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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

research supporting liberal=pro-life recanted

Too bad the faulty research gave cover to many pro-lifers who wanted to vote Democratic anyway. It wasn't even necessary to be personally acquainted with the research, all it takes is for someone to tell someone else that research shows that liberal policies such as welfare reduce abortion as much as slow as molasses pro-life legislative wins such as parental notification and the like. Here is the story at Moral Accountability, in a post by Michael New, Ph.D. who called BS on this report when it came out, and finally gets to see the original claims removed and replaced with next to nothing. The set up.
Analyzing state level abortion data from 1982 to 2000, it purportedly found evidence that increased spending on various welfare programs resulted in substantial reductions in state abortion rates. The spin given to the results was that many pro-life laws, such as those requiring parental notification for abortions performed on minor girls, had little effect. So the paradoxical message to pro-life voters was that they could best advance their interests by electing pro-choice Democrats instead of pro-life Republicans.
The details.
The original study argued that three welfare policies had significant effects on state abortion rates. First, family caps, which deny welfare recipients extra benefits if they have additional children out of wedlock, increased abortion rates. Second, increased spending on the Women Infants Children (WIC) program reduced abortion rates. Third, increased spending on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) also reduced abortion rates.

The effect.
...this study gave Doug Kmiec, Nicholas Cafardi, and others intellectual legitimacy in arguing that pro-life voters should vote for liberals, even if they favor abortion-on-demand and its public funding, in order to advance the pro-life cause. At last, there was a methodologically sophisticated study which allegedly demonstrated that the welfare policies favored by Democrats were more effective in preventing abortion than the pro-life laws supported by Republicans. It seemed too good to be true.

The problem.
However, after the original study was released, the authors discovered that they used incorrect abortion data for the years following 1997. Furthermore, after some dialogue with me, the authors decided that it would be appropriate to eliminate data from states, such as Kansas, where abortion reporting was inconsistent over time.
The result. The new version provides evidence that welfare policy has no more than a marginal effect on the incidence of abortion.

However, I could not convince my Christian friends that Obama was not the solution to abortion. I couldn't convince them that killing 1 million kids a year was worse than the stupid war that looks cheap now compared to the stupid recession that he claims can only be solved by spending a stupid amount of money that our third generation will still be paying for and copying Bush Jr. by trying to get people to spend their money instead of saving it, but Bush was too colloquial by stating plainly, "go out and keep buying stuff." Now liberal columnists say it for Obama. Morally worse though is Obama continues to loosen the hindrances to abortion. No FOCA yet, but embryonic stem cell research, which doesn't work, unlike adult stem cell research will have his full support. Additionally, New adds, Sadly, just weeks into his administration, President Obama has already demonstrated considerable disregard for the sanctity of human life. One of Barack Obama’s first acts as President was to revoke the Mexico City Policy. Now non-governmental organizations receiving funds from the U.S. Government can perform and promote abortions overseas. I do hope you read all of New's article.

Lesson learned. If you tell people what they want to hear, they'll believe it. If they don't want to hear it, they'll clamp their hands over their ears and eyes and tell the messenger to shut up, and quit showing us pictures, and quit saying the same thing over and over again.

Though seeing they won't see, though hearing they won't hear...

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