Just a couple of quick observations:

Abortion continues to be a hot-button issue in politics, but I’ve been wondering, “How’s the battle going?” I mean statistically. One would expect there to be a dramatic drop in abortions during a conservative Republican administration and a commensurate rise during a Democratic one. Actually, recent numbers show us the opposite is true. Ironic, isn’t it? Mr. Bush’s stand on the issue helped him become the darling of the Religious Right, but looking at the figures, we see that after a decade of dramatic decline, abortion rates flat-lined during 2001-2005 (the latest years for which information is available). Ironically, during the Clinton years (1993-2001) abortions continued to decline sharply. (And Clinton was scorned by the Religious Right during his entire presidency because of his pro-choice stand.) The reason for the difference? Most people know that high abortion rates are tied to poverty. Clinton funded programs directed at poverty and teenage pregnancy. Bush cut them.

It seems to me if you hire a contractor to do a job and they consistently fail to produce, they should be fired. But apparently for the Right, rhetoric is more important than results.

Incidentally, this is not part of a conspiracy on my part to smear the GOP. In reality, it is not a Republican v. Democratic issue. There is no law that says Republicans have to cut programs aimed at poverty.

*****

Many Christians look at the German church during the 1930s and shake their heads: How could so many people who claimed to worship God just stand by and allow the National Socialists to gain so much power?

Now look and see the evil around you. What are you doing about it?

I end with a quote attributed to Edmund Burke (although who really said it is a case for Hercule Poirot). “The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts … the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

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  1. Hot button issue? Abortion is not a “hot button issue” – it is murder plain and simple. First of all, to attribute the increase in abortion rates during Bush’s administration to the “cuts” is dishonest at best. Where are your facts? Answer: you don’t have any because the idea that the abortion rate decreased under Clinton and increased under Bush is a myth.check this site for the truth…http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/11/abortion-rates-under-clinton-and-bush.html“In September of 2000, in the waning months of the Clinton Administration, the Food and Drug Administration fulfilled the mandate of that president and approved the sale of RU486, the French abortion pill. It took some months to begin full-scale distribution, but it had reached the market by the time George W. Bush took the oath of office and was being heavily promoted by the media and the abortion industry.According to the CDC, there were 20,093 “medical” (chemical abortions) for 2001 in the states it tracked, representing about 2.9% of the total abortions from those states. If usage figures given by the U.S. distributor of the drug are correct, that number is expected to explode in subsequent years leading to an overall increase in the number of abortions. That tide could turn, however, as more women hear of deaths and other problems with the abortion pill.Three deaths have already been associated with the use of RU486 in the United States, and five others are known about from other countries.No matter how she spins the numbers, the legacy of Sen. Clinton’s husband is not a world in which abortion is increasingly rare, but one in which it is increasingly dangerous. Are those the footsteps in which she plans to follow?”More facts:Stats vs. StoriesWith the release of the CDC’s 2001 Abortion Surveillance report, there is finally some hard data, and it shows a decrease in the number of abortions under President Bush. According to the CDC, there were 3,990 fewer abortions in the United States in 2001 than in 2000.What about the abortion rate, the number of abortions for every 1,000 women of reproductive age (15-44)? It stayed at 16. The abortion ratio, which the CDC identifies as the number of abortions per 1,000 live births, rose slightly, from 246 in 2000 to 247 in 2001, but that represents a lower figure than any other year since 1974.4Given that figures for California, Alaska, and New Hampshire are missing from the data set, actual abortion rates and totals for the country in 2001 are thought to be higher.5 However, the trends are considered reliable, because those same states were missing from both the 2000 and 2001 totals as well.The CDC has no figures on maternal deaths for 2001, but does report that there were 11 deaths due to legal induced abortion in 2000.

  2. The official CDC reports for 2002-2005 are in and show that after years of dramatic decline, the abortion rate for all women stalled at 15 per 1,000 through 2005. PS- I did not claim that the figures rose under Bush, but that they “flatlined.” Hope this helps.

  3. If anyone is interested, read Prof. Stassen's articles under the heading Abortions Rise: http://documents.fuller.edu/sot/faculty/stassen/cp_content/homepage/homepage.htmStassen, a prof. at Fuller Theo. Seminary, is a respected ethicist and statistician.

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