Quite a lot of research has been done on how reliable the different methods of contraception are, but researchers disagree, and, of course, a great deal depends on how intelligently and conscientiously the couple use the method selected. Out of anuy 100 women having intercourse regularly over a period of a year, how many will become pregnant during that year? Here are the best figures I can get:
Using no contraceptive at all 80-90 would be pregnant
Using withdrawal 30-40 would be pregnant
Using rhythm 15-35 would be pregnant
Using a recommended foam
according to instructions 25 would be pregnant
Using condom 5-15 would be pregnant
Using diaphragm with sperm
killing cream or jelly 5-15 would be pregnant
Using IUD 3 would be pregnant
Using Pill 1/2 (one in 200) would be pregnant
Being sterilized almost none would be pregnant
When properly used, then, methods of birth control do provide a satisfactory way of having sex without babies, of limiting the size of families, and of controlling the growth of the world's population.
Abortion - When Contraception Fails :-
If contraception fails, or a couple fail to use it, and the woman becomes pregnant, she will have to decide what to do. One of them is abortion - that is, to have the embryo removed by a simple surgical procedure before it has developed far enough to live. Today, when done early in pregnancy be qualified physician in a hosopital or specially equipped abortion clinic, abortions are relatively safe.
However, no abortion is minor matter, and abortions later in preganancy present greater chance of surgical complications and often involve an overnight stay in the hospital. If the abortion is performed before the twelth week of pregnancy, the doctor may use a recently developed suction machine which removes the embryo and other products of conception.
Obviously, the sooner a girl or woman reports an overdue menstrual period to her doctor or to a clinic, the better are the chances for less complicated and less expensive care. When abortions are done in secret or illegally, it is almost impossible to check on the qualifications of the doctor or the adequacy of the equipment and procedures. In such cases, abortions may be dangerous and can permanently injure or even kill a woman.
There are many people, however, who feel taht it is wrong to terminate even the beginnings of human life. They feel so strongly about this that they even say that abortion is murder, but most people feel that there is a very great difference between removing the products of conception that are growing toward a person, and murder, which involves the killing of an existing person, born and actually living out in the world. In any case, when a girl or woman is considering an abortion, it is preferable that she receive help and advice from a trained and sympathetic counsellor as to whether she should continue or terminate her pregnancy.
Quite often, the decision, eithe way, may affect her emotionally more deeply than she expected it would, and she needs help in dealing with these effects. The counsellor will also see that she gets contraceptive advice so that abortion, if that is her decision, will not be necessary again. Abortion is certainly a very poor method of birth control, even though more and more people are coming to believe that it is better than allowing an unwanted child to be born into what may be for him or her a hostile world.