Abortions have declined in states where new laws make it harder to have them — but they’ve also waned in states where abortion rights are protected, an Associated Press survey finds. Nearly everywhere, in red states and blue, abortions are down since 2010.
Explanations vary. Abortion-rights advocates attribute it to expanded access to effective contraceptives and a drop in unintended pregnancies. Some foes of abortion say there has been a shift in societal attitudes, with more women choosing to carry their pregnancies to term.
Several of the states that have been most aggressive in passing anti-abortion laws — including Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma — have seen their abortion numbers drop by more than 15 percent since 2010. But more liberal states such as New York, Washington and Oregon also had declines of that magnitude, even as they maintained unrestricted access to abortion. Nationwide, the AP survey showed a decrease in abortions of about 12 percent since 2010.
One major factor has been a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which in 2010 reached its lowest level in decades. There’s been no official update since then, but the teen birth rate has continued to drop, which experts say signals a similar trend for teen pregnancies.
At this point, the reasons behind the drop don’t really much matter. And I’m not speaking from a moral perspective, although I think abortion is wrong in almost every instance; it’s most certainly wrong if just a matter of a woman or a couple’s “convenience.” But there’s another, more practical reason to oppose abortion, one that even a die-hard lefty might like: we need the money.
Children used to be viewed as a familial asset — they literally were the future. Later, right up to Roe v. Wade, they were viewed by the Left especially as a societal asset: the future taxpayers upon whose shoulders the edifices of Social Security and Medicare and other social-welfare programs would rest. With marriage all but destroyed as an institution, the birth rate has fallen, and we can ill afford to kill off unborn generations and still expect to enjoy the “benefits” the federal government has promised us. Unless, of course, we import the unskilled masses of the Third World to take their places…
As I wrote here at the Tatler yesterday — if you “forget” or “choose” not to have kids, you should forfeit your social-welfare benefits. Now that would be a “choice.”
The AP obtained the most recent abortion numbers from the health departments of all 45 states that compile such data on a comprehensive basis. (States not compiling such data are California, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Wyoming.) With one exception, the data was from either 2013 or 2014 — providing a unique nationwide gauge of abortion trends during a wave of anti-abortion laws that gathered strength starting in 2011.
Among the groups most active in promoting the restrictive laws is Americans United for Life. Its president, Charmaine Yoest, suggested that the broad decrease in abortions reflected a change in attitudes among pregnant women. “There’s an entire generation of women who saw a sonogram as their first baby picture,” she said. “There’s an increased awareness of the humanity of the baby before it is born.”
And yet the Left still continues it War on Babies:
But advocates for abortion rights said the figures demonstrate that restrictive laws are not needed to reduce the number of abortions significantly. That can be achieved, they said, by helping more women obtain affordable, effective contraception, including long-lasting options such as IUDs and hormonal implants. “Better access to birth control and sex education are the biggest factors in reducing unintended pregnancies,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “More restrictive abortion laws do not reduce the need for abortions.”
It’s fascinating to watch the Left’s reaction to being on the losing side of “social change”(abortion, gun rights), isn’t it. They don’t like it very much, and they play defense very poorly.