The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Sweet (Pro-Life) Home Alabama

Posted on | May 22, 2019 | 1 Comment

Professor Glenn Reynolds linked to my post examining the feminist rage over the Alabama law restricting abortion. In the comments, one reader drew attention to how few abortions are actually performed in Alabama — 6,063 in 2017, 6642 in 2016, 5899 in 2015. So, in a state with a population of 4.9 million, only about 6,000 abortions are performed annually. There are roughly 900,000 females of child-bearing age (15-44) in Alabama, so that each year, more than 99% of Alabama women don’t get abortions. Even if you think of the problem in terms of cumulative risk — i.e., the chance of any woman having an abortion at any time in her life — the abortion numbers are still very low in Alabama.

There are more than a million abortions a year in the United States, and the National Abortion Federation claims that about 35% of American women will have an abortion in their lifetime, but it seems obvious that Alabama’s women are not a significant contributor to that grisly statistic.

Numbers matter in politics. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicate that the abortion rates are highest in New York (23 per 1,000 women ages 15-44 annually), and a few other liberal states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, etc.), while the abortion rate in Alabama (6 per 1,000) is some 70% lower than for women in New York. While it may be true that more than a third of U.S. women will have abortions in their lifetimes, that number is likely somewhere around 10% in Alabama.

In other words, about 90% of Alabama women have never had an abortion and never will. Actual difference between the behavior of women in different states — the more rural South versus the more urban North — reflect not only differences in socioeconomic conditions, but also differences in cultural attitudes. The South is more religious than the North, and this may explain a lot:

Alabama’s governor said Monday the new abortion ban she recently signed into law reflects the high value residents place on the “sanctity of life,” adding she doesn’t expect any fallout from the controversial measure on tourism or business recruitment.
Gov. Kay Ivey last week approved the most stringent abortion law in the nation— making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases unless necessary for the mother’s health. The law provides no exception for rape and incest. Asked about criticism the state has received— particularly over the lack of an exception for rape and incest— the Republican governor noted the bill was overwhelmingly approved by the Alabama Legislature without the exceptions.
“The Legislature has spoken,” she said. “It underscores the sanctity of life the people of Alabama value so highly.”

The governor of Alabama is a woman — a pro-life Republican woman. Liberal women elsewhere in the country, including journalists in New York and Washington, D.C., may find it mind-boggling that a woman would sign Alabama’s legislation and defend the law, but life in small-town Alabama isn’t life in Brooklyn or Dupont Circle. Numbers matter, culture matters, and the pro-abortion culture in liberal states has real consequences. Consider that the total fertility rate (TFR, average lifetime births per woman) in Alabama was 1.82 in 2017, whereas the TFR in New York was 1.65 and TFR in Massachusetts was 1.51. This means that Alabama women average about 10% more babies than New York women, and about 20% more babies than Massachusetts women.

Last week, it was reported that the U.S. birth rate is the lowest in more than 30 years, and the Associated Press quoted an expert:

If trends continue, experts said, the U.S. can expect labor shortages including in elder care when aging baby boomers need the most support.
“I keep expecting to see the birth rates go up and then they don’t,” said demographer Kenneth M. Johnson of University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy.
He estimates 5.7 million babies would have been born in the past decade if fertility rates hadn’t fallen from pre-recession levels.
“That’s a lot of empty kindergarten rooms,” said Johnson . . .

If you are a young person planning a career as a teacher, chances are you’ll have trouble finding work in Massachusetts or New York, and the scarcity of children being born in these liberal states may explain why Democrats support illegal immigration. New York needs to import people to substitute for the children liberal women aren’t having, whereas people in conservative states like Alabama, with higher birth rates, perceive illegal immigration as a threat to their own offspring.



One Response to “Sweet (Pro-Life) Home Alabama”

  1. 23 May 19 – Dark Brightness
    May 22nd, 2019 @ 4:07 pm

    […] rage at the good. If you are in the habits of going in the opposite direction of their advocacy, usually you will be doing good. If the media — who are the propaganda arm of the elite, as the woke are their useful cannon […]