Dr. Ben Carson was on The View today and said this:

“A lot of those young girls who are having babies out-of-wedlock — when they have that first baby, they stop their education and that child is four times as likely to grow up in poverty.” He then babbled on about daycare and GEDs and clearly it’s just the lack of childcare and a good man that drives women to have abortions. He also babbled on about uneducated women and abortion. You can watch the segment here:


Sigh. And this man is a doctor.

Dr. Carson has obviously not bothered to look at any demographics on abortion, or to speak with a gynecologist or anyone in public health, or done a Google search because this is the kind of ill-informed spewing of misinformation I expect from someone with a degree in medieval history (like Carly Fiorina). As Ben Carson spouts off continually about being a neurosurgeon I expect more of him when it comes to health matters.

What Carson doesn’t understand is that women consider many factors before they have an abortion and research tells us that women understand the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. If Dr. Carson has participated in any child rearing or counseled women about unplanned pregnancies then he would understand that it’s a little more than daycare. While work, school, and money factor into the equation for 75% of women these are not issues that can be solved with daycare and a GED. Fifty percent of women who have abortions say they don’t want to be single parents or are having problems with their partner. Some women also are pregnant because of rape and others have issues with intimate partner violence.

Eighteen percent of U.S. women who have an abortion are teenagers, but only 6.4% are under the age of 18 and so are at greatest risk for dropping out of high school if they get pregnant. His daycare-to-GED plan (as offensive as it is) can only apply to these women.

51% of women who have an abortion were using birth control but had a method failure. If Dr. Ben Carson really wants to prevent abortion he should dump his daycare idea and focus on free, easily available long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), because science tells us that unlike daycare LARC actually prevents unplanned pregnancies. If the 51% of women who were using contraception but had a failure had been using LARC that would prevent 50.6% of abortions.

Poverty does play a role, but not in the way Carson thinks. While 42% of women who have abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level and 27% have incomes between 100-199% of the federal poverty level, women at or below 199% of the federal poverty level also have the highest rate of unplanned births. The abortion rate for low-income women is 52 per 1,000 and the rate of unplanned births is 70 per 1,000. Poverty doesn’t cause abortion it causes unplanned pregnancies which are more likely to end in abortion. However, if Carson had read anything on the subject he’d know that compared with higher-income women, poor and low-income women are less likely to end an unintended pregnancy by abortion, which is why low-income women have an unintended birth rate nearly six times as high as that of higher-income women.



So the driver of unplanned pregnancies for many women is poverty, but notice how Carson side-stepped Whoopi Goldberg’s questions about food stamps and aid? Nice touch, but Carson ignores everything that doesn’t fit with his narrow fact-deficient world view. It’s just pretty sad when a doctor can’t get the facts straight about a medical subject, so imagine what he’d do with something non medical!

If you want to prevent abortions you invest in family planning and reducing poverty, not daycare. As a side note 68% of unplanned births are publicly funded (mostly Medicaid) and we spend $21 billion on unplanned pregnancies.Without publicly funded family planning services (like what happens for many women at Planned Parenthood), the number of unintended pregnancies, unplanned births and abortions occurring in the United States would rise by 60%. It is a foolish financial decision to reduce access to publicly funded family planning services.

Every time that man opens his mouth I am embarrassed that we share a profession.

Daycare won’t prevent abortions and anyone who believes that is a fool and has a low opinion of women. Dr. Carson should be very careful about how he uses the word “uneducated” because that is exactly what he is when it comes to reproductive health care.



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  1. Carson is likly a narcassist…feeling all powerful and entitled to give his usless opinion because he has a degree. It is obvious he can’t shut his mouth and needs to be heard because he needs attention like a drug. But who am I to judge? Just a guess. And advise.. Don’t value his opinion. It is annoying thought when people talk out of their asses not knowing wtf they are talking about. I do appreciate you spreading awareness, discrediting the psycho-babble. Thank you.

  2. It’s a dumb comment by Carson, but it’s probably the first time I’ve seen an anti-abortion shill acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons at all (even though he gets this wrong) for women to choose to have abortions.

  3. I’m a UK resident, albeit on John Bull’s other island. So I feel myself quite remote from US politics.

    Yet today, I read that the Biblical Joseph built the pyramids as a grain store, something to do with the Egyptian famines. I don’t know about you, Dr Jen, but I always understood that the Great Pyramid was pretty solid, with just a few passages. Some pesky scientist types had done scans to confirm that, but what do they know?

    Anyhow, it seems that a brain surgeon, Dr Carson, has decreed that most of us have entirely false ideas of the pyramids—they really were grain stores. And if a brain surgeon says so, it must be true, musn’t it?

    I know that in N Ireland we have more than our quotient of weirdo types, new earth creationists, Biblical literalists, and that their ideas are now incorporated in our laws, but this reconfiguration of the pyramids is a new one. And, what does it portend, if a brain surgeon—you and I as mere ‘surgeons’ and ‘gyns’ clearly lack the appropriate mental apparatus—gets to have his finger anyway near the ‘button’, or anywhere else?

  4. Ben Carson is completely out of touch with many things LIKE EVERYTHING ABOVE … in addition, he also believes that potential shooting victims should rush their attacker.

    SEE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/carson-loss-gun-rights-more-devastating-bullet-wounds-

    On the CBC Morning Show today he made a foot-in-mouth statement by again saying that he would have rushed the shooter and that no one in Oregon did anything like that. I believe it was either Gayle King or Norah O’Donnell who reminded him that someone DID rush the shooter. One of them asked Mr. Carson, “Do you know who Chris Mintz is?” Mr. Carson looked dumbfounded and fumbled through some pseudo recovery answer. Obviously, he didn’t watch the news on that story or do his homework, but somehow holds an opinion without doing much research.

  5. Daycare is wonderful, and really important, especially if you want teen mums to continue their education, but it is only slightly more related to abortion than the weather.
    There might be a minuscule amount of people for whom “no daycare” is a factor, but as you pointed out, most people have more reasons and reasons that no government program can ever solve.

  6. Most of America’s health problems are public health issues. Carson was a great neurosurgeon, but hasn’t had the experience, or taken the time to learn the details of the more “mundane deadly” challenges. This is the best continent in the world for healthcare if you are an affluent white 40 yo male with a brain tumor, but the worst if you are a 65 yo impoverished poorly controlled diabetic minority woman. The problem is that there are many more of the latter that must be dealt with. Even if you are a brilliant specialist, your opinions about more common pressing issues in health care, if uninformed, are worth no more than anyone else’s.

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