Study: Women in pro-life states get fewer abortions

September 23, 2015 in Current Events, News by RBN Staff

LIFESITE | Fr. Mark Hodges 

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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A new study by the Guttmacher Institute finds that women in pro-life states abort their children less than those in states that have the fewest abortion restrictions.

The statistics, gathered by the Planned Parenthood-founded Guttmacher Institute, come from 2010. Guttmacher determined which states are pro-life and which are pro-abortion by data from the Pew Research Center’s 2007 Religious Landscape Survey.

The most pro-life states included, in descending order, Mississippi, Utah, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Alabama.  The most pro-abortion states include Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

Guttmacher compared its own data on “unintended” pregnancies to with abortion rates. The data shows that the percentage of unintended pregnancies is the same in both groups of states. Among the 10 states that favor giving life the most, 51 percent of pregnancies are “unintended,” whereas among the 10 states that most favor abortion, it’s 50 percent.

In New York, 54 percent of unintended pregnancies were aborted. In South Dakota, it was eleven percent. Utah is the second-most pro-life state in the Union and has the fewest unintended pregnancies.

Not surprisingly, the abortion-advocating Guttmacher Institute reported that the 51 percent compared to 50 showed that pro-life states have higher rates of unintended pregnancies, and pro-abortion states have fewer unintended pregnancies. But Guttmacher’s own facts show that the percentages of unintended pregnancies are identical, with the one-percent statistical difference well within the margin of error and not significant at all.

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The Washington Post noted that the Guttmacher numbers were to be expected, because “more abortion-rights opponents tends to mean fewer abortions.” They cited less access to abortion and greater “regulatory hurdles, such as having an ultrasound before the procedure.”

Fewer clinics is a growing reality in pro-life states. However, the Post failed to note that in many cases today, an ultrasound is required, for the abortionist to properly estimate gestational age, and doesn’t change or limit access to abortion. Other restrictions enacted in pro-life states do limit access, however.

Following Guttmacher’s lead, the Post created two charts that used red versus blue to illustrate pro-life versus pro-abortion states. Then, to support Guttmacher’s dubious conclusion that more pro-lifers have unintended pregnancies, the Post switched to shades of green for its unintended pregnancies chart and concluded, “Notice how different the map below … is from the two above. Suddenly, there is no clear red-blue delineation,” even though the Post simply changed colors in its chart.

It is true that four pro-life Southern states rank in the top ten for most unintended pregnancies. Mississippi is ranked number one for abortion opposition but is also ranked number one for unintended pregnancies.

After accounting for miscarriages, in about two thirds (14,000) of Mississippi’s unintended pregnancies, the babies conceived were given life. In Massachusetts, a staunchly pro-abortion state, only 43 percent (11,000) of unintended pregnancies resulted in life.

The statistics for Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming were not included, because reliable polling data is harder to come by.