Friday, December 19, 2008

Why are there more abortions than live-births?

In some Russian provinces there are more abortions than live-births. Part of this has to do with education, but much of it comes from a lack of access to birth control.

This is a stunning statistic. When I heard it I was thinking of how we can change this (being in the USofA). My initial reaction was, "We're spending so much time and effort in this country on the legality of the practice when this is an international issue, and other countries have more abortions by far than here. Can't we take an international approach?"

Of course a quick counter to this idea was, "We are Americans, and we can only directly influence our own government." This is a fair argument, of course.

But we can use international bodies to bring international consensus and help nations with poor heath care receive things they need, like access to medication - including birth control and education.

A problem I see from the anti-abortion side in the States is the fact that many of these supporters are also right-leaning Republicans who have a weird distrust of the United Nations and are trying to remove the USA from its ranks. Meanwhile, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is active in countries supporting family planning and education with a goal of reducing abortions (after all, abortions are still risky procedures, even with all the fancy medicine). The UNFPA health care package does not include abortion. Couldn't we support programs like this to reduce the number of abortions instead of fighting the UN on the issue (lying about what they say even, like this Newsmax story does (headline reads, "Attacks Christians" yet the story doesn't mention anything about Christianity at all), and so many other organizations say).

I think part of the problem is so many Christians are American first, Christian second. The big argument I hear against the UN stems from national sovereignty. People are concerned about sovereignty so much they'd rather have other countries waste away - and in this case I'm making, let abortions outnumber live-births - than give up any semblance of control. Yet the United Nations does not require any lower-level of sovereignty for membership!

Wouldn't it be great if we could have a cooperative world with nations helping other nations, where disagreements can be arbitrated without war, and where health issues can be addressed multilaterally? That sounds nice. How about we support the organization dedicated to this.

What are your thoughts? Is the United Nations capable of addressing the health needs of women in the developing world to reduce the number of abortions?

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