Opinion: Strict US anti-abortion laws harm women

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Sexual education and ensuring access to contraceptives is much more effective in preventing pregnancies. So why don’t the 27 out of 50 US states that still teach schoolchildren to practice abstinence do away with this absurdity? And why are there only 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) that make it obligatory to teach teens about contraception? In 2010, 57 out of 1,000 US teens got pregnant – the highest teen pregnancy rate in the entire developed world; 15% of all teen pregnancies were terminated. Are US conservatives proud of these figures?

Things could be different. Take Switzerland, for example. The country has very liberal abortion laws, and also significantly lower teen pregnancy rates. In 2011, just eight out of 1,000 Swiss teens got pregnant. And just 5% of these pregnancies were terminated.

Challenging Roe v Wade?

Clearly, anti-Abortionists do not care for facts like these. Instead, many claim to be doing god’s will — in a country, one might add, that according to its constitution has a clear separation of church and state. And this very constitution, the Supreme Court ruled in its 1973 Roe v Wade decision, guarantees women the right to have abortions. That ruling means the highly restrictive anti-abortion law in Alabama and many other restrictive laws around the country are effectively illegal. But US conservatives now hope this legal clash will once again require the Supreme Court to rule on the matter and ultimately overturn Roe v Wade.

The odds are in their favor, as President Donald Trump has already appointed two new conservative judges to the Supreme Court during his tenure. Conservative judges now outnumber their liberal peers. The decision by many fundamentalist Christians to back Trump has apparently paid off — despite the fact that the president, a former Democrat who has been married three times and faces multiple adultery allegations, is no poster boy for conservative Christian values.

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