A Depressing Number of Women Googled DIY Abortions In 2015
Pro-lifers’ efforts to save the lives of unborn babies are also endangering the lives of expectant mothers, who are now turning to Google to learn how to self-induce abortions.
We’ve all made jokes to our best friends about “pushing each other down the stairs” or “grabbing the coat hanger” in case of a pregnancy scare. But these jokes seem a lot less funny when women in Texas, Florida, and Virginia are having to resort to these methods to try to stop the birth of a baby that they cannot afford to bring into this world.
How do we know that women are turning to such rudimentary methods of birth control? Although a survey was conducted among Texas women who suspected that their best friend had self-induced an abortion, the primary resource telling us that at-home abortions are on the rise is our friend Google.
According to The New York Times, there were over 119,000 Google searches for the exact phrase “how to have a miscarriage” in 2015. Other women googled “how to self-abort,” “how to do a coat hanger abortion” (1,300 searches), and variations of other methods such as bleaching ones uterus and getting punched in the stomach.
Somehow, it seems that for every advancement we make in society, we take another step backwards. With the amount of women self-inducing abortions and the amount of people supporting a terrifying politician, it’s as if our society hasn’t progressed from the days of bubonic plague and horse-drawn carriages.
Overall, there were over 700,000 searches for variations of at-home abortions in 2015, ranging from the gruesome coat-hanger device to searches for abortion pills. The below graphic, from The New York Times, shows the direct correlation between the legal barriers placed upon obtaining an abortion and the level of Google searches surrounding abortions.
Although this information is solely based on Google searches and we can’t know how many at-home abortions were actually performed, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz points out that there has been a shortfall in the number of births:
“Women living in states with the fewest abortion clinics had 54 percent fewer legal abortions — a difference of 11 abortions for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
“Women living in states with the fewest abortion clinics also had more live births. However, the difference was not enough to make up for the lower number of abortions. There were six more live births for every 1,000 women of childbearing age.
“In other words, there appear to have been some missing pregnancies in parts of the country where it was hardest to get an abortion. Self-induced abortions could be playing a role, although more research must be done on rates of pregnancy and unintentional miscarriage in different regions.”
The continual limitations on women’s health is more reason than ever to have safe sex and use birth control. Taking a chance isn’t worth it if you live in a state where it’s nearly impossible to safely have an abortion.