Abortion: Pro-Life Will Win by Demographics

Having lunch with an ultra-conservative asshole – and dear friend. He said that the pro-life side will win, because pro-lifers have kids, and pro-choicers have abortions. Eventually, the number of people in pro-life families will overwhelm the number of people in pro-choice families.

Is there any evidence of this? To begin with, it seems to exclude the independence of conscience. Some pro-life people may very well be childless themselves, and some pro-choice people may have lots of children of their own. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they are opposed to abortion at a personal level, but still support the legal right of others to have an abortion.

Secondly, it seems to depend too much on political opinions being pseudo-genetic. But surely many pro-life people have pro-choice children, and vice versa. We all know instances of liberals having conservative kids, and the other way around.

Does this variation on the “marching morons” argument make half an ounce of sense, or is it more right wing extremist drivel?

Eventually, we’ll all be Mormons then.

Did you mean for this to be in the Pit?

And some pro-life people will have abortions.

Back before abortion was a reasonably-safe option, virtually all people were pro-life, but not by choice. Since abortions became medically feasible, the number of pro-life people has been growing. I don’t see that changing much.

And the pro- “lifers” who also generally support the death penalty, ( is that ironic, or hypo-fucking-critical, i’m unsure… ) are also removing the reproductive potential from all those prisoners. So that’s got to slide the scale in the pro- “lifers” favor.

Doesn’t seem to be working out too well for them:

It’s been 40 years since Roe v. Wade; time enough for the populace to have churned out nearly two generations of overwhelmingly pro-life Americans, if support for abortion rights and actual incidence of abortion really had a lot to do with each other. The fact that they don’t is especially clear when you consider how many abortions are sought by opponents of abortion rights:

Read that link for some amazing anecdotes from abortion clinic staff and volunteers about anti-choicers seeking abortions, such as this gem:

I expect there will pendulum-like swings in support and opposition - possibly a generation well past Roe will stupidly fumble away abortion rights without considering the consequences, only for a later generation to have to struggle to regain them. It happens.

I’m very much in favor of women having control over their bodies, and that includes how often and when they want to have children.

I’m also in favor of free birth control and condoms at the local health clinic.

I do think that abortion is wrong because of all of the other options, but I’d never oppose anyone’s choice to have one.

Of course, I’m the one who gets upset about all the unwanted animals that get killed because people don’t get their pets fixed.

And, just to stir the pot…its much harder for a human to get fixed than a cat. Humans have to justify themselves.

Doctors often tell young unmarried women that they need to have kids before they really know that they don’t want kids.

Not to mention that welfare considers that getting fixed is optional surgery and they won’t pay for it.

A similar claim could be made about gay marriage; gays don’t have children, so their beliefs will die out. In Real Life, not so much.

Yeah, because I think the argument is so stupid, I wanted to get right down to ridiculing it. It would probably end up getting moved here anyway, so why fight fate? Also, I wanted to thread-shit from the get-go, and this is the place for it.

Very good set of points. Agreement. Also, a bit of rolling of eyes at the egregious hypocrisy of those who would have abortions themselves, while still working as hard as they can to deny them to others. Grumph. (THIS is why I wanted this thread in the Pit!)

Also agreed. No rights (and you can view this either way!) are guaranteed or assured. We have to fight for them against eternal opposition.

Grin! Good point.

As I see it, there is a VERY significant disconnect between heredity and ideology. There may be some correlation, but political viewpoints are only weakly “genetic.”

My friend also had to play the race card, and complained that, by his own reasoning, the U.S. will soon be a “brown” nation. From that, he concluded that we’d also be Spanish-speaking. But I know a lot of people with Hispanic surnames who do not speak Spanish.

Culture is not genetically determined. (And to go further would be to skate on very thin ice regarding Godwin’s Rule…)

I’ve heard this argument from many anti-choicers over the years. Thing is, most of them tend to be religiously conservative in religiously conservative red states and have no real idea of the vast number of people outside with different ideas. Most of their friends, relatives, co-workers believe as they do or keep quiet, so that they’re pretty much living in an echo chamber.

It will take some time, but the pendulum will eventually swing far enough that it won’t be a good strategy for politicians to pander to the anti-choice faction anywhere.

The problem with your friend’s scenario is that, as the pro-life faction grows, and access to abortion becomes harder and harder, the negative social effects of abortion restriction will become more and more evident. Which is going to swing more and more people back around to pro-choice. It’s a lot easier to be pro-life in a society with easy access to abortion, because then all you see is the abortions. You don’t see the poverty, violence, and health problems prevented by giving women control over their own reproduction.

Just another stupid rationalization because he’s afraid of the truth. Very little can be said to these people to change their minds.

Maybe late to this party, but your friend has deluded himself into believing that pro-choice means pro-abortion. As much as he’d like to think so, though, he’s simply wrong. Pro-choice means that abortion is an option, but so is every other option, including giving birth and keeping the child, or giving birth and putting the child up for adoption. There are plenty of pro-choicers who not only accept abortion as a viable option to pregnancy in some circumstances but also cherish pregnancies in other circumstances. Many of these people have children themselves and celebrate the children of their friends and family. This probably makes no sense to your friend, but what are you gonna do?

From the polls I’ve seen, the numbers haven’t change hardly at all over the 40 years since Roe. Compared to other issues, like SSM, this one seems to be really stable.

I do think over time the U.S. will move to be more in line with other countries. In Europe it’s mostly not legal to elective terminate a pregnancy after 14-16 weeks, so the U.S. is a bit of an outlier there (a few European countries are an exception, there’s 50 countries on the continent and I’m making a distinction between them, so no need to cite the countries in Europe that allow 20+ week elective abortions, I’m aware of them.)

I also believe, science and medicine can slowly remove some of abortion’s controversy. Right now the medication-induced abortions available within the first 50 days of pregnancy have to be done at a clinic but in theory I don’t see why the drugs couldn’t be improved over time such that medical professionals could just evaluate you for whether it’s appropriate to take them then write a scrip…you can then take the drugs at home and come in if there are any complications and come in for checkups throughout the process. That makes it more difficult for activists to “target” something, because you’re then talking about all pharmacies and doctor’s offices with no easy way to know which is involved on any given day or week.

Increased awareness of and use of the morning-after pill can also decrease the abortion rate (it went down 5% in 2012, perhaps in part because of issues like that but it’s not been explained so far.) Also, we’ve slowly gotten birth control methods more convenient to take and more effective relative to effort in taking them. There is still an issue of availability, but optimistically maybe some day any man or woman could buy a cheap pill, take it, and basically be unable to impregnate/conceive for a period of time (maybe up to a year, with differing lengths based on the pill you take.) That could be a ways off obviously as male birth control pills have been worked on for awhile without a finished product, but we’re only a couple years away from flying cars based on predictions in Back to the Future.

A sort of self-perpetuating sine-wave, such as we see with security. Somebody sets off a bomb: now we need more thorough searches at airports. But after a while those get tedious and annoying, and there’s pressure to reduce security. See saw, marjorie dawe…

I think you’re right; he’s overlooking the finer points of morality. Many people feel abortion is wrong, but still oppose giving the government the power that would be needed to ban it. Others support keeping it legal, but would not exercise that choice themselves. One of the staunchest pro-lifers I know broke with her church, because they were also anti-contraception, and she believed that contraception is one of the best ways to reduce the number of abortions. You’re very right; it isn’t as simple and black-and-white as my friend thinks.

I keep hoping this, but progress is so damn slow. I also want an European-style national health care system…

(Truncated for length; I hope I haven’t distorted your meaning.) And… Grin! This, too: I’m a “techno-optimist” and dare to hope that scientific advances will help with some of our social problems. Technology has certain affected the abortion debate by pushing back the earliest edge of the viability window. The phrase “late term abortion” includes earlier procedures than it did ten years ago. This has been wonderful, of course, for people who have premature babies and who want them to live. The progress in keeping these infants alive is miraculous. So, yes, perhaps the future will bring advances in conception control that will help us put the whole damned debate behind us.

But, yeah, I want my flying car, too…

It’s not just doctors who say this.

And what kind of screwed up situation is that? If a woman says she doesn’t want kids, but she’s supposed to have one before she really knows she doesn’t want kids…what do we do with all the kids that these women had and didn’t want?

What’s especially stupid about this is that every single one of us is the result of a pregnancy that was not terminated. But it’s hardly the case that all of our mothers were pro-life, and as a result, so are we.

This is the problem I have with some conservative thinkers. They don’t work out all the equations. Simple reproduction rate isn’t the only factor. Another might be that because those who have abortions are focusing their resources on wanted children under better circumstances the children will be more successful.

But even if you present additional perspective, they’ll typically respond that your example is unrelated. Their “focused” thinking simply does not traverse enough of the relationships to give them sufficient perspective.