Cutting off the supply of abortions won’t alter demand

abortionBut that doesn’t mean Republicans aren’t trying their best to cut off both. At The Prospect, friend of the blog Amelia Thomson-Deveaux has a piece about how, despite concerted efforts to cut off the supply of abortions, demand remains unchanged. Thomson-Deveaux gets to the heart of the matter, which is that anti-choice advocates have a completely different worldview from many of the people seeking abortions, one that makes it much harder for them to influence demand, even if that were possible. As a result, it’s easier for them to just cut off supply:

The primary logic behind these laws was that women did not grasp the devastating ramifications of the choice to terminate a pregnancy. Of course, the laws influenced women in other ways, mainly by making abortion more costly. But the strategy was psychological as well as financial. “For folks who are really against abortion, it’s incomprehensible that a woman would be willfully killing her baby,” says Tracy Weitz, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California-San Francisco. “There’s got to be another reason. They’re either being coerced by providers, or they don’t really understand what they’re pregnant with. The idea is that if women heard the heartbeat or saw that it had fingers or toes, that it looked like a baby, they would change their mind.”

It’s a really smart piece, and I highly recommend it.

Avatar ImageChloe Angyal came out of the womb opinionated.

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Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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