Abortion continues to be a hot button topic in the political agenda. It tends to evoke a
variety of strong emotions on all ends of the spectrum from those that oppose it to those that are
for a woman’s choice. Almost as controversial is the topic of contraceptives and how readily
available they should be in a society. Over time, as more research has been conducted, the
relationship between contraceptives and abortion has been analyzed in detail. This research has
been used to prove both sides of the argument, but this is not a discussion about which side is
‘better.’ Instead, this is an observation of the trends regarding how abortion and contraceptive
availability relate to each other and the potential causes for why. Some of the trends are
surprising and unexpected. For example, when a society legalizes contraceptives it’s highly
probable there is going to be an increase in abortion rates. However, in societies where the
combination of contraceptives and abortion are legal, and a thought process of maintaining an
active sex life but having fewer kids has taken hold, increased access to contraceptives are likely
to decrease abortion. This becomes more likely when it’s easier to gain access to contraceptives
that have higher success rates for preventing pregnancy. This shows that abortion and
contraceptives are tied, and that there is a process after the legalizing of contraceptives and
abortion of a societal shift regarding family planning that is critical for the lowered abortion rates
When comparing abortion and the utilization of contraception the first pattern seen is
how the beginning of legalizing contraceptives and abortion creates a spike of increased abortion
rates. These are trends that can be found over a multitude of countries. In 1972 birth control
was legalized in America. At that point in time the abortion rate was at approximately 600,000.
Following Roe v. Wade in 1973 the abortion rate was around 900,000. Over the course of the
next eight years the abortion rate spiked up to approximately 1,600,000 where it stayed until
about 1990 where it began to decline, but not dramatically. Britain legalized contraception in
1961, and at that time the abortion rate was relatively low however the exact number isn’t known
due to the first date abortions began to be reported was in 1968 when abortion was legalized.
Since 1968 Britain’s abortion rates have continually gone up, and have not seen a true decline.
France legalized contraception in 1968 and abortion in 1975. After 1975 the abortion rates have
continued to steadily increase and have reached a constant level. Canada allowed for abortion
in certain circumstances beginning in 1969, and completely legalized abortion in 1988. 1969
was also the year contraceptives were legalized. There was a consistent rise in abortion rates
until about 1999 when a gradual decline in abortion rates began to occur. Abortion was
legalized in the Netherlands in 1981 while contraceptives...