Pro-life Nebraska

The Nebraska legislature has banned abortion after 20 weeks, raising some new legal possibilities for restrictions:

Two landmark measures putting new restrictions on abortion became law in Nebraska on Tuesday, including one that critics say breaks with court precedent by changing the legal rationale for a ban on later-term abortions.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed both bills, one barring abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the other requiring women to be screened before having abortions for mental health and other problems. Both sides of the abortion debate say the laws are firsts of their kind in the U.S.

A national abortion rights group already appeared to be girding for a legal challenge, calling the ban after 20 weeks “flatly unconstitutional” because it is based on the assertion that fetuses feel pain, not on the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb.

“It absolutely cannot survive a challenge without a change to three decades of court rulings,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Courts have been chipping away at abortion rights … this would be like taking a huge hacksaw to the rights.”

The law focusing on late-term abortions is designed to shut down one of the few doctors in the nation who performs them in Nebraska.

Set to take effect in October, it is based on the claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. The current standard in abortion restrictions is viability, or when a fetus is able to survive outside the womb — generally at 22 to 24 weeks.

The law could lead to changes in state laws across the country if upheld by the courts, said Mary Spaulding Balch, legislative director for National Right to Life.

“It would broaden the interests of states in protecting the unborn child,” she said. “It says the state has an interest in the unborn child before viability.”

Heineman also signed the other bill, approved by lawmakers on Monday, that requires the screening for mental health problems and other risk factors indicating if women might have problems after having abortions.

via The Associated Press: Neb. governor signs landmark abortion bills.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Winston Smith

    The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution permits reasonable, common-sense restrictions on the rights guaranteed by, for example, the First and Second Amendments. Content-neutral restrictions on the time, place and manner of speech are permissible, as are limits on the type of firearms a person may own (no state lets you possess shoulder-to-air missiles or howitzers for personal use).

    If those rights (which are spelled out in the text of the document) are not absolute, then surely the right to abortion (discovered in 1973 hidden amongst the penumbras and emanations from the Bill of Rights) is likewise subject to reasonable infringement. It is only a matter of degree, which I am sure the courts will hammer out in due season.

    Kudos to Gov. Heineman and the Nebraska legislature (and praise to God) for a step in the right direction.

  • Winston Smith

    The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution permits reasonable, common-sense restrictions on the rights guaranteed by, for example, the First and Second Amendments. Content-neutral restrictions on the time, place and manner of speech are permissible, as are limits on the type of firearms a person may own (no state lets you possess shoulder-to-air missiles or howitzers for personal use).

    If those rights (which are spelled out in the text of the document) are not absolute, then surely the right to abortion (discovered in 1973 hidden amongst the penumbras and emanations from the Bill of Rights) is likewise subject to reasonable infringement. It is only a matter of degree, which I am sure the courts will hammer out in due season.

    Kudos to Gov. Heineman and the Nebraska legislature (and praise to God) for a step in the right direction.

  • Jen

    I find the argument against 20 weeks interesting, because it seems to me to be based on medical definition. That’s the point at which a natural termination of pregnancy goes from “miscarriage” to “stillbirth.” Kudos to Nebraska, anyway. I hope it holds. Either way, the argument will force some interesting lines to be drawn.

  • Jen

    I find the argument against 20 weeks interesting, because it seems to me to be based on medical definition. That’s the point at which a natural termination of pregnancy goes from “miscarriage” to “stillbirth.” Kudos to Nebraska, anyway. I hope it holds. Either way, the argument will force some interesting lines to be drawn.

  • Joe

    This is just an example of tangible steps the pro-life movement has been taking to try to reduce the number of abortions. Until Roe is overturned the discussion will necessarily have focused on viability and when pain can be felt. But that does not have to be the end of the discussion – we should also be discussing the moral aspects of it as well.

  • Joe

    This is just an example of tangible steps the pro-life movement has been taking to try to reduce the number of abortions. Until Roe is overturned the discussion will necessarily have focused on viability and when pain can be felt. But that does not have to be the end of the discussion – we should also be discussing the moral aspects of it as well.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am not sure about a law that is based on the ability to feel pain. It seems this law could have some nasty unintended consequences. While well meant this is a poorly written law. And while I understand the additional screening, I really don’t think it is going to be effective. Depending on who is doing the screening it likely will largely be a joke.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am not sure about a law that is based on the ability to feel pain. It seems this law could have some nasty unintended consequences. While well meant this is a poorly written law. And while I understand the additional screening, I really don’t think it is going to be effective. Depending on who is doing the screening it likely will largely be a joke.

  • Greta

    It’s a shame that these men only understand one way to deal with abortion: control women with the criminal law. Now they’re appropriating illegitimate science. The truth is, abortions are less frequent wherever society deals with its root economic causes, such as providing health care for pregnant women and their infants. Until we focus as a society on helping women, not punishing them, the abortion rate will not decrease.

  • Greta

    It’s a shame that these men only understand one way to deal with abortion: control women with the criminal law. Now they’re appropriating illegitimate science. The truth is, abortions are less frequent wherever society deals with its root economic causes, such as providing health care for pregnant women and their infants. Until we focus as a society on helping women, not punishing them, the abortion rate will not decrease.

  • Winston Smith

    I have always said that the decision-maker with the most power to stop abortion is not the Supreme Court, the President or Congress; it’s the woman who chooses to walk through the clinic doors.

    If society can change its mind about smoking, it can change its mind about abortion as well. Fifty years ago Mike Wallace and Ronald Reagan were appearing in cigarette commercials, and smoking was seen as sophisticated and glamorous. Nowadays you can barely find a place to light up. In like manner, abortion may one day be perceived, not as the exercise of a constitutional right hard-won by feminists, but as a brutal and vile crime.

    And yes, Greta is correct: addressing the economic root causes of abortion would go a long way to making abortion rare(r). Many crisis pregnancy centers are doing just that, helping pro-lifers put their money where their mouth is.

  • Winston Smith

    I have always said that the decision-maker with the most power to stop abortion is not the Supreme Court, the President or Congress; it’s the woman who chooses to walk through the clinic doors.

    If society can change its mind about smoking, it can change its mind about abortion as well. Fifty years ago Mike Wallace and Ronald Reagan were appearing in cigarette commercials, and smoking was seen as sophisticated and glamorous. Nowadays you can barely find a place to light up. In like manner, abortion may one day be perceived, not as the exercise of a constitutional right hard-won by feminists, but as a brutal and vile crime.

    And yes, Greta is correct: addressing the economic root causes of abortion would go a long way to making abortion rare(r). Many crisis pregnancy centers are doing just that, helping pro-lifers put their money where their mouth is.

  • DonS

    Winston, well stated, in both of your posts. Joe, also, has often pointed out the fallacy promulgated by abortionists that the pro-life movement only cares about hurting women, and not helping them during a crisis period in their life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are an abundance of private sector resources available to any woman in a crisis pregnancy who wants to avail herself of them, rather than killing her baby.

    Nothing degrades women more than the self-serving habit of abortionists to reduce women to economics — implying that they have an insufficient sense of morality to make the right moral choices unless all of their physical needs are first met. And it’s an even more despicable charge when the resources are, in fact, readily available to meet those physical needs.

    Greta, you and your ilk should be ashamed of yourself.

  • DonS

    Winston, well stated, in both of your posts. Joe, also, has often pointed out the fallacy promulgated by abortionists that the pro-life movement only cares about hurting women, and not helping them during a crisis period in their life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are an abundance of private sector resources available to any woman in a crisis pregnancy who wants to avail herself of them, rather than killing her baby.

    Nothing degrades women more than the self-serving habit of abortionists to reduce women to economics — implying that they have an insufficient sense of morality to make the right moral choices unless all of their physical needs are first met. And it’s an even more despicable charge when the resources are, in fact, readily available to meet those physical needs.

    Greta, you and your ilk should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Greta

    What we need is not a change of heart about abortion, but about women. We need conservatives in particular to stop looking at a poor, single preganant woman with contempt. Face it, the law in Nebraska punishes only women without the means to leave the state for an abortion elsewhere. Crisis pregnancy centers are good, but so much more needs to be done to help women and children. The Nebraska law is not one of them.

  • Greta

    What we need is not a change of heart about abortion, but about women. We need conservatives in particular to stop looking at a poor, single preganant woman with contempt. Face it, the law in Nebraska punishes only women without the means to leave the state for an abortion elsewhere. Crisis pregnancy centers are good, but so much more needs to be done to help women and children. The Nebraska law is not one of them.

  • Greta

    DonS, your attitude is what must change. Sadly, people who think like you are the greatest friend the pro-choice organizations have.

  • Greta

    DonS, your attitude is what must change. Sadly, people who think like you are the greatest friend the pro-choice organizations have.

  • Joe

    Greta – I don’t know you but your comment is so very far from reflective of what I see among my conservative friends. Most of us want to help both the women and their children – that’s why we support organizations that help meet some of the physical needs that might lead a women to choose to kill her child. We even run homes where the mothers and the children can live and receive physical, emotional and spiritual support. We run organizations that provide legal services to these women ranging from restraining orders to bankruptcy filings to the termination of parental rights and custody issues. And, we admonish, try to understand and FORGIVE those women in our lives who have made the choice to kill their child. If we don’t FORGIVE those who have repented then we ourselves are sinning and need to repent.

    As I said, I don’t know you but I am going to assume that your position stems from some unfortunate first hand experiences and that you are not just mimicking that standard narrative that is so easily disproved.

  • Joe

    Greta – I don’t know you but your comment is so very far from reflective of what I see among my conservative friends. Most of us want to help both the women and their children – that’s why we support organizations that help meet some of the physical needs that might lead a women to choose to kill her child. We even run homes where the mothers and the children can live and receive physical, emotional and spiritual support. We run organizations that provide legal services to these women ranging from restraining orders to bankruptcy filings to the termination of parental rights and custody issues. And, we admonish, try to understand and FORGIVE those women in our lives who have made the choice to kill their child. If we don’t FORGIVE those who have repented then we ourselves are sinning and need to repent.

    As I said, I don’t know you but I am going to assume that your position stems from some unfortunate first hand experiences and that you are not just mimicking that standard narrative that is so easily disproved.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Greta @ 8,

    Keeping abortion legal doesn’t help women. Raising a child is difficult for a poor single mother, but it’s nothing compared to living with the burden of having murdered her own children. Even without dealing with the alleged root economic causes, simply banning abortion is a step in the right direction for women. “Blessed are those who cannot afford the entry fee to Hell.”

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Greta @ 8,

    Keeping abortion legal doesn’t help women. Raising a child is difficult for a poor single mother, but it’s nothing compared to living with the burden of having murdered her own children. Even without dealing with the alleged root economic causes, simply banning abortion is a step in the right direction for women. “Blessed are those who cannot afford the entry fee to Hell.”

  • Greta

    Joe, thanks, but there’s no need to patronize me. Though a woman, I can indeed draw my own conclusions from years of experience and study and don’t need to, as you say, mimick a discredited narrative. I just wish you didn’t have to.

  • Greta

    Joe, thanks, but there’s no need to patronize me. Though a woman, I can indeed draw my own conclusions from years of experience and study and don’t need to, as you say, mimick a discredited narrative. I just wish you didn’t have to.

  • Joe

    Greta – I am not patronizing you and if my comment came across that way I apologize. I was being sincere when I stated that I am assuming that you have had some bad first hand experiences that have formed your opinion of conservatives. I was simply trying to point out that your experiences are not the entire picture. And, I am not mimicking anything – I am explaining to you what I see the people around me who are also conservatives doing to address the same things you think are the root causes. I offer it as a counter balance to what my assumption of your experience was. And, if you really wanted to discuss the issue and how to effectively limit abortions I would think you would be happy to hear of it. Those of us who come to this blog regularly are actually looking for intelligent discussion – not bomb throwing.

  • Joe

    Greta – I am not patronizing you and if my comment came across that way I apologize. I was being sincere when I stated that I am assuming that you have had some bad first hand experiences that have formed your opinion of conservatives. I was simply trying to point out that your experiences are not the entire picture. And, I am not mimicking anything – I am explaining to you what I see the people around me who are also conservatives doing to address the same things you think are the root causes. I offer it as a counter balance to what my assumption of your experience was. And, if you really wanted to discuss the issue and how to effectively limit abortions I would think you would be happy to hear of it. Those of us who come to this blog regularly are actually looking for intelligent discussion – not bomb throwing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “It absolutely cannot survive a challenge without a change to three decades of court rulings,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. God willing, she’s right. :)

    Greta (@5), you said, “The truth is, abortions are less frequent wherever society deals with its root economic causes.” Yes, well. The truth is also that murders are less frequent wherever there are fewer economic problems as well. And yet, murder is illegal all the same. Perhaps we should repeal the murder law until we as a society have solved economic inequality? Which isn’t to say that you’re wrong. But when it comes to making abortion illegal and also limiting its root causes, it’s not either-or, it’s both-and.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “It absolutely cannot survive a challenge without a change to three decades of court rulings,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. God willing, she’s right. :)

    Greta (@5), you said, “The truth is, abortions are less frequent wherever society deals with its root economic causes.” Yes, well. The truth is also that murders are less frequent wherever there are fewer economic problems as well. And yet, murder is illegal all the same. Perhaps we should repeal the murder law until we as a society have solved economic inequality? Which isn’t to say that you’re wrong. But when it comes to making abortion illegal and also limiting its root causes, it’s not either-or, it’s both-and.

  • Greta

    Thanks, Joe.
    Pardon me for missing the emphasis on “intellgent” discussion.
    Like DonS says, I am my “ilk” should be ashamed of ourselves.

  • Greta

    Thanks, Joe.
    Pardon me for missing the emphasis on “intellgent” discussion.
    Like DonS says, I am my “ilk” should be ashamed of ourselves.

  • Greta

    Todd, I hadn’t planned to comment again, but I didn’t see yours. You and I agree that it’s “both-and,” if by “both” you also mean that society (not just private groups) must declare war on those things that foster abortion among the poor, such a lack of health care for women and children, jobs, and a liveable wage. But until it’s “both-and,” it should not be only the criminal law.

  • Greta

    Todd, I hadn’t planned to comment again, but I didn’t see yours. You and I agree that it’s “both-and,” if by “both” you also mean that society (not just private groups) must declare war on those things that foster abortion among the poor, such a lack of health care for women and children, jobs, and a liveable wage. But until it’s “both-and,” it should not be only the criminal law.

  • DonS

    Greta: When you open the conversation like this: “It’s a shame that these men only understand one way to deal with abortion: control women with the criminal law. Now they’re appropriating illegitimate science”, you can hardly complain about my comment in response. The abortion industry profits greatly from its exploitation of women and the murder of children, and I have grown to have little patience for those who merely parrot the abortion industry’s talking points without thoughtful support or analysis. Particularly when the evidence of the pro-life movement’s support for women in need because of a crisis pregnancy is overwhelming.

    Pro-life laws, like the Nebraska law, are aimed at the despicable providers of abortion, not the women who are its victims. Millions of women bear the scars today of abortions they had under pressure from their parents, boyfriends, and/or abortion providers, all of whom had anything but the interest of the distraught, overwhelmed woman (often underage girl) at heart. Later, the women often realize that they allowed their child to be murdered, and that is a very difficult guilt to overcome.

    This comment you made to tODD is also telling: “You and I agree that it’s “both-and,” if by “both” you also mean that society (not just private groups) must declare war on those things that foster abortion among the poor, such a lack of health care for women and children, jobs, and a liveable wage…” Apparently, you equate “society” with “government”. So, if government doesn’t start a huge, unaffordable entitlement program to address every perceived economic need of women, you apparently believe that we shouldn’t consider abortion to be murder. Well, you’re wrong. WE are society, not government. And WE are responsible, as individuals and private groups, both for the care of our neighbor and for the protection of our fellow humans, including the unborn. Economic equality will never be solved in this world, no matter how many government programs we instititute. But, that’s no excuse for murder.

  • DonS

    Greta: When you open the conversation like this: “It’s a shame that these men only understand one way to deal with abortion: control women with the criminal law. Now they’re appropriating illegitimate science”, you can hardly complain about my comment in response. The abortion industry profits greatly from its exploitation of women and the murder of children, and I have grown to have little patience for those who merely parrot the abortion industry’s talking points without thoughtful support or analysis. Particularly when the evidence of the pro-life movement’s support for women in need because of a crisis pregnancy is overwhelming.

    Pro-life laws, like the Nebraska law, are aimed at the despicable providers of abortion, not the women who are its victims. Millions of women bear the scars today of abortions they had under pressure from their parents, boyfriends, and/or abortion providers, all of whom had anything but the interest of the distraught, overwhelmed woman (often underage girl) at heart. Later, the women often realize that they allowed their child to be murdered, and that is a very difficult guilt to overcome.

    This comment you made to tODD is also telling: “You and I agree that it’s “both-and,” if by “both” you also mean that society (not just private groups) must declare war on those things that foster abortion among the poor, such a lack of health care for women and children, jobs, and a liveable wage…” Apparently, you equate “society” with “government”. So, if government doesn’t start a huge, unaffordable entitlement program to address every perceived economic need of women, you apparently believe that we shouldn’t consider abortion to be murder. Well, you’re wrong. WE are society, not government. And WE are responsible, as individuals and private groups, both for the care of our neighbor and for the protection of our fellow humans, including the unborn. Economic equality will never be solved in this world, no matter how many government programs we instititute. But, that’s no excuse for murder.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Greta (@16), I may be typing this comment to myself, but …

    What I meant by “both-and” is that solely making abortion illegal would not solve the problem, as it would not address the underlying issues. (It’s the same with marijuana, cocaine, etc. — merely making them illegal has not made them unpopular.) That said, given that a third party is affected (a rather soft-pedaled way of noting that the baby’s life hangs in the balance), I do believe that abortion should be illegal. Just like I believe murder outside of the womb should be illegal, even if it also typically stems from underlying economic issues.

    And, of course, “society” is, well, made of people, so I’m not sure what good it does to ignore the contribution of “private groups” to “society”. Unless what you really meant was “government”. Either way, you’d be hard-pressed to prove to me that either one (private groups or government) was not working to end the root causes of abortion. Joe has done a good job of describing what private groups do. And I just don’t know how you’d argue that government has not been making attempts in the areas of health care, jobs, etc.

    I mean, if you want to argue about the effectiveness of either group’s tactics, then let’s do that. If you want to argue that they’re not doing enough of what they’re doing, then let’s talk about that — how much is enough?

    But we can’t set a standard of perfection for these groups. We can’t say that all economic inequality must be wiped out before we address abortion. Because that is tantamount to saying that we should never address abortion. And if you believe that abortions are wrong, then you agree we cannot give up like that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Greta (@16), I may be typing this comment to myself, but …

    What I meant by “both-and” is that solely making abortion illegal would not solve the problem, as it would not address the underlying issues. (It’s the same with marijuana, cocaine, etc. — merely making them illegal has not made them unpopular.) That said, given that a third party is affected (a rather soft-pedaled way of noting that the baby’s life hangs in the balance), I do believe that abortion should be illegal. Just like I believe murder outside of the womb should be illegal, even if it also typically stems from underlying economic issues.

    And, of course, “society” is, well, made of people, so I’m not sure what good it does to ignore the contribution of “private groups” to “society”. Unless what you really meant was “government”. Either way, you’d be hard-pressed to prove to me that either one (private groups or government) was not working to end the root causes of abortion. Joe has done a good job of describing what private groups do. And I just don’t know how you’d argue that government has not been making attempts in the areas of health care, jobs, etc.

    I mean, if you want to argue about the effectiveness of either group’s tactics, then let’s do that. If you want to argue that they’re not doing enough of what they’re doing, then let’s talk about that — how much is enough?

    But we can’t set a standard of perfection for these groups. We can’t say that all economic inequality must be wiped out before we address abortion. Because that is tantamount to saying that we should never address abortion. And if you believe that abortions are wrong, then you agree we cannot give up like that.

  • tonto2

    Greta
    Sadly you are overlooking the real root cause to unwanted pregnancies, the lack of women keeping their pants on. There will probably always be abortions, whether legal or illegal just as there will always be those that think the death of an unborn child doesn’t matter. If the money being spent to support abortions on demand was spent teaching young men and women not to treat sex as entertainment, there would probably not be any need for abortions.

  • tonto2

    Greta
    Sadly you are overlooking the real root cause to unwanted pregnancies, the lack of women keeping their pants on. There will probably always be abortions, whether legal or illegal just as there will always be those that think the death of an unborn child doesn’t matter. If the money being spent to support abortions on demand was spent teaching young men and women not to treat sex as entertainment, there would probably not be any need for abortions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tonto (@19), “the real root cause” of unwanted pregnancies is “the lack of women keeping their pants on”? And, what, the sperm just magically float through the men’s pants towards these naked ladies?

    “If the money being spent to support abortions on demand was spent teaching young men and women not to treat sex as entertainment, there would probably not be any need for abortions.” Oh, yes, clearly the problem is not enough money being spent by the government! Because clearly the solution involves the government teaching us how to live our lives.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tonto (@19), “the real root cause” of unwanted pregnancies is “the lack of women keeping their pants on”? And, what, the sperm just magically float through the men’s pants towards these naked ladies?

    “If the money being spent to support abortions on demand was spent teaching young men and women not to treat sex as entertainment, there would probably not be any need for abortions.” Oh, yes, clearly the problem is not enough money being spent by the government! Because clearly the solution involves the government teaching us how to live our lives.

  • J

    “Those of us who come to this blog regularly are actually looking for intelligent discussion – not bomb throwing.”

    Heh.

  • J

    “Those of us who come to this blog regularly are actually looking for intelligent discussion – not bomb throwing.”

    Heh.

  • Joe

    I think this is the second or third time that someone has tried place the burden on women to stave off sex and pregnancy. It is simply absurd to think that men do not share as much of the blame/responsibility as the women. On the contrary, given the Biblical principle of headship, shouldn’t we actually place more of the responsibility, and thus more of the blame, on the men involved?

  • Joe

    I think this is the second or third time that someone has tried place the burden on women to stave off sex and pregnancy. It is simply absurd to think that men do not share as much of the blame/responsibility as the women. On the contrary, given the Biblical principle of headship, shouldn’t we actually place more of the responsibility, and thus more of the blame, on the men involved?

  • DonS

    I concur entirely with the points tODD and Joe so eloquently made responsive to tonto2′s comment @ 19. I appreciate tonto2′s desire to focus on sinful behavior that creates many of the later problems related to abortion. It is a worthy goal for us to teach our children the virtues of obedience to God, through abstinence. This should be done much more than it is, and I hate with a passion the tendency in modern society to declare that “teens will be teens”, and that we cannot reasonably hope to reduce this sexual sin. Sometimes, it is even taught that we should not try, and that sexual experimentation is a societal good.

    However, because of headship and human nature, there is no question that it is the man who bears the greater responsibility for the sin of illicit sex. Moreover, regardless of our desire that it be otherwise, illegitimate births have always occurred, and will always occur, until the end of days. We must deal with that reality, and both protect the woman who is caught up in the difficult situation, as well as the innocent unborn.

  • DonS

    I concur entirely with the points tODD and Joe so eloquently made responsive to tonto2′s comment @ 19. I appreciate tonto2′s desire to focus on sinful behavior that creates many of the later problems related to abortion. It is a worthy goal for us to teach our children the virtues of obedience to God, through abstinence. This should be done much more than it is, and I hate with a passion the tendency in modern society to declare that “teens will be teens”, and that we cannot reasonably hope to reduce this sexual sin. Sometimes, it is even taught that we should not try, and that sexual experimentation is a societal good.

    However, because of headship and human nature, there is no question that it is the man who bears the greater responsibility for the sin of illicit sex. Moreover, regardless of our desire that it be otherwise, illegitimate births have always occurred, and will always occur, until the end of days. We must deal with that reality, and both protect the woman who is caught up in the difficult situation, as well as the innocent unborn.

  • trotk

    As it happens on rare occasions (and I mean that in good fun), I find myself thoroughly impressed with tODD’s analysis of the conversation and situation. Rather than say anything else, I would simply encourage everyone to read through his comments, although this is hardly a pledge on my part to keep quiet should the impulse to speak become overwhelming.

  • trotk

    As it happens on rare occasions (and I mean that in good fun), I find myself thoroughly impressed with tODD’s analysis of the conversation and situation. Rather than say anything else, I would simply encourage everyone to read through his comments, although this is hardly a pledge on my part to keep quiet should the impulse to speak become overwhelming.

  • Economist Doug

    Given that local governments are already teaching children about sex (including homosexuality and safe sex) it seems hypocritical to suggest teaching kids to wait for sex is a sudden new extension of government.

    Personally I’d prefer we not allow local government to address sexual, religious or cultural issues in public schools.

    Stick to economically useful subjects like grammar, typing, mathematics, and science and avoid any contemporary cultural/social/religious issues.

  • Economist Doug

    Given that local governments are already teaching children about sex (including homosexuality and safe sex) it seems hypocritical to suggest teaching kids to wait for sex is a sudden new extension of government.

    Personally I’d prefer we not allow local government to address sexual, religious or cultural issues in public schools.

    Stick to economically useful subjects like grammar, typing, mathematics, and science and avoid any contemporary cultural/social/religious issues.

  • trotk

    I couldn’t wait that long.

    Personally, Econ Doug, I would rather the government not teach at all. You will find it exceedingly difficult, perhaps impossible, to separate the cultural/social/religious from science, literature, and history. The others (typing, math, and grammar) perhaps could be taught in a vacuum.
    All the more reason to abolish public schools. As an administrative of a private school, I know that it is possible to do ten times the amount as a public school with half the money. If only full-scale vouchers were the norm. Then the truly poor could get a phenomenal education, and their parents would be able to choose if it went to a school that taught sex-ed, abstinence, or attempted to do nothing at all.

    But once the government has control, it will never relinquish it, and the teachers unions will keep spreading the lie that vouchers will hurt the poor, rather than finally give them a chance to purchase a good education.

  • trotk

    I couldn’t wait that long.

    Personally, Econ Doug, I would rather the government not teach at all. You will find it exceedingly difficult, perhaps impossible, to separate the cultural/social/religious from science, literature, and history. The others (typing, math, and grammar) perhaps could be taught in a vacuum.
    All the more reason to abolish public schools. As an administrative of a private school, I know that it is possible to do ten times the amount as a public school with half the money. If only full-scale vouchers were the norm. Then the truly poor could get a phenomenal education, and their parents would be able to choose if it went to a school that taught sex-ed, abstinence, or attempted to do nothing at all.

    But once the government has control, it will never relinquish it, and the teachers unions will keep spreading the lie that vouchers will hurt the poor, rather than finally give them a chance to purchase a good education.

  • Economist Doug

    #26 Perhaps I’m just unimaginative but I don’t see what the hard sciences have to do with cultural/religious/social issues.

    That said I’d also not mind teaching kids useful skills. We need engineers, plumbers, mechanics, and technical specialists and our system seems to focus on an academic track unsuited to a modern economy.

    Only 60% of those attending college graduate in 6 years. Obviously many kids are going to college who ought to be looking elsewhere for their economic opportunity. These kids waste years they could be working and leave college without a degree having spent tens of thousands of dollars.

    I think it would be a good idea to experiment with school privatization but I doubt it’s best for all school districts.

  • Economist Doug

    #26 Perhaps I’m just unimaginative but I don’t see what the hard sciences have to do with cultural/religious/social issues.

    That said I’d also not mind teaching kids useful skills. We need engineers, plumbers, mechanics, and technical specialists and our system seems to focus on an academic track unsuited to a modern economy.

    Only 60% of those attending college graduate in 6 years. Obviously many kids are going to college who ought to be looking elsewhere for their economic opportunity. These kids waste years they could be working and leave college without a degree having spent tens of thousands of dollars.

    I think it would be a good idea to experiment with school privatization but I doubt it’s best for all school districts.

  • Economist Doug

    I’m not sure what I said but my reply seems to have been eaten up.

    I don’t see how hard sciences in particular (not social sciences) would be open to cultural or religious concerns. Hard sciences merely observe patterns and use hypothesis that produce accurate predictions.

    Speaking of wood-shop I think public schools have too academic of a focus. Most people aren’t suited to academic pursuits and would do better training for technical field.

    I’m not sure that privatizing public education is the answer but I think school districts ought to be allowed to try it so we could find out.

  • Economist Doug

    I’m not sure what I said but my reply seems to have been eaten up.

    I don’t see how hard sciences in particular (not social sciences) would be open to cultural or religious concerns. Hard sciences merely observe patterns and use hypothesis that produce accurate predictions.

    Speaking of wood-shop I think public schools have too academic of a focus. Most people aren’t suited to academic pursuits and would do better training for technical field.

    I’m not sure that privatizing public education is the answer but I think school districts ought to be allowed to try it so we could find out.

  • Booklover

    I have always found it offensive when it is insinuated that the poor make bad moral choices because of their economic situation.

  • Booklover

    I have always found it offensive when it is insinuated that the poor make bad moral choices because of their economic situation.

  • Anonymous

    An excerpt for booklover:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/12/AR2010031202287.html

    In Britain, only 8 percent of the population is Catholic (compared with 25 percent in the United States). Abortion there is legal. Abortion is free. And yet British women have fewer abortions than Americans do. I asked Cardinal Hume why that is.

    The cardinal said that there were several reasons but that one important explanation was Britain’s universal health-care system. “If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it’s needed,” Hume explained, “she’s more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn’t it obvious?”

  • Anonymous

    An excerpt for booklover:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/12/AR2010031202287.html

    In Britain, only 8 percent of the population is Catholic (compared with 25 percent in the United States). Abortion there is legal. Abortion is free. And yet British women have fewer abortions than Americans do. I asked Cardinal Hume why that is.

    The cardinal said that there were several reasons but that one important explanation was Britain’s universal health-care system. “If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it’s needed,” Hume explained, “she’s more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn’t it obvious?”

  • John C

    We have had this conversation before. I am reluctant to restate my position but I am compelled to.
    Procuring an abortion was legalised in the 1970′s in order to give women the opportunity to have access to a medical proceedure carried out by professionals in a a clinical environment. Until then, only the wealthy could afford the proceedure at a private clinic. Women who were poor and wanted an abortion had only one option, the backyard abortionist. The proceedure was crude and painful and some women died in agony.
    I don’t want to return to those years.
    I do not want to deny my daughter, sister or neighbour access to a legal medical proceedure carried out by professionals in a clinical enviroment.

  • John C

    We have had this conversation before. I am reluctant to restate my position but I am compelled to.
    Procuring an abortion was legalised in the 1970′s in order to give women the opportunity to have access to a medical proceedure carried out by professionals in a a clinical environment. Until then, only the wealthy could afford the proceedure at a private clinic. Women who were poor and wanted an abortion had only one option, the backyard abortionist. The proceedure was crude and painful and some women died in agony.
    I don’t want to return to those years.
    I do not want to deny my daughter, sister or neighbour access to a legal medical proceedure carried out by professionals in a clinical enviroment.

  • Economist Doug

    #29 In the UK in 2005, 22% of all pregnancies ended in abortions.
    In the US in 2005, 19% of all pregnancies ended in abortions.

    #30 The fact that ordinary people commit horrendous acts of violence against defenseless babies isn’t made clean by the involvement of doctors and the legal sanction of the government. It simply turns a personal act of murder into a state and medically sanctioned act of murder.

  • Economist Doug

    #29 In the UK in 2005, 22% of all pregnancies ended in abortions.
    In the US in 2005, 19% of all pregnancies ended in abortions.

    #30 The fact that ordinary people commit horrendous acts of violence against defenseless babies isn’t made clean by the involvement of doctors and the legal sanction of the government. It simply turns a personal act of murder into a state and medically sanctioned act of murder.

  • Economist Doug

    In Sweden which is supposed to be a welfare state utopia 25.6% of reported pregnancies ended in abortions.
    In Denmark only 19% of pregnancies end in abortion.

    I thought those nations cared for the poor with the cradle to tomb welfare state just as liberals wanted. Why are their woman choosing to have abortions so often when they become pregnant?

  • Economist Doug

    In Sweden which is supposed to be a welfare state utopia 25.6% of reported pregnancies ended in abortions.
    In Denmark only 19% of pregnancies end in abortion.

    I thought those nations cared for the poor with the cradle to tomb welfare state just as liberals wanted. Why are their woman choosing to have abortions so often when they become pregnant?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug, I don’t know what data set you’re using, but the only data I could find online with mid-2000′s data was from this site, about which I know nothing as to their data sources. But let’s go with that data, anyhow. It largely agrees with your data, with one notable exception: the abortion ratio in the US in 2005 was 22.6%, not 19%. The only Western European country I could find that had a higher abortion ratio than the US was, as you noted, Sweden.

    Still, it appears that the countries you mentioned (@33) were not the best examples. Here’s a list of Western/Northern European countries (which may or may not be “cradle to tomb welfare state just as liberals wanted”, ill-defined as that phrase is), along with their abortion ratios from the most recent years I could find:

    Sweden 2007 25.7%
    United States 2005 22.6%
    United Kingdom 2008 21.4%
    France 2006 20.8%
    Norway 2007 20.5%
    Denmark 2006 18.8%
    Iceland 2006 17.0%
    Netherlands 2007 15.5%
    Finland 2007 15.2%
    Germany 2007 14.6%
    Belgium 2007 13.0%

    It’s pretty hard to argue from that data that those European countries (well, at least except Sweden) aren’t doing something better than us when it comes to abortion. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that it’s any one factor playing into these results — how much do culture, etc. play into this? But I don’t see your apparent conclusion played out by the data.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug, I don’t know what data set you’re using, but the only data I could find online with mid-2000′s data was from this site, about which I know nothing as to their data sources. But let’s go with that data, anyhow. It largely agrees with your data, with one notable exception: the abortion ratio in the US in 2005 was 22.6%, not 19%. The only Western European country I could find that had a higher abortion ratio than the US was, as you noted, Sweden.

    Still, it appears that the countries you mentioned (@33) were not the best examples. Here’s a list of Western/Northern European countries (which may or may not be “cradle to tomb welfare state just as liberals wanted”, ill-defined as that phrase is), along with their abortion ratios from the most recent years I could find:

    Sweden 2007 25.7%
    United States 2005 22.6%
    United Kingdom 2008 21.4%
    France 2006 20.8%
    Norway 2007 20.5%
    Denmark 2006 18.8%
    Iceland 2006 17.0%
    Netherlands 2007 15.5%
    Finland 2007 15.2%
    Germany 2007 14.6%
    Belgium 2007 13.0%

    It’s pretty hard to argue from that data that those European countries (well, at least except Sweden) aren’t doing something better than us when it comes to abortion. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that it’s any one factor playing into these results — how much do culture, etc. play into this? But I don’t see your apparent conclusion played out by the data.

  • Joe

    Does anyone know if:
    1. if morning after pills are counted as abortions in these studies?
    2. aren’t they more readily available in most European countries?

    Also, the site tODD linked also has data on the reasons given by mothers for getting the abortion. These are the “most important” reason giving in 2004 in the U.S.:

    rape/incest <0.5%
    mother has health problems 4%
    possible fetal health problems 3%
    unready 25%
    is too immature or young to have child 7%
    woman's parents want her to have abortion <0.5%
    problems with relationship/wants to avoid single parenthood 8%
    husband or partner wants her to have abortion <0.5%
    has all the children she wanted or all children are grown 19%
    can't afford baby now 23%
    would interfere with career/education plans 4%
    doesn't want people to know she sexual active/pregnant <0.5%
    other 6%

  • Joe

    Does anyone know if:
    1. if morning after pills are counted as abortions in these studies?
    2. aren’t they more readily available in most European countries?

    Also, the site tODD linked also has data on the reasons given by mothers for getting the abortion. These are the “most important” reason giving in 2004 in the U.S.:

    rape/incest <0.5%
    mother has health problems 4%
    possible fetal health problems 3%
    unready 25%
    is too immature or young to have child 7%
    woman's parents want her to have abortion <0.5%
    problems with relationship/wants to avoid single parenthood 8%
    husband or partner wants her to have abortion <0.5%
    has all the children she wanted or all children are grown 19%
    can't afford baby now 23%
    would interfere with career/education plans 4%
    doesn't want people to know she sexual active/pregnant <0.5%
    other 6%

  • Economist Doug

    “It’s pretty hard to argue from that data that those European countries (well, at least except Sweden) aren’t doing something better than us when it comes to abortion. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that it’s any one factor playing into these results — how much do culture, etc. play into this? But I don’t see your apparent conclusion played out by the data.”

    In most of the European nations you mentioned abortion is more heavily regulated than in the US. I got the impression from #14 that you favored a welfare state as a balm for the ill of abortion. My only point was that there’s no clear evidence that a welfare state has a direct effect on abortion.

    I think it’s useful to mention two other European nations you neglected: Ireland and Poland.

    Abortion is functionally illegal in both nations.
    The abortion ratio of Ireland is only 7.8% (including overseas and illegal abortions). The abortion ratio in Poland is less than 4% (including estimates of overseas Polish abortions in Germany and the UK).

    It is clear that regulation does have an effect on the prevalence of abortion.

  • Economist Doug

    “It’s pretty hard to argue from that data that those European countries (well, at least except Sweden) aren’t doing something better than us when it comes to abortion. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that it’s any one factor playing into these results — how much do culture, etc. play into this? But I don’t see your apparent conclusion played out by the data.”

    In most of the European nations you mentioned abortion is more heavily regulated than in the US. I got the impression from #14 that you favored a welfare state as a balm for the ill of abortion. My only point was that there’s no clear evidence that a welfare state has a direct effect on abortion.

    I think it’s useful to mention two other European nations you neglected: Ireland and Poland.

    Abortion is functionally illegal in both nations.
    The abortion ratio of Ireland is only 7.8% (including overseas and illegal abortions). The abortion ratio in Poland is less than 4% (including estimates of overseas Polish abortions in Germany and the UK).

    It is clear that regulation does have an effect on the prevalence of abortion.

  • Anonymous

    @35
    Regulations do have an effect, as does the availability of universal health care, particularly in cases described @30 by Cardinal Hume: poor, frightened, single women who cannot afford the medical expenses of pre- and post-natal care for themselves and the baby.
    It is remarkable to me that so few religiously conservative Americans seem to understand that fact. The lack of universal care in this country also contributes to the high infant death rate, a rate much higher than that of other industrialized Western countries. These deaths are of infants whose mothers brought them to term, who did not choose abortion, yet they still die, due mainly to a lack of widely available and affordable prenatal and postnatal care.
    A typical conservative “pro life” American will give you an earful about the horrors of abortion, and rightly so. Yet that same American will just as quickly give you an earful about the horrors (economic, to be sure) of universal health care. This is schizophrenia.

  • Anonymous

    @35
    Regulations do have an effect, as does the availability of universal health care, particularly in cases described @30 by Cardinal Hume: poor, frightened, single women who cannot afford the medical expenses of pre- and post-natal care for themselves and the baby.
    It is remarkable to me that so few religiously conservative Americans seem to understand that fact. The lack of universal care in this country also contributes to the high infant death rate, a rate much higher than that of other industrialized Western countries. These deaths are of infants whose mothers brought them to term, who did not choose abortion, yet they still die, due mainly to a lack of widely available and affordable prenatal and postnatal care.
    A typical conservative “pro life” American will give you an earful about the horrors of abortion, and rightly so. Yet that same American will just as quickly give you an earful about the horrors (economic, to be sure) of universal health care. This is schizophrenia.

  • Booklover

    Blanket generalizations about “conservative Americans” and blanket generalizations about poor pregnant women, and wide inferences drawn from national dry data all serve the same master–poppycock.

    I’m glad that our Master and Lord looked on each human as an individual, serving each in his or her need, out of the bounty of His own resources, and from the love of His own heart. Wish we would all do the same.

  • Booklover

    Blanket generalizations about “conservative Americans” and blanket generalizations about poor pregnant women, and wide inferences drawn from national dry data all serve the same master–poppycock.

    I’m glad that our Master and Lord looked on each human as an individual, serving each in his or her need, out of the bounty of His own resources, and from the love of His own heart. Wish we would all do the same.

  • Anonymous

    Booklover, I”m very happy to hear that you’re such a firm believer in the need for universal health care in America.

  • Anonymous

    Booklover, I”m very happy to hear that you’re such a firm believer in the need for universal health care in America.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug said (@35), “there’s no clear evidence that a welf@re state has a direct effect on ab0rti0n.” Well, again, most welf@re states (and, really, I’d prefer an actual definition of that term from you so we can speak accurately here, but for now I’ll go with the countries I listed) do have lower ab0rti0n rates than does the US. In order for you to say that there’s no correlation, you’d have to show that the apparent correlation is actually due to ab0rti0n regulations and is independent of welf@re-state-ness. If you can show this, please do — though, again, how do you define “regulated” for use in determining correlation?

    And while, yes, Ireland and Poland do have much lower ab0rti0n rates than the countries I’ve mentioned, I’m a bit flummoxed at your analysis. You really do seem to be cherry-picking. For instance, here are countries with similarly low or lower ab0rti0n ratios:

    Luxembourg (1997): 0.02%
    Poland (2007): 0.09%
    Portugal (2005): 0.84%
    Austria (2000): 3.0%
    Bosnia (2001): 3.2%
    Ireland (2007): 6.2%

    (Again, since my numbers don’t match up to yours, can you tell me where yours come from?)

    Anyhow, I have a number of problems with your analysis. First of all, you said of Poland and Ireland, “Ab0rti0n is functionally illegal in both nations.” But they’re not the same. In Ireland, yes, ab0rti0n is only legal to save the life of the mother. But in Poland, ab0rti0n is legal for reasons of both the mother’s life and health, as well as for these reasons within the first trimester: to preserve the mental health of the mother, in cases of r@pe and 1ncest, when the unborn child has medical problems or birth defects.

    Moreover, you seem to be ignoring the rather overwhelming cultural influence that C@tholic church has in both of those countries. Sure, that influenced the ab0rti0n laws they have, and yet, you can’t assert it’s merely because of the laws — if we had the same laws here in the US, would we have the same reduction in ab0rti0ns? Likely not, because we’re not overwhelmingly C@tholic here.

    You’ll note that, of the other countries I mentioned above, most of them are overwhelmingly C@tholic, too (Portugal and Austria; Bosnia is split between Muslims, Serb Orthodox, and C@tholics, which are all pretty hard-line on ab0rti0n, I believe).
    Interestingly, Bosnia has no restrictions on ab0rti0n, just like in the US. (Neither does Belgium, which I mentioned earlier and has a much lower ab0rti0n ratio than us; Belgium is maybe half C@tholic, the rest secular). Austria has almost no restrictions on ab0rti0n (though it limits social/demand reasons to the first trimester). Luxembourg prohibits ab0rti0n on demand but allows all other reasons (including social/economic ones) with counseling requirements.

    This is to say nothing of a country like Brazil, that is overwhelmingly C@tholic, and where ab0rti0n is illegal except in cases of r@pe or the life of the mother, and which still has about the same ab0rti0n ratio as the US.

    In short, the numbers don’t play out such that more ab0rti0n regulation means lower ab0rti0n ratios. It’s a more complex picture than that, to say the least.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug said (@35), “there’s no clear evidence that a welf@re state has a direct effect on ab0rti0n.” Well, again, most welf@re states (and, really, I’d prefer an actual definition of that term from you so we can speak accurately here, but for now I’ll go with the countries I listed) do have lower ab0rti0n rates than does the US. In order for you to say that there’s no correlation, you’d have to show that the apparent correlation is actually due to ab0rti0n regulations and is independent of welf@re-state-ness. If you can show this, please do — though, again, how do you define “regulated” for use in determining correlation?

    And while, yes, Ireland and Poland do have much lower ab0rti0n rates than the countries I’ve mentioned, I’m a bit flummoxed at your analysis. You really do seem to be cherry-picking. For instance, here are countries with similarly low or lower ab0rti0n ratios:

    Luxembourg (1997): 0.02%
    Poland (2007): 0.09%
    Portugal (2005): 0.84%
    Austria (2000): 3.0%
    Bosnia (2001): 3.2%
    Ireland (2007): 6.2%

    (Again, since my numbers don’t match up to yours, can you tell me where yours come from?)

    Anyhow, I have a number of problems with your analysis. First of all, you said of Poland and Ireland, “Ab0rti0n is functionally illegal in both nations.” But they’re not the same. In Ireland, yes, ab0rti0n is only legal to save the life of the mother. But in Poland, ab0rti0n is legal for reasons of both the mother’s life and health, as well as for these reasons within the first trimester: to preserve the mental health of the mother, in cases of r@pe and 1ncest, when the unborn child has medical problems or birth defects.

    Moreover, you seem to be ignoring the rather overwhelming cultural influence that C@tholic church has in both of those countries. Sure, that influenced the ab0rti0n laws they have, and yet, you can’t assert it’s merely because of the laws — if we had the same laws here in the US, would we have the same reduction in ab0rti0ns? Likely not, because we’re not overwhelmingly C@tholic here.

    You’ll note that, of the other countries I mentioned above, most of them are overwhelmingly C@tholic, too (Portugal and Austria; Bosnia is split between Muslims, Serb Orthodox, and C@tholics, which are all pretty hard-line on ab0rti0n, I believe).
    Interestingly, Bosnia has no restrictions on ab0rti0n, just like in the US. (Neither does Belgium, which I mentioned earlier and has a much lower ab0rti0n ratio than us; Belgium is maybe half C@tholic, the rest secular). Austria has almost no restrictions on ab0rti0n (though it limits social/demand reasons to the first trimester). Luxembourg prohibits ab0rti0n on demand but allows all other reasons (including social/economic ones) with counseling requirements.

    This is to say nothing of a country like Brazil, that is overwhelmingly C@tholic, and where ab0rti0n is illegal except in cases of r@pe or the life of the mother, and which still has about the same ab0rti0n ratio as the US.

    In short, the numbers don’t play out such that more ab0rti0n regulation means lower ab0rti0n ratios. It’s a more complex picture than that, to say the least.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    (Sorry for my ridiculous spelling in the previous comment, but my comment kept getting put into the spam filter.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    (Sorry for my ridiculous spelling in the previous comment, but my comment kept getting put into the spam filter.)

  • Economist Doug

    I would agree that abortion is a complex picture Mr. Stadler. We’ve certainly been discussing this on a superficial.

    That’s why we ought to avoid drawing broad conclusions based on data that is only at the national level. What’s really need is more local or individualized research that accounts for the complex picture you mention.

    As the person claiming universal healthcare and other sorts of liberal policies reduce abortion you bare the burden to prove that. Just as I would bare the burden to prove that regulations have an effect on abortions.

    As a preliminary evidence for my claim I’d point you towards the voluminous research on the effect of state regulations in America that limit access to abortion.
    I’m not sure how many links that are allowed so I’ll give you one to start with:
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/146045

    If you can point to research on the effects of your liberal economic policies on abortion I’d certainly appreciate it. Otherwise I’ll assume you’re not going to support your belief in the positive effects of social-democratic policies with strong evidence.

  • Economist Doug

    I would agree that abortion is a complex picture Mr. Stadler. We’ve certainly been discussing this on a superficial.

    That’s why we ought to avoid drawing broad conclusions based on data that is only at the national level. What’s really need is more local or individualized research that accounts for the complex picture you mention.

    As the person claiming universal healthcare and other sorts of liberal policies reduce abortion you bare the burden to prove that. Just as I would bare the burden to prove that regulations have an effect on abortions.

    As a preliminary evidence for my claim I’d point you towards the voluminous research on the effect of state regulations in America that limit access to abortion.
    I’m not sure how many links that are allowed so I’ll give you one to start with:
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/146045

    If you can point to research on the effects of your liberal economic policies on abortion I’d certainly appreciate it. Otherwise I’ll assume you’re not going to support your belief in the positive effects of social-democratic policies with strong evidence.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug (@42), I honestly feel like you’re responding to an argument I didn’t make. You said, “As the person claiming universal healthcare and other sorts of liberal policies reduce abortion you bare the burden to prove that,” but I haven’t actually claimed that, have I?

    I mean, I believe that, all things being equal (and they often aren’t), universal healthcare would reduce the number of abortions. But I haven’t yet made that claim … except I guess now I have, although I soft-pedaled it by saying “I believe”.

    But hey, I’m game. Here’s an article from the New England Journal of Medicine on the effects of (near-)universal health care on abortion rates, which includes this quote: “The recent experience in Massachusetts suggests that universal health care coverage has been associated with a decrease in the number of abortions performed, despite public and private funding of abortion that is substantially more liberal than the provisions of the federal legislation [recently passed] by Congress.”

    And while your link to Jstor.org allowed me to read the abstract of an article in the Journal of Human Resources, it didn’t allow me to read beyond the first page (at least without paying $17, which I’m not going to do), so I can’t get a lot from that link, sorry.

    Anyhow, I’m not opposed to parental consent or notification laws for minors, as in your link. I think that’s certainly a part of the puzzle. I also think more health care access reduces the desire for abortions among those who would have them.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug (@42), I honestly feel like you’re responding to an argument I didn’t make. You said, “As the person claiming universal healthcare and other sorts of liberal policies reduce abortion you bare the burden to prove that,” but I haven’t actually claimed that, have I?

    I mean, I believe that, all things being equal (and they often aren’t), universal healthcare would reduce the number of abortions. But I haven’t yet made that claim … except I guess now I have, although I soft-pedaled it by saying “I believe”.

    But hey, I’m game. Here’s an article from the New England Journal of Medicine on the effects of (near-)universal health care on abortion rates, which includes this quote: “The recent experience in Massachusetts suggests that universal health care coverage has been associated with a decrease in the number of abortions performed, despite public and private funding of abortion that is substantially more liberal than the provisions of the federal legislation [recently passed] by Congress.”

    And while your link to Jstor.org allowed me to read the abstract of an article in the Journal of Human Resources, it didn’t allow me to read beyond the first page (at least without paying $17, which I’m not going to do), so I can’t get a lot from that link, sorry.

    Anyhow, I’m not opposed to parental consent or notification laws for minors, as in your link. I think that’s certainly a part of the puzzle. I also think more health care access reduces the desire for abortions among those who would have them.

  • Economist Doug

    #43 Given the tiny magnitude of the drop in abortions (less than 2%) and the brief period it was observed in (2 years) I think the research you point to Mr. Stadler is preliminary at best.

    I also regret that you’ve not got access to academic journals through the various online clearinghouses. I suppose that’s one of the benefits of a university library account.

    I think it’s possible certain types of universal healthcare arrangements might have minor effects on abortion rates but I’ve not seen strong evidence that can demonstrate that they do or that these effects are more significant than regulation or cultural climate.

    I think the examples of Poland, Ireland, Malta and Northern Ireland indicate that in first world nations regulations may have a significant effect. Certainly it’s not as clear in poorer nations where the rule of law is weaker. Regulations certainly won’t be as effective unless the culture supports them.

  • Economist Doug

    #43 Given the tiny magnitude of the drop in abortions (less than 2%) and the brief period it was observed in (2 years) I think the research you point to Mr. Stadler is preliminary at best.

    I also regret that you’ve not got access to academic journals through the various online clearinghouses. I suppose that’s one of the benefits of a university library account.

    I think it’s possible certain types of universal healthcare arrangements might have minor effects on abortion rates but I’ve not seen strong evidence that can demonstrate that they do or that these effects are more significant than regulation or cultural climate.

    I think the examples of Poland, Ireland, Malta and Northern Ireland indicate that in first world nations regulations may have a significant effect. Certainly it’s not as clear in poorer nations where the rule of law is weaker. Regulations certainly won’t be as effective unless the culture supports them.


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