"Poverty and Abortion: A New Analysis"
Definitely go read Darwin Catholic's excellent analysis regarding the correlation (or lack thereof) between economic well-being and abortion rates. It seriously calls into question the notion we hear from some quarters that Democrat policies lead to lower rates of abortion.
Here's an excerpt:
... However, after hearing this argument one too many times, I decided to go dig into the data and see if even the strictly factual side of it is true. So far as I can tell, the argument has the following components:Interestingly, the big lie that abortions have gone up under Bush is still floating around out there. The other day, a commenter at Amy Welborn's blog noted:
1) Economic well-being (as measured by a low poverty rate and a high median income) has been greater under Democratic administrations than Republican ones in the last 30 years.
2) Abortion rates have either been lower or have decreased faster under Clinton than under Reagan, HW Bush or W Bush.
3) There is a strong correlation between economic well-being and the abortion rate.
I'm going to argue that all of these are partly or wholly false.
"I didn’t vote for Bush, but I would imagine that if I had voted for him because of his stance on abortion, that I would be pretty upset that the rate of abortion has gone up during his Presidency, partially because of cuts in social programs."
Never mind the fact that the rate and number of abortions has actually decreased under Bush, exactly WHAT PROGRAMS has Bush cut in any of his massive budgets? I can't think of any.
But let's get back to the main point of this. Here's more from Darwin:
Let's try to get a good visual feel for this. On the top chart, I've plotted the abortion rate against the poverty rate. The RSQ is .47. On the bottom chart, I've charted the abortion rate against the number of years since 1980. The RSQ is .96.And did, in fact, abortions decrease at a faster rate under Clinton than they have under W. Bush? Not so fast:
So, based on the trends of the last 25 years, if you wanted to successfully predict what the abortion rate will be in a given year, you're going to be far more accurate if you base your projection on the relation between the number of years since 1980 than if you base it on the poverty rate.
During the Clinton administration the abortion rate declined an average of 0.55% per year, versus 0.38% per year from 2001 to 2005 (more current data is not yet available from Guttmacher.) However, something interesting appears when we look at the abortion ratio, which has declined more rapidly under Bush than under Clinton. So the apparent Clinton advantage is a result of an overall decrease in pregnancy under Clinton. If we control that by looking at the ratio (the percentage of pregnant women who abort) we find that it has actually declined faster under Bush than under Clinton.And then there's this graph showing the steep incline in the abortion ratio (the percentage of pregnant women who abort) up until about 1980-81, and then a steady decline thereafter:
Definitely read Darwin's entire post. It is an eye-opener, to be sure. I'm certain there'll be much back-and-forth on this and arguing over numbers and methodology, as there are many who have much at stake in trying to convince pro-life voters that the Democrat Party is the real pro-life party. Sorry, folks, but the numbers just don't seem to bear that out.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Number of Abortions Lowest in Decades
National Review Online: Mainstream Media Continues to Distort on Abortion
Pro-Life Quote of the Day