Let’s Target “Stupid”

abortion, blogging

Captain Ed says the rate of abortion in the U.S. has dropped again, according to the Los Angeles Times, citing an Alan Guttmacher report. However, the decline has been most dramatic among white women. The rate of abortion among African American women is 5 times that of whites, and among Latinas is 3 times that of whites.

Why? Some experts point to poverty and life stresses in general. Nah, says Captain Ed. These minorities are targeted for abortion services. By way of documentation, he quotes another guy who claims minorities are being targeted for abortion services. Well, that proves it then.

However, everyone’s a bit vague on exactly how minorities are being “targeted.” Are abortion clinics in minority neighborhoods handing out free toasters?

For perspective, see this Alan Guttmacher report of October 2007: “Abortion Declines Worldwide, Falls Most Where Abortion Is Broadly Legal.

I’d like to repeat that last part — abortion rates fell most where abortion is broadly legal.

For every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15–44) worldwide, 29 were estimated to have had an induced abortion in 2003, compared with 35 in 1995. The decline was most substantial in Europe, where the rate fell from 48 to 28 abortions per 1,000 women, largely because of dramatic declines in Eastern Europe. On the whole, the abortion rate decreased more in developed countries, where abortion is generally safe and legal on broad grounds (from 39 to 26), than in developing countries, where the procedure is largely illegal and unsafe (from 34 to 29). Significantly, the abortion rate for 2003 was roughly equal in developed and developing regions—26 and 29, respectively—despite abortion being largely illegal in developing regions. Health consequences, however, vary greatly between the two regions, since abortion is generally safe where it is broadly legal and mostly unsafe where restricted. …

The lowest abortion rate in the world in 2003 was for Western Europe (12 per 1,000 women aged 15–44), where contraceptive services and use are widespread and safe abortion is easily accessible and legal under broad grounds. The rate was 17 for Northern Europe and 21 for the Northern America region (Canada and the United States). Africa, Asia and Latin America had the highest regional abortion rates, even though abortion is generally legally restricted and often unsafe in those regions. Abortion rates in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean have declined since 1995, but the estimated number of abortions has increased in Africa because of the increasing number of women of reproductive age and a possible underestimate of abortions in 1995. Because the world’s population is concentrated in Asia, most abortions occurred there—about 26 million yearly; China alone accounted for nine million procedures.

To drive the point home, The uber-liberal, anything-goes Netherlands in 2007 had an abortion rate among residents of 8.6. The most recent data says the abortion rate for the U.S. is 20. It’s higher than that in most nations where abortion is illegal.

I remember reading a report that said abortion rates tend to be higher in cultures that are conservative and authoritarian and lower in cultures that are liberal and egalitarian. I can’t put my hands on that report now, but the stats do tend to bear that out. See also “Abortion in the Netherlands and the United States: Worlds Apart.”

Let’s go back to Captain Ed:

The most interesting aspect of this will be the effect it has on politicians who pay lip service to seeing fewer abortions while blocking any and all attempts to limit them. Will they cheer this drop in abortions, or will they claim that it proves that more intervention is needed to ensure “access”?

We can’t tell from the numbers if the fall in abortion rates in the U.S. is from anything the so-called “Right to Life” movement is doing or if it’s just part of the worldwide trend of falling abortion rates. However, what we see over and over again is that “blocking access” to abortion doesn’t stop abortion. If Captain Ed is serious about lowering abortion rates even further, he should help promote a more liberal culture that openly promotes contraceptive use and makes contraceptives easily obtainable by anyone who is sexually active.

On the other hand, if he wants to increase abortion rates, the way to go is to criminalize abortion to drive it underground, support “abstinence-only” sex ed in public schools, discourage contraceptive use and, even better, make contraceptives difficult for teenagers to obtain without parental permission or a court order. That should do it.

Finally, remember that the report says African American and Latina women have higher abortion rates than whites? I give you this Hot Air commenter: “Crime rate will greatly increase in about 15 yrs.”

In some quarters the stupid rate is already through the roof.

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8 Comments

7 Comments

  1. erinyes  •  Sep 23, 2008 @11:20 am

    “In some quarters the stupid rate is already through the roof”
    True, dear Maha, and the beatings will continue ’till morale improves……….

  2. felicity  •  Sep 23, 2008 @12:02 pm

    Raw numbers never tell the whole story. A few years ago the crime rate in the US dropped appreciably – the reason being that the number of people in the age group which commits the most crimes had dropped considerably.

  3. joanr16  •  Sep 23, 2008 @1:12 pm

    Wait… I don’t get it. If more white babies are being born, won’t that mean the 15-year-old criminals will be the sons of Jamie Lynn, Britney, Jenna, et al? Spoiled white punks with substance-abusing moms.

    Either that commenter is a racist who doesn’t understand what an “abortion” is, or the commenter really does see who’s responsible for most of the crime in this country.

  4. maha  •  Sep 23, 2008 @2:34 pm

    joan16 — truly, you can’t underestimate this crew.

  5. joanr16  •  Sep 23, 2008 @6:11 pm

    Or misunderestimate them, according to their Dear Leader.

  6. erinyes  •  Sep 23, 2008 @8:28 pm
  7. tootiredofthestupid  •  Sep 27, 2008 @7:05 pm

    Hehe no wonder their commenting is closed. No new people can get in to combat the vast pile of stupidity present at Hot Air.

    I see a lot of misquotes and outright lies on http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/23/abortion-rates-drop-again/comment-page-1/#comment-1447541

    No one who thinks Sanger is a racist has ever bothered to look things up and fact check. Instead it’s all debunked crap put out by supposed pro-lifers who want to claim pro-choice people are behind eugenics when in both the US and Germany it was church going Christians against abortion who wanted the poor, disabled and minorities sterilized against their will who also whole heartldly supported the Catholic Hitler. .

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