Free Contraception Can't End the Abortion Debate

The main thing between America and fewer abortions isn't bad birth-control policy.

Price is not the problem.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ross Douthat, the resident social conservative of the New York Times opinion page, doesn't usually get angry. But in a blog post Wednesday, he unloaded on liberal columnists who suggest that defunding Planned Parenthood is going to cause more abortions by depriving women of access to birth control. Such columns, he argues, rest on the assumption, stated or not, that America's abortion rate is driven by a lack of that access -- and that if only we made birth control more widely and cheaply available, we could resolve America's rancorous abortion dispute by rendering the issue moot.

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