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Most rational, logical, thinking people would assume that the more people use contraception, the fewer unwanted pregnancies - and thus fewer abortions - there would be. But then those on the right aren't always rational, logical, thinking people - not by a long-shot.

In fact, those on the religious right - many of them leaders in the Catholic Church - are paradoxically and foolishly against both abortion and contraception, and certainly against government-funded or government-mandated contraception coverage in health insurance plans. We saw that when the right went ape-dump over the Affordable Care Act's mandate that health care providers include birth control in their benefits package, even for women working in religious-related business (though not churches or certain religious intitutions).

Well, now we have empirical evidence that the type of mandated coverage of contraception afforded by the Affordable Care Act would lead to fewer abortions.

Here's the study, published by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

OBJECTIVE: To promote the use of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods (intrauterine devices [IUDs] and implants) and provide contraception at no cost to a large cohort of participants in an effort to reduce unintended pregnancies in our region.
Here is how the study was conducted:
METHODS: We enrolled 9,256 adolescents and women at risk for unintended pregnancy into the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, a prospective cohort study of adolescents and women desiring reversible contraceptive methods. Participants were recruited from the two abortion facilities in the St. Louis region and through provider referral, advertisements, and word of mouth. Contraceptive counseling included all reversible methods but emphasized the superior effectiveness of LARC methods (IUDs and implants). All participants received the reversible contraceptive method of their choice at no cost. We analyzed abortion rates, the percentage of abortions that were repeat abortions, and teenage births.
And the results?
We observed a significant reduction in the percentage of abortions that were repeat abortions in the St. Louis region compared with Kansas City and nonmetropolitan Missouri (P<.001). Abortion rates in the CHOICE cohort were less than half the regional and national rates (P<.001). The rate of teenage birth within the CHOICE cohort was 6.3 per 1,000, compared with the U.S. rate of 34.3 per 1,000.
The conclusion?
We noted a clinically and statistically significant reduction in abortion rates, repeat abortions, and teenage birth rates. Unintended pregnancies may be reduced by providing no-cost contraception and promoting the most effective contraceptive methods.
I don't think it could be any clearer. If one truly wants to reduce the number of abortions, it is counterproductive to simultaneously work to reduce access to birth control. And this study proves it. Though why a study should even be necessary for something as axiomatic as this is truly beyond me.

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