Doug Kmiec Pushes False Claim Abortions Increased Under President Bush
by Steven Ertelt
May 29, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — During a debate on Thursday between pro-life Princeton University professor Robert George and pro-Obama apologist Douglas Kmiec, Kmiec continued the false notion that abortions increased during the tenure of pro-life President George W. Bush.
During the debate, held at the National Press Club, Kmiec went further than those who suggested abortions rose under Bush. He also claimed that abortions rose under the first President Bush.
However, as University of Alabama professor Michael New explains in a new op-ed on National Review Online, Kmiec’s contention is inaccurate.
"Data from both the Center for Disease Control and the Alan Guttmacher Institute indicate that abortions fell during the first Bush presidency," he explained. "And the most recent data from both sources indicates that abortions were falling during the administration of George W. Bush."
"Indeed, between 2000 and 2005, data from Guttmacher indicates that the number of abortions fell by 8.1 percent and data from the CDC indicates that abortions fell by 2.9 percent," New writes.
"Between 1988 and 1992, data from Guttmacher indicate that the number of abortions fell by 3.7 percent and data from the CDC indicates that the number of abortions fell by 0.9 percent," New said about the first President Bush.
New wrote at National Review that so-called pro-life Obama backers have adopted this tactic of claiming abortions rose under both presidents in order to make it appear their pro-life bona fides are not as strong.
However, he explains that presidents can be involved in abortion issues at the federal level but that their actions have relatively little effect on abortion figures.
"More importantly, this whole argument has struck me as a bit silly," he says.
"The incidence of abortion is influenced by economic and demographic trends which presidents cannot do much to influence in the short term. Furthermore, policies enacted at the state level, such as the enactment of pro-life laws, likely have a greater impact on abortion trends," New adds.
He concluded, "Still, this nuance is lost on pro-life Obama supporters. It came as no surprise that Doug Kmiec credited the economy for the 1990s abortion decline, but said nary a word about the substantial increase in the number of states enacting pro-life laws during this time."
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