The problem of episode 11 is what should we do about Margaret? That’s what I should have called it, What Should We Do About Margaret? That’s a much better title.
In the Netherlands, abortion is freely available on demand. Yet the Netherlands boasts the lowest abortion rate in the world, about 6 abortions per 1000 women per year, and the complication and death rates for abortion are miniscule. How do they do it? First of all, contraception is widely available and free — it’s covered by the national health insurance plan. Holland also carries out extensive public education on contraception, family planning, and sexuality. An ethic of personal responsibility for one’s sexual activity is strongly promoted. Of course, some people say that teaching kids about sex and contraception will only encourage them to have lots of sex. But Dutch teenagers tend to have less frequent sex, starting at an older age, than American teenagers, and the Dutch teenage pregnancy rate is 9 times lower than in the U.S.