Thursday, October 07, 2004

Abortion Would be Illegal in Thirty States if Roe v. Wade Decision Overturned

Washington, DC ( -- A leading pro-abortion law firm says abortion could quickly be illegal in some 30 states should the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision be overturned. The new report highlights the high stakes both sides in the abortion debate see in the upcoming presidential election. According to the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, some states still have pre-Roe laws prohibiting abortions on the books that could be enforced should the landmark decision fall. Other states, the pro-abortion firm says, could enact bans on most or all abortions quickly because they have strongly pro-life state legislatures and governors. The group's report, released just one month before the presidential election, is meant to rally abortion advocates behind pro-abortion Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. See where you state is listed by going to:


Blogger Teresa said...

I fear this story is largely a scare tactic by the abortion industry to insure votes against the President. Just last month the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the Texas law outlawing abortion except for life of the mother, rape & incest, although still on the books, had been effectively repealed by the actions of the state in regulating abortion. Ralph Nader has said overturning Roe is not a major issue since most states will not ban abortion. He is wrong about the significance of overturning Roe, since it will at least allow the citizens to again exercise our most precious political right -- self governance -- but I fear he may be right about the outcome of that exercise. If he proves right, then I can only say as Thomas Jefferson did of slavery, ""I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice can not sleep forever . . ."

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pro-life? Look at the fruits

By Glen Harold Stassen

I am a Christian ethicist, and trained in statistical analysis. I am consistently pro-life. My son David is one witness. For my family, "pro-life" is personal. My wife caught rubella in the eighth week of her pregnancy. We decided not to terminate, to love and raise our baby. David is legally blind and severely handicapped; he also is a blessing to us and to the world.

I look at the fruits of political policies more than words. I analyzed the data on abortion during the George W. Bush presidency. There is no single source for this information, but I found enough data to identify trends. My findings are disturbing.

Abortion was decreasing. In the decade before Bush became President, the number of abortions in the United States fell from 1,610,000 to 1,330,000. That is a decline of 17.4 percent over the 1990s, an average decrease of 1.7 percent per year. (The data come from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.)

Enter Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its course downward. Instead, the opposite happened.

Three states have posted several years of recent statistics through 2003: Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Here's what happened to their abortion rates: Kentucky's increased by 3.2 percent from 2000 to 2003. Michigan's increased by 11.3 percent from 2000 to 2003. Pennsylvania's increased by 1.9 percent from 1999 to 2002.

I found 13 other states that reported statistics allowing comparison of abortion rates in 2001 and 2002. Here's what happened: Eight states saw an increase in their abortion rates: Arizona (+26.4 percent), Colorado (+67.4 percent), Idaho (+13.9 percent), Illinois (+0.9 percent), Missouri (+2.5 percent), South Dakota (+2.1 percent), Texas (+3.0 percent), and Wisconsin (+0.6 percent). Five states saw a decrease: Alabama (-9.8 percent), Florida (-0.7 percent), Minnesota (-4.4 percent), Ohio (-4.4 percent), and Washington (-2.1 percent).

In total numbers, 7,869 more abortions were performed in these 16 states during Bush's second year in office than previously. If this trend reflects our nation, 24,000 more abortions were performed during Bush's second year in office than the year before (or three years before in the first three states). Had the previous trends continued, 28,000 fewer abortions should have occurred each year of the Bush era. All in all, probably 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than expected from the earlier trends.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

Two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three years, unemployment rates increased half again. Average real incomes decreased, and the minimum wage has not been raised to keep up with inflation for seven years. With less income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless usually do not marry. Only three of my 16 states had more marriages in 2002 than in 2001; in those states abortion rates decreased. In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the year before, and 7,869 more abortions.

Women worry about health care for themselves and their children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now than before this presidency abortion increases.

My wife and I know — as does David — that doctors, nurses, hospitals, medical insurance, special schooling and parental employment are crucial for a special child. David attended the Kentucky School for the Blind, as well as several schools for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. He was mainstreamed in public schools as well. We have two other sons, and five grandchildren, and we know that every mother, every father, and every child needs public and family support.

What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, childcare, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need a president who will do something about jobs and insurance and support for prospective mothers.

Glen Stassen is the Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He formerly lived and taught in Louisville.

5:06 AM  
Blogger David said...

A comment on this "study" from Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review:

"The conclusions look less than airtight. That is in part a result of the lack of comprehensive data. But the researcher also makes a number of analytical jumps. For example, we're to believe that joblessness leads to a higher abortion rate. Maybe so; but it would be nice to have some historical data to back up the point. I also think the moral assumptions behind the article are unsound. For one thing, it is not the case that pro-lifers should care only about whether the abortion rate goes up or down. Even if the abortion rate were zero, the fact that the law treats unborn human beings as non-persons would remain an injustice. And it is not the case that every policy that might bring down that rate is a good idea. If, for example, it were demonstrated that a policy of massive public subsidies for illegitimate births would reduce the abortion rate--which I do not believe--that would not by itself establish that it was worth doing."

10:01 PM  

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