Tuesday, 23 September 2008

State Action For Social Justice Reduces Abortion

Good old Right Democrat, with my emphasis added:

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good recently published its own study concerning supporting pregnant women and how those types of programs affect the abortion rate. In their study, CACG found that states with more generous grants for women, infants and children had a 37% lower abortion rate.

The findings support arguments in favor of the Pregnant Women Support Act (introduced by Senator Bob Casey D-PA and Congressman Lincoln Davis D-TN) promoted by Democrats for Life. http://www.democratsforlife.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48

Here is the Executive Summary from the study:

Family, social and economic supports reduce abortions

Recent research finds that the abortion rate among women living below the poverty level is more than four times that of women above 300% of the poverty level. This study of all U.S. states from 1982-2000 finds that social and economic supports such as benefits for pregnant women and mothers and economic assistance to low-income families have contributed significantly to reducing the number of abortions in the United States over the past twenty years.

Elected officials can use socioeconomic public policy to reduce abortions

The findings in this study suggest that elected officials can utilize effective and appropriate socioeconomic public policies to reduce abortions. These include: increasing benefits for pregnant women and mothers with children under five; promoting policies that increase male employment; providing funding for child care for working women; increasing economic assistance to low-income families and removing the “family cap” on economic assistance. Legislation aimed at these goals can effectively reduce abortion in America.

Socioeconomic factors reduce the abortion rate

Analysis of nationwide data suggests that the economic status of pregnant women factors prominently into their abortion decision. Public policies that provide assistance and support to low-income families are rarely framed as ways to reduce the incidence of abortion. However, the findings from this study suggest that a two standard deviation difference among states in the reported level of economic assistance to low income families is correlated with a 20% lower abortion rate. Across the entire United States, this translates into 200,000 fewer abortions. The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 allowed states to impose a cap on the number of children eligible to receive economic assistance in low-income families. Removing this family cap would decrease abortions by about 15% or 150,000 nationwide. The findings also suggest that, in the 1990s, states with more generous grants to women, infants and children under the age of five as provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program had a 37% lower abortion rate.

Finally, higher male employment in the 1990s was associated with a 29% lower abortion rate.

Economic support for working families and pregnant women does not increase fertility.

Our analysis indicates that public policies that increase economic support for families and pregnant women do not increase the fertility rate. This suggests that pro-family policies reduce abortions, but do not increase the pregnancy rate. There is little evidence, therefore, to suggest that these policies provide a reward incentive for additional children. More generous economic benefits that support families, while reducing abortions, have no effect on the fertility rate. However, the family cap on government assistance, which was intended to reduce “welfare dependency,” increases both abortion and fertility rates. Rather than reducing pregnancy rates, the family cap may have had the opposite effect.


For too long, many pro-lifers have backed candidates for public office that end up cutting funds for social service and health care programs serving low income mothers and children. A more consistent and effective pro-life strategy would be to fight for a better social safety net to reduce the demand for abortion.

And yes, I am a strong opponent of the use of State or other power to abort, contracept and sterilise the working classes out of existence, whether the traditional black and white, English-speaking and Christian, patriotically American working classes in the United States, or the traditional black and white, English-speaking and Christian, British and Commonwealth patriotic working classes in the United Kingdom.

But the advocates of these things cannot even get it right in their own terms: the people whom they target have more children, not fewer, anyway. Which would be fine by me, if those children's and their parents' quality of life had not been systematically destroyed in what has in any case turned out to be a failed attempt to prevent them from being born in the first place, and so to justify replacing them with people who understand no English except commands, who know nothing about workers' rights in the country in question, who can be deported if they step out of line, and who (since they have no affinity with any particular part of that country) can be moved around at will.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to understand what's happening on the political front when it comes to abortion, check out the new documentary, Unplanned Democracy: America's First Vote on Abortion.


    The film, done by a South Dakota journalist, does not take sides on the issue. Instead, it delves into the most active front in work to overturn Roe v. Wade and how others are working to stop that effort.