Monday, May 16, 2022

Sticking To The Facts On Abortion

Most people never hear the real facts on the abortion issue.

That is because the facts are drowned out by a political narrative.

A good example of this were the comments last week by liberal tv host Bill Maher who stated he was shocked to learn several facts about abortion he did not know.


“I learned things this week, because this put it on the front page, that are pretty basic things that I did not know about abortion," Maher told guests Michele Tafoya and Paul Begala. "Like in Europe, the modern countries of Europe, [are] way more restrictive than we are, or what they’re even proposing. If you are pro-choice, you would like it a lot less in Germany, and Italy, and France, and Spain, and Switzerland. Did you know that? I didn’t know that.”

“I learned most people who are pro-life are women. Did not know that. ... "

Maher has not become a pro-life advocate but he seems to now understand that the facts often do not match the narrative advanced by the Democrats and most of the mainstream media.

The Democrats in the U.S. Senate held a vote last week on a bill that would have allowed abortion for any reason for up to nine months, until the baby is born.

They claimed it was to codify Roe v. Wade but the fact is that it went far beyond what was permitted under the ruling in that case.

The bill actually did not even get majority support failing with 51 votes against--all 50 Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia. All other Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

After the vote I thought it was amusing that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was complaining that a minority in the Senate should not have the ability to block things that the majority wants to do.

Warren seems to be poor at math. 51 out of 100 is not a minority. It is the majority.

Warren should also be careful about citing "democracy" on this issue.

A Pew Center poll of voters in March found that only 19% stated they wanted abortion to be legal in all instances as the Democrat bill was written.

I also thought it was interesting that last week we even had Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen weighing in on abortion claiming that eliminating abortion rights would have "very damaging effects on the economy".


Yellen's view on this seems to be counter to almost every other economic study in the world which has cited falling birth rates in developed countries as the bigger threat to future economic growth.

An example is this recent report from the the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. 

Lower birth rates are associated with less growth and a more rapidly aging population and, hence, slower economic expansion.

You may recall that Yellen was once Chairman of the Federal Reserve. 

Yellen seemed to be arguing that abortions were good for the economy because it meant fewer "low-income and often black" teenage women did not have babies they were not in a position to care for.

Can you imagine the reaction to this if a Secretary of Treasury in a Republican administration had said the same?

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina had a highly appropriate and personal response to Yellen's comment.


Let's put that aside and look at the data on abortions.

Is it primarily, low-income, black, teen age women having abortions?

The Brookings Institution  (a liberal think tank) did a study on abortions by income groups in 2015.

That study found that there were many more abortions by single pregnant women who were earning at least 4X the federal poverty rate ($54,360/ yr in 2022) than those at the poverty level.

32% of the pregnancies in single women making at least $54,000 were aborted compared to only 9% among single women making the federal poverty rate of $13,590 or below.


So much for the low-income argument.

How many total abortions are for teenagers?

The CDC collects data on abortions in 49 states (California refuses to provide its data for the survey) for an annual national urveillance study.

The most recent CDC data is for 2019.

The fact is that only 8.8% of abortions are related to teen pregnancies.

Most abortions are done on the 25-29 age group (29.3%).

So much for the teenager argument.

Another argument made by Democrats is that there should be no abortion restrictions in that many women do not know they are pregnant until after the first trimester so a 9-12 week limit is too restrictive.

However, the CDC data indicates that 43% of all abortions were done in the first six weeks of gestation and another 36% were done in weeks 7-9. 

92% of abortions are done by the 13th week before the end of the first trimester.

We also hear that abortions are not being done as a substitute for contraception. 

However, the CDC data shows that 42% of all abortions involved women that had already undergone a previous abortion.

Finally, a lot is made of the necessity of abortions in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk due to the pregnancy.

The state of Florida requires that a reason must be provided for every abortion performed within its borders.

There are typically more than 70,000 abortions in Florida each year. That is over 10% of the total in the United States so the Florida statistics are probably a good representation for the national numbers.

Those statistics show that rape, incest and the life of the mother do not even account for half of one percent as the reasons for abortions in the state.

Serious fetal abnormalities account for less than 1% of all abortions.

There is no reason for almost all abortions other than the mother did not want the child for social, economic or personal reasons.

Reasons for Abortion, State of Florida, 2020

Abortion is really not about the life or health of the mother. It is not about rape, incest or fetal health.

As I have written before, it is really involves one fundamental question.

Does a woman have the right to put her rights above the right of the life growing within her?

If so, is there a point at which those rights end and the right to life of her baby take precedence?

Is it at conception? The point at which a fetal heartbeat is heard? The point at which the child would be viable outside the womb? At birth? After birth?

Tough questions involving a very tough issue. It always is when you start balancing "rights".

Just make sure you understand the bias inherent in much of what you see and read on the abortion issue.

And make sure you understand the actual facts about the issue rather than be force-fed a narrative that supports a political agenda.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the abortion issue. 

However, you can't have your own facts. Facts are facts.

It is also a fact that there is no national consensus on the abortion issue. There wasn't any 50 years ago and it is even truer today.

That is why I believe that overturning Roe v. Wade is the correct legal decision.

The correct result under the Constitution is that the collective opinion of the American people in each state are in the best position to determine how to balance the rights of mother and child.

If a national consensus forms around one position then a constitutional amendment can be used to enshrine whatever that is and any "right" that should be recognized in the Constitution.

1 comment:

  1. These are the relevant facts that deserve to be widely published. They speak for themselves. Thanks for sharing them, Scott.