Quantifying Roe

James Taranto has posited an interesting theory on abortion. The gist is that more liberals have abortions than conservatives. Children form their views due to their parents. It is most likely that a liberal parent will have a liberal child and a conservative parent will have a conservative child. Therefore, the liberal birth rate is slower due to the rate of abortion.

A number of statisticians have noted that the Democratic voting population grew continuously from the 1940s until the 1970s, the period of Roe. In the 1970s, through the present, the votes that Democrats have received has declined.

Donald, over at Back of the Envelope, has tried to quantity the Roe effect. The data are mildly persuasive. While only mildly persuasive on its own, it adds to data that James Taranto has put forward. They seem to be on to something about which no liberal would ever admit.

2 Comments

  • Hee hee. That’s pretty funny.

    But seriously folks, the US Census Bureau (a quite conservative entity by all accounts, judging from its effect on congressional redistricting) predicts that by the year 2020 so-called white people will no longer be the majority in America. I guess that means that white people must be getting more abortions than people of other races.

    Statistics on population growth reveal that better educated people tend to have fewer children. I guess, since the conservative political base has grown so noticeably, that conservatives are more poorly educated and so are reproducing at a faster rate. I guess that’s something no conservative would want to admit, hey?

    As I believe some wise guy said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. But you don’t need to be a statistician to know hogwash when you see it.

  • The US Census Bureau (a quite conservative entity by all accounts, judging from its effect on congressional redistricting) predicts that by the year 2020 so-called white people will no longer be the majority in America. I guess that means that white people must be getting more abortions than people of other races.

    You’re making a logical fallacy here. The postulate is that liberals have more abortions, therefore there are less liberals. You’re saying that if there are less whites, whites must be having more abortions. You’ve traded cause and result. Cause implies result, while result does not necessarily imply cause. Many causes may give the same result.

    Statistics on population growth reveal that better educated people tend to have fewer children. I guess, since the conservative political base has grown so noticeably, that conservatives are more poorly educated and so are reproducing at a faster rate. I guess that’s something no conservative would want to admit, hey?

    There’s some truth to this statement. The most liberal population is the most educated… and the least educated. Those with a college degree, but not higher, tend to be more conservative.

    The black population is interesting in that it is fast growing and liberal, but it also tends to be socially conservative, which is producing strains in the case of gay marriage.

    Still, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s possible that I am as well, but here’s the argument I want to make: There may be many reasons that liberals are having less kids than conservatives, but it seems that they are. Abortion is one of those reasons, and it’s a critical one. You can argue, reasonably, that abortion is simply a symptom, and without it liberals would have simply had less kids later, but the same number overall. I think this unlikely, for two reasons: 1.) The later a woman starts having kids, the fewer she has. 2.) In many cases abortion is used as a after-the-fact contraceptive, after negligence or failure of other contraceptive means, indicating that it is indeed reducing the number of children.