In many parts of the world there is prominent and divisive plublic controversy over the ethical and legal issues of abortion. Abortion and abortion-related issues feature prominently in the national politics in many nations, often involving the opposing pro-life and pro-choice worldwide social movements. Incidence of abortion has declined worldwide, as access to family planning education and contraceptive services has increased. Abortion incidence in the United States declined 8% from 1996 to 2003.
Abortion is an issue that evokes, on all sides, very strong feelings and judgments and very heated recriminations. The most radical formulation of the anti-abortion or pro-life side of the debate views abortion as the murder of unborn children, and so as the equivalent of out and out infanticide, making the legal use of abortion since Roe v. Wade, at a rate of around 1.5 million a year in the United States, into a holocaust of the innocent fully comparable to the Nazi genocide against the Jews. Radical pro-life activists who blockade abortion clinics (or who even commit terrorist acts of vandalism, arson, and murder) see what they do as what good Germans didnt do in the face of Hitlers atrocities, or what John Brown did do in his attempt at Harpers Ferry to free the slaves through mass rebellion.