Please solve the problem, not the symptoms

[This is not a pro-choice or pro-life post. I would feel exactly the same whether I was pro-life or pro-choice.]

I was reading the Economist and was astounded to see that funding for abortions was a big enough issue to be mentioned as part of an article about the Washington DC economy:

But the latest budget deal largely spared the region’s economy. The federal government will continue to chip in for the city’s rail transit system; but as part of the deal the District can no longer use its own money to pay for abortions. This will hurt the city’s poorer residents

(What the Economist doesn’t say is that the real reason people are upset is not because it will hurt poor people but because (a) it’s a case of the federal government trying to control the city’s budget and (b) it’s part of the whole abortion debate we’ve been having for years.)

But what really struck me was, “wow, how many women in DC get abortions?” I mean, if it’s big enough to impact the city budget, shouldn’t we try to help them not have unwanted pregnancies?

I wasn’t able to find an answer I trust but this obviously biased site claims that DC has 265 abortions for every 100 live births. Wow. And people are worried about whether abortion is legal or not, funded or not, … that’s not the issue. How come so many women end up pregnant that don’t want to? Is it lack of education? Lack of birth control? Relationships that are ending prematurely? Did they want to get pregnant and changed their minds? Did they get pregnant accidentally? Do many women have more than one abortion? What is going on here? Why aren’t we addressing that?

So I think the issue of how the federal government controls DC’s budget is important. But I also think it’s really important to help these women not get pregnant, if they don’t want to be.