In my previous article I discussed teen pregnancy and noted that according to the Center for Disease Control, teen pregnancy rates are higher in the so-called “red states” than in the “blue states.” What I did not have enough space to write about in that article, however, is that abortion rates among teens in blue states are much higher than those in red states. In red states, many schools have adopted abstinence-only sex education. This may be one reason why they have higher teen pregnancy rates, since many kids are not being taught how to prevent pregnancy. Another reason for high teen pregnancy rates in red states may be their residents’ predominantly “pro-life” viewpoints. These states have fewer abortion clinics; as a result, young teens in these states are less likely to have abortions than teens in the blue states. According to the Child Trends Data Bank, over one-third of all teen pregnancies are aborted. The majority of these abortions occur in blue states. The New York Times says that the abortion rate in New York is twice as high as that of Texas and that it is three times higher in Massachusetts than in Utah. The high abortion rates for teenagers in blue states suggest that in those states abortion may sometimes be used as a method of birth control. I support the “pro-choice” side of the debate and believe that every woman has the right to choose whether or not to bear a child. However, having multiple abortions or using the procedure as a type of birth control is simply not an acceptable way to live one’s life. If a young woman gets pregnant unexpectedly and decides to get an abortion, that is her choice. But a woman should learn from that experience and be safer when having sexual intercourse in the future. Abortion also does psychological and physical damage to a woman. Having an abortion takes a serious toll on a woman’s body. According to the American Pregnancy Association, consequences include infection, damage to the cervix and scarring of the uterine lining. These side effects could prevent a woman from getting pregnant if she later wants to have a child. Having to make the decision to end a pregnancy is an extremely hard one and it should never be taken lightly. Young teenagers may end up regretting their decision or feeling depressed after having an abortion. It seems likely that multiple abortions could cause even more severe psychological damage to a young woman. Young teens should be able to get an abortion without feeling pressure to keep the baby. But at the same time, we cannot forget that abortion is not a crutch and its availability should not be an excuse for irresponsible behavior such as engaging in unprotected sex.