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« Quotational Therapy: Part 121 -- Mark Sanford. | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 122 -- Max Baucus. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 402 -- Public Funding For Abortions.

Closing In On Fifty Million Abortions Since 1973-

On this, the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let's look at some numbers on abortion in America.

From the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute:

Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-four percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.

In 2002, 1.29 million abortions took place, down from 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2002, more than 42 million legal abortions occurred.

Each year, two out of every 100 women aged 15–44 have an abortion; 48% of them have had at least one previous abortion.

If we estimate that 1.25 million abortions were performed in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, there have been roughly 47 million legal abortions since the Roe decision. Nearly 50 million legal abortions since 1973 means tens of millions of missing people.

Factoring in that nearly half of women choosing abortions are repeat customers (.pdf)...


... it is difficult to estimate precisely how many missing people there are in a pro-Roe United States, but it is staggering to ponder.

And these, remember, are the pro-choice numbers.

The Guttmacher Institute also estimates that roughly 1 out of every 7 or 8 abortions is funded not by the person seeking the abortion, but with public funds:

About 13% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds.

If 13% is accurate, that would mean 167,700 abortions in America in 2002 were paid for with public funds. It's difficult to determine whether that number includes health insurance coverage (for public employees, specifically) of abortions, but it seems like that figure might only include abortions paid for with Medicaid funds. Another Guttmacher Institute article claims that 74% of women pay for their own abortions, and even some of them are later reimbursed. In other words, public funding of abortion might actually be quite a bit higher than thirteen percent.

Moreover, while correlation does not necessarily mean causation, this data, also from the Guttmacher Institute, is quite astounding:

Between 1994 and 2000, the abortion rate among Medicaid recipients increased, whereas the rate among women who were not receiving Medicaid declined.

While the rest of America was increasingly choosing life throughout the 1990s, Medicaid recipients increasingly chose abortion.

One wonders what knowledge of nearly 50 million abortions since Roe v. Wade would do to the ubiquitous poll numbers on the abortion issue.

What about knowledge of public funding trends for abortion?

Or knowledge of drastically divergent abortion tendencies between and among races (Black women are almost four times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.5 times as likely)?

Or the spread of 4D ultrasound technology:


Clearly, something has brought down the abortion rate moderately, after the initial post-Roe spike. What was it?

Maybe the self-fulfilling Roe Effect? Maybe Rudy Giuliani?

Whatever the reason, you might want to grab some popcorn and watch NOW-approved Nancy Pelosi attempt to navigate the treacherous waters of abortion politics, especially now that left-wing feminist groups have made it a priority to repeal the 1977 Hyde Amendment (the primary federal measure preventing far more taxpayer funding of abortion). My personal sense is that the pro-life movement has been hibernating for the past few years, lulled into complacency by a pro-life President and ostensibly pro-life Congress. If Democrats choose to actively promote abortion, including increasing taxpayer funds for abortion, it could mean political fireworks-- advantage GOP.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: When Tripling Funding Equals A Cut.

Posted by Will Franklin · 22 January 2007 07:50 PM


Aren't they cute?...How sweet is that?

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 22, 2007 09:34 PM

They're just clumps of cells, ZZ.

They can be terminated at the woman's discretion.


Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 22, 2007 11:46 PM

Aren't those the cutest little fetuses you have ever seen?

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 23, 2007 06:26 AM

I wonder at the Guttmacher statement that nearly half or pregnancies are unintended. How unintended were they? Doesn't that hinge greatly on what you count as unintended?

Point of comparison: In Puritan Middlesex County Massachusetts, 1660-1669, there were no deliveries of children within the first nine months of marriage (or outside of marriage). Zero. For a decade. No "unintended" pregnancies. That's not proof that there was zero premarital sex, but it's good evidence that there was very little.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at January 23, 2007 06:26 PM

They are kind of globbed together,,,

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 24, 2007 07:53 AM