Monday, September 29, 2008

Would the Democratic Party Platform Reduce Abortions?

Evangelicals Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren, along with Catholics like Doug Kmeic, Chris Korzen and Alexis Kelley, have been making the argument that voting for Obama is all right for those who oppose abortion because the Democratic Party Platform would reduce the number of abortions and save lives. They argue that many abortions are economically motivated and so universal health care, a higher minimum wage and other such economic benefits to the poor would cause many women to choose to raise their child rather than aborting it.

Robert Stackpole of Redeemer Pacific College in B.C. has a stunningly simple but effective argument against this position. He points out that universal health care is surely the single biggest economic benefit to poor people that the Democratic Party is proposing and Canada already has had it for decades. So the abortion rate should be lower in Canada than in the US, right? Well, actually, as Stackpole points out, the abortion rate in Canada is actually higher than in the US. He says:

"The fact is that Canada’s abortion rate has been consistently higher than that of the United States. For example, in 2005 in Canada there were 28.3 induced abortions for every 100 live births (according to StasCan), while in the USA in 2004 there were 23.8 abortions for every 100 live births (according to CDC Abortion Surveillance). "

The whole article is well worth reading. Read it here:

Canada is very much like what Obama wants the US to become in many ways and yet our abortion rate in Canada is higher than the US. This should refute the argument that voting Democrat will reduce abortions. One wonders if the fact that the government pays for abortion encourages women to get abortions. That seems plausible. But Obama wants to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would do many things including forcing the government to pay for all abortions.

It looks like the Democratic Party is not serious about abortion reduction, but is merely using abortion as an excuse to pursue the economic policies it wants to pursue on other grounds. And the whole abortion reduction through economic policies argument just does not hold up. Why then is it still being tossed around? I think that some Evangelicals and Catholics who want to vote against the Republicans to punish them or who want to vote Democrat for other reasons, would desperately like to believe that Democratic policies would reduce abortion because that would be a much-needed relief for their consciences.

Well, if you think that Obama and the Democratic Party will reduce abortion, then I have a email from Nigeria that you might be interested in that says you can earn 10% of 8 million dollars by helping the widow of a high government official with a simple banking transaction. Obama, Nigerian emails and abortion reduction - you can take all that to the bank!


Michael DeFazio said...

I badly want to agree with you 100% and vote Republican as a way of drawing attention to this as the core issue, but what about the fact that voting Republican in the last two elections has failed to result in less abortions? Can we really be confident that McCain, who to my knowledge has not made abortion a key platform of his campaign (perhaps I'm wrong here), will achieve results in this area? I am behind the Repub party's stated general intention on this issue, but eight years in office hasn't proven much by way of action. Is this an issue of "yeah this is bad with the Repubs in office but it will be even worse with the Dems" - i.e. added abortions rather than merely the failure to reduce them?

Craig Carter said...

Just because abortion is still legal does not mean that further deterioration has not been prevented. How would the prospects of defeating Roe v. Wade look if two pro-abortion judges had been appointed instead of Roberts and Alito? And what if the Freedom of Choice Act had been signed by a pro-abortion president? This would require the government to pay for abortion and would sweep hundreds of laws of the books of the states that require parental notification for minors, informed consent, etc.?

If abortion is to be ended in the US, the Democrats are going to need to be moderated in their position. No one wants civil war. Small steps are necessary. But if Christians reward a party whose policy is killing the innocent, how can they expect it to change?