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Monday, September 3, 2012

From the Ateneo: an academic article on the correlation between abortion and contraception

The article was first published earlier this year and is authored by two distinguished Jesuits with extensive secular professional credentials and a lay professor of the Ateneo De Manila University: Fr. Romeo Intengan (former Provincial Superior of the Philippine Jesuits, co-founder of the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party and a UP-trained Doctor of Medicine), Fr. Daniel J. McNamara SJ (a physicist by training, former Superior and Director of the Manila Observatory) and Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. (a Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory). 

As the abstract states, this article sets out to propose a set of hypotheses for deriving the abortion rate as a function of the intercourse interval in weeks, the number of weeks since the start of first intercourse, the number weeks of pregnancy, the number of weeks of breastfeeding, and the contraceptive failure rate. We also propose risk compensation as feedback: the intercourse interval is proportional to the mth power of the contraceptive failure rate. We show that for different values of m, the abortion rate may become smaller, bigger, or remain the same compared to the case when no contraceptives are used. Thus, one way to settle the RH Bill debate is to determine the correct value of m derived from accurate data on the reproductive health parameters of a large sample of the female population. If this data is not available, it is better not to take risk in approving the bill, because there is a possibility of increasing our national abortion rate through the promotion of contraceptives. Instead, it may be better to use alternative methods to manage our population and reduce our abortion rate to zero by promoting chastity before marriage, late marriages, and breastfeeding—and accepting each child conceived as a gift and not as a burden.

Estimating Abortion Rates From Contraceptive Failure Rates via Risk Compensation: A Mathematical Model

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