According to this study, only 6.2 percent of girls that delay sexual intercourse until they are 20 years of age or older will have an abortion in their lifetimes. Contrast this with women who became sexually active at age 14—37.9 percent of these women will have one or more abortions in their lifetimes.
The data is just as compelling when we look at the correlation between the number of male sexual partners a woman has, and her likelihood to have an abortion. According to the study, only 6.4 percent of women who have an abortion have had one male sexual partner for life, meanwhile 89.0 percent of women who reported having one or more abortions had 3 or more sexual partners.
In other words, the closer you come to practicing the Christian ideal of chastity, the less likely you are to get an abortion.
I was curious and decided to see whether the original report studied the issue of contraception.
Indeed it did!
99% of women who have ever had an abortion have used contraception.
10% of women who have never used contraception have gotten one or more abortions.
20% of women who have ever used contraception have gotten one or more abortions.
30% of women who have ever had abortions started using contraception before the age of 15.
This suggests that social conservatives are correct: the sooner you start having sex, the more likely you are to have an abortion and contraception does not solve the problem. It seems to exacerbate it.
Now I don't wish to suggest that it's all a matter of practice, that if everyone just dropped contraception, the problem would be fixed.
It's a question of attitude. The women who wait, who don't use contraception have a different attitude towards sex and procreation.
This different attitude leads to different behaviour.
If you have a Christian mindset when it comes to sexual behaviour and you try to live up to it, your likelihood of having an abortion is far less than if you have an average secular mindset.
The problem is, of course, that women don't date and have sex thinking "my primary goal is to avoid an abortion."
Women date and have sex because they want to love and be loved, and pregnancy and abortion is a secondary issue.
I think Catholics have a tougher time convincing people that contraception is bad because contraception is not the real problem. When pro-aborts push contraception, it's a purely mechanical thing: take the pill, you won't get pregnant (or reduce its likelihood) end of story.
But Catholics have to teach a worldview to get people to understand. So you can't just say "contraception is bad because it doesn't leave couples open to life." They don't understand at all what's behind that phrase. It sounds like non-sense to them.
So Catholics have to go through a lot of steps explaining a lot of points that the culture has forgotten.
But the results are clear: abstinence prevents abortion better than contraception.