Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Abortion and Political Realignment (Why Democrates will turn Pro-Life - Self Preservation)
The American Thinker ^ | Jan 6, 2004 | Richard A. Baehr

Posted on 01/22/2004 5:31:22 PM PST by gobucks

The debate over abortion has been an emotional one for thirty years in America. It is an issue on which partisans have shown little ability or willingness to compromise. When one side considers the procedure murder, and the other a constitutionally protected right, there is no split-the-difference compromise in sight. Certainly, some political realists on the pro-life side of the debate, anticipating that abortion will not be banned outright, have attempted to move the goalposts a little in their direction, by working to ban partial birth abortion or institute parental consent requirements in individual states.

But one aspect of the abortion issue that is rarely addressed is the impact of the legalization of abortion on the country’s political demography. By this I mean: what of the absence of the 40 million-plus who were never born since abortion was legalized? Has their non-existence affected the political balance among those who are left among us? Given that Roe V Wade was decided in 1973, only those who would have been born between 1973 and 1986 would now be eligible to vote (in New York State from 1970 to 1986), about 40% of the total number aborted or 15 million eligible voters. Put another way, the absence of those who were aborted, only began showing up in elections after 1991 (1988 in New York state).

One astute observer who has noticed all of this is James Taranto, of the Wall Street Journal’s website. He even coined a name for the phenomenon: the Roe Effect. “If a pregnant woman chooses tomorrow to have an abortion, the result in 2021 will be one fewer eligible voter--and that's a statement of fact, not a moral judgment. If tens of millions of women have abortions over decades, as they have, it will eventually have a significant effect on the voting-age population.”

No-one has reliable data on the number of illegal abortions that were performed on an annual basis before the Roe V Wade decision legalized the procedure. But certainly at most it was a small fraction of the 1.3 million or more average abortions per year since 1973. So the Supreme Court decision certainly resulted in an increase in the annual number of abortions performed in the country.

To assume that abortion has not affected our politics would suggest that if those who were aborted, had instead been born and grown to become adults, that they would have then voted in a similar fashion to the rest of America. I think this is highly unlikely.

Many analysts of the 2000 election have suggested that the greatest split between the parties at the moment is between those who go to church or synagogue regularly, and those who do not. Essentially we have something of a religious/secular schism. Regular churchgoers gave Bush a 20% margin over Gore in the 2000 election. Irregular churchgoers and non-attendees gave Gore a double digit percentage margin over Bush.

Now consider abortion. Is it likely that regular churchgoers had a similar rate of abortion in the last 30 years as irregular churchgoers, and non-attendees? I think this is obviously not the case, though I do not have specific data to prove the point. So too, reported statistics indicate that African Americans, the most reliable Democratic voting constituency, had a higher share of all abortions performed in the last 30 years than their 13% share of the population.

There are many anecdotal stories about huge increases in the number of college students who are religiously active, defying the image of the college student many of us have had since our own days on campus years ago. A recent survey conducted by Harvard University indicated that college students across the country were 10% more likely to have supported the war in Iraq than the general population. Surveys of the youngest voters indicate that the GOP is claiming a much higher percentage of this demographic slice than decades ago.

It seems plausible to me that of the 40 million-plus abortions which have occurred since the early 70s, a disproportionate number of them were likely to have been to women who are politically liberal, rather than politically conservative. In fact, having chosen to have an abortion, might be a critical reason why a woman is committed to defending the “right to choose”, a mainstay of liberal social policy. Of course there are also some Republican women who favor abortion rights, though they do not have the influence or numbers in Republican politics the way pro-choice women do in Democratic Party politics.

Although children have been known to rebel against the values held by their parents, childhood socialization remains a powerful shaper of political values and affiliation. “Hereditary Democrats” and “hereditary Republicans” do exist in substantial numbers. But heredity ends as a shaper of politics when abortion replaces birth.

The pro-life side seems to be making progress in reducing the number of abortions annually (that number has dropped by over 200,000 per year in recent years), and the ratio of abortions to live births has dropped below 1 to 3. But it is also likely that those who were born, and not aborted in the last 30 years, may be more inclined to be opposed to abortion today than was the generation that first experienced abortion rights in the 1970s and used them.

For the first time in many decades, self identified Republicans in the population now equal the number of self- identified Democrats. Many political observers have tried to explain this by the Democrats’ problematic position on issue X (e.g. national security) or the Republicans’ greater appeal on issue Y (e.g. taxes). But this trend became more pronounced in the 1990s, at about the time that the change in the abortion law began influencing the total size of the voting population.

It seems to me that the political pundits and analysts are either missing or deliberately ignoring the issue of abortion and its political impact. I believe that John Judis and Ruy Teixeira are probably wrong that there is an emerging Democratic majority in the country. Accepting of course, that children are not obligated to vote as their parents did, I believe that one of the reasons that the numbers in the two parties have moved into balance, and are now trending Republican is because one side is doing a lot better job of reproducing and creating potential new devotees than the other. Republicans in the Twenty-First Century may find themselves enjoying a victory of the cradle.

TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; demographics; voting
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-27 next last
Perhaps this train of thought has been posted elsewhere; but it does indeed make sense. And explains nicely the conservative trending on campuses. Even the sons and daughters of Democrats who were optioned alive are likely to be affected ... to the benefit of the good guys.
1 posted on 01/22/2004 5:31:23 PM PST by gobucks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: gobucks
You are breaking a new taboo by even talking about the missing people. The new FR posters will not allow it. I give up. Good luck!
2 posted on 01/22/2004 5:42:33 PM PST by Concentrate
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
This nearly parallels the saying (here on FR) "The Liberals eat their young". Just strike 'eat' and replace it with 'kill'.
3 posted on 01/22/2004 5:44:46 PM PST by capt. norm (No sense being pessimistic, it probably wouldn't work anyway.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy; Salvation; xzins; LiteKeeper; WOSG; MontanaBeth; Alamo-Girl
Thought you folks might be interested in this, thus a ping to you.
4 posted on 01/22/2004 5:52:12 PM PST by gobucks (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
Overlooks the different rates of birth among the various populations too.
5 posted on 01/22/2004 5:53:01 PM PST by TheAngryClam (Don't blame me, I voted for McClintock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
This issue has been discussed here before. The thinking is that it is entirely possible that the sheer numbers of abortions have affected voting patterns, immigration numbers, and the labor market in general. Some of us have wondered also if it is possible that the liberals have, essentially, aborted their voting base. But will the Democrats abandon their pro-infanticide positions? I think that will happen only if Satan is feeling a sudden chill. Although, considering how much the RATS worship power, if it would help them to regain it if they abandoned their pro-choice stance, it just could happen!
6 posted on 01/22/2004 5:53:42 PM PST by Enterprise ("You sit down. You had your say. Now I'm going to have my say.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: capt. norm
Actually, all other things being equal in human reproduction, those who kill the babies that would otherwise have been their "first born" end up with a lower rate of reproduction.

I don't want anyone, not a Christian, not a Hindu, nor a Moslem who is awaiting the next coming of the Messiah to mistake this particular mass murder for the prophesied "killing of the first born" that always preceeds the Coming, but it sure does look like it doesn't it?

Believers will great Him. The Unbelievers will have (un)bred themselves into non-existence.

7 posted on 01/22/2004 5:56:37 PM PST by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
The rats can overcome this phenomena of 'aborting their base' by just creating more than they are losing: giveaways to the "undocumented", use of the dead vote, etc.
8 posted on 01/22/2004 6:09:58 PM PST by C210N
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
If more abortions equalled a lower birth rate, then whites and asians should have a high birth rate than hispanics and especially blacks, yet this is not the case.
9 posted on 01/22/2004 6:14:25 PM PST by LWalk18
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
If a female has a right to decide (choice) what happens to her body,
how can females be aborted without a choice (to decide)?

Then only males should be aborted!

10 posted on 01/22/2004 6:19:31 PM PST by jrushing (What goes here? Does anyone know what goes here?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enterprise
My thought exactly ... by any and all means, back to power, even if it means dumping THE CORE HISTORICAL PLANK of the last 35 years. Wouldn't be a bit surprised.
11 posted on 01/22/2004 6:26:29 PM PST by gobucks (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
I've not made that connection before ... rather disquieting. But, I have read that multiple aborions are common for a given female. Not just one.

OTOH, those might be seen as multiple "first born" abortions technically. Well, you've spun me up on your post, and thanks. I'm going to see if I can find stats on this somewhere. Esp the stats about women who have abortions AFTER having a child. I'm guessing that's a very low number of women ... just a hunch.
12 posted on 01/22/2004 6:31:23 PM PST by gobucks (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: gobucks; Fzob
Immigration policies in the last ten years have effected the political demography much more than the last 30 years of legalized abortions and will continue to do so.

BTW, Democrats will change their platform on abortions as soon as ( swimmer )Ted Kennedy stops drinking booze.

There is a better chance that the moon will turn to cheese.

13 posted on 01/22/2004 6:34:11 PM PST by JZoback
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JZoback
There is a better chance that the moon will turn to cheese.

You presume one thing ... Democrats have integrity. My guess is they will sell any fragment of their real or imagined souls to have power.

But, you're likely right. I think this thesis presumes the economy of the world remains stable. Time will tell, but I sense very much a kind of biding their time. If the economic sunny folks are right, however, abortion will be largely illegal w/i 10 years. And democrats may well be the ones helping.
14 posted on 01/22/2004 6:40:31 PM PST by gobucks (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
Abortion is evolution's way of limiting the number of people who believe in abortion.
15 posted on 01/22/2004 6:44:54 PM PST by AZLiberty (Howard Dean's been Gored.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
My guess is they will sell any fragment of their real or imagined souls to have power.

How very true, but the abortion question has moved legally from a "rights question" to a "privileged entitlement" a long ago.

As much as I hate to admit it, I don't think abortion will be a "denied privilege" in my life time.

I got at least (I hope) 30 to 40 years left.

16 posted on 01/22/2004 6:47:23 PM PST by JZoback
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
It might also be because our current culture is more tolerant of deviant behavior.

Suppose there is some genetic component to deviant behavior (such as homosexuality). Such deviant behaviors tend to decrease reproductivity.

In a relatively closed society where people are discouraged from "coming out", deviants are more likely to toe the line, get married and breed more deviants.

However, in a more open society, deviants are likely to live an openly deviant lifestyle and tend to have fewer children.

So an open society which may at first tend to increase the visible population of deviants, may in time tend to decrease the actual population of deviants, as only the average Joe's and Josephine's are having babies.

The girls may be going wild now while the queer guys have their eyes out for the straight guys, but ultimately Ozzie and Harriet will be replacing their a**es with a new generation of College Republicans!

17 posted on 01/22/2004 6:49:37 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZLiberty
Great thought, is that original and if so can I borrow it ?
18 posted on 01/22/2004 7:41:22 PM PST by cincysux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
There is certainly a trend toward pro-life thinking among college students, in spite of the fact that probably 90% of their professors are pro-abort.

One important young pro-life group call themselves Survivors, because half of their age group has been aborted by their parents.

I don't think Karl Rove has woken up yet to the extent of this sea change, but in fact it was evident in the 2000 elections. NONE of the candidates supported by NARAL and Emily's List managed to get elected. And Bill Simon would have won in California if Rove hadn't pulled the rug out from under him. Yes, I know he made some mistakes, but he was stabbed in the back by Rove and Parsky, and never got any of the campaign funding that should have been coming to him.
19 posted on 01/22/2004 7:46:08 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gobucks
Isnt it rather obvious that abortion at any point is murder?
Or at least the ultimate act of selfishness? I find it hard
to take seriously pro-choice sentiment. The assumption that
pro-choicers have aborted their future base of support assumes how non-existent voters might vote. The premise of
the article on its face is absurd, yet if it means that we have actual conservatives in the whitehouse and congress from now on I'm all for it!
20 posted on 01/22/2004 8:08:13 PM PST by claptrap
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-27 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson