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Abortion Rates

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A survey, performed by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, shows that the <a href="http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/015/nation/Study_details_drop_in_abortion_rate+.shtml">abortion rate among American women continued a decline</a>, dipping to a low not seen since the 1970s. The survey showed that the national rate, which spiked to as high as 30 out of every 1000 women aged 15-44 in the early 1980s, now stood at about 21 out of every 1000. This most comprehensive survey performed on abortion practices in the United States has lead to some divergent opinions by people on both sides of the abortion issue.

    On the Pro Choice: advocates claim that the decrease in the rate of abortion is due to factors such as better methods of birth control and better prenatal care being available during the years studied. They also say that a decrease in abortions may also be due to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies as people are more and more fearful of contracting STDs or HIV through unprotected sex.

    Right to Life: advocates say that the declining rate is an indicator that people are finally figuring it out that abortion is immoral and evil and point to their efforts at picketing and protesting abortion clinics. But the doctor who led the Guttmacher survey said that you cant draw any inference that abortion clinic protesting or harassment of clinic patients had any measurable impact on the survey itself.

    A look at abortion rates on a state by state basis is <a href="http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/state_ab_pt.html">available here.</a>

    And of course, George Bush goes and declares this coming Sunday, National Sanctity of Human Life Day, so I guess hell be happy to hear this news. :)
  2. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    After reading just the first sentence, I feel compelled to point out that pregnancies to unwed women, teenagers in particular, are also at a low level not seen since the 1970's! I think the correlation is pretty obvious.

    By the way, that "Right to Life" argument you quote is just ridiculous. It's Bible-thumpers like that that give the rest of us a bad rep.
  3. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I really don't know what to make of the decline other than to say that it is a good thing. Overall, aren't unwanted pregnancies down as well? And are they down in the same proportion that abortions are down? If so, then that may help to rule out the pro-life generalization that you listed. In other words, it may not be because more people are choosing to carry their fetuses to term, but rather there are fewer fetuses in the "fetus pool" to be aborted or carried to term.

    I believe that better sex education is the most probable cause for fewer unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Even though I don't consider myself pro-choice, I agree with the pro-choice reasons for the declines.

    This makes me wonder if younger people are more or less sexually active than they were twenty or thirty years ago. Television, movies and music would have you believe that our current youth are raving sexaholics, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was their parents who were having more sex.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I honestly can not even begin to contemplate as to why they are down. I DO think both pro life and pro choice citations are the reasons.

    Funny how both sides wanted the same result and now that they have it, they still bicker.

    Anyway, as Rred said, it's a good thing.
  5. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    The right to lifers are proud to say that their terrorist-like actions have had an impact on the decline in abortions?

    Does anyone have a study citing the numbers of babies found dumped in trash dumpsters since the 1970's? How about child abuse cases? Have they gone up?

    The fact that abortion rates have gone down doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing.
  6. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.


    <i>Bush proclaimed January 20, 2002 "National Sanctity of Human Life Day" in a proclamation that not-so-subtly likened abortion to terrorism. The proclamation stated: "On September 11, we saw clearly that evil exists in this world, and that it does not value life. Now we are engaged in a fight against evil and tyranny to preserve and protect life." </i>

    So now a woman who decides to abort the pregnancy for WHATEVER reason is being called EVIL....
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Cheney was drinking water when Bush was saying this.
  8. martissimo

    martissimo Veteran Member

    relating Sept 11th to abortions is just uncalled for, the same with trying to make it comparable to the war on drugs as they do in commercials... and on the flip side it's also sad to see the other side do it with the oil and SUV commercials (the drugs and SUVs do have a loosely related point, but it's still an unneccesary correlation)

    trying to politicize the tragedy of Sept 11th in as many ways as possible just denegrates the people who are most profoundly impacted by that day. There are plenty of ways to make a case for these subjects without stirring the coals and ashes of the victims of that tragedy
  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The SUV analogy was perfect, martissimo, and I totally agree on the stupidity of this.
  10. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    When the Supreme Court is realigned by new appointees if the current balance shifts by one Justice to conservative Roe v Wade will be overturned.

    If that happens it will be very interesting to see how the individual states handle the abortion issue and what effect if any it has on both legal and illegal abortions.

    Those statistics would be much more representative of the "state" of things than the current statistics.
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Perhaps it should be by state, but by then I would not feel comfortable calling it "United" States.
  12. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Well it would be a different situation. Right now it is simply put, a woman's Constitutional right to have an abortion up to a certain period in the pregnancy. It is the law.

    If Roe v Wade was struck down it would not in of itself limit or restrict the woman's ability to have a legal abortion, it just eliminates the right.

    The state to state issue means that although the states would on a state by state basis determine what the criteria was for having or denying an abortion it would in most cases probably be legislated and therefore more accurately reflect the will of the people, whatever that may be. It is safe to say that in general those in Massachusetts would probably have different standards or criteria on the issue than say those in Utah or Idaho.

    Keep in mind if Roe v Wade was struck down it would be on legal grounds and not on moral issues which is where most people on both sides of the issue want to argue abortion.

    In fact if legal precedent for some hypothetical reason suddenly no longer carried any weight in the Supreme Court's consideration, the current court would most likely overturn Roe v Wade.
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I have no beef with that explanation, JW, I really don't.

    I do know a few things in forms of predictions though. May I?

    If the right to abortions is slayed:

    1. Big states like California, NY, Florida, and others would still have abortions legal.

    2. States like Alabama, Kansas, and others would shut down abortion as a legal right, which would make the people from these states do two things:

    a. Those that could afford it, will go to the states that allow abortions.
    b. Those that can't will either have babies when they are not economically, and/or emotionall ready OR they will use coat-hangers.

    3. The freakazoids that petition at the abortion clinics most certainly would think this is a victory brought on by their pathetic efforts. Not only will this increase, but you will see some murders happen here as well.

    4. The equality of women all over would be diminished, whether it's a facade or not, perceptions are a powerful entity. A step backwards for women as a whole, no doubt.

    5. Poverty will increase. Women who are not in economical situtation that is favorable for another mouth would be once again kept at the poverty lines, raising kids who are not exactly education oriented nor prioritized.

    That's all I can come up with at the moment but it's a start.
  14. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    The things you predict are possible. But in my opinion it is highly unlikely. Especially your number two. And I don't understand your logic on number three. If there is an abortion clinic operating it will be legal and abortion will be legal--just as it is under Roe v Wade. So I don't see the difference. If anything it would be less problems from demonstrators and Pro-Lifers. The abortion clinic after Roe v Wade being struck would more likely be a reflection of the local or state will and therefore the clinic itself would in effect enjoy much greater local support than in many locations now where Roe v Wade forces abortion clinics on the local people regardless of their beliefs. But there is certainly a lunatic or fanatical element that makes of small but active part of pro-lifers and who knows what they would do including traveling to certain out-of-state clinics?

    The conditions or circumstances under which an abortion could be obtained quite possibly would be narrowed from what it is today--in fact that is likely in some states. But an outright ban is hard for me to imagine. I am not as pessimistic as you on the subject.

    I think you over estimate the practical impact. The <i>worse case scenario</i> I see is that in a certain area of the country if an abortion cannot be obtained under the conditions sought than the woman will simply go the several hundred miles down the road to where it is obtainable. But I don't think in the long run it will even come to that. But I must admit it is possible.

    The underlying issue that raises this discussion is not a moral, social, or economical one. It is a legal one. And that legal question is:

    A: Is Roe v Wade Constitutional upon review?

    B: If Roe v Wade is overturned is abortion a right that should be protected under a different part of the Constitution?

    The answer to A is that Roe v Wade was a terrible legal decision. There is no basis for the right to abortion under the Constitutional guidelines set forth by the court. The privacy argument just doesn't pass muster. It could under certain state constitutions, no doubt about it, but not under the U.S. Constitution.

    The answer to B is possibly, but I think not. Nevertheless it is enough of a possibility that I wouldn't bet against it.

    To me the strongest Constitutional argument would be in the area of equal protection. I don't agree with that argument but I think it is the best one and the one most likely to sell should Roe v Wade get flushed and the Pro-Choice forces try another avenue to the Supremes. It would probably be the one I would try to sell.

    In summary I am sad to say that although I have always been a Pro-Choice person on the abortion issue I also do not think there is Constitutional right to have an abortion on demand as set forth by Roe v Wade or any other part of the Constitution.
  15. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I believe a strong argument in favor of abortion re: the Constitution, falls under the concept of "liberty". Preventing a woman from controlling her body clearly denies her liberty.

    The problem with Roe v. Wade is that it is another example of a court decision determining a social issue that should properly be decided by the legislature. In the decades since the decision, Congress should have enacted legislation affirming the Court's decision.

    The only excuse for their not having done that is, of course political expediency coupled with cowardice.
  16. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Amen, SteveNT. We are continually having to defend rights as to why we need them. The burden is supposed to be on government. They are supposed to provide an overriding reason to take freedoms. We are operating backwards. We are letting the caboose drive the train and it is only getting worse.

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