What Democrats need to say about reproductive freedom
Why do anti-choice activists want to make abortion illegal?
The answer has to be to decrease the number of abortions performed in the US.
It is a painful irony that many women who have abortions feel like they have no choice in the matter at all. The major reason why women have abortions is economic. There is a strong link between abortion rates and poverty. In the US the abortion rate among very poor women is four times the rate among wealthy women.
Worldwide, the countries with the lowest abortions rates are those in which abortion is legal and accessible and the countries with the highest abortion rates are those with highly restrictive abortion laws. We know that before Roe v Wade there were many illegal and dangerous abortions in the US. When you take away someone’s only legal option you restrict them to illegal and dangerous alternatives.
If it is genuinely the case that anti-choice activists think that decreasing the number of abortions is of primary importance, and we know that abortion rates are linked to women living in poverty, then it only follows that it is of primary importance that anti-choice activists address the feminization of poverty.
If the goal is to decrease abortion rates, and not just to bully or control women, then the focus should not be on creating highly restrictive abortion laws, it should be on improving the economic status of women in the US.