One of the data massage tricks the abortion lobby does to convince people that legal abortion saves lives is to compare abortion deaths from the five-year period prior to Roe to the five-year period after Roe. "Look!" they proclaim, "See the dramatic effect Roe vs. Wade had on abortion deaths!"
Was Roe really that significant an event in terms of reducing abortion mortality? I have come up with an exercise to see. I have abortion mortality data from 1940 through 2003. I wanted to pick 20-year periods so that we can look at what the trends were, and see if there is a sign that a particular event changed abortion mortality trends. If the claims of the abortion lobby are true, it should be easy to spot Roe vs. Wade on an unlabeled chart of abortion mortality, because of the sudden, clear drop in maternal deaths.
I went to a random number generator and had it choose for me 3 random years between 1940 and 1973, and then for each of those year I made a chart showing the abortion mortality for the 20-year period. Which of the following charts shows the impact of the first states legalizing abortion? Which charts shows the impact of Roe vs. Wade? Can you spot those two significant changes in the legal status of abortion?
Each bar shows the total number of abortion deaths for that year. I took off the numbers from the left hand side so that you'd be looking at trends to see where there was something that changed the trend, without giving you a clue from the numbers.
As you look at each chart, ask yourself these questions:
*What years does this chart illustrate?
*Which milestones of abortion law, if any, took place during these years?
Try to spot exactly where you think these milestones took place. Then answer the question and see if you were right.
Which charts show periods where there were major changes in abortion law? (There may be more than one right answer.)