SPAIN, January 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Abortion advocates often promote contraception by claiming that as contraception use increases, the number of “unwanted” pregnancies and therefore abortions will decrease. But a new study out of Spain has found the exact opposite, suggesting that contraception actually increases abortion rates.

The authors, who published their findings in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, conducted surveys of about 2,000 Spanish women aged 15 to 49 every two years from 1997 to 2007.  They found that over this period the number of women using contraceptives increased from 49.1% to 79.9%.

Yet they noted that in the same time frame the country’s abortion rate more than doubled from 5.52 per 1,000 women to 11.49.

The researchers, who had aimed to gather information about contraceptive use in order to reduce the number of abortions, were clearly puzzled by the results.  They write that the findings were “interesting and paradoxical,” and suggest that the rise in abortion rate may be due to “inadequate or inconsistent use” of contraceptives.  They also say it could be because more abortions, including “clandestine” and foreign abortions, are being reported.

“The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation,” reads the conclusion of the abstract.

However, Dr. Brian Clowes, the Director of Research and Training for Human Life International, has suggested that the researchers aren’t being completely up front. “It’s the same thing old thing.  These guys pretend not to know what’s going on, but they know full well,” he said.

Dr. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former bench biochemist with the U.S.‘s National Institutes of Health, said the need for more study is “non-existent” because “years of scientific studies around the world” have established the link between contraception and abortion.

Pro-lifers have long argued that contraception results in greater sexual activity and, because contraception fails so consistently, in more “unwanted” pregnancies.  This in turn leads to more abortions.

“Since it is ... a long-recognized and documented scientific fact that almost all so-called ‘contraceptives’ routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in ‘unplanned pregnancies’, is there any wonder that elective abortions are socially required in order to take care of such ‘accidents’?” asked Dr. Irving.  “Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself.”

“The whole idea is just to get people on contraception so they can sell them abortion,” said Dr. Clowes.

He pointed out that numerous high-profile abortion advocates have made the connection between abortion and contraception since the 1950s.  These include figures such as Alfred Kinsey, Beckworth Whitehouse, and Christopher Tietze.

Malcolm Potts, the former Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said in 1979, “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.”

The U.S. Supreme Court also admitted the connection while upholding the “right” to abortion in their 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  “In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception,” the justices wrote.  “For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”

“I’ve been all around the world, and the way they start trying to legalize abortion is to legalize contraception first,” said Clowes.  “And of course it fails tremendously, and so women start looking for illegal abortions.  ... Then the same people who are pushing contraception say now we have to legalize abortion.  It’s a really neat little system that works every time.”

Dr. Irving pointed out that many of the “contraceptives” cited by the authors also act as abortifacients.  If the contraceptive action of the pill or the IUD fails, the drug or device then acts by “killing the early developing embryo during its first week of life while he/she is still in the woman’s fallopian tube,” she said.

The abortions that result from these abortifacient contraceptives are not counted in the authors’ abortion statistics, she noted, meaning the increase of abortions would be even higher than the study reports.

The authors found that the most common contraceptive was the condom; its usage increased from 21% to 38.8%.  The second most common was the pill, which increased from 14.2% to 20.3%.  Female sterilization and IUDs decreased, being used by less than five percent of women in 2007.

The authors grouped natural family planning methods in with contraception.  The number using NFP dropped from 0.9 to 0.5 over the study period.

The study, entitled Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population during 1997-2007, can be found here.


See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

The Contraception Misconception

“Heaps of Empirical Evidence” Vindicate Pope Paul VI’s Dire Warnings 40 Years Ago About Contraceptives