In an ever-changing world, the Secretary-General has urged for creativity – “doing new things and doing things differently” – to answer humanity’s pressing needs. Innovation in the digital era necessitates not just access to technology, but also a comprehensive array of educational materials that enable women and girls to recognize the misuse of technology and make educated decisions.
Access to technology has afforded women in developing nations the opportunity to have a voice in their communities—they may learn anywhere, at any time, improve their literacy and health, and acquire the skills necessary to increase their involvement in society. Unfortunately, technological advancements have also ushered in unacceptable levels of sexual violence against women and girls, granting abusive partners the ability to monitor, track, threaten, and later assault their victims, and allowing sex traffickers to profile, recruit, control, and exploit targets regardless of their geographical location. A study undertaken by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and released in October 2021 suggests that in the United States, roughly 40% of sex trafficking victims are recruited online and abusers employ online technologies to market photographs of their victims.
Among the horrible consequences of this sexual abuse of women and girls is the rise in unwanted pregnancies followed by abortions. According to the article, “Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion,” published in the September edition of The Lancet, between 2015 and 2019, roughly 61 percent of unplanned pregnancies resulted in abortion, with an annual global average of 73.3 million abortions. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of April 30, 2018, 7.2% of abortions in the United States happened between 14 and 20 weeks of gestation. In 2020, the Guttmacher Institute estimated that 20 percent of all pregnancies (including unplanned pregnancies) resulted in abortion in the United States, and by 2022, that percentage had grown to 22 percent.
While abortion may provide short-term relief from the physical and emotional stress of carrying an unplanned or unwanted child to term for some women, numerous global studies—including the extensive research reported by Angela Lanfranchi in her book, Complications: Abortion’s Impact on Women, DeVeber Institute of Bioethics and Social Sciences, Toronto, Canada, 2015—have documented the negative short- and long-term health impact of abortion, including the prevalence of post-abortion complications.
Meanwhile, chemical abortions, which surged during the pandemic, result in approximately four times the complication rate of surgical abortions, according to a study involving 42,000 Finnish women between 2000 and 2006 and studies involving California Medicaid patients who had abortions in 2009 and 2010, as reported in the National Review, August 2021, by research scholar Michael New in his article, Telehealth Abortions Pose Significant Health Risks. Presently, 50% of all abortions are chemical abortions, and this percentage is expected to rise to 70% by the end of 2022.
One recent study reported in October 2022 by Eileen Smith Dallabrida in her White Paper in Support After Abortion entitled, Study Shows Negative Long Term Impact of Medication Abortion shows that 34 percent of women who obtained chemical abortions said that their outlook on themselves or their decision changed negatively since their abortion; 24 percent reported that they searched for help after their abortion experiences; and 39 percent of women did not seek help but said that they could have benefited from talking to someone.
While much research on the psychological effects of abortion is criticized for focusing on like-minded volunteers, the preceding study drew on a random sample of women who underwent chemical abortions and was perhaps more representative. Concept of Truth’s international hotline has received over 20,000 calls from (mainly) women sinking into mental illness, including depression, self-harm, and even suicide, as a result of their sadness over their abortions and the lack of knowledge to make educated decisions.
The significance of educated decision-making in the field of reproductive health cannot be overstated, particularly during the pandemic, when gender-based violence and abortions rapidly rose as access to medical facilities and specialists declined. For many of the women who have had abortions, they would claim that they never received information about the physical and mental consequences of abortion, nor were they informed (until after the fact) that at 16 weeks, an unborn baby is able to move about, suck its thumb, blink its eyes and kick its legs, and that its heart and circulatory system are fully functioning.
If we are serious about providing excellent education [SDG 4] and empowering women and girls with equal decision-making possibilities, we must give them accurate information on abortion. Concepts of Truth, Inc., an NGO attempts to educate girls and women on the required knowledge to make educated decisions. For mothers who have decided to abort their kids, the Charity provides empathetic therapy to assist them and their loved ones achieve closure during the grief process. Concepts of Truth, Inc.’s international, 24-hour-a-day helpline delivers vital life-affirming information to individuals considering abortion.
In keeping with the aims of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, we must guarantee that innovation supports the preservation of human life, greater health for women, the strengthening of the family as the basic unit of society, and the safeguarding of national sovereignty to execute these policies. Concepts of Truth, Inc., an ECOSOC-accredited NGO, advise that member states unite in line with the aims of the Declaration’s approximately 36 member nations to guarantee that innovation safeguards human life and dignity and well-being for all humans.