Letter: Tools needed to avoid abortion

I was unsettled on Sunday, January 24th to read Thomas Lucente’s editorial, “End Slaughter of Innocents,” which contained some truly glaring inaccuracies. Lucente’s work was clearly not fact-checked. Lucente stated that in the United States, “40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated by abortion.” He also implied that Planned Parenthood hands out free abortions like bank tellers hand out free candy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our nation’s leading public health institute, states that 18 percent of American pregnancies end in abortion, and this proportion is “an historic low.” The CDC also states that this drop is likely due to education efforts. As larger numbers of young people receive comprehensive sex education in our schools, and as organizations like Planned Parenthood work hard to provide educational materials and low-cost contraceptives to those with limited access, the number of women who utilize abortion as a last resort has been steadily decreasing. It is important to note that many women turn to abortion not because a baby is “inconvenient,” as Lucente states, but because they are facing insurmountable obstacles and a lack of support.

Attacking pro-choice sentiments is beside the point. The latest data from the CDC are an exceptionally strong argument for providing developmentally appropriate comprehensive sex education to all K-12 students, and continued support for organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provide all of us with equal access to vital sexual health resources. It is this access to information and resources that will help the United States continue to decrease the number of terminated pregnancies. Let’s focus on giving people the tools to avoid abortion, rather than laying blame.

— Amelia Huelskamp, Lima

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