Study: Higher contraception rates associated with higher abortion rates in Russia
MOSCOW, December 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study from Russia has revealed that, contrary to the claims of abortion advocates, Russia continues to have one of the world’s highest abortion rates despite higher contraception rates.
Researchers at Moscow State University studied changes in birth control practices in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, and correlated the prevalence of “modern methods” of contraceptive use to trends in abortion.
They found that while Russian women have the highest rate of contraceptive use compared to those in Belarus and Ukraine, they also have the highest abortion rate.
Researchers were perplexed by this, calling the findings “contradictory,” “unexpected,” and “paradoxical.”
“This result contradicts to our findings based on the sample surveys,” lead author Boris P. Denisov wrote.
“After adjustment for covariates, the Russian sample experiences higher odds of modern contraception,” he wrote. “This finding is unexpected given the higher level of abortion in Russia. It is also surprising that low fertility and rapidly declining abortion rates in Belarus and Ukraine go together with the inefficient structure of contraceptive methods.”
The research team also looked at data related to what they termed “unmet need” for contraception in the three countries.
“Although the wording of the questions and therefore the way of how the index of unmet need is estimated vary between the three countries, the unmet need in Russia is not likely to be higher than in Belarus and Ukraine,” they wrote. “This brings us to a paradox – along with the highest level of abortions, Russia does not exhibit the highest unmet need for family planning.”
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The authors posited that “the paradoxical combination of higher contraceptive prevalence and higher abortion rate in Russia than in Ukraine” might be explained by the conjecture that, “it is possible that Russian surveys exacerbate contraceptive prevalence” because Russian women confuse “an intention to use or irregular use of a method with its proper use. However, Belarusian and Ukrainian surveys could face the same problem.”
“As a result,” the authors conclude, “today Russia continues to maintain one of the highest abortion rates among all countries of the world reporting this kind of statistics,” but note that “the survey data did not give an explanation of why Belarus and Ukraine experience greater progress in reducing abortion than Russia.”
Dr. Brian Clowes, the director of research and training for Human Life International, has suggested that the researchers who perform such studies are failing to report the logical conclusions that can be drawn.
“It’s the same thing old thing,” Dr. Clowes said. “These guys pretend not to know what’s going on, but they know full well.”
Scores of studies have shown that increased use of contraception results in greater sexual activity and, because contraception fails so consistently, in more “unwanted” pregnancies. This in turn leads to more abortions.
A ten-year study in Spain, published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, showed that the abortion rate in the country doubled between 1997 and 2007, even as 60 percent more women used contraceptive methods. The researchers concluded, “The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation.”
“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. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former biochemist with the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself.”
“Those promoting abortion have long touted the link between contraception and a decrease in abortion, when in reality, the opposite is true,” said Bradley Mattes, president of the International Right to Life Federation. “It’s common sense that expanding the use of contraception increases sexual activity, which in turn increases pregnancies that follows with increased abortions.”
Noting that the Russian research report states, “governmental policies have the potential of suppressing abortion as a birth control method,” Mattes observed that, “For years Russian women have used abortion as a means of birth control. The average Russian woman has had seven abortions in her lifetime.”
“The only way to decrease the number of abortions,” Mattes concluded, “is to encourage women to save sexual activity for marriage and to welcome the life that results from that marital union.”
The full text of the Russian study titled “Divergent Trends in Abortion and Birth Control Practices in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine” is available here.