T Nation

Abortions Up Under Bush

Pro-life? Look at the fruits
By Glen Harold Stassen
Special to The Courier-Journal

"I am a Christian ethicist, and trained in statistical analysis. I am consistently pro-life. My son David is one witness. For my family, “pro-life” is personal. My wife caught rubella in the eighth week of her pregnancy. We decided not to terminate, to love and raise our baby. David is legally blind and severely handicapped; he also is a blessing to us and to the world.

I look at the fruits of political policies more than words. I analyzed the data on abortion during the George W. Bush presidency. There is no single source for this information, but I found enough data to identify trends. My findings are disturbing.

Abortion was decreasing. In the decade before Bush became President, the number of abortions in the United States fell from 1,610,000 to 1,330,000. That is a decline of 17.4 percent over the 1990s, an average decrease of 1.7 percent per year. (The data come from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.)

Enter Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its course downward. Instead, the opposite happened.

Three states have posted several years of recent statistics through 2003: Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Here’s what happened to their abortion rates: Kentucky’s increased by 3.2 percent from 2000 to 2003. Michigan’s increased by 11.3 percent from 2000 to 2003. Pennsylvania’s increased by 1.9 percent from 1999 to 2002.

I found 13 other states that reported statistics allowing comparison of abortion rates in 2001 and 2002. Here’s what happened: Eight states saw an increase in their abortion rates: Arizona (+26.4 percent), Colorado (+67.4 percent), Idaho (+13.9 percent), Illinois (+0.9 percent), Missouri (+2.5 percent), South Dakota (+2.1 percent), Texas (+3.0 percent), and Wisconsin (+0.6 percent). Five states saw a decrease: Alabama (-9.8 percent), Florida (-0.7 percent), Minnesota (-4.4 percent), Ohio (-4.4 percent), and Washington (-2.1 percent).

In total numbers, 7,869 more abortions were performed in these 16 states during Bush’s second year in office than previously. If this trend reflects our nation, 24,000 more abortions were performed during Bush’s second year in office than the year before (or three years before in the first three states). Had the previous trends continued, 28,000 fewer abortions should have occurred each year of the Bush era. All in all, probably 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than expected from the earlier trends.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

Two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three years, unemployment rates increased half again. Average real incomes decreased, and the minimum wage has not been raised to keep up with inflation for seven years. With less income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless usually do not marry. Only three of my 16 states had more marriages in 2002 than in 2001; in those states abortion rates decreased. In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the year before, and 7,869 more abortions.

Women worry about health care for themselves and their children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now than before this presidency abortion increases.

My wife and I know – as does David – that doctors, nurses, hospitals, medical insurance, special schooling and parental employment are crucial for a special child. David attended the Kentucky School for the Blind, as well as several schools for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. He was mainstreamed in public schools as well. We have two other sons, and five grandchildren, and we know that every mother, every father, and every child needs public and family support.

What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, childcare, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need a president who will do something about jobs and insurance and support for prospective mothers.

Glen Stassen is the Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He formerly lived and taught in Louisville.

http://www.courier-journal.com/cjextra/editorials/2004/10/11/oped-stassen1011-5709.html

From the mentioned reference’s website ~ http://www.mccl.org/
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life

Pres. Bush continues work for pro-life legislation

Stark differences exist between Bush and pro-abortion John Kerry

As the U.S. presidential campaign gets underway, the differences between President George W. Bush and likely challenger John F. Kerry could not be clearer.

Bush works hard for pro-life bills

Pro-life Pres. Bush restored the Mexico City Policy to prevent U.S. funding of abortions and abortion promotion overseas on his first day in office.

Since taking his oath of office, Bush has tirelessly pursued legislation to extend protection to the most vulnerable citizens, including unborn children and their mothers, newborn babies, people with serious illnesses, elderly people and others. This month the President signed into law the Unborn Victims of Violence Act

“Any time an expectant mother is a victim of violence, two lives are in the balance, each deserving protection, and each deserving justice,” Bush said April 1 when he signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act into law. “If the crime is murder and the unborn child?s life ends, justice demands a full accounting under the law.”

UVVA is Bush?s third major pro-life law

This is the third major pro-life bill to become law during the Bush Administration, which has lobbied hard for passage of all three. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act protects all infants born alive, including those who survive abortion. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act outlaws the brutal abortion procedure in which an infant?s skull is punctured and the brains removed after the rest of the baby?s body is outside the mother.

More… http://www.mccl.org/abortion_news_2.htm

Maybe promoting abstinence just isn’t very effective?

Promoting abstinence is fine, but ‘abstinence-only’ education doesn’t work.

Maybe instead of depending on the government to step in and slow down abortions, parents should do their job and teach little Billy to keep his pants zipped, and teach little Suzy to keep her legs together.

Good call Rainjack, however, since parents obviously aren’t doing a good job, maybe you should tour the schools and do it for them.

I’ve got enough to do just keeping my own kids in line. Besides if I went to a school and got on a soapbox - the NEA would have me arrested.

If the government really wants to do something - make the little baby factories accountable for their actions - such as parental notification, making them work in the maternity ward of a local hospital. Until you treat teenage abortions as a problem rather than a choice, there will always be trash cans full of dead babies.

Unfortunately, I’m not convinced treating it as a problem will make it go away either.

I also believe that once people reach adulthood their choices become their own.

Of course it raises a big stink, but one of the best proven methods of reducing abortions is to empower those having sex to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

If people are old enough to have children and obviously are choosing to have sex, doesn’t it make sense to start to allow them to make some other preventative choices as well?

No matter how much we try to control young people, many of them are going to find a way to do what they want.

Heck, we trust them to drive cars. We eventually trust them to go fight and die for us. Sometimes we trust them to drink alcohol. We trust them to buy a gun. We trust them to help decide the course of the nation and vote.

However, they are obviously unable and unworthy of deciding what to do with their own body parts. We’d better get the government and the school to report them to their parents if they commit any hanky panky.

Perhaps the government could install monitors in their bedrooms to spy on them and make sure they aren’t having any fun?

You cannot force children to make good decisions. You can only do your best to help them understand the decisions they are making, the consequences of those decisions and to instill in them the fortitude to choose well in the face of peer or other pressures.

Young people will either learn about sex from parents, schools where they actually still approach the topic or other young people who have no clue what they are talking about. Think about that, because it will be one of those three. There is no way to stop it.

So what can we do?

[quote]vroom wrote:
Good call Rainjack, however, since parents obviously aren’t doing a good job, maybe you should tour the schools and do it for them.[/quote]

that’s hilarious!

perhaps I’m just an evil bastart but if I had the power I would put every girl that has started menstrating in america on mandatory birth control until she is married…

this move would save the tax payers a shit load of money and have the added benefit of making the abortion rate plummit…

of course all the moralizing fuck-nuts will start crying about how kids shouldn’t be having sex…but guess what…kids fuck all the time whether you tell them not to or not…

you don’t want your daughter to have an abortion…put her on birth control…

For the rabid Bushies who have ADD or problems with reading and retention:

[quote]Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, childcare, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need a president who will do something about jobs and insurance and support for prospective mothers.
[/quote]

What is all this crap everyone is talking about? Just friggin’ spay them! It’s not expensive.

[quote]Lumpy wrote:
For the rabid Bushies who have ADD or problems with reading and retention:

Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, childcare, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need a president who will do something about jobs and insurance and support for prospective mothers.
[/quote]

I know a few women who had abortions, and not one of them did it for economic reasons. Even if Bush was willing to cut each of them a fat check to not kill their kid, I don’t think one of them would have taken him up on it.

There’s one thing we have to keep in mind here:

The difference between a pile of dead babies and a Ferrari is that I don’t have a Ferrari in my garage.

rainjack, you have some good ideas!

I agree that most people I know are not getting abortions for economical reasons. My friend is having an abortion this tuesday. This is due to the fact that her parents have told her that if she gets pregnant she will be in horrible trouble with them and they will refuse to help her. So she is aborting her pregnancy. she says she is doing it because she doesn’t want to go through having the child for nine months.

Regarding sex education…
I had a terrible sex ed program in high school. It was for all intensive purposes, non-existent. We learned about AIDS and saw a few pictures about STD?s effects on genitalia.

I remember feeling bored and surprised that we learned nothing of value. My sex ed occurred when I was 6 years old. I asked my mom where babies cam from. She drew some stick figures on some post-it notes and used the appropriate scientific terms to describe the process. She was a very blunt woman so when I asked her what oral sex was a few days later she did not even blink.

I simply filed all of this new information away and moved on with my life. I was an avid reader and by the time I was 7 I had finished the Mayo Clinic Physician?s ?Bible? so I had a little more thorough idea of how sex and reproduction worked than what the post-it note figures had demonstrated.

I remember finding out something disturbing when I was 9. Apparently, I was not supposed to know what a clitoris, vagina, or labia was even though I possessed all of these parts. I soon realized that I was supposed to keep my mouth shut when my friends hypothesized that maybe they could get pregnant by swimming, kissing, or wishing. I had to fight the urge to correct them and whip out the post-it notes for a quick tutorial. 

By that time I had realized that my knowledge was considered somehow ?bad? by most humans and it was better kept to myself. I remember some gentleman asking me ?how such a cute little girl had ever been born? when I was 7. I happily told him how such an event occurred and was confused when he didn?t find it so amusing. I didn?t understand why placenta was such a bad word…
I found myself advising friends in high school on how to have safe sex and different types of contraception. I am not and never will be a school nurse. I felt frustrated when people would ask me about different birth control pills, their side effects, dosage ranges, and combinations. Why didn?t they feel comfortable talking to a real doctor? I feel ashamed that the US is so far behind other industrialized countries when it comes to teaching children about sex. I am glad for my early education. I learned how sacred my body is. I learned information that helped me to protect myself later in life from being abused and/or take advantage of. How can children/teens make wise decisions about sex and their reproductive health when they do not even know the value of what they possess? How can I as a student go through all of high school unaware of even the names of certain parts on my body. How many people walking around do not know the name of their legs or arms?

I just think that it is sad that I know people still willing to have sex without condoms and/or birth control while they are fully sober and cognizant.