million funding level provided for in the FY 2001 appropriation because he knows that one of the best ways to prevent abortion is by providing quality voluntary family planning services.
If one searches data on abortion recurring statistics may shed some light on the problem. A significant percentage of the abortions performed each year are not the patient’s first. As many as one out of five abortions in given years were the patient’s second or third. A not so surprising number of women reported inconsistent use of contraception as the reason for the unintended pregnancy.