by Maria Vitale Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 27, 2004
Harrisburg, PA (LifeNews.com) — A Pennsylvania study provides further evidence that there is no correlation between the number of abortions and the state of the economy.
That’s according to an analysis conducted by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the largest pro-life organization in the Commonwealth.
The analysis follows a report by Professor Glen Stassen and journalist Gary Krane, claiming that, under President George W. Bush, the trend of declining abortion rates has been reversed.
Stassen and Krane claim that average real incomes decreased during the Bush Administration, leading to an increase in abortions.
But the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation notes that there is no data to back up a correlation between the unemployment rate and the abortion rate in Pennsylvania.
For instance, in the first three years of the 21st century, fluctuations in the abortion rate did not correspond with changes in the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania.
In 2001, the jobless rate and abortion rate both increased, but in 2002, the unemployment rate increased and the number of abortions decreased. In addition, in 2003, the unemployment rate declined, but the abortion rate increased.
The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation points to data showing that the most significant drops in abortion are linked to pro-life laws such as parental notification and requirements that women be given information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.
For example, in 1985, there was a 9.7 percent drop in abortion, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision A.C.O.G. v. Thornburgh, which upheld Pennsylvania’s abortion regulations.
In 1992, the Supreme Court upheld most of the Pennsylvania law in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. After the law was enforced in March of 1994, abortions declined a whopping 13.1 percent that year, followed by another 6.2 percent decline in 1995, the first full year of its enforcement.
"Thus, it is ludicrous to suggest that abortions will decline during a Kerry presidency due to the dubious claim that the economy will fair better under his administration," said Mary Beliveau, the director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation’s political action committee.
"The dramatic declines in abortion once the Abortion Control Act became enforceable make it far more likely that abortions will be reduced by the passage of restrictive abortion laws. This, of course, will never happen under a Kerry presidency because Sen. Kerry has stated unequivocally that he will nominate only pro-abortion Supreme Court Justices," Beliveau added.
Beliveau points out that the small increase in Pennsylvania abortion numbers in 2001 and 2003 were due to the opening of new abortion centers in counties where abortion figures increased, such as in Bucks County in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
An analysis by National Right to Life yielded similar findings.
Dr. Randall O’Bannon and Laura Hussey demonstrated that Stassen and Krane used flawed data. For example, the researchers concluded that Wisconsin and South Dakota had increases in their abortion rates when the rates actually decreased in those states.
"When one shifts Wisconsin and South Dakota to the decrease column, and adds in Illinois after its dramatic 2003 drop in abortions, Stassen’s claim that abortions have increased in 11 out of 16 states now turns into a 8 to 8 tie, with as many states decreasing as increasing. Hardly anything definitive," O’Bannon and Hussey said.
Data from other states show abortions are decreasing during the Bush years — and at a substantial rate.
From 2001-2002, abortions are down 9.3 percent in Kansas, 4.5 percent in Pennsylvania, they fell 9.3 percent in Kentucky and 6 percent in South Carolina. From 2002-2003, abortions dropped a whopping 10% in Illinois.
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