Sex Survey Reports Abortion Is Not Being Used as Birth Control

Article excerpt

WOMEN AREN'T USING abortion as a form of birth control as some abortion rights opponents have argued, researchers at the University of Chicago report in their new study.

Data obtained in the largest and most comprehensive survey of American sexual behavior indicate that more than 70 percent of women who have had an abortion have had only one. Roughly 19 percent claim to have had two, and 8 percent claim to have three or more.

Edward Laumann, one of the Chicago researchers, said that based on this data, arguments suggesting abortion is being used as alternative birth control appear unfounded.

The researchers said policies that punish women for having abortions with the hope that such measures would prevent women from using it casually make no sense, given the statistics. Most women who get abortions aren't doing it casually, they say.

Abortion rights advocates see the new statistics as a victory for their cause.

"Any time scientific research disproves such an offensive notion, like women who have abortions choose it over other forms of contraception, it's good to see," said Denise Shannon of Catholics for Choice in Washington.

But anti-abortion groups aren't so quick to accept the new data as a defeat.

The fact that mothers don't have multiple abortions for the sake of birth control, "isn't going to weaken our arguments," said Joseph Scheidler, executive director of Pro-Life Action League in Chicago. …