Jobs & Health Insurance Key to Preventing Abortion


Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, I think we will agree that nobody wants to be in the situation where an abortion is performed.  I’ve always maintained that, like Clinton said, abortion should be rare but safe and legal.  Also, I’ve always maintained that if abortion is better controlled if we understand the causes of unwanted pregnancies first and foremost.  A new report by Joseph Wright from Catholics United makes the case that Jobs and Health Insurance for families may be the key to reducing abortion.

Why else would abortion rates go up under anti-abortion President Bush after decades of decline?  It’s not the  anti-abortion policy, programs, and propaganda that limit abortion. It’s more tied to socio-economic factors.  As stated in a report by Dr. Glen Harold Stassen:

Abortion was decreasing. When President Bush took office, the nation’s abortion rates were at a 24-year low, after a 17.4% decline during the 1990s. This was an average decrease of 1.7% per year, mostly during the latter part of the decade. (This data comes from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life using the Guttmacher Institute’s studies).

Enter George W. Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its consistent course downward, if not plunge. Instead, the opposite happened.


Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

First, two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three years, unemployment rates increased half again. Not since Hoover had there been a net loss of jobs during a presidency until the current administration. Average real incomes decreased, and for seven years the minimum wage has not been raised to match inflation. With less income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Second, half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless usually do not marry. Only three of the 16 states had more marriages in 2002 than in 2001, and in those states abortion rates decreased. In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the year before, and 7,869 more abortions. As male unemployment increases, marriages fall and abortion rises.

Third, women worry about health care for themselves and their children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now than before this presidency – with women of childbearing age overrepresented in those 5.2 million – abortion increases.

This article was relevant for the 2004 election, and the new report from Catholics United also uses 2004 data, so I’m not sure what the current statistics are. If anyone has more recent stats, that would be much appreciated.


No Responses Yet to “Jobs & Health Insurance Key to Preventing Abortion”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: