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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 211 -- Abortion Statistics.

Parental Notification Fails In California-

Arnold Schwarzenegger's reform agenda, on which he ran in 2003, lost bigtime last night in California. Republicans stayed home, as Arnold distanced himself from President Bush and failed to capture the imagination of conservatives (who do indeed exist in California).

Governor Schwarzenegger also was overwhelmed by every major special interest group in the entire state banding together to defeat... everything.

And playing to the "moderates" didn't work, because, really, there are none.

Redistricting reform: failed.
Teacher tenure reform: failed.
Public union dues reform: failed.
Spending reform: failed.

Another proposition that failed, somewhat surprisingly, was the parental notification measure. Proposition 73, which would have required minors to notify their parents before receiving an abortion, failed 52.6% to 47.4%.

So here are some facts on abortions in America:

There were 1.29 million abortions in the U.S. in 2002, the most recent year for which figures are available. Since abortion became legal in 1973, more than 42 million abortions have occurred in the U.S.

* Women under the age of 25 have 52 percent of abortions; teenagers have 19 percent.

* Black women are more than 3 times and Latino women are 2 1/2 times as likely as white women to have abortions.

* Two-thirds of all abortions are had by women who have never been married, and more than 60 percent are had by women who have one or more children.

* 43 percent of women having abortions are Protestant; 27 percent are Catholic.

* Each year, approximately 13,000 women have abortions after being the victims of rape or incest.

Interesting. Rape and incest abortions account for roughly 1% of American abortions each year, yet they often take center stage in the abortion debate. People dwell on the minor and peripheral exceptions, because they tug at the heartstrings more than the facts.

Also interesting is the "abortion gap" between conservative and liberal states:


In general, states with the highest abortion rates happen to be states that vote for Democrats. States with lower abortion rates tend to be Republican states. I singled out a few of each, just to illustrate that point.

Part of the difference is demographics and ideology. People practice what they preach. Conservative Republicans have less abortions than liberal Democrats.

But another part of the difference lies in the abortion laws. Parental notification laws are one way to reduce the numbers of abortions in a state without banning abortion entirely. California rejected parental notification yesterday, which will likely translate into a continuation of an abortion rate much higher than the national average.

Guttmacher Institute.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Fundraising.

Posted by Will Franklin · 9 November 2005 12:37 PM


Let's be honest -- part of the reason is that abortion is already de facto illegal in many red states because of lack of providers.

Posted by: Sean at November 9, 2005 01:01 PM

Any possible ties ethnicity in the blue state populations? It would seem to me with the exception of Texas, the Blue state have a higher general population as well as a higher non-anglo population which you have already pointed to as having higher occuracnes of abortions.

I say this because it may have more to do with population placement than ideology.

Posted by: Rob B. at November 9, 2005 04:02 PM

I don't have the stats handy, but even controlling for race, blue state white chicks have more abortions than red state white chicks...

Blue state black chicks have more abortions than red state black chicks.

And there are also a bunch of red states with high proportions of African-Americans, and they still have lower abortion rates than the national average.

And to Sean:

Missouri has 6 abortion providers, and only a little more than a quarter of women had to drive over 50 miles to get to one.

In Texas, there were 65 abortion providers. 32% had to drive 50 miles to get an abortion.

In Arizona, there were 21 abortion providers. 19% had to drive 50 miles to get an abotion.

In Colorado, there were 40 abortion providers. 19% had to drive 50 miles to get an abortion.

Posted by: Will Franklin at November 9, 2005 04:25 PM

Hey. I don't know if Republicans stayed home, or if the status quo went out and voted. I tend to think that everyone is pretty complacent about their circumstances right now. In 2003, we had the revolution against Gray Davis, and that was the time to introduce "a year of reform." We had just come out of the recession and state revenues were falling. The car tax was unpopular. There was a mishandled energy crisis. Compare that today, after the economy has been growing for 3 years, tax revenues are up, the car tax is gone, and folks are accepting higher energy costs.

The drive and consensus for reform are gone. Now folks just want to watch Desperate Housewives on their HDTV, and for the government to just leave them alone!

Posted by: muckdog at November 9, 2005 05:31 PM

Nice to her muckdog's comments. I would like to agree.

Interesting information, Will. I have a hard time with the 13,000 women, rape, incest figure. It seems high to me. I just don't see that many pregnancies from rape and incest. It does not seem likely to me. I wonder where and how they get those statistics.

Posted by: Jim Hoft at November 9, 2005 10:47 PM