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If Birth Control Curbs Abortions, Is It OK? St. Louis Study Shows Link

A Washington University study in the St. Louis area shows a decline in abortions when contraception was readily available.

For Catholics, a fundamental part of the doctrine is this: Neither abortion nor birth control are acceptable.

So much political debate centers on that fundamental part of Catholic or otherwise conservative philosophy: How much control should mankind assume over the bringing of life into the world?

Now we have word, reported on University City Patch on Friday and other outlets this week as well, that a Washington University study—known as the Contraceptive Choice Project—links access to affordable or free birth control to a decline in abortion rates in the St. Louis area.

The study notes that abortion rate in the St. Louis area declined by more than 20 percent in the St. Louis area between 2008 and 2010, while other parts of the state not covered by access to free birth control did not see a decline.

The Huffington Post's report notes "the abortion rates among among all participants ranged from 4.4 to 7.5 per 1,000 women over the two-year period, substantially lower than the national rate of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women in 2008."

“The impact of providing no-cost birth control was far greater than we expected in terms of unintended pregnancies,” said lead author Jeff Peipert, MD, the Robert J. Terry Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We think improving access to birth control, particularly IUDs and implants, coupled with education on the most effective methods has the potential to significantly decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in this country.”

According to a video associated with the project, "Unintended pregnancy affects women and men of all ages and income levels. Teen mothers are less likely to complete their education and tend to end up or stay in poverty."

It goes on to note that unplanned babies tend to have lower birthrates and other health problems "that can affect them their whole lives."

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report on the study:

The contraception project illustrates the potential impact of full insurance coverage of birth control under the Affordable Care Act, Peipert said. The controversial provision in the health care reform law requires contraception to be covered as a preventive service like vaccines and certain cancer screenings.

Legal battles continue in Missouri, where the Legislature voted last month to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would allow employers to opt out of covering contraception in their insurance plans. Soon after, a women's labor group filed a discrimination lawsuit against the bill. A federal judge in St. Louis threw out this week a claim from a local business owner that the contraception requirement violates religious freedom.

Is birth control an acceptable alternative to unplanned pregnancies and abortions? Why or why not? Are you surprised by the findings of this study (read fuller reports by clicking the links)? Why do you think the subject of free access to birth control is so intertwined with our political debate? Should it be? Why or why not?

Meridith Olsen October 12, 2012 at 02:34 PM
This is an opinion piece? Mention the results of a study, quote a Post-Dispatch article and the Huffington Post (a news aggregator, not a news source), throw the religion card out in the first paragraph, add a nonsensical headline and what results is a bunch of comments about religion and the hot button issues of abortion and birth control. Nowhere does Mr. Greenbaum express an opinion or provide new information. Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for their entire life is familiar with the Catholic church's stand on abortion and birth control. But congratulations on stirring up 100+ comments. Finally, what does the phrase "unplanned babies tend to have lower birthrates" even mean? Are you trying to say babies that are the result of unplanned pregnancies have lower birth weights? Where is the editor/proofer to catch that, not to mention redundancies and a missing "the" in the following sentence: "The study notes that abortion rate in the St. Louis area declined by more than 20 percent in the St. Louis area between 2008 and 2010." Patch is a good source of hyper-local crime stats and reporting on city council meetings. Perhaps you should stick to that if this is the best "opinion" piece you can muster.
Idiot Police November 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Amen!!! lol
Idiot Police November 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Close-minded people destroy America.................................Religeon ruins everything.
Idiot Police November 23, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Well put Caffeinated.........................but you can not get through to this closed-minded moron. Hopefully HE uses birth control.
Idiot Police November 23, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Roe .v Wade moron...........................................there ARE reasons for abortion that DON'T concern you. If only your mother had exercised her rights.
Idiot Police November 23, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Perhaps you should comment on things you obviously know about, like hyper-local crime stats and city council meetings.
William Braudis November 23, 2012 at 05:35 AM
As a member of the Lutheran Church I must teach you that our Doctrine reads very similar to that of the Catholic Church. Neither believe that no one has the right to kill babies either in the womb nor in the birth channel. Under obama and you people, the killing of babies are a wonderful and noble act.
Mike K November 23, 2012 at 07:38 AM
So when does the Catholic/church-owned hospitals and doctors get to refuse treatment for veterans or force me to pay taxes for a military whose function is to kill people, in clear violation of The Ten Commandments? Or is the Church also on its own Cafeteria plan? I consider myself a Christian and have no interest in what the Catholic and many other Christian churches have become. One does not need an orthodoxy to understand, accept, invite, and practice your faith. Go straight to the source and eliminate the 'middleman'.
Dino McDonnell November 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM
It is a sad fact that we kill our unborn children. There is no real debate about that fact, what we are missing is the total lack of respect for our sexuality. We are not animals are we? Your free will is what will condemn you to hell.
William Braudis November 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Dino, Wonderfully Stated.
Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Yosef November 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Anything past day 40 is murder.
William Braudis November 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Mike K, I realize that you do not have a good understanding about " Thou shall not kill " So I would think that you really are in need of the " middleman ". God, was responsible for direct involvement in the deaths of perhaps thousands. Your Military shot and killed your enemies and yes in the beginning it was difficult squeezing off rounds with the intent to kill until one saw the results of not doing so. To a point you are correct that a middleman is not always required to have a talk with God, through Jesus or Mother Mary.
Sensible? I think so November 24, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Can anyone explain how they know that life begins at conception?
PaulRevere November 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Note the ignorance of this comment: "one way to reduce abortions is to increase access to birth control" I would say-The best way to reduce abortions is "To Decrease access to the sexual Act". How about "Castration/Hysterectomy" for anyone having more than 1 Pregnancy outside of marriage and using Taxpayers' Dollars to get an abortion. Want to bet needed-Abortions Nose-dive in this country.? Now that would save billions in Medical costs. Isn't the ultimate medical cost saving really the Goal? Just being sarcastic!!! My Friends. Shows the absurdity of those trying to justify Abortions by way of "Medical" savings.
Caffeinated November 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
"I would say-The best way to reduce abortions is "To Decrease access to the sexual Act". How about "Castration/Hysterectomy" for anyone having more than 1 Pregnancy outside of marriage ..." The American Taliban speaks (awkwardly). I see the old white men of Patch all agree. LOL...
William Braudis November 24, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Dear Sensible, the moment that the egg divides life has begun. An non-fertile egg will simply pass out of the host.
Caffeinated November 24, 2012 at 05:29 PM
"Your free will is what will condemn you to hell." Nothing to add, just wanted to highlight this little gem.
Caffeinated November 24, 2012 at 05:34 PM
William Braudis, biologist. So, zygotes are people? Your ignorance is laughable.
William Braudis November 24, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Mr. Revere, I agree with your well thought out statement. My though was that following their first out of wedlock birth the mother would be fixed to never again in her lifetime experience a pregnancy. This way she can return to being a whore without any concequences.
Caffeinated November 24, 2012 at 05:39 PM
" This way she can return to being a whore without any concequences." ...and we can't have that, can we Billy. Perhaps we can force them into burqas?
William Braudis November 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Mr. Caffeinated, I have missed you comments that accents your stupidity. Look, before using those big words perhaps you would FIRST look up their definition so you would not look so stupid via your comments. By the way no matter what clothing a whore wears she is still a whore and colleges are the best place to find them, in the event that you ever turn away from men.
Caffeinated November 24, 2012 at 06:05 PM
" Look, before using those big words perhaps you would FIRST look up their definition so you would not look so stupid..." Which big words are you referring to? "concequences" perhaps? Thank you for putting up with my stupidity.
Christine Stewart Mehigh November 24, 2012 at 08:53 PM
And the men who get all of these women pregnant? What would you do to them Willy? C'mon tell us. This is getting good.
Earl Higgins November 24, 2012 at 09:26 PM
William Braudis, it would really be nice if we didn't hear from you and your reactionary ilk after you took the drubbing in the last election (remember that?). Please follow the lead of your cohorts Rush Limbaugh and Todd Akin and stop wasting your time and ours on subjects you obviously know nothing about. The nation has spoken, and in case you didn't notice, your side didn't win. Sorry to break it to you in the harshest of languages, but apparently that's all you can understand. Thank you.
William Braudis November 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Ya Earl you and others inputing these comments have got it correct. Let the Feds., give you all of those free goodies and you will be slaves to a good ol' black slave owner. Free drugs of any kind, free sex, no questions ask, free hand outs, free alcohol free food and your soul. We will need to come up with a better name than " negga " for your kind.... how about " cowardly anus ". ya, that fits great.
mike k November 24, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Wow, good old Earl and Caffeinated just got owned by Mr. Braudis!
Earl Higgins November 25, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Incoherent ramblings from a bitter, defeated old man. Need I add anything more, I believe he said all that anyone needs to know about him and his kind. Kind of sad, really, that this country doesn't have a serious, thinking persons' political opposition any more (think George Will, or Richard Lugar, or John Huntsman). Just the fringe, fanatical ramblings of racist, sexist paranoids like Mr. Braudis. I honestly feel a little bit sorry for him.
Earl Higgins November 25, 2012 at 02:33 AM
How's that, "mike k"? If you can make sense of the word soup that William speaks, more power to you. I would love for you to translate it into English.
Caffeinated November 25, 2012 at 02:03 PM
That's sweet. Old mikey found his soulmate. I don't think the term "owned" means what you think it means, you geriatric moron.
Sensible? I think so November 25, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Thank you for your response. I wonder why it's the moment that the egg divides rather than the moment that the egg is fertilized, but I'll just increase my understanding incrementally.

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