(LifeSiteNews) —The New York Times published an interesting report on the declining rate of teen pregnancy in the United States titled “Their Mothers Were Teenagers. They Didn’t Want That for Themselves.” It contains some good news. The report notes that the number of high school students who say they have had sex has dropped by 29% — and that this is largely due to teens deciding to delay intercourse. While there are multiple factors at play — including, University of Virginia sociologist Brad Wilcox noted, an increasing amount of time spent in front of screens — abortion is not one of them:
Abortion does not appear to have driven the decline in teen births. As a share of teenage pregnancy, it has remained steady over the past decade, although the data, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, omits medication abortions, and analysts say the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, could cause teen births to rise. If adolescent girls are more cautious with sex and birth control, what explains the caution? A common answer is that more feel they have something to lose. “There is just a greater confidence among young women that they have educational and professional opportunities,” Mr. Wilcox said.
READ: How should the pro-life, pro-family movements navigate the emerging post-Christian era?
Labour MP Stella Creasy has threatened to table an amendment to the Government’s upcoming Bill of Rights to give women the “fundamental right to an abortion”.
Ms Creasy has already been instrumental in imposing abortion on Northern Ireland, promoting DIY abortion, and banning pro-life vigils around abortion clinics. Now she wants to remove any restrictions on abortion. She even wants decisions on abortion law to be taken out of the hands of elected politicians by making it a “right”.
Sign this petition calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to resist any attempt to make abortion a right.
There is no right to abortion in international law. None of the nine core treaties of the United Nations recognises abortion as a human right (including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women).
Instead, several human rights instruments recognise the right to life of children before birth. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states: “... the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth...”
There can be no right to end the life of an innocent unborn child.
The UK already has some of the most permissive abortion legislation in Europe. A right to abortion would make the situation here even worse. Creating an absolute “right” to abortion would logically mean removing any restrictions. The worst implications of this could include:
• The removal of any gestational limits, allowing abortion up to birth
• Abortion based on the gender of the baby
• The removal of medical safeguards, including the involvement of doctors
• Erosion of conscience rights for medical professionals
Sign this petition to tell Mr Sunak not to make abortion a right.
The overturn of a Court decision in the United States has no direct implications for abortion law in the UK, which is regulated by Acts of Parliament. The regulation of a controversial issue such as abortion should lie with democratically elected MPs, not the courts. Robert Buckland MP, the former Justice Secretary, has warned that enshrining abortion as a right “risks bringing our courts into the political arena as in the United States”.
Tell Mr Sunak to stand up for parliamentary democracy and a true understanding of human rights, and resist any attempt to make abortion a right.
Pro-life statistician Dr. Michael New noted that the report was “surprisingly fair-minded,” especially as it noted that “starting in the late 1980s or early 1990s, there has been a durable reduction in the percentage of teenagers who are sexually active.”
“Data from the National Survey of Family Growth show that, between 1988 and 2015, the percentage of teenage boys (ages 15-19) who had ever had sexual intercourse fell from 60 percent to 38 percent,” he told me. “During the same time period, the percentage of teenage girls (age 15-19) who had ever had sexual intercourse fell from 51 percent to 42 percent. Data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) show that between 1991 and 2017, the percentage of high-school students who had ever had sexual intercourse declined from 54.1 percent to 38.4 percent.”
“Overall, a smaller percentage of teenagers are sexually active and those that are sexually active appear to be using contraception more often,” New concluded. “It is not clear why this is the case. As The New York Times article suggests, there may be more economic opportunities for teenagers that increase the opportunity cost of a pregnancy. Social media platforms might make teenagers more risk averse — however, the teen pregnancy declines started before social media became popular. Teenagers might be having less sex because of online pornography — however, the teen pregnancy declines started before internet browsers became popular. It is probably a combination of factors.”
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What we do know is that this is, on the whole, good news — especially due to the fact that the trend predates the ubiquity of teen porn addiction and other genuinely damaging trends. Fewer unwanted pregnancies mean fewer unwanted babies — which means fewer abortions. Children spared from an excruciating death and young parents spared from post-abortion guilt and trauma is a net positive. It is undoubtedly true that porn addiction is impacting real relationships, and that the net effect of a generation rewiring their minds to respond to digital sexual toxins are just beginning to become clear — we are facing the highest rates of erectile dysfunction in males under age 30 in recorded history.
But what these trend lines do emphasize is that it is possible to change widespread practices. That, in the current cultural climate, is very encouraging.