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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hidden Selection

Stein, R. (2008). Abortions hit lowest number since 1976. Washington Post. January 17, 2008. Available online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/16/AR2008011603624.html?hpid=topnews.

As someone who believes in the equal worth of every human person, this is good news:

The number of abortions performed in the United States dropped to 1.2 million in 2005 -- the lowest level since 1976, according to a new report.

The number of abortions fell at least in part because the proportion of women ending their pregnancies with an abortion dropped 9 percent between 2000 and 2005, hitting the lowest level since 1975, according to a nationwide survey.

Some data:

The total number of abortions among women ages 15 to 44 declined from 1.3 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2005, an 8 percent drop that continued a trend that began in 1990, when the number of abortions peaked at more than 1.6 million, the survey found. The last time the number of abortions was that low was 1976, when slightly fewer than 1.2 million abortions were performed.

The abortion rate fell from 21.3 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2000 to 19.4 in 2005, a 9 percent decline. That is the lowest since 1974, when the rate was 19.3, and far below the 1981 peak of 29.3.

The abortion rate varies widely around the country, tending to be higher in the Northeast and lower in the South and Midwest. The rate in the District dropped 20 percent but remained higher than that of any state at 54.2. Virginia's rate fell 9 percent, to 16.5, while Maryland's rate rose 8 percent, to 31.5.

The proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion also declined, falling from 24.5 percent in 2000 to 22.4 percent in 2005 -- a 9 percent drop and down from a high of 30.4 in 1983.

It'd be interesting to see the source of these numbers in more detail.

On first glance, it would appear that abortion is a highly effective informal genetic selection program against political liberals and those of low general intelligence.

Certainly the article implies that "blue states" have higher abortion rates than "red states," and I would guess the politically conservative (who tend to oppose abortion as a lifestyle choice) practice it less than the politically liberal (who tend to support it as a lifestyle choice). Likewise, as a commonly cited reason for abortion is necessity, I would imagine that abortions are more common among the poor than the rich. As wealth correlates with general intelligence, abortion is thus a eugenics program that increases societal general intelligence across generations.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gonzales v. Carhart alone justifies the Second GW Bush Administration

Thank God for Justice Alito.
Thank God for Justice Roberts.

The best-of highlights from the ruling, courtesy of Justice Ginsburg:

Today’s decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It blurs the line, firmly drawn in Casey,between previability and postviability abortions. And, for the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman’s health.


Ultimately, the Court admits that “moral concerns” are at work, concerns that could yield prohibitions on any abortion. See ante, at28 (“Congress could … conclude that the type of abortion proscribed by the Act requires specific regulation because it implicates additional ethical and moral concerns that justify a special prohibition.”). Notably, the concerns expressed are untethered to any ground genuinely serving the Government’s interest in preserving life. By allowing such concerns to carry the day and case, overriding fundamental rights, the Court dishonors our precedent. See, e.g., Casey, 505 U. S., at 850 (“Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”); Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558, 571 (2003) (Though “[f]or many persons [objections to homosexual conduct] are not trivial concerns but profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles,” the power of the State may not be used “to enforce these views on the whole society through operation of the criminal law.” (citing Casey, 505 U. S., at 850)).

Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from “[s]evere depression and loss of esteem.” Ante, at 29.7 Because of women’s fragile emotional state and because of the “bond of love the mother has for her child,” the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. Ante, at 28–29.8 The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Cf. Casey, 505 U. S., at 873 (plurality opinion) (“States are free to enact laws to provide a reasonable framework for a woman to make a decision that has such profound and lasting meaning.”). Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.9


Today, the Court blurs that line, maintaining that “[t]he Act [legitimately] appl[ies] both previability and postviability because … a fetus is a living organism while within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb.” Ante, at 17. Instead of drawing the line at viability, the Court refers to Congress’ purpose to differentiate “abortion and infanticide” based not on whether a fetus can survive outside the womb, but on where a fetus is anatomically located when a particular medical procedure is performed. See ante, at 28 (quoting Congressional Findings (14)(G), in notes following 18 U. S. C. §1531 (2000 ed., Supp. IV), p. 769).

One wonders how long a line that saves no fetus from destruction will hold in face of the Court’s “moral concerns.” See supra, at 15; cf. ante, at16 (noting that “[i]n this litigation” the Attorney General “does not dispute that the Act would impose an undue burden if it covered standard D&E”). The Court’s hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed. Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label “abortion doctor.” Ante, at 14, 24, 25, 31, 33. A fetus is described as an “unborn child,” and as a “baby,” ante, at 3, 8; second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as “late-term,” ante, at 26; and the reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as “preferences”motivated by “mere convenience,” ante, at 3, 37. Instead of the heightened scrutiny we have previously applied, the Court determines that a “rational” ground is enough to uphold the Act, ante, at28, 37. And, most troubling, Casey’s principles, confirming the continuing vitality of “the essential holding of Roe,” are merely “assume[d]” for the moment, ante, at15, 31, rather than “retained” or “reaffirmed,” Casey, 505 U. S., at 846.

Thank God for the Re-Election of President George Walker Bush.

PS: Remember my mock report of the imposition of Curia on the Untied States? Well, the Kos Kids aren't joking.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Daniel Ortega: Vote Yes For Life

"Nicaragua Passes Total Ban on Abortion," by Marc Lacy, New York Times, 26 October 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/27/world/americas/27nicaragua.html.

My image of the former Nicaraguan strongman will be ever reflected by a quip from Mark of ZenPundit

Recalling Jumblatt's activities twenty years ago, this is kind of like finding out that Daniel Ortega had emigrated to the States and was last seen as a Republican poll watcher in Dade county.

Rapidly, fact is catching up to fiction:

Nicaragua’s legislature on Thursday banned all abortions, eliminating exceptions for rape and when the life of the mother is threatened.


The measure was supported by Daniel Ortega, the front-runner in the presidential race. He favored the right to an abortion during his presidency in the 1980’s but has since embraced the Roman Catholic Church and has spoken out strongly against abortion.

This reflects the unlikely entry of a former Communist leader into South Dakota's Vote Yes For Life campaign, which is the talk of South Dakotan blogs such as Dakota War College, I Hate Linux, Sibby Online, and South Dakota Politics..

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Pro-Life State

"Republicans opposed to abortion ban lose in S.D.," by Judy Keen, USA Today, 8 June 2006, http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20060608/pl_usatoday/republicansopposedtoabortionbanloseinsd (from Mainstream Coalition's leader: Vote proves need," by David Kranz, Argus Leader, 13 June 2006, http://argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060613/COLUMNISTS0102/606130320/1131.

Imagine a legislative caucus whose ever member up for reelection lost. That's the South Dakota Mainstream Coalition, a bi-partisan group of legislatures whose main issue in the last legislative session was a defense of abortion. Their spin, as reported by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader political correspond (and close friend of Tom Daschle) David Kranz:

Frequent discussion since four Republican state Senators lost bids for re-election last week centers around its impact on the Mainstream Coalition.


The defeats opened the door for ridicule from anti-abortion critics saying the organization got its just dessert.

This isn't the setback that some gloaters think, says state Sen. Ed Olson, a Mitchell Republican and executive director of the Mainstream Coalition.

Senator Ed Olson (R-Mitchell)

"What does it say about the future? It points to why we needed to start Mainstream," Olson said. "Look at the turnout. You had some districts with 11 and 12 percent. I think it is unbelievable, the voter apathy."

The poorly attended primary was not an indicator of strength or weakness of the group, he said.

"It's onward and upward," Olson said. "I know there was a tremendous amount of work done by those who staunchly oppose us, but the premise was we wanted to be a group people were comfortable with, Republican, Democrats, pro or anti-abortion, whatever. I look at that turnout and say now more than ever, something has to change."

While Senator Olson characterizes the SDMC's cataclysmic defeat as "onward and upward," the national Gannet news organization has a different perspective:

"There's certainly no good news in the outcome for pro-choice advocates," Bob Burns, a political science professor at South Dakota State University, said Wednesday.

The defeat Tuesday of half of the eight Senate Republicans who opposed the nation's most restrictive abortion law might mean trouble for a planned referendum in November to rescind the ban, Burns says. The other four had no primary challengers.

The results "mean that the state of South Dakota is very pro-life," says state Sen. Bill Napoli, who voted for the ban and won his primary.

I previously reported on the Pro-Life Sweep in South Dakota's primary election. I did my part, and voted for the successful reelection effort of Senator Gene Abdallah (R-Sioux Falls).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Abortion Foes Victorious in SD Primaries

"Several Opponents of Abortion Bill Lose," by Joe Kafka, Associated Press, 7 June 2006, http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/14756121.htm (from South Dakota Politics).

More good news from the Pro-Life State, following the Democratic Party's firing of their pro-abortion Clean Cut Kid and the Oglala Sioux suspension of their pro-abortion President


Pro-Abortion Senators Defeated in the '06 Pimary: Adelstein (R-Rapid City), Duniphan (R-Rapid City), Kooistra (R-Garretson), Moore (D-Yankton), Sutton (R-Aberdeen)

Pro-Life Senators Victorious in the '06 Primary: Abdallah (R-Sioux Falls), Bartling (D-Burke), Greenfield (R-Clark), Klaudt (R-Walker), Napoli (R-Rapid City)


Monday, June 05, 2006

South Dakota Democratic Party Fires Pro-Abortion Blogger

"Abortion Feud Strikes Dems," by Kevin Woster, The Rapid City Journal, 5 June 2006, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2006/06/04/news/top/news01.txt (from South Dakota Politics).

Just a day after I noted that the Oglala Sioux Nation suspended her President for pushing pro-abortion views at the expense of the Tribe, the South Dakota Democratic Party has fired two contractors (including one prominent blogger) for similar reasons

Pro-Life State

The Democratic leader in the South Dakota Senate says a Sioux Falls consultant under contract with the party is advancing a pro-choice philosophy on abortion at the expense of Democratic candidates for the state Legislature who oppose abortion.

Sen. Garry Moore of Yankton said consultant Steve Hildebrand, a former executive director for the state Democratic Party and past campaign manager for Tom Daschle, is working to defeat Democratic legislators who voted for HB1215, the controversial near-total ban on abortion approved by the Legislature this year.

Moore said Hildebrand has made it clear that electing pro-choice candidates is more important than electing Democratic candidates. Hildebrand and his employee Chad Schuldt have also issued critical and — in Shuldt’s case — profane statements about Democrats who supported HB1215.

During the past legislative session, Schuldt referred to some Democrats who voted for HB1215 as “(expletive) idiots” and “sickos” on an Internet political blog he maintains. Schuldt also called Moore “a joke” as a legislative leader and encouraged his defeat, along with others who voted for the abortion bill.

Chad Shultd of Clean Cut Kid, whose front page at present discusses George Bush's desire for a draft and establishing the fact that Northern State University political science professor Jon Schaff [of South Dakota Politics is an idiot, has been mentioned on tdaxp before.

For more excerpts from the article, read on:

Read more ...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wrong on Immigration. Wrong on Abortion.

"Immigration: Four Things The Home Countries Could Do," by Don Reid, Business Week, 15 May 2006, pg 20, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_20/c3984029.htm.

A letter to the editor of Business Week that is shockingly wrong. I normally don't comment on letters to editors, but this is so wrong in both its ends and means it deserves special attention, in the sense that a train wreck does:

"The best immigration reform" (Outside Shot, Apr. 24) repeats a frequent refrain that the countries of immigrants should institute policies that reduce the need for citizens to go elsewhere to find jobs. If it were easy, they probably would.


One thing that could be done today that would show results within 5 to 10 years would be to have the native countries of immigrants reduce their rates of population growth.


Population growth is something that individual countries can manage. The U.S. should not bear the consequences because they refuse.

Wrong on ends. Immigration helps the United States. It doesn't only encourage small government. It promotes economic growth, by matching willing workers with eager employers. What little harm immigration causes is easily offset by immigration's economic gains. Calling on emigrant countries to stem the flow of immigration is like calling on Japan to stem the tide of stylish, affordable automobiles. It's poorly designed protection for a very small number of Americans, at the expense of everyone, when the real issue is a request for a welfare subsidy.

Wrong on means. The letter doesn't explicitly use the term, but 'population control' tends to be a codeword for "abortion." It's schemes like this (killing off surgically reducing the future generations of nations we don't want to deal with) that gives the West a very bad name. And the leadership of traditional communities stupid enough to embrace this sort of plan often find themselves politically terminated.

Support immigration. Support life. Support People. Oppose government control schemes.

Oglala Sioux Indian Tribe Bans Abortion, Suspends Pro-Abortion President

"Tribal Council Outlaws Abortion," by Nestor Ramos, Argus Leader, 31 May 2006, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060531/NEWS/605310319/1001 (from Sibby Online).

Some may remember that slightly after South Dakota passed her ban on abortions, the world media jumped in to trash the Coyote and Pheasant State.


Even a prominent South Dakotan, Oglala Sioux President Cecilia Fire Thunder, announced that her reservation would soon offer abortions free from state laws.


But her people protested. They would have none of it:

The Oglala Sioux tribal council banned all abortions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and suspended President Cecelia Fire Thunder on Tuesday, charging that she solicited donations on behalf of the tribe for a proposed abortion clinic without the council's approval.

"It was unauthorized political activity," said Will Peters, a tribal council representative from the Pine Ridge district. "It's just a matter of failing to communicate not only with the governing body but with the people that she was elected to serve."

This must be the greatest humiliation for a South Dakota liberal since George McGovern. Or Tom Daschle. Or at least Jim Abourezk.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fisking Der Spiegel on South Dakota

"The Front Lines of the Religious War in God's Own Country," by Frank Hornig, translated by Christopher Sultan, Spiegel Online, 13 March 2006, http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,405690,00.html (from RadioActive Chief, also at Albert Mohler, Forest Nymph, Lost in Media, Titus One Nine).

A stray link over at JRR alerted a German article on the .

The wrongness of the article extends from geography, to politics, to everything in between.

Begin rant:

Read more ...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blueprint for a Conservative Court: Infants Worth Saving

"The oh-so-Catholic Supreme Court," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 1 November 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002607.html.

Tom Barnett isn't just an important grand strategist: he is also a canny observer of American politics. If one corrects for Dr. Barnett's political persuasion, one gets a reliable guide of what to do.

For example: I was uncommitted on Harriet Miers until supported her. Why? Dr. Barnett accurately predicted that if Harriet Miers was withdrawn, the next candidate would be "a truly right-wing justice." Sure enough, we got that candidate in .

Now, Dr. Barnett confirms my membership in the Confirm Alito Coalition...

Bush went conservative all right, and now we've really got our threat to Roe v. Wade. The American Catholic church has let itself become defined by this issue, which accounts for the increasingly conservative caste of both the clergy and faithful.

Now, with Alito likely to join Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and moderate Kennedy on the bench, we're looking at a majority Catholic Supreme Court. It wasn't that long ago (my early years) that there was a single, dedicated "Catholic seat" on the Court.

He also correctly lays the credit for the Catholic (and Evangelical) rise to the people who made it all possible: abortionists.

Now, thanks to the divisive issue of abortion, the Catholics are running the Court more and more.

He's obviously worried:

Really amazing when you think of it. When I was born, the great religious controversy was having the first (and to date, only) Catholic president, John Kennedy. Oh the concerns that the White House would be captured by the Vatican!

Well, the Vatican is coming awfully close to capturing the Supreme Court.

And as a moderate Catholic, I confess I am made nervous by this development.

Translation: as an abortionist, Alito makes him nervous. Good!

But then: Dr. Barnett jumps the shark.

Reversing Roe v. Wade is a chimera, a dream. With global connectivity, abortion can and will be outsourced to nations (like India, with its burgeoning medical tourism) on a low-cost basis. Our only alternative will be ultrasounds at airports to stop pregnant women from traveling abroad, which, quite frankly, will come off like some queer sci-fi future dystopia story or--worse--like some scene from a freaky socialist regime like old Nicolae Ceaucescu's Romania (that's how all those orphanages got filled up, my friends, not a pretty sight).

Foolish, foolish, foolish

Barnett's words are just a globalized version of the "backstreet abortion" criticism: if you criminalize something, it will still happen.

Law do not end behavior. Law cannot create a perfect world. There will always be murders, infanticides, robberies, thefts, etc. But the important part is law can be a tool in reducing crime. We can never end crime, but we can manage crime. We can't save all infants. But we can save many.

I would have expected a similar insight from Dr. Barnett, not an implicit comparison of the GOP to the Romanian Communist Party.


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