While I can appreciate Erin Ryan's latest article on the lowered abortion rate, there's one critical detail that's missing from this piece and the rest of the abortion debate: over half of all abortions in the United States are performed on women who already have families. Guttmacher estimates that figure at 61%.
Why does it matter?
Because loud voices of the anti-abortion movement are trying to frame abortion as a irresponsible, hormonal woman's problem. For women who already have families, abortion can provide economic relief and freedom — the very things needed for a stable, productive household. (Coincidentally so does access to affordable birth control.) A whopping 75% of respondents cited economic reasons for why they were seeking an abortion. That's a far cry from an out-of-control, slutty college girl.
In an ideal world, none of this would matter, and in my view, it shouldn't. But the very people who are trying to rollback abortion access rely on outdated, inaccurate stereotypes to fuel fear and paranoia. Frequently painting all women with that misogynistic brush allows anti-abortionists to control the debate and steer it in their favor. Articles like Erin's are a great opportunity to emphasize the reality of abortion.
I can appreciate Jezebel and other media outlets' reporting on this issue. But the people who cover it aren't doing the issue justice by omitting the multi-faceted, nuanced, complicated face of abortion in this country.