Abortion: unwanted or illegal?

would you rather abortion be illegal or unwanted?
  • illegal
  • unutilized

0 voters

Given two hypothetical societies that both have the same low number of abortions per year, which would you rather live in? The society that has a law against abortion, thereby codifying into law your beliefs, but where there are folks who would want an abortion if it was legal but are unable to get one. Or, a society that believes in the legal right to abortion, but there are very few women who seek one?

Both. Abortion should be illegal and unwanted.


You don’t play “hypothetical” well :rofl:

Well hypothetically, if a society wants something illegal it’s because the thing is also unwanted.


The ideal is always a society where the law isn’t even necessary because no one would seriously consider doing the crime. So in the sense of which society we should strive for, the one that has no laws against abortion because it never happens is a much better goal.

However, that’s not the question you asked. You asked if a society where people believed in a legal right to have an abortion was better than one where they didn’t. Essentially we are comparing a society that bakes dehumanization into its very concept of human rights to a society where people understand the fundamental value of life even though some find it really inconvenient. While there are a lot of details that could change the decision, all other things being equal the society where people respect life (even if begrudgingly) is better.


The “War on Drugs” suggest otherwise. I think shrinking the demand side is more fruitful than attacking the supply side for both drugs and abortion.

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Since this is hypothetical, and since we have to make a binary choice, I am saying unutilized. My reasoning is that if literally zero people in a society wanted abortion, it would not matter if it was theoretically legal, because nobody would be having those legal abortions anyway. On the other hand, if it were illegal but people still wanted abortions, abortions would probably still happen: they’d be done illegally or people would go abroad for it. So, the best thing is if we can change hearts and minds. Meanwhile, making abortion illegal would be a good start.


Thanks to all that voted. It looks like “illegal” get the slight majority here. (now It is even again)

I myself would have voted “unutilized”. It was nice to confirm my suspicion that not everyone agrees with that point of view.

In fact, I am now guessing that this might track rather closely along the R vs. D divide?

I am one of those folks that vote Democratic in the belief that their policies will decrease the demand for abortion. (not trying to argue here as to the truth of that statement!).

Does this jive with the way you voted in this poll and the election?

The first one.

While it’d be nice if people were better than they are, in reality a lot of people are selfish and only do the right thing if there’s a penalty for not doing it.

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I would live in a society that works against false dichotomies.


Even according to CNN, not known to be the president’s biggest fans, abortion was the lowest ever under the Don.

I know the article tries to say stuff about contraceptives, but I have a very strong feeling it’s mainly about economic success, given that the reason given for abortion is often monetary issues. A rising tide raises all boats! I wonder how that’s changed since the pandemic. I know you said you didn’t wanna argue the point, but voting for a party that wants to expand abortion access seems like a pretty big deal.

I would say neither - I would prefer a society where it would never occur to anyone to consider abortion - one where abortion isn’t needed.

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Abortions have been dropping since at least the 90s.

Thankfully! Though our data collection isn’t perfect (I think some states literally just don’t report the data), it’s a good sign in general. We hit a historic low, but I wonder if it will continue? Time will tell…

True. A few states don’t report.

We hit a historic low most years. The numbers have been on the decline since the 90s across presidents of both parties.

Illegal. To permit even one abortion is to allow murder. Laws help form society.


Given the two societies have an equal amount of abortions despite them being illegal in one, I would argue that the society in which fewer people want them is ultimately better. Such a society has more people who actually want children and don’t want to kill them in the womb, and what abortions are performed could actually be regulated in a manner that allows us to know how many are performed, how they are performed, and the health outcomes for the women who have abortions. Making them legal also allows society to track the reasons women are seeking an abortion and possibly address those.

In the “abortion is illegal” society no actual abortions are being prevented relative to the number in the “abortion is legal” society, and what abortions are performed won’t be regulated; the abortions will likely be performed in a manner that doesn’t allow for the health and safety of the women to be monitored. Furthermore, the reason for women seeking abortion won’t be known and wouldn’t be tracked, and therefore couldn’t be addressed to further limit abortions.

Peace and God bless!


Thankfully, it has been going down in general since around 1990, likely due to the 5-4 SCOTUS decision allowing significant abortion restrictions in '89 (4 GOP appointees, 1 JFK).

What Roe V Wade did was make it illegal doe states to make abortion illegal, but since some restrictions are allowed, in this case it is clear local races can be vitally important at least until and if Roe would get overturned (I had hope maybe it could happen with a solid majority on the Supreme Court now, but how other races look it might not happen (I’m still praying for it, though!)).
Local races can be sooooo much more important than presidential (though it’s obviously important, too).

Obviously we want a change of heart and not just law, but with how many turn to the law for moral decisions (sadly) and how it affects the whole culture it’s all interconnected.

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Is both possible. I’d argue without them being unwanted then them being illegal won’t do a thing. It will be a far s if a law. We have to change culture.

Gotta do both: change law and culture. State ways and folk ways mutually reinforce each other.

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