The reasons why women have abortions are diverse and vary dramatically across the world. Some of the most common reasons are to postpone childbearing to a more suitable time or to focus energies and resources on existing children. Others include being unable to afford a child either in terms of the direct costs of raising a child or the loss of income while she is caring for the child, lack of support from the father, inability to afford additional children, desire to provide schooling for existing children, disruption of one's own education, relationship problems with their partner, a perception of being too young to have a child, unemployment, and not being willing to raise a child conceived as a result of rape or incest, among others. An additional factor is risk to maternal or fetal health, which was cited as the primary reason for abortion in over a third of cases in some countries and as a significant factor in only a single-digit percentage of abortions in other countries. An American study in 2002 concluded that about half of women having abortions were using a form of contraception at the time of becoming pregnant. Inconsistent use was reported by half of those using condoms and three-quarters of those using the birth-control pill; 42% of those using condoms reported failure through slipping or breakage. The Guttmacher Institute estimated that "most abortions in the United States are obtained by minority women" because minority women "have much higher rates of unintended pregnancy. Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice. 10 Abortion Arguments: 10 Arguments For Abortion, 10 Arguments Against Abortion. A majority of people in the United States believe abortion should be legal and regulated. These facts fly in the face of both sides of the argument. The left wants abortion to be free and easy to obtain. The right wants abortion outlawed. There is an obvious solution to this problem if the leadership of both parties would just step forward. But they don't.

The Day After Roe

from The Atlantic,
June, 2006:

... the long-anticipated moment has finally come to pass: Roe v. Wade is no longer on the books. What happens next? The results might not be what you expect. The day after Roe fell, of course, abortion would be neither legal nor illegal throughout the United States. Instead, the states and Congress would be free to ban, protect, or regulate abortion as they saw fit. But in many of the fifty states, and ultimately in Congress, the overturning of Roe would probably ignite one of the most explosive political battles since the civil-rights movement, if not the Civil War. A careful look at how the pieces of the Rubik’s Cube might begin to turn the day after Roe suggests that access to abortion wouldn’t necessarily become less widely available than it is now; that the Democrats could gain politically, perhaps even seizing the White House and both chambers of Congress; and that, when the dust settles, in five or ten or thirty years, early-term abortions would be protected and late-term ones restricted. Roe v. Wade was an entirely different matter. The Court’s decision, in 1973, to strike down abortion laws in forty-six states and the District of Columbia was high-handed, and represents one of the few times in history that the Court leaped ahead of a national consensus. In every Gallup Poll since soon after Roe was decided, small minorities of Americans—in the 20 percent range on each side—have said that abortion should be always illegal or always legal, while a large majority has said it should be legal under some circumstances and especially at the beginning of pregnancy. Later, the Court continued to ignore popular opinion when it struck down, in the name of Roe, many practices enthusiastically supported by the public, including spousal-notification laws, parental-consent laws, and informed-consent requirements. Critics of Roe v. Wade often compare it to the Dred Scott decision on slavery before the Civil War. In both cases, the Supreme Court overturned political compromises that national majorities supported, provoking dramatic political backlashes. If the Court decides to reverse ...., it might still preserve the core protections of Roe v. Wade for choice early in pregnancy. If so, it would express the sentiments of the majority of Americans on abortion far more faithfully than the current White House and Congress are likely to do.

More From The Atlantic:

If, on the other hand, the Court does seize the opportunity to overturn Roe, it would at least allow national majorities to eventually make their constitutional views about abortion clear.

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