Debunking the right’s contraception myths

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Unable, apparently, to convince the public that women having sex without “consequences” is inherently bad for society, conservatives have taken to claiming that increasing access to contraception won’t actually prevent abortions. They’re wrong.

In his recent column in the New York Times, Ross Douthat argues that even though conservatives have failed in selling chastity to the public (even in solidly red states), a remedy he seemingly wants to offer for married couples too, ”the liberal narrative has glaring problems as well.” What, exactly?

To begin with, a lack of contraceptive access simply doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in unplanned pregnancy in the United States. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.

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