Would universal health care lower the abortion rate?

Would universal health care lower the abortion rate? March 15, 2010

Catholic journalist T. J. Reid makes a challenging connection for us pro-lifers:

Increasing health-care coverage is one of the most powerful tools for reducing the number of abortions — a fact proved by years of experience in other industrialized nations. All the other advanced, free-market democracies provide health-care coverage for everybody. And all of them have lower rates of abortion than does the United States.

This is not a coincidence. There’s a direct connection between greater health coverage and lower abortion rates. To oppose expanded coverage in the name of restricting abortion gets things exactly backward. It’s like saying you won’t fix the broken furnace in a schoolhouse because you're against pneumonia. Nonsense! Fixing the furnace will reduce the rate of pneumonia. In the same way, expanding health-care coverage will reduce the rate of abortion.

At least, that’s the lesson from every other rich democracy.

The latest United Nations comparative statistics, available at http://data.un.org, demonstrate the point clearly. The U.N. data measure the number of abortions for women ages 15 to 44. They show that Canada, for example, has 15.2 abortions per 1,000 women; Denmark, 14.3; Germany, 7.8; Japan, 12.3; Britain, 17.0; and the United States, 20.8. When it comes to abortion rates in the developed world, we’re No. 1.

No one could argue that Germans, Japanese, Brits or Canadians have more respect for life or deeper religious convictions than Americans do. So why do they have fewer abortions?

One key reason seems to be that all those countries provide health care for everybody at a reasonable cost. That has a profound effect on women contemplating what to do about an unwanted pregnancy.

via T.R. Reid – Universal health care tends to cut the abortion rate – washingtonpost.com.

How would you answer this?   If you don’t accept this explanation, how would you account for the USA having the highest abortion rate?   If the connection the author posits is real, shouldn’t pro-lifers support some version of universal health care, even it means sacrificing some of our lesser principles?

UPDATE: Michael New answers the article.

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  • Daniel Gorman

    T.R. Reid is right! It’s obvious that universal healthcare will reduce abortions. There will greater access to contraceptives and the economic pressure on women to have abortions will be reduced.

    I find it very sad that supposedly pro-life Republicans did nothing to reduce the abortion rate for the six years they had complete control of Washington. They could have used tax credits to promote universal healthcare and reduce abortions without sacrificing their principles (assuming they had any). Instead, they passed big tax cuts and an expensive drug bill without cutting government spending. I guess saving unborn children was a lower priority for them.

  • Daniel Gorman

    T.R. Reid is right! It’s obvious that universal healthcare will reduce abortions. There will greater access to contraceptives and the economic pressure on women to have abortions will be reduced.

    I find it very sad that supposedly pro-life Republicans did nothing to reduce the abortion rate for the six years they had complete control of Washington. They could have used tax credits to promote universal healthcare and reduce abortions without sacrificing their principles (assuming they had any). Instead, they passed big tax cuts and an expensive drug bill without cutting government spending. I guess saving unborn children was a lower priority for them.

  • Steven

    Count me as a skeptic. Countries with universal health care also have significantly lower birth rates, and from what I understand they don’t define morning-after pill abortions as abortions. Official statistics can be manipulated and cross-country comparisons may not always be comparing apples to apples, especially if you don’t count the abortions facilitated by the “morning-after” pill as abortions. Officially lower abortion rates may only be statistical window dressing, and as suspect as official economic or employment statistics like “jobs created” or “jobs saved.”

  • Steven

    Count me as a skeptic. Countries with universal health care also have significantly lower birth rates, and from what I understand they don’t define morning-after pill abortions as abortions. Official statistics can be manipulated and cross-country comparisons may not always be comparing apples to apples, especially if you don’t count the abortions facilitated by the “morning-after” pill as abortions. Officially lower abortion rates may only be statistical window dressing, and as suspect as official economic or employment statistics like “jobs created” or “jobs saved.”

  • Keep in mind that the IUDs popular as birth control in Europe and elsewhere work by preventing an embryo from implanting, and sometimes chemical birth control methods do as well. Sorry, but the numbers you’ve got aren’t the real abortion rate.

    Put differently, just because it’s not surgical or RU486 doesn’t mean an abortion isn’t occurring.

    One could also point out that prior to mass government funding for medicine in the United States, the abortion rate was far lower. Can we please stop playing games with confusing correlation and causality?

  • Keep in mind that the IUDs popular as birth control in Europe and elsewhere work by preventing an embryo from implanting, and sometimes chemical birth control methods do as well. Sorry, but the numbers you’ve got aren’t the real abortion rate.

    Put differently, just because it’s not surgical or RU486 doesn’t mean an abortion isn’t occurring.

    One could also point out that prior to mass government funding for medicine in the United States, the abortion rate was far lower. Can we please stop playing games with confusing correlation and causality?

  • trotk

    First, Steven is exactly right.

    Second, and I realize that not everyone agrees with this, but I am surprised that a Catholic journalist doesn’t realize it:

    Putting all women on contraceptives or using protective measures to ensure that contraception doesn’t occur (which is the normal answer proposed by governmental systems) may lower the abortion rate (and if the rate is actually lower in other countries, it is probably for this reason), but it is not the right option.

    First, birth control almost universally acts abortively when it fails to prevent contraception. The fine print on any birth control package explains this, and yet so many Protestants have no idea that it is designed to abort the fertilized egg as a second wave of defense against pregnancy.
    Second, all preventive measures other than abstinence have had disastrous impacts on all aspects of culture. Nothing good has come from them.

    There must be a better, third option.

  • trotk

    First, Steven is exactly right.

    Second, and I realize that not everyone agrees with this, but I am surprised that a Catholic journalist doesn’t realize it:

    Putting all women on contraceptives or using protective measures to ensure that contraception doesn’t occur (which is the normal answer proposed by governmental systems) may lower the abortion rate (and if the rate is actually lower in other countries, it is probably for this reason), but it is not the right option.

    First, birth control almost universally acts abortively when it fails to prevent contraception. The fine print on any birth control package explains this, and yet so many Protestants have no idea that it is designed to abort the fertilized egg as a second wave of defense against pregnancy.
    Second, all preventive measures other than abstinence have had disastrous impacts on all aspects of culture. Nothing good has come from them.

    There must be a better, third option.

  • Winston Smith

    Advocating nationalized health care in order to reduce the abortion rate would be a little like burning down your house in order to cook your dinner. The collatreal damage would be high, and it wouldn’t even do the job all that well.

  • Winston Smith

    Advocating nationalized health care in order to reduce the abortion rate would be a little like burning down your house in order to cook your dinner. The collatreal damage would be high, and it wouldn’t even do the job all that well.

  • Peter Leavitt

    This sort of statistical correlation scarcely proves causation; even it did, it would be merely arguing for state-run health care on a poor utilitarian ground.

  • Peter Leavitt

    This sort of statistical correlation scarcely proves causation; even it did, it would be merely arguing for state-run health care on a poor utilitarian ground.

  • Bike Bubba,

    I don’t buy your argument. Prove to me that the statistics in the US are kept differently.

    I was reading through our health insurance coverage information the other day. As I was reading through prenatal stuff, I found that if I and my wife were to have a baby, with our very good health insurance, it would still cost us at least two to three thousand dollars.

    That’s with prenatal care covered at 100% after a $25 co-pay and hospital expenses covered at 85% after deductible.

    If an uninsured mom had the choice of a couple hundred for an abortion or 5 to 10k for a baby, I think they might find themselves considering abortion seriously. The messy world we live in sometimes makes normal and fairly decent (on the whole) people contemplate horrific choices.

    The argument in the article Dr. Veith quotes makes sense.

  • Bike Bubba,

    I don’t buy your argument. Prove to me that the statistics in the US are kept differently.

    I was reading through our health insurance coverage information the other day. As I was reading through prenatal stuff, I found that if I and my wife were to have a baby, with our very good health insurance, it would still cost us at least two to three thousand dollars.

    That’s with prenatal care covered at 100% after a $25 co-pay and hospital expenses covered at 85% after deductible.

    If an uninsured mom had the choice of a couple hundred for an abortion or 5 to 10k for a baby, I think they might find themselves considering abortion seriously. The messy world we live in sometimes makes normal and fairly decent (on the whole) people contemplate horrific choices.

    The argument in the article Dr. Veith quotes makes sense.

  • Jeremiah

    Universal Healthcare covers all birth control. And like Steven said, the morning after pill nor any other embryonic destruction medication is counted as an “abortion.” In the end, more babies are dying, just not in the hands of Doctors, rather at early stages at the hands of the government provided drugs.

  • Jeremiah

    Universal Healthcare covers all birth control. And like Steven said, the morning after pill nor any other embryonic destruction medication is counted as an “abortion.” In the end, more babies are dying, just not in the hands of Doctors, rather at early stages at the hands of the government provided drugs.

  • fws

    caring for the basic needs of others in keeping with the fifth commandment is something I am for , even if I am forced to do it.

    even adam smith would not object to universal health care. this does nothing to promote a free market or prohibit it because demand is not elastic. people just do without if they can´t afford it. that means that a curable disease gets worse and eventual costs the taxpayers more than if they had universal health care and treated the disease early.

    In this case, it makes logical sense that a woman who does not have to factor in the cost of health care, delivery, post natal care for a child with physical defects might we decide to keep the baby. it is worth a try! and the analogies about burning down a house etc. lame. they don´t fit this situation. canada has almost zero violent crime compared to the usa. why? same number of guns, etc….

    they take care of peoples basic (basic! as in live or die) 5th commandment needs. that´s why. if we won´t do this voluntarily through charititable efforts, I think it is ok for the government to force us to do it.

  • fws

    caring for the basic needs of others in keeping with the fifth commandment is something I am for , even if I am forced to do it.

    even adam smith would not object to universal health care. this does nothing to promote a free market or prohibit it because demand is not elastic. people just do without if they can´t afford it. that means that a curable disease gets worse and eventual costs the taxpayers more than if they had universal health care and treated the disease early.

    In this case, it makes logical sense that a woman who does not have to factor in the cost of health care, delivery, post natal care for a child with physical defects might we decide to keep the baby. it is worth a try! and the analogies about burning down a house etc. lame. they don´t fit this situation. canada has almost zero violent crime compared to the usa. why? same number of guns, etc….

    they take care of peoples basic (basic! as in live or die) 5th commandment needs. that´s why. if we won´t do this voluntarily through charititable efforts, I think it is ok for the government to force us to do it.

  • Rev. Lehmann, every IUD user has the opportunity for a nonsurgical abortion every month, and it can’t be tracked statistically unless one takes blood samples of the users at least once every 28 days.

    See what I’m getting at here? The U.S. has relatively higher surgical/chemical abortion rates than Europe; but what of the toll being taken by IUDs?

    Besides, it is also clear that prior to Medicare and Medicaid, abortion rates were a tiny fraction of what they are now. If government involvement in healthcare gives us the opposite, it’s certainly not clear from that!

  • Rev. Lehmann, every IUD user has the opportunity for a nonsurgical abortion every month, and it can’t be tracked statistically unless one takes blood samples of the users at least once every 28 days.

    See what I’m getting at here? The U.S. has relatively higher surgical/chemical abortion rates than Europe; but what of the toll being taken by IUDs?

    Besides, it is also clear that prior to Medicare and Medicaid, abortion rates were a tiny fraction of what they are now. If government involvement in healthcare gives us the opposite, it’s certainly not clear from that!

  • So, Bike, what you’re saying is that you have no alternative data to argue against the data that is being presented. I’m supposed to simply accept your assertions.

    If you want to argue that Medicaid and Medicare increase the number of abortions even though they don’t fund them, you’re free to do so. But I’m also free to be VERY skeptical.

  • So, Bike, what you’re saying is that you have no alternative data to argue against the data that is being presented. I’m supposed to simply accept your assertions.

    If you want to argue that Medicaid and Medicare increase the number of abortions even though they don’t fund them, you’re free to do so. But I’m also free to be VERY skeptical.

  • Anonymous

    Analogy:

    So, my wife was cheating on me every other night.

    We talked it out and agreed that in order to respect my moral convictions, she would reduce the rate of infidelity to only twice a week.

    I’m happy now.

  • Anonymous

    Analogy:

    So, my wife was cheating on me every other night.

    We talked it out and agreed that in order to respect my moral convictions, she would reduce the rate of infidelity to only twice a week.

    I’m happy now.

  • Will abortion rates be lowered by universal healthcare? Maybe, for a time, have strong doubts though because people will still be people, so there will always be people willing to murder the inconvenient.

    My prediction is that it will have little measurable effects for a period of time followed by a period of time that abortion is mandated in order to control the population to maintain health care costs.

    Having increased access to prophylactics is a pipe dream answer to lowering “unwanted pregnancies.” One, contraceptives, as others pointed out, are morally questionable. Two, the people who supposedly “need” them due to economic reasons don’t care. If they did care they could already go get their free rubbers from the local health clinic.

  • Will abortion rates be lowered by universal healthcare? Maybe, for a time, have strong doubts though because people will still be people, so there will always be people willing to murder the inconvenient.

    My prediction is that it will have little measurable effects for a period of time followed by a period of time that abortion is mandated in order to control the population to maintain health care costs.

    Having increased access to prophylactics is a pipe dream answer to lowering “unwanted pregnancies.” One, contraceptives, as others pointed out, are morally questionable. Two, the people who supposedly “need” them due to economic reasons don’t care. If they did care they could already go get their free rubbers from the local health clinic.

  • Richard

    My recollection, having lived in Germany for a number of years, is that abortion laws were stricter than they are here in the States–the influence of the Catholic Church still looms large in Germany, particularly in Bavaria.

  • Richard

    My recollection, having lived in Germany for a number of years, is that abortion laws were stricter than they are here in the States–the influence of the Catholic Church still looms large in Germany, particularly in Bavaria.

  • See, I have a hard time imagining this. Yes, it is very expensive these days for us in the middle class with good health insurance to have children, as Charles Lehman pointed out. I don’t quite understand the whys of this, but I think it is somewhat like college education, it got more expensive then the government started handing out low interest rate loans, and scholarships. Institutions take what they can get.
    There are cheaper ways of having babies, but convincing your wife she doesn’t really need to go to the hospital for this, can be a dangerous venture.
    However, I hear reports from various more or less hatemongers on the radio, that illegal immigrants run across the border and have children in our hospitals everyday, immigrants that don’t have money for food much less health care. So I am left wondering if the cost of having a baby really plays into the decision to have an abortion at anything more than a very minor level, or perhaps as an excuse to blame the abortion on a “religious right” that opposes abortion and universal health care.
    I think the fact that it is legal at all is probably the biggest factor in why they are carried out. I imagine with or without universal health care, the abortion rate would plummet if it were once again declared illegal to perform or have them.
    Perhaps there are other reasons to go with socialized medicine. Sometimes I do wonder if it might not in the end be a better thing for our society as a whole. And I’m not that big of a fan of it. But when it cost’s my congregation $5,000 more this year than it did last year to insure me, (and that with no status change, my family hasn’t gotten any bigger, no one has been sick.) I really begin to wonder. There are also many reason’s not to go with it. But I seriously doubt it is going to have any affect whatsoever on abortion.

  • See, I have a hard time imagining this. Yes, it is very expensive these days for us in the middle class with good health insurance to have children, as Charles Lehman pointed out. I don’t quite understand the whys of this, but I think it is somewhat like college education, it got more expensive then the government started handing out low interest rate loans, and scholarships. Institutions take what they can get.
    There are cheaper ways of having babies, but convincing your wife she doesn’t really need to go to the hospital for this, can be a dangerous venture.
    However, I hear reports from various more or less hatemongers on the radio, that illegal immigrants run across the border and have children in our hospitals everyday, immigrants that don’t have money for food much less health care. So I am left wondering if the cost of having a baby really plays into the decision to have an abortion at anything more than a very minor level, or perhaps as an excuse to blame the abortion on a “religious right” that opposes abortion and universal health care.
    I think the fact that it is legal at all is probably the biggest factor in why they are carried out. I imagine with or without universal health care, the abortion rate would plummet if it were once again declared illegal to perform or have them.
    Perhaps there are other reasons to go with socialized medicine. Sometimes I do wonder if it might not in the end be a better thing for our society as a whole. And I’m not that big of a fan of it. But when it cost’s my congregation $5,000 more this year than it did last year to insure me, (and that with no status change, my family hasn’t gotten any bigger, no one has been sick.) I really begin to wonder. There are also many reason’s not to go with it. But I seriously doubt it is going to have any affect whatsoever on abortion.

  • Booklover

    My skin crawls any time it is insinuated that the poor make worse moral choices than the rich. I have often found the opposite to be the case.

  • Booklover

    My skin crawls any time it is insinuated that the poor make worse moral choices than the rich. I have often found the opposite to be the case.

  • I hear you Booklover.

  • I hear you Booklover.

  • Michael Z.

    If there is one thing I learned in college, it was the correlation does not equal causation.
    We have a radically different culture than Europe. Saying that the European universal health-care systems reduced the number of abortions per-capita is like saying that the American private health-care system increases the American birthrate. There is a correlation, but I doubt that either causes the other.

  • Michael Z.

    If there is one thing I learned in college, it was the correlation does not equal causation.
    We have a radically different culture than Europe. Saying that the European universal health-care systems reduced the number of abortions per-capita is like saying that the American private health-care system increases the American birthrate. There is a correlation, but I doubt that either causes the other.

  • Adam

    I like Gorman’s wise comment @1 and Veith’s questions.
    For decades, the GOP has brilliantly fooled the ‘pro life’ movement into believing that it is the sole political vehicle to reduce the abortion rate. The result? A generation of ‘pro lifers’ have grown up to vote overwhelmingly and reflexively for the GOP’s pro-rich economic policies. Such policies have firmly kept health care in the hands of for-profit companies. And the abortion rate? Reid’s article notes the tragic results.

  • Adam

    I like Gorman’s wise comment @1 and Veith’s questions.
    For decades, the GOP has brilliantly fooled the ‘pro life’ movement into believing that it is the sole political vehicle to reduce the abortion rate. The result? A generation of ‘pro lifers’ have grown up to vote overwhelmingly and reflexively for the GOP’s pro-rich economic policies. Such policies have firmly kept health care in the hands of for-profit companies. And the abortion rate? Reid’s article notes the tragic results.

  • Daniel Davies

    One reason for America’s high abortion rate is that “women’s health services” is a major cash cow. Planned Parenthood (responsible for about 1/5 of US abortions) has a billion-dollar budget which left this “non-profit” in the black by $115 million in one recent year, and they have assets worth a billion dollars.
    Yet in spite of this, PP alone gets roughly $300 million in taxpayer funding each year. We know that whatever the government subsidizes exists in higher levels than it otherwise would. Technically the federal government doesn’t fund abortions, but they fund the organization that does 1/5 of the abortions, so go figure.
    The government also encourages pregnancies of the type likely to end in abortion with their misguided social welfare policies that encourage extramarital sex.
    And perhaps the most obvious reason for the high abortion rate here is the fact is that the US has some of the loosest abortion laws in the world, though states are beginning to tighten things up some.

    The current bill would provide for taxpayer underwritten funding of abortion, which is morally reprehensible and contrary to Mr. Reid’s Catholic faith.
    Reid’s claim is flawed economically, morally, and spiritually. My guess is that he’s one of the Catholics who have embraced “social justice” liberalism in an effort to fulfil scriptural commands to “love your neighbor” by stealing money from one person to give it to another.

  • Daniel Davies

    One reason for America’s high abortion rate is that “women’s health services” is a major cash cow. Planned Parenthood (responsible for about 1/5 of US abortions) has a billion-dollar budget which left this “non-profit” in the black by $115 million in one recent year, and they have assets worth a billion dollars.
    Yet in spite of this, PP alone gets roughly $300 million in taxpayer funding each year. We know that whatever the government subsidizes exists in higher levels than it otherwise would. Technically the federal government doesn’t fund abortions, but they fund the organization that does 1/5 of the abortions, so go figure.
    The government also encourages pregnancies of the type likely to end in abortion with their misguided social welfare policies that encourage extramarital sex.
    And perhaps the most obvious reason for the high abortion rate here is the fact is that the US has some of the loosest abortion laws in the world, though states are beginning to tighten things up some.

    The current bill would provide for taxpayer underwritten funding of abortion, which is morally reprehensible and contrary to Mr. Reid’s Catholic faith.
    Reid’s claim is flawed economically, morally, and spiritually. My guess is that he’s one of the Catholics who have embraced “social justice” liberalism in an effort to fulfil scriptural commands to “love your neighbor” by stealing money from one person to give it to another.

  • Booklover

    What Daniel Davies said.

    Planned Parenthood gets 333 MILLION of OUR tax dollars EACH YEAR!!! Then I saw on their website in our state that they are asking for even more donations! Unbelievable gall!!

    A young woman pays PP to have her offspring destroyed. They take her money, destroy her offspring, then ask her for ANOTHER donation!!!! They bleed her thrice.

    I am sick.

  • Booklover

    What Daniel Davies said.

    Planned Parenthood gets 333 MILLION of OUR tax dollars EACH YEAR!!! Then I saw on their website in our state that they are asking for even more donations! Unbelievable gall!!

    A young woman pays PP to have her offspring destroyed. They take her money, destroy her offspring, then ask her for ANOTHER donation!!!! They bleed her thrice.

    I am sick.

  • Purple Koolaid

    fws says: about burning down a house etc. lame. they don´t fit this situation. canada has almost zero violent crime compared to the usa. why? same number of guns, etc….

    You are misinformed. Canada does not have the same number of guns we have. A police officer is not even allowed take their gun home when they are off-duty.

  • Purple Koolaid

    fws says: about burning down a house etc. lame. they don´t fit this situation. canada has almost zero violent crime compared to the usa. why? same number of guns, etc….

    You are misinformed. Canada does not have the same number of guns we have. A police officer is not even allowed take their gun home when they are off-duty.

  • Adam

    Since abortion is legal, indeed a constitutonal right, there are two ways to fight it –
    (1) Pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the holding of roe v. wade. This is how Americans from past generations handled unwelcome Court decisions. As a result, slavery was abolished, women got the right to vote, etc. The ‘pro life’ movement (as a whole) seems uninterested in doing this. Which leaves,
    (2) Affect the circumstances that provoke women to seek this very legal operation. e.g., provide universal health care, improve the plight of inner city women, etc. The ‘pro life’ movement (as a whole) seems uninterested in doing this. Which leaves,
    complaining.

  • Adam

    Since abortion is legal, indeed a constitutonal right, there are two ways to fight it –
    (1) Pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the holding of roe v. wade. This is how Americans from past generations handled unwelcome Court decisions. As a result, slavery was abolished, women got the right to vote, etc. The ‘pro life’ movement (as a whole) seems uninterested in doing this. Which leaves,
    (2) Affect the circumstances that provoke women to seek this very legal operation. e.g., provide universal health care, improve the plight of inner city women, etc. The ‘pro life’ movement (as a whole) seems uninterested in doing this. Which leaves,
    complaining.

  • Rev. Lehmann, EXACTLY–for both Medicare/Medicaid AND socialized medicine.

    Now we might argue that the sheer brutality of the crime is greater with a surgical infanticide without anesthesia than it is with RU486 or an IUD, but does that lessen the moral monstrousity of abortion by refusing implantation–or by slow poisoning of the fetus?

    Moreover, socialized medicine can and does ration healthcare, and it can and does create death panels–though they of course do not refer to themselves by that name. Another moral monstrousity–telling people that even if they have the resources, they cannot purchase more healthcare than the government allows.

  • Rev. Lehmann, EXACTLY–for both Medicare/Medicaid AND socialized medicine.

    Now we might argue that the sheer brutality of the crime is greater with a surgical infanticide without anesthesia than it is with RU486 or an IUD, but does that lessen the moral monstrousity of abortion by refusing implantation–or by slow poisoning of the fetus?

    Moreover, socialized medicine can and does ration healthcare, and it can and does create death panels–though they of course do not refer to themselves by that name. Another moral monstrousity–telling people that even if they have the resources, they cannot purchase more healthcare than the government allows.

  • DonS

    A good discussion above concerning the validity of simply taking the UN abortion statistics and deriving a conclusion that universal health care must lower abortion rates. I don’t see from the article that any scientific effort was made by the author to correllate the statistics from country to country, to ensure that abortions are being measured equally, nor to ensure that other factors which might cause differences from country to country (social stigma, demographics, etc.) were accounted for. In another words, the author’s conclusion is statistically invalid.

    Regardless, the current bill which is being debated includes new federal funding for abortions. We can rest assured that increasing funding for abortions will NOT lower abortion rates.

  • DonS

    A good discussion above concerning the validity of simply taking the UN abortion statistics and deriving a conclusion that universal health care must lower abortion rates. I don’t see from the article that any scientific effort was made by the author to correllate the statistics from country to country, to ensure that abortions are being measured equally, nor to ensure that other factors which might cause differences from country to country (social stigma, demographics, etc.) were accounted for. In another words, the author’s conclusion is statistically invalid.

    Regardless, the current bill which is being debated includes new federal funding for abortions. We can rest assured that increasing funding for abortions will NOT lower abortion rates.

  • J

    You must know better, DonS.
    “[T]he current bill” does not include new federal funding for abortion.

    The fact is, the abortion (and infant mortality) rates drop when women have access to affordable health care.

  • J

    You must know better, DonS.
    “[T]he current bill” does not include new federal funding for abortion.

    The fact is, the abortion (and infant mortality) rates drop when women have access to affordable health care.

  • I’ll note in sympathy with Charles (@11) that those saying we shouldn’t trust this analysis aren’t exactly making their own case. They’re merely suggesting that we accept their posited reasons for why the given analysis might be wrong.

    For instance, Steven says (@2) that “Countries with universal health care also have significantly lower birth rates”. Okay, but did you do an analysis that took that into consideration? I tried to, using the UN data, and it doesn’t seem to explain everything away, by a long shot.

    What I did (and I realize this is crude, but it’s better than not backing up your assertions at all) was to divide the abortion rate column by the fertility (births per woman) column to arrive at a rough abortions/births rate. Feel free to tell me why this approach is wrong, as I’m not really thinking it through right now. I just wanted some raw data to look at.

    Anyhow, the U.S. is still on top, though certainly not alone, among what the article calls “the developed world”. (That term, as used by the article, apparently leaves out Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Romania, Latvia, and Hungary, all of which have higher abortion rates than the US, some slightly so, and others — such as Russia — much greater.) Only Sweden and Australia are significantly ahead.

    But, and here’s the main thing, there are still quite a few “developed” countries that have a lower abortions/births ratio than we do (in descending order): Italy, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland (which has a ratio that’s half ours), Belgium, Croatia, Albania, Greece, and Austria (which has a ratio that’s one-tenth of ours).

    My point being: birth rate does not explain away the correlation this article notes. If you want to make a fact-based argument on how abortifacient medication does, please do so. But don’t expect me to do your work for you.

  • I’ll note in sympathy with Charles (@11) that those saying we shouldn’t trust this analysis aren’t exactly making their own case. They’re merely suggesting that we accept their posited reasons for why the given analysis might be wrong.

    For instance, Steven says (@2) that “Countries with universal health care also have significantly lower birth rates”. Okay, but did you do an analysis that took that into consideration? I tried to, using the UN data, and it doesn’t seem to explain everything away, by a long shot.

    What I did (and I realize this is crude, but it’s better than not backing up your assertions at all) was to divide the abortion rate column by the fertility (births per woman) column to arrive at a rough abortions/births rate. Feel free to tell me why this approach is wrong, as I’m not really thinking it through right now. I just wanted some raw data to look at.

    Anyhow, the U.S. is still on top, though certainly not alone, among what the article calls “the developed world”. (That term, as used by the article, apparently leaves out Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Romania, Latvia, and Hungary, all of which have higher abortion rates than the US, some slightly so, and others — such as Russia — much greater.) Only Sweden and Australia are significantly ahead.

    But, and here’s the main thing, there are still quite a few “developed” countries that have a lower abortions/births ratio than we do (in descending order): Italy, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland (which has a ratio that’s half ours), Belgium, Croatia, Albania, Greece, and Austria (which has a ratio that’s one-tenth of ours).

    My point being: birth rate does not explain away the correlation this article notes. If you want to make a fact-based argument on how abortifacient medication does, please do so. But don’t expect me to do your work for you.

  • Peter Leavitt

    If one want to explain the reason for the multitude of abortions in our time, first go back to Henry VIII who founded the Anglican Communion in order to establish his exceptional right to divorce; then in 1930, the Anglican Church allowed an exceptional right to contraception; then in our time the Episcopal Church in America allowed the ordination of an active homosexual bishop. Concurrently with all of this Christianity, which historically stood for strict morals, became largely over time yet another morally loose pagan religion.

    In each of these cases, the pattern is first an exceptional right, followed in due course by a common right. At present the pagan element in our culture allows the common practice of fornication, divorce, adultery, abortion, and some of its elements are militantly working toward the acceptance of homosexual behavior and marriage.

    This issue of abortion is very much tied in with the sort of worship of autonomous human behavior that belies any sort of a religious order moral order. ObamaCare, with its provision to provide funds to slaughter innocent pre-natal children, is merely another sign of our decadent time.

    For an excellent discussion of these issues go to Mary Eberstadt’s First Things article, Christianity Lite.

  • Peter Leavitt

    If one want to explain the reason for the multitude of abortions in our time, first go back to Henry VIII who founded the Anglican Communion in order to establish his exceptional right to divorce; then in 1930, the Anglican Church allowed an exceptional right to contraception; then in our time the Episcopal Church in America allowed the ordination of an active homosexual bishop. Concurrently with all of this Christianity, which historically stood for strict morals, became largely over time yet another morally loose pagan religion.

    In each of these cases, the pattern is first an exceptional right, followed in due course by a common right. At present the pagan element in our culture allows the common practice of fornication, divorce, adultery, abortion, and some of its elements are militantly working toward the acceptance of homosexual behavior and marriage.

    This issue of abortion is very much tied in with the sort of worship of autonomous human behavior that belies any sort of a religious order moral order. ObamaCare, with its provision to provide funds to slaughter innocent pre-natal children, is merely another sign of our decadent time.

    For an excellent discussion of these issues go to Mary Eberstadt’s First Things article, Christianity Lite.

  • Bike (@10), one of your arguments is that “prior to Medicare and Medicaid, abortion rates were a tiny fraction of what they are now.”

    Um … should I ask how Medicare affects abortion rates, given that it is for women 65 and over? How many of them are getting pregnant?

    But there’s a bigger flaw with your argument. Prior to Medicare and Medicaid (that is, prior to 1965), abortion was illegal in most states. Don’t you think that’s a better explanation for why abortion rates were lower before 1965 than now?

    It’s very difficult to take seriously a man lamenting, “Can we please stop playing games with confusing correlation and causality?” when he seems to be doing that very same thing himself.

    Oh, and I got my data for my previous comment (@27) from the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. For what it’s worth.

  • Bike (@10), one of your arguments is that “prior to Medicare and Medicaid, abortion rates were a tiny fraction of what they are now.”

    Um … should I ask how Medicare affects abortion rates, given that it is for women 65 and over? How many of them are getting pregnant?

    But there’s a bigger flaw with your argument. Prior to Medicare and Medicaid (that is, prior to 1965), abortion was illegal in most states. Don’t you think that’s a better explanation for why abortion rates were lower before 1965 than now?

    It’s very difficult to take seriously a man lamenting, “Can we please stop playing games with confusing correlation and causality?” when he seems to be doing that very same thing himself.

    Oh, and I got my data for my previous comment (@27) from the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. For what it’s worth.

  • Is anyone going to argue that greater availability of prenatal care to pregnant women does not decrease the rate of abortion? I think that’s what the article was positing, and I see a lot of obfuscation, but not a lot that actually addresses that.

    Also, to comment #12:

    So, let’s suppose that I could demonstrate a high probability that 2 or 3 less pregnant women per 100 would murder their babies if we had universal health care. Would your response be that we should let those 2 or 3 babies per hundred die because we weren’t saving 20?

    Just asking.

  • Is anyone going to argue that greater availability of prenatal care to pregnant women does not decrease the rate of abortion? I think that’s what the article was positing, and I see a lot of obfuscation, but not a lot that actually addresses that.

    Also, to comment #12:

    So, let’s suppose that I could demonstrate a high probability that 2 or 3 less pregnant women per 100 would murder their babies if we had universal health care. Would your response be that we should let those 2 or 3 babies per hundred die because we weren’t saving 20?

    Just asking.

  • Sam

    PL @28, I’m more inclined to blame Roe v. Wade for unloosening the abortion laws in this country than I am Henry VIII, but if we’re going to blame those responsible for the schism from Rome, then Luther is also guilty. But it is interesting to ponder what the Western world would be like today if all Christians had remained Catholic. A better world, I submit.
    For what it’s worth, I did some reseach into the pre-Roe abortion laws in my state. A doctor who performed an abortion (the woman was not the target of law enforcement) was subject to a 2-5 year jail term. That was enough to ruin his practice, of course, but seems rather short, given the rhetoric today. But perhaps in the ‘good ol’ days,’ such laws reflected reality, not so much ideology.

  • Sam

    PL @28, I’m more inclined to blame Roe v. Wade for unloosening the abortion laws in this country than I am Henry VIII, but if we’re going to blame those responsible for the schism from Rome, then Luther is also guilty. But it is interesting to ponder what the Western world would be like today if all Christians had remained Catholic. A better world, I submit.
    For what it’s worth, I did some reseach into the pre-Roe abortion laws in my state. A doctor who performed an abortion (the woman was not the target of law enforcement) was subject to a 2-5 year jail term. That was enough to ruin his practice, of course, but seems rather short, given the rhetoric today. But perhaps in the ‘good ol’ days,’ such laws reflected reality, not so much ideology.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Sam, Mary Eberstadt’s point that I agree with is that the Anglican/Episcopal Church, due to its prestige led the way in compromising Protestant Christian theology and morals. Roe v. Wade is rather a derivative of the moral decline of mainline Protestant churches in America, led by the Episcopalians.

    Another of Mary Eberstadt’s points is that such Episcopalian luminaries as Bishops Pike and Strong, also, led the way in compromising the Christian dogmas of the Incarnation and Resurrection. Outfits like the ELCA and the Congregationalists have come in our time pant for approval from the Episcopalians who caved to secular modernity.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Sam, Mary Eberstadt’s point that I agree with is that the Anglican/Episcopal Church, due to its prestige led the way in compromising Protestant Christian theology and morals. Roe v. Wade is rather a derivative of the moral decline of mainline Protestant churches in America, led by the Episcopalians.

    Another of Mary Eberstadt’s points is that such Episcopalian luminaries as Bishops Pike and Strong, also, led the way in compromising the Christian dogmas of the Incarnation and Resurrection. Outfits like the ELCA and the Congregationalists have come in our time pant for approval from the Episcopalians who caved to secular modernity.

  • Sam

    PL, you give the Episcopalians too much credit. Surely other Protestant denomiations were just as vocal and influential in corrupting theology and morals. Look at Justice Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade. He was a Methodist.

    We’ve diverted from the main topic, which is that universal health care appears to reduce the abortion rate. But understandably so; it’s hard to argue intelligently that access to good health care for pregnant women, in particular. does wonders for the children they carry as well.

  • Sam

    PL, you give the Episcopalians too much credit. Surely other Protestant denomiations were just as vocal and influential in corrupting theology and morals. Look at Justice Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade. He was a Methodist.

    We’ve diverted from the main topic, which is that universal health care appears to reduce the abortion rate. But understandably so; it’s hard to argue intelligently that access to good health care for pregnant women, in particular. does wonders for the children they carry as well.

  • Sam

    Mea culpa.
    The last line @33 should read: “it’s hard to argue intelligently that access to good health care for pregnant women, in particular, does NOT DO wonders for the children they carry as well.”

  • Sam

    Mea culpa.
    The last line @33 should read: “it’s hard to argue intelligently that access to good health care for pregnant women, in particular, does NOT DO wonders for the children they carry as well.”

  • DonS

    J @ 26:

    Here is just ONE way that the Senate bill directly funds abortion with federal funds: http://www.nrlc.org/AHC/NRLCmemoCommHealth.pdf

    You have been drinking the Kool-Aid passed out by the lefty bloggers, Pelosi, and Harkin far too long.

  • DonS

    J @ 26:

    Here is just ONE way that the Senate bill directly funds abortion with federal funds: http://www.nrlc.org/AHC/NRLCmemoCommHealth.pdf

    You have been drinking the Kool-Aid passed out by the lefty bloggers, Pelosi, and Harkin far too long.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Folks, all poor and others not-as-poor-as -you-would-think women get medicaid coverage for their births. It is very easy to get and you don’t even have to be “poor”. My family qualifies for medicaid and I do not think we are poor—we own a home, take vacations, have a 401k, have two cars etc. Almost 50% of births in this country are covered by medicaid (this is another reason births cost so much, but that is another discussion).
    Go to your state’s website and look up medicaid coverage under schip and you can see the income requirements.
    Women will always want to kill their babies. Saying that they are too poor to raise them is a red herring. They can always give them to another family in an adoption.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Folks, all poor and others not-as-poor-as -you-would-think women get medicaid coverage for their births. It is very easy to get and you don’t even have to be “poor”. My family qualifies for medicaid and I do not think we are poor—we own a home, take vacations, have a 401k, have two cars etc. Almost 50% of births in this country are covered by medicaid (this is another reason births cost so much, but that is another discussion).
    Go to your state’s website and look up medicaid coverage under schip and you can see the income requirements.
    Women will always want to kill their babies. Saying that they are too poor to raise them is a red herring. They can always give them to another family in an adoption.

  • DonS

    Again, I’m seeing a lot of discussion around this issue, but the fact remains that the comparison made by the author of the linked article is statistically invalid. To have a valid statistical study, you must have a control population. You can’t take the population of the U.S. and the population of France, look just at the issue of how their health care is funded, and draw a conclusion that if the U.S. funded health care the way France does, its abortion rate would be the same as that in France. It doesn’t work that way in statistics. You either need to compare the two health funding approaches on a common population, or somehow account for all of the other differences between the two populations that might also factor into the different abortion rates.

    So this is all just an exercise in argumentation, without evidence for any of the expressed points of view.

  • DonS

    Again, I’m seeing a lot of discussion around this issue, but the fact remains that the comparison made by the author of the linked article is statistically invalid. To have a valid statistical study, you must have a control population. You can’t take the population of the U.S. and the population of France, look just at the issue of how their health care is funded, and draw a conclusion that if the U.S. funded health care the way France does, its abortion rate would be the same as that in France. It doesn’t work that way in statistics. You either need to compare the two health funding approaches on a common population, or somehow account for all of the other differences between the two populations that might also factor into the different abortion rates.

    So this is all just an exercise in argumentation, without evidence for any of the expressed points of view.

  • J

    DonS @35.
    Thanks for the NRLC memo. But you need better sourcing; it does not prove what you allege. Read it again, carefully.
    Your discomfort with the Post article is no surprise, given your rigid ideology.

  • J

    DonS @35.
    Thanks for the NRLC memo. But you need better sourcing; it does not prove what you allege. Read it again, carefully.
    Your discomfort with the Post article is no surprise, given your rigid ideology.

  • DonS

    J @ 38: Please amplify as to why you don’t think it evidences federal funding for abortion. Please also note that, as I understand it, an elaborate procedure was constructed to satisfy Ben Nelson which requires a separate fee to be paid by policyholders of policies that fund abortion, ostensibly to create an accounting gimmick so that federal funding can be said not to fund that abortion. But, Stupak’s objection, among others, is that this separate fee requires an annual renewal through appropriations, and if the separate fee is not renewed in any subsequent year, federal funds will be substituted to continue to pay for abortion funding. So, he fears (correctly, I’m sure), that the separate fee will be knocked out once the bill is law. Reid and Harkin apparently assured Senators who didn’t like the Nelson amendments that this would be the case.

    My “rigid ideology” is only exceeded, it seems, by your own.

  • DonS

    J @ 38: Please amplify as to why you don’t think it evidences federal funding for abortion. Please also note that, as I understand it, an elaborate procedure was constructed to satisfy Ben Nelson which requires a separate fee to be paid by policyholders of policies that fund abortion, ostensibly to create an accounting gimmick so that federal funding can be said not to fund that abortion. But, Stupak’s objection, among others, is that this separate fee requires an annual renewal through appropriations, and if the separate fee is not renewed in any subsequent year, federal funds will be substituted to continue to pay for abortion funding. So, he fears (correctly, I’m sure), that the separate fee will be knocked out once the bill is law. Reid and Harkin apparently assured Senators who didn’t like the Nelson amendments that this would be the case.

    My “rigid ideology” is only exceeded, it seems, by your own.

  • Economist Doug

    No one in legitimate need lacks coverage. We have community health centers, free clinics, Medicaid, Medicare, WIC, SCHIP, COBRA…

    It is illegal in America for hospitals to deny anyone medical care. I know I’ve shown up without ability to pay in the ER. Luckily most hospitals write those visits off.

    Some people who are solidly middle class gripe because they have to save for healthcare instead of HDTVs, cell phones, new cars or other luxury items.

    I work and my wife raises our daughter at home. I spend about 20% of my income on healthcare and it bothers me to see bums soaking off the government for their healthcare, then driving their new cars with cell phones to their ears.

    There’s not a strong sense of personal sacrifice anymore among the middle class. I don’t begrudge aid given to the poor.

    My gripe with universal healthcare is that it enables middle class people to live like big irresponsible children.

  • Economist Doug

    No one in legitimate need lacks coverage. We have community health centers, free clinics, Medicaid, Medicare, WIC, SCHIP, COBRA…

    It is illegal in America for hospitals to deny anyone medical care. I know I’ve shown up without ability to pay in the ER. Luckily most hospitals write those visits off.

    Some people who are solidly middle class gripe because they have to save for healthcare instead of HDTVs, cell phones, new cars or other luxury items.

    I work and my wife raises our daughter at home. I spend about 20% of my income on healthcare and it bothers me to see bums soaking off the government for their healthcare, then driving their new cars with cell phones to their ears.

    There’s not a strong sense of personal sacrifice anymore among the middle class. I don’t begrudge aid given to the poor.

    My gripe with universal healthcare is that it enables middle class people to live like big irresponsible children.

  • The Jungle Cat

    To ask the question in another way: Suppose you were to meet a woman pregnant with twins who intended to abort both. After trying to dissuade her from this decision, you are not entirely successful but manage a compromise–she will only abort one of the feti if you will pay for it. If Reid’s argument is at all to be trusted, this is essentially what he is calling for; would you agree to pay for it?

  • The Jungle Cat

    To ask the question in another way: Suppose you were to meet a woman pregnant with twins who intended to abort both. After trying to dissuade her from this decision, you are not entirely successful but manage a compromise–she will only abort one of the feti if you will pay for it. If Reid’s argument is at all to be trusted, this is essentially what he is calling for; would you agree to pay for it?

  • Lisa

    Kool-aid @36,

    What State do you live in? In my state you can only get Schip if you are a child under 19. The income guidelines are rather stringent and Medicaid is even more so. Where do you get the 50% figure? Again, is it a bad thing that births are covered? Would it be better not to cover the pregnancy and births? Those questions sound rhetorical but I would appreciate your opinion.

  • Lisa

    Kool-aid @36,

    What State do you live in? In my state you can only get Schip if you are a child under 19. The income guidelines are rather stringent and Medicaid is even more so. Where do you get the 50% figure? Again, is it a bad thing that births are covered? Would it be better not to cover the pregnancy and births? Those questions sound rhetorical but I would appreciate your opinion.

  • J

    DonS.
    Your assertion was, “The current bill which is being debated includes new federal funding for abortions.” That is false.

  • J

    DonS.
    Your assertion was, “The current bill which is being debated includes new federal funding for abortions.” That is false.

  • Bob E

    Perhaps abortion rates are higher in the US because people in the US are more selfish, narcissistic and materialistic than other developed countries. Children cramp their style, man!

  • Bob E

    Perhaps abortion rates are higher in the US because people in the US are more selfish, narcissistic and materialistic than other developed countries. Children cramp their style, man!

  • DonS

    J @ 43: Way to lay the evidence out there J. Very convincing. Even more so if you capitalize FALSE, and add an exclamation point to boot. Maybe two or three!!!!

  • DonS

    J @ 43: Way to lay the evidence out there J. Very convincing. Even more so if you capitalize FALSE, and add an exclamation point to boot. Maybe two or three!!!!

  • I don’t think that it’s the cost of actually delivering the child that pushes women to abortion, but the entire cost of raising a child- financially and emotionally. Financial considerations are very real for many women in a crisis pregnancy situation. In places such as Norway, for example, a woman gets paid 80% for a year to be home with her child. There are people paid by the government to check up on her, child-care is covered by the government so that the mother can return to work when her year is up. If she chooses to stay home she gets a small subsidy for not utilizing the child-care that is available. She never has to worry about medical expenses as her child ages. Many women here are unsupported financially, emotionally, etc. In socialist countries there is a very thick safety net and very little social stigma for single mothers. So, a woman facing a crisis pregnancy has financial support and the cultural consent to parent outside of a nuclear family. She is unlikely to be ostracized by her family because of her predicament.

    Please don’t say “just give the child up for adoption.” No woman “just” gives up her child. It is an excruciating thing to carry a child for nine months within your own body and then trust that child to the care of strangers, even well-meaning, loving strangers. Adoption can be a beautiful thing, but it is always born from brokenness.

    It’s not just about the healthcare.

  • I don’t think that it’s the cost of actually delivering the child that pushes women to abortion, but the entire cost of raising a child- financially and emotionally. Financial considerations are very real for many women in a crisis pregnancy situation. In places such as Norway, for example, a woman gets paid 80% for a year to be home with her child. There are people paid by the government to check up on her, child-care is covered by the government so that the mother can return to work when her year is up. If she chooses to stay home she gets a small subsidy for not utilizing the child-care that is available. She never has to worry about medical expenses as her child ages. Many women here are unsupported financially, emotionally, etc. In socialist countries there is a very thick safety net and very little social stigma for single mothers. So, a woman facing a crisis pregnancy has financial support and the cultural consent to parent outside of a nuclear family. She is unlikely to be ostracized by her family because of her predicament.

    Please don’t say “just give the child up for adoption.” No woman “just” gives up her child. It is an excruciating thing to carry a child for nine months within your own body and then trust that child to the care of strangers, even well-meaning, loving strangers. Adoption can be a beautiful thing, but it is always born from brokenness.

    It’s not just about the healthcare.

  • Booklover

    Taxpayer-funded OnStar would keep car crash victims from dying sooner because they would be found quicker.

    Taxpayer-funded twinkie police would keep people from dying of fat-caused heart problems.

    Why stop with nationalized health care?

  • Booklover

    Taxpayer-funded OnStar would keep car crash victims from dying sooner because they would be found quicker.

    Taxpayer-funded twinkie police would keep people from dying of fat-caused heart problems.

    Why stop with nationalized health care?

  • Joe

    Adam @ you obviously have very little working knowledge regarding the pro-life movement. Your talking point has been discussed at length on this blog before so I am not going to repeat it. But spend a few minutes on google and I think you will be surprised at the number of material support organizations that exist. One organization that my church actively supports is a called A Place of Refuge, which supplies everything from food, a home and counseling services to help mothers make the choice for life and then be able to support that choice. There are many organizations like this. Don’t think that the guy standing in front of the abortion clinic with a sign is all that there is to the pro-life movement. There is much, much more to the movement than complaining.

  • Joe

    Adam @ you obviously have very little working knowledge regarding the pro-life movement. Your talking point has been discussed at length on this blog before so I am not going to repeat it. But spend a few minutes on google and I think you will be surprised at the number of material support organizations that exist. One organization that my church actively supports is a called A Place of Refuge, which supplies everything from food, a home and counseling services to help mothers make the choice for life and then be able to support that choice. There are many organizations like this. Don’t think that the guy standing in front of the abortion clinic with a sign is all that there is to the pro-life movement. There is much, much more to the movement than complaining.

  • Adam

    Joe @47
    I’m glad you can speak for the ‘pro life movement.’
    Why, then, are ‘pro life’ organizations uninterested in making abortion illegal?
    It’s great that your church supports A Place of Refuge, but that does nothing for women who have no access to it. It’s like saying that because you give a homeless guy on your corner a few dollars, you see no reason to change conditions nationwide to improve the lot of homeless everywhere.

  • Adam

    Joe @47
    I’m glad you can speak for the ‘pro life movement.’
    Why, then, are ‘pro life’ organizations uninterested in making abortion illegal?
    It’s great that your church supports A Place of Refuge, but that does nothing for women who have no access to it. It’s like saying that because you give a homeless guy on your corner a few dollars, you see no reason to change conditions nationwide to improve the lot of homeless everywhere.

  • Booklover

    Also, Adam, I have heard pro-abortion people complain that while Planned Parenthood employs “professional” nurses, CareNet often does not.

    Our local CareNet does employ a professional nurse, and the doctor there donates his time. CareNet does not receive $333 million in “government” (our) money, so if there is a shortage of professionals, that would be why.

    Pro-life people do the things that they do with their own money and on their own time. They do not (usually) expect someone else to do it for them.

  • Booklover

    Also, Adam, I have heard pro-abortion people complain that while Planned Parenthood employs “professional” nurses, CareNet often does not.

    Our local CareNet does employ a professional nurse, and the doctor there donates his time. CareNet does not receive $333 million in “government” (our) money, so if there is a shortage of professionals, that would be why.

    Pro-life people do the things that they do with their own money and on their own time. They do not (usually) expect someone else to do it for them.

  • Adam

    Booklover@49
    So why isn’t the ‘pro life movement’ working to make abortion illegal?

  • Adam

    Booklover@49
    So why isn’t the ‘pro life movement’ working to make abortion illegal?

  • Daniel Davies

    Adam @48&50
    I don’t know what you’re talking about. There have been many efforts to make abortion illegal, some of them quite successful in limiting the number of abortions at the local and state level. If you mean strictly at the federal level, there just haven’t been the votes there to pass much in the way of legislation, let alone a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe. Besides the bipartisan support for prohibiting the heinous partial birth abortion procedure, and resistance to federal funding, it just isn’t feasible at this point. Virtually all congressmen are quite set in their position on abortion, and many receive significant support (votes or financial) from their side of the issue.

  • Daniel Davies

    Adam @48&50
    I don’t know what you’re talking about. There have been many efforts to make abortion illegal, some of them quite successful in limiting the number of abortions at the local and state level. If you mean strictly at the federal level, there just haven’t been the votes there to pass much in the way of legislation, let alone a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe. Besides the bipartisan support for prohibiting the heinous partial birth abortion procedure, and resistance to federal funding, it just isn’t feasible at this point. Virtually all congressmen are quite set in their position on abortion, and many receive significant support (votes or financial) from their side of the issue.

  • Booklover

    Adam, #50, why doesn’t a breadmaker make bread?

    I don’t know what you are asking, so perhaps you should answer it yourself.

    When my four baby sons were young, I worked very very hard in the pro-life movement, and my church and all of my friends did the same. Some volunteered at or gave monthly to the crisis pregnancy center, some walked around the abortion center while praying and carrying educational billboards, some gave talks to high school students and community organizations on the life issue, some set up educational fetal models and answered questions at the local fair, some read bills and worked hard to pass bills and worked hard to educate their community on proposed bills, some kept up-to-date on what Planned Parenthood was doing and educated people on that, some babysat for needy mothers, some adopted special needs children, some started up new pro-life organizations, some prayed, etc. etc. All of the work was done on our own time, for no pay of course.

    For myself, I did all but one of the aforementioned things because of my strong pro-life convictions, but it’s not really part of my belief system to enumerate good works in this forum. My main job was to be the media representative for Right to Life in my city, the largest city in my state. I felt that I was a good representative because I was female, articulate, supposedly intelligent, have a good radio/tv voice, and yes, have even been told I am attractive. (I wanted to fight the “other side’s” image that pro-lifers were all angry males or religious fanatics.) Anytime an abortion-related topic would come up in the news, the media would flock to my house to get a “reaction” from me. This entailed a huge effort from me to clean up the place and get my four toddler and baby sons to stay quiet during the long interview. It was quite stressful. After the interviews, 100% of the time a tiny, obscure one-sentence-long quote would be pulled from my conversation and televized. I said nuts with it, gave it all up, and decided that raising my four sons to respect women and become responsible fathers was the most important thing I could ever possibly do. I hope I have succeeded with all my heart.

    Many many pro-lifers are working to make abortion illegal, for no pay or earthly reward, even when people like you give them a hard time. If they have stopped working for the pro-life movement, perhaps they, like me, are just tired, and are trying to make a difference in their own family or local community.

  • Booklover

    Adam, #50, why doesn’t a breadmaker make bread?

    I don’t know what you are asking, so perhaps you should answer it yourself.

    When my four baby sons were young, I worked very very hard in the pro-life movement, and my church and all of my friends did the same. Some volunteered at or gave monthly to the crisis pregnancy center, some walked around the abortion center while praying and carrying educational billboards, some gave talks to high school students and community organizations on the life issue, some set up educational fetal models and answered questions at the local fair, some read bills and worked hard to pass bills and worked hard to educate their community on proposed bills, some kept up-to-date on what Planned Parenthood was doing and educated people on that, some babysat for needy mothers, some adopted special needs children, some started up new pro-life organizations, some prayed, etc. etc. All of the work was done on our own time, for no pay of course.

    For myself, I did all but one of the aforementioned things because of my strong pro-life convictions, but it’s not really part of my belief system to enumerate good works in this forum. My main job was to be the media representative for Right to Life in my city, the largest city in my state. I felt that I was a good representative because I was female, articulate, supposedly intelligent, have a good radio/tv voice, and yes, have even been told I am attractive. (I wanted to fight the “other side’s” image that pro-lifers were all angry males or religious fanatics.) Anytime an abortion-related topic would come up in the news, the media would flock to my house to get a “reaction” from me. This entailed a huge effort from me to clean up the place and get my four toddler and baby sons to stay quiet during the long interview. It was quite stressful. After the interviews, 100% of the time a tiny, obscure one-sentence-long quote would be pulled from my conversation and televized. I said nuts with it, gave it all up, and decided that raising my four sons to respect women and become responsible fathers was the most important thing I could ever possibly do. I hope I have succeeded with all my heart.

    Many many pro-lifers are working to make abortion illegal, for no pay or earthly reward, even when people like you give them a hard time. If they have stopped working for the pro-life movement, perhaps they, like me, are just tired, and are trying to make a difference in their own family or local community.

  • Booklover (@52), thanks for all you’ve done, both then and now.

  • Booklover (@52), thanks for all you’ve done, both then and now.

  • Adam

    Booklover, may I echo Todd’s comment. My questions were not meant to give anyone here a hard time, but to find answers.

  • Adam

    Booklover, may I echo Todd’s comment. My questions were not meant to give anyone here a hard time, but to find answers.

  • Booklover

    tODD and Adam, I am stunned by your kindness and embarrassed by my wordiness, so will say thank you and sign off.

  • Booklover

    tODD and Adam, I am stunned by your kindness and embarrassed by my wordiness, so will say thank you and sign off.

  • Daniel Gorman

    Purple Koolaid@36, “Folks, all poor and others not-as-poor-as -you-would-think women get medicaid coverage for their births. It is very easy to get and you don’t even have to be “poor”. My family qualifies for medicaid and I do not think we are poor—we own a home, take vacations, have a 401k, have two cars etc. Almost 50% of births in this country are covered by medicaid (this is another reason births cost so much, but that is another discussion).
    Go to your state’s website and look up medicaid coverage under schip and you can see the income requirements.”

    No one claims that universal healthcare will reduce abortions for women under medicaid. Universal healthcare will reduce abortions for women who do not have medicaid and who do have pre-existing conditions (e.g., pregnancy) that make them totally uninsurable.

  • Daniel Gorman

    Purple Koolaid@36, “Folks, all poor and others not-as-poor-as -you-would-think women get medicaid coverage for their births. It is very easy to get and you don’t even have to be “poor”. My family qualifies for medicaid and I do not think we are poor—we own a home, take vacations, have a 401k, have two cars etc. Almost 50% of births in this country are covered by medicaid (this is another reason births cost so much, but that is another discussion).
    Go to your state’s website and look up medicaid coverage under schip and you can see the income requirements.”

    No one claims that universal healthcare will reduce abortions for women under medicaid. Universal healthcare will reduce abortions for women who do not have medicaid and who do have pre-existing conditions (e.g., pregnancy) that make them totally uninsurable.

  • Joy In Canada

    One cannot lump all countries with universal health care in one boat. For example, to say “countries with universal health care pay for all your drugs” is not accurate. It totally depends on the country. In Canada, they don’t just dole-out prescriptions for free. They may be much cheaper to begin with, but I have to pay for my prescriptions unless I have an employer benefits plan that helps to cover it.

    Apart from that, perusing these US healthcare-related postings baffles my mind. I understand that many may not agree with the way in which your government is trying to reform the system currently, but it seems that many commenters aren’t too hot on the idea of universal health coverage at all. How can Lutherans not be whole-hearted advocates of universal healthcare?

  • Joy In Canada

    One cannot lump all countries with universal health care in one boat. For example, to say “countries with universal health care pay for all your drugs” is not accurate. It totally depends on the country. In Canada, they don’t just dole-out prescriptions for free. They may be much cheaper to begin with, but I have to pay for my prescriptions unless I have an employer benefits plan that helps to cover it.

    Apart from that, perusing these US healthcare-related postings baffles my mind. I understand that many may not agree with the way in which your government is trying to reform the system currently, but it seems that many commenters aren’t too hot on the idea of universal health coverage at all. How can Lutherans not be whole-hearted advocates of universal healthcare?

  • Andy

    “How can Lutherans not be whole-hearted advocates of universal healthcare?”

    Joy in Canada, how, indeed? We’re a morally sick society.

  • Andy

    “How can Lutherans not be whole-hearted advocates of universal healthcare?”

    Joy in Canada, how, indeed? We’re a morally sick society.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Lisa March at 42
    Kool-aid @36,

    What State do you live in? In my state you can only get Schip if you are a child under 19. The income guidelines are rather stringent and Medicaid is even more so. Where do you get the 50% figure? Again, is it a bad thing that births are covered? Would it be better not to cover the pregnancy and births? Those questions sound rhetorical but I would appreciate your opinion.

    Here is a list of qualifications for children under 19 for medicaid: http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/tools-for-advocates/guides/screening-for-medicaid-schip.html Pregnant women qualify for medicaid (even if they are not really poor) bc they come under the “categorically needy” group. Here is a percent of state births statistic. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?typ=2&ind=223&cat=4&sub=57&sortc=1&o=a It is at 40% total, but going up every year.
    As to whether it is a bad thing to cover births. I think our maternity system is broken. We have a 30% cesarean rate nationally w/ ob’s covering majority of care. Why not have midwives for the 80% and more of births that are low-risk moms? Here is a hospital bill from 1950 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JUgBA8hrzpg/SAVdx-9-42I/AAAAAAAAAcs/wyk_Te-elhU/s1600-h/receipt.jpg with a 5 day stay too for $86.33 (afi is $776.40). I just had a vaginal birth w/ no epidural, no anesthesia, 24 hour stay, baby never went to the nicu and my insurance and I paid about $6,000. Patients today have no incentive to seek out a midwife for care—why not have a high risk specialist for everything? (just like you need a plumber to flush a toilet) And then some states’ MD unions ban midwives from attending births. So yes, it is a complicated problem, but Obamacare and state doesn’t address the COSTS of birth and healthcare.
    And by the way, an uninsured (by choice) friend just had a hospital birth and her bill was much lower than mine!

  • Purple Koolaid

    Lisa March at 42
    Kool-aid @36,

    What State do you live in? In my state you can only get Schip if you are a child under 19. The income guidelines are rather stringent and Medicaid is even more so. Where do you get the 50% figure? Again, is it a bad thing that births are covered? Would it be better not to cover the pregnancy and births? Those questions sound rhetorical but I would appreciate your opinion.

    Here is a list of qualifications for children under 19 for medicaid: http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/tools-for-advocates/guides/screening-for-medicaid-schip.html Pregnant women qualify for medicaid (even if they are not really poor) bc they come under the “categorically needy” group. Here is a percent of state births statistic. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?typ=2&ind=223&cat=4&sub=57&sortc=1&o=a It is at 40% total, but going up every year.
    As to whether it is a bad thing to cover births. I think our maternity system is broken. We have a 30% cesarean rate nationally w/ ob’s covering majority of care. Why not have midwives for the 80% and more of births that are low-risk moms? Here is a hospital bill from 1950 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JUgBA8hrzpg/SAVdx-9-42I/AAAAAAAAAcs/wyk_Te-elhU/s1600-h/receipt.jpg with a 5 day stay too for $86.33 (afi is $776.40). I just had a vaginal birth w/ no epidural, no anesthesia, 24 hour stay, baby never went to the nicu and my insurance and I paid about $6,000. Patients today have no incentive to seek out a midwife for care—why not have a high risk specialist for everything? (just like you need a plumber to flush a toilet) And then some states’ MD unions ban midwives from attending births. So yes, it is a complicated problem, but Obamacare and state doesn’t address the COSTS of birth and healthcare.
    And by the way, an uninsured (by choice) friend just had a hospital birth and her bill was much lower than mine!

  • Purple Koolaid

    Daniel 56-I wrote out a long response, but it is gone. –in Missouri you CAN get coverage even if you are pregnant (preexisting condition) through the state and it is called MC+.
    For families w/ children under 19, a family of 4 can make$5513 per month and still qualify (pay a small monthly fee). My family would do better to drop my husband’s care bc we make much less than that and pay more per month for our healthcare.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Daniel 56-I wrote out a long response, but it is gone. –in Missouri you CAN get coverage even if you are pregnant (preexisting condition) through the state and it is called MC+.
    For families w/ children under 19, a family of 4 can make$5513 per month and still qualify (pay a small monthly fee). My family would do better to drop my husband’s care bc we make much less than that and pay more per month for our healthcare.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Also, Guttmacher has over a dozen studies that show abortions go up when states cover them under medicaid.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Also, Guttmacher has over a dozen studies that show abortions go up when states cover them under medicaid.

  • Pat

    This argument ignores several critical things. First, universal health coverage will bankrupt the country. There will be rationing. Euthanasia will become widespread. At that point, nobody will be able to afford to pay for health care. Second, paying for universal health care involves plundering those who are responsible and work hard to provide for themselves and their families. It encourages irresponsible behavior, which is the problem behind abortion in the first place. You can’t do what is right by robbing the people. As a Lutheran, I do NOT support this kind of system. The medical system is broken. They are implementing costly and dangerous methods because they can get away with it. As mentioned, the Caesarian rate is over 30%. This is butchery of women. Third, whose job is it to provide for the needy anyway? God gave that mandate to the CHURCH, not the government. When government does it, who gets the praise? Government. When the church does it, GOD gets the praise, and it is rightfully HIS. Having the government plunder the people to provide coverage for dangerous medical methods is robbing God of what is rightfully His. You don’t get good out of evil. Does universal health care lower the rate of abortions? No, cultural influences and laws against abortion do. Correlation is not causation. We keep encouraging more and more irresponsibility, and universal health care plays right into this. The argument you presented is simply totally wrong. I am ashamed a fellow Lutheran would even propose such a thing. And don’t forget: Catholics in large numbers are voting for Democrats because they support government health care, even though those same Democrats fight against any protection for women and children, from abortionists. Significant? I think so!

  • Pat

    This argument ignores several critical things. First, universal health coverage will bankrupt the country. There will be rationing. Euthanasia will become widespread. At that point, nobody will be able to afford to pay for health care. Second, paying for universal health care involves plundering those who are responsible and work hard to provide for themselves and their families. It encourages irresponsible behavior, which is the problem behind abortion in the first place. You can’t do what is right by robbing the people. As a Lutheran, I do NOT support this kind of system. The medical system is broken. They are implementing costly and dangerous methods because they can get away with it. As mentioned, the Caesarian rate is over 30%. This is butchery of women. Third, whose job is it to provide for the needy anyway? God gave that mandate to the CHURCH, not the government. When government does it, who gets the praise? Government. When the church does it, GOD gets the praise, and it is rightfully HIS. Having the government plunder the people to provide coverage for dangerous medical methods is robbing God of what is rightfully His. You don’t get good out of evil. Does universal health care lower the rate of abortions? No, cultural influences and laws against abortion do. Correlation is not causation. We keep encouraging more and more irresponsibility, and universal health care plays right into this. The argument you presented is simply totally wrong. I am ashamed a fellow Lutheran would even propose such a thing. And don’t forget: Catholics in large numbers are voting for Democrats because they support government health care, even though those same Democrats fight against any protection for women and children, from abortionists. Significant? I think so!