Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If Leftist prevention policies are so effective, why do red states have lower abortion rates?

How Red States Reduce the Abortion Rate: A Response to Andrew Koppelman:

In recent years the pro-life position has made impressive gains in the court of public opinion. Because of this, a number of political liberals have come to the realization that support for legal abortion is a losing issue politically. As such, many have attempted a clever switch in strategy. Instead of trying to defend abortion rights, they have attempted to seize the moral high ground by claiming that 1) pro-life efforts have been ineffective and that 2) their preferred policy goals offer the best hope for reducing abortion rates. ....


This argument occurs once again in a widely circulated essay entitled “How the Religious Right Promotes Abortion” by Northwestern University Law Professor Andrew Koppelman. Koppelman favorably cites Naomi Cahn and June Carbone’s book Red Families vs. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture. According to Koppelman, the hostility in red states to both contraception and comprehensive sex education leads to a greater incidence of abortion. Conversely, even though blue states are more tolerant of premarital sex, their support for comprehensive sex education and contraception actually lowers abortion rates. Koppelman spends much of the rest of the essay criticizing the religious right for their opposition to both sex education and government funding of contraception.

Unfortunately, Koppelman’s claims are based on rhetorical sleights of hand and a faulty analysis of data. What is unique about this essay is that all three of Koppelman’s arguments are incorrect. First, there is little evidence that more federal funding for contraceptives will reduce abortion rates. Second, there is some evidence that abstinence-only sex education is effective at reducing sexual activity among minors. Finally, red states actually have lower abortion rates, in part because they have placed more legal restrictions on abortion.

We've seen it again and again and again and again. Throwing contraceptives at women doesn't reduce abortion rates. Public funding of abortion doesn't reduce abortion rates. Planned Parenthood in an area doesn't reduce abortion rates. Anything that promotes having sex in untenable situations will raise abortion rates. Duh.



OperationCounterstrike said...

Because red states have fewer universities, fewer reckless teenagers.

Foxfier said...

Hm. The places with more reproductive sex, less killing of unwanted children, have fewer reckless teenagers? Finally, something we can agree on.