Mark Small at Civil Discourse Now has a post that discusses Colorado and its falling rates of teen pregnancy and abortion.
The numbers and rates of unplanned teen pregnancies and teen abortions have dropped over the past several years. Colorado’s numbers and rates have fallen at a quicker pace than other States. In 2008, Colorado was ranked as having the 29th lowest teen birth rate. By 2012, Colorado was 19th.
Part of Colorado’s success has been provision of free birth control, without necessity of parental consent, to teenagers. The Colorado Family Planning Initiative “has provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at low or no cost to low-income women at 68 family planning clinics across Colorado since 2009. The decline in births among young women served by these agencies accounted for three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birth rate.” That is a summary from the official website portal of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. At the same time, the “teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties served by the initiative.” Id.
The problem, so far as some apparently nontrivial number of abortion opponents are concerned (and Mark alludes to this), is that opposition to abortion is in some measure also a proxy for opposition to unapproved sex. “Consequence free sex” seems to be the phrase du jour. Children are a blessing, but they are also righteous punishment for failing to resist one’s sinful, base animal urges. Which is why abortion opponents will not find common ground with sex education advocates no matter how many studies show that better sex education and better access to birth control reduce abortions.
I haven’t quite decided – and I’m sure it varies from person to person – whether the resistance to birth control & sex education among abortion opponents is more of a “cut off your nose to spite your face” situation or more of a situation where penalizing sex is the underlying point of the pro-life exercise.