Reducing the abortion rate
Reducing the abortion rate via technology
This essay was published by Dr. Charles Sabillon under the title: "Abortion: A
brutish debate" It can be read, along with other challenging essays, at
The futility of the pro-life/pro-choice debate:
Abortion is a subject that over the decades has constantly produced heated
debates. The passion with which each side argues its case would suggest to
somebody ignorant of the subject, that both parts have the truth on their side.
Unfortunately, it has been a sterile and useless discussion and both sides could
not have been further away from the truth.
One of the camps in this debate has always taken a religious position and that
has tended to lead to a dead end. However, the other part has also not been very
coherent. Irrational ideas have also impregnated the position of the liberals.
A solution to the high abortion rate:
Had people decided to follow the path of logic, they would have reached very
different conclusions. They would have realized that it was irrelevant to debate
over the rights of the mother or the unborn child. Taking any of the two
positions was simply not addressing the core of the matter.
What was needed from the start was a more potent technology than the existing
one. Highly advanced contraceptives that offer no risk of failure, that are not
uncomfortable to use, that are also effective on men, and that need to be
administered only once with an effect of several years, is what was needed. That
was the only thing that would have uprooted the problem.
Such an impressive technology would have been attained by considerably
increasing investment in research and development in that particular field of
The history of the world shows that problems get solved with technology and not
with legalistic procedures or moral preaching. The first is the preferred method
of liberals and the second the preferred method of religious people.
With a potent contraceptive technology, the whole debate vanishes because nobody
ever comes out unwillingly pregnant. As a result, there is never a need to
abort. Unfortunately, nobody thought of taking that road.
The history of the world is filled with useless debates, and it is also filled
with sorrow and pain.
During the Middle Ages for example, Europeans spent a thousand years debating
over how to solve their numerous problems. They contended over the best way to
pray to God, which was supposed to be the key to solving their problems. They
were dying by the droves from hunger and epidemics, but it never occurred to
them that what was needed was a potent agricultural technology to increase farm
productivity and a potent pharmaceutical technology to vaccinate the population.
They just went on and on with their sterile debate and while everybody discussed
stupidities, they continued to suffer and die.
During most of the twentieth century, the world incessantly contended over
whether capitalism or communism was the best system. Both sides were totally
convinced that they were right and at the end it turned out that both were
wrong. At the end, capitalism only proved to be less incompetent than communism.
What was needed from the start was that economists would have done their
homework and developed a real economic theory of growth. Instead, they argued
scholastically over two systems that were almost equally incapable of generating
fast economic growth.
For centuries parents debated over which of their children they would sell to
prostitution, or to crime, or which would they abandon. Since the level of
technology was so low, poverty was endemic and people were forced to make
horrible choices. However, in the nineteenth and twentieth century the pace of
technological development finally began to grow rapidly and poverty started to
retreat. Eventually, parents stopped making horrible choices. In Third World
countries today, where the level of technology is still very low, parents
continue to have those debates and make those choices.
It is perhaps useless to demand from religious people to adopt a logical
posture. However, what is frustrating is the position of the opposing camp,
which is supposedly holding the banner of science and rationality. Liberals have
a nasty habit of digressing from the bottom line into endless legalistic and
We need to focus on technology and only on that. Had we done that from the
start, the history of the world would not have been smeared with blood and pain.
Originally posted: 2007-JAN-20
Latest update: 2007-JAN-20
Author: Charles Sabillon.