Why don’t pro-life people push birth control to stop abortion?

By Erica Smith, student at Brigham Young University in Utah

“If you really care about stopping abortion, you should spend your time and energy promoting birth control instead.”

Planned Parenthood supporters sometimes claim that the abortion chain does more to prevent abortion than any other organization, as their auxiliary services include providing birth control. A recent Planned Parenthood commercial directed by Joss Whedon depicts a girl in an alternate, PP-free universe crying over her college scholarship letter. She sets down the letter and clutches her belly, the implication being, pregnant girls can’t go to college (not true). Then, in our current universe, she walks into a Planned Parenthood, gets her birth control, and happily moves into her college dorm.

Even if birth control weren’t readily available from non-PP locations, their ability to provide it wouldn’t make up for committing a third of the nation’s abortions. Pro-lifers are often pressured to compromise our stance on the sanctity of life and substitute it with a passion for birth control. This simply isn’t feasible.

Here are five reasons that no pro-lifer can stop abortion by promoting birth control alone.

  • Women who seek abortions are already pregnant. No woman plans on having an abortion before she sees that positive pregnancy test. This rhetoric shames the woman for “allowing” herself to become pregnant and presents termination as the only option. Presently pregnant women don’t need birth control, they need advocates who will look on their situation with sympathy.
  • Birth control is fickle and can fail. Many women do use birth control and find themselves in a crisis pregnancy anyway.
  • Many women choose to become pregnant. The crisis doesn’t occur until later. Divorce and job loss rock a woman’s world and alter the situation in which she’d planned to raise her child. Stable, married, and economically secure women can find themselves considering abortion when their child is revealed to have disabilities, or when they find themselves carrying twins.
  • Abortion is legal because of birth control. Once birth control was established as an accepted norm, abortion was “needed” because accidents do happen. When you have sex with the intention of not re-producing with the partner and the birth control fails, there has to be something to “clean up the mess.”

And finally…

  • In a crisis pregnancy, it is necessary only to eliminate the crisis, not the pregnancy.

Pro-life people care about children. We aim to create a culture of life that values all children, born and unborn.