I've been thinking about how people could try to help prevent abortions. Better education about birthcontrol methods seems like a bit of a red herring to me. Yes, is is probably good, particularily with regards to information about medications which make the birthcontrol pill ineffective. But I don't see it as the be all and end all cure for abortions. A lot of very intelligent people end up having accidental pregnancies.
I think colleges and universities need to have information available to students on how to live life as a student parent. I mean, every campus should have someone (possibly a career councillor, or psychologist, or whomever) who is appointed as the resource person who can help a young person sit down and find a way in which to be a parent and student. The person could go over the student's financial situation with them, as well as their home situation, could discuss possibilities for financial aid, daycare, part-time studies, etc, to help the person figure out how they can manage. The person shouldn't try to force or pressure students into keeping the child, simply be willing and able to help show them how to make it possible if the student wants to. And if the student chooses instead to abort, then the person should be able to refer them to an alternative agency. And, ideally, there should be a student activist group that holds events to bring public awareness to such a resource, and to help make students aware that yes, people can be students and parents at the same time. They group could also help arrange events for student-parents to get to know one another, and to provide volunteer babysitting and other help. Ideally the group, and the resource person, would not take sides in the pro-life, pro-choice debates, but answer all questions with the assertion that parenthood is a viable choice too. Does anyone know of anywhere where such programs are in existence? I don't.
I also wonder whether toning down the abortion rhetoric would help prevent abortions. The more pro-choicers feel scared that their "right to abort" will be taken away the more freakishly they cling to it. We end up having people asserting things like that abortion is an empowering act. And any attempt to disuade a woman from having an abortion is described as forcing ones viewpoint upon another. Maybe if abortion rights were secure... maybe, maybe, we could stop proclaiming the glory of it and start suggesting that it is a necessary EVIL. Or maybe not... I don't know.
We need to watch the way we talk about things. We need to watch how often we equate unplanned things with being unprepared or incapable. A pregnancy may be unplanned... but that doesn't mean it has to be unwanted. That doesn't mean the mother is necessarily unprepared. No mother is fully prepared for children, and almost all mothers have a number of months to prepare for it. Every time someone says "I'm not ready to have kids yet..." they help propagate the idea that there is some mythical state of being ready, and only people in that state should have kids. Don't say you're not ready to have kids. Say you're not trying or not planning. Live in a state of semi-readiness, a state of acceptance for what could come. Talk to your friends and encourage them to think of themselves as being open to what comes too.