Is the Roe Effect a viable theory?

I was going to put this in General Questions, but I don’t believe there’s any factual answer.
The Roe Effect is defined thusly:

Could someone please explain to me how this theory can be proven in quantifiable numbers? Women who have abortions still go on to have other children. Women who have had children have abortions. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee a decline in the numbers of Liberal voters.

James Taranto’s article seems simplistic, to say the least.

The article does offer correlation data. Now, we all know that correlation is not causation, but the hypothesis does seem to have some merit. Religious, socially conservative adults are probably more likely to have larger families than their more secular, socially liberal counterparts. How much of that is, per se, due to abortion is probably hard to tell. It might just be that social conservatives prefer larger families (abortion or no abortion).

That children often carry on their parent’s political beliefs seems pretty self-evident given the political variations we see from region to region.

OK, you lefties: Start having babies!! :smiley:

Hmmm. If this hypothesis were valid, how would abortions have been legalized in the first place?

It only took 7 Supreme Court Justices. :slight_smile:

Heh. There were undoubtably more conservatives in 1973 than liberals. Did the SCOTUS not lean right at the time?

It’s my understanding that political bias fluctuates, and although children start out with the same political beliefs as their parents and core values tend to stick, their views change depending on several influences such as education, geographical location, income, even spouse.

The data Mr. Taranto provided shows only abortion rates, but are there numbers on what percentage of people subscribe to the same political views as their parents? I realize there will be some, but is it that significant? The views my mother raised me with are decidedly liberal, but she remains very firmly Republican.

The weakness I see with the “Roe effect” is that it presumes that those who suport abortion rights will have less kids. What if women who are horrified by the thought of an abortion personally choose the alternative of effective birth control? As in Ms. Abortion Rights will be lax about birth control and if she finds herself pregnant will hurry off to the abortion clinic, while Ms. Pro-life just uses an IUD.

Consider the case of Europe, where abortion is widely legal and politically popular. Why because of the “Roe effect” aren’t European nations banning abortions in large numbers?

None of whom had ever had an abortion. :wink: I think your comment that it’s more likely social conservatives are more likely to favor large families makes more sense.

It assumes that those who oppose abortion have children who oppose abortion. It assumes that those who oppose abortion will not have abortions. It presumes those who are pro abortion will have abortions. It presumes people are true to their beliefs.

It also neglects that half the electorate is male, and men can’t get pregnant. To me the real test would be to see data from Europe as to whether opposition to abortion is on the rise. The only difference between the US and Europe is that abortion became legal by SCOTUS fiat, where in Europe it was by the will of the electorate.

Because they have not been legal forever; it’s suggesting a long-term trend, not an on-off switch.

I don’t think the number of abortions is so high as to affect the electorate to any significant degree. There are only around two million abortions a year, which pales compared to the number of women (of most political camps) who use one of the many other types of birth control. However, I do think that religious families (who tend to be conservative) tend to have larger planned families, and that WILL affect the electorate.

Of course, there’s always the parallel to the “Marching Morons” scenario, in which smarter people take pains to plan their families (planning that may or may not include birth control and abortion) while idiots screw whenever they feel like it and nurse every pregnancy that comes along. I think this is a very real possibility. Voluntarily choosing to limit your family size is in a way counter-evolutionary; our ancestors were compelled to produce as many offspring as possible so their traits would have a greater chance of passing on. People who have large families now (excluding those who plan large families for whatever reason) are ruled by the same impulses that drove ancient man, meaning that a part of their impulse control system has been turned off (i.e. stupidity). IMO, the gradually declining intelligence level will have greater repercussions on society than the slight shift in political views.

Hmmm… no. Our ancestors had lots of kids because fewer of them survived. In our society, infant mortality is a miniscule fraction of what it used to be. So you have survival ensured with fewer kids. Large families are no longer necessary from that standpoint.

Pfft. I don’t see why mild changes in breeding habits would make a difference there. It makes no odds if you have to have eight pregnancies to get two adult offspring or if you can go two-for-two. Today you don’t need six children from each family to get food and support the extended family and tribe, so there’s no harm in not having six kids.

“Gradually declining” my eye. My first thought was “nosedive,” my second was “when were people any smarter?”

Considering a lot of women who are anti-abortion will have abortions (yes, it happens, they’ll go right back to the picket lines the day after), and considering that Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvey is now part of the pro-life movement, I don’t think we can say this for fact.

This site is just one of several that I’ve read, all saying that there are many, many anti-abortion people who feel that abortion is immoral for other people, and yet when they or their daughters or wives or sisters become pregnant, all of a sudden they’re willing to allow just this one abortion.

I used to be a volunteer escort for an abortion clinic here in town. We knew one woman well…she’d had at least three abortions, and yet she picketed the clinic frequently. There were other women who wanted abortions for themselves, and no one else, but this one woman just stuck in my mind. I could never understand her way of thinking. I suspect that I don’t really want to.

Yes, it assumes an awful lot. “Studies” aren’t really supposed to assume. They’re supposed to extrapolate data (repeat: data, not datum) and reach factual conclusions, not suppositions.
Here’s a snip from the study:

Nothing more than abortions per capita. Nothing else is taken into account. In quite a few of those states which Bush carried, abortions are nigh on impossible to obtain. I would think that might have at least a little bit to do with it.

Yeah, that was what I was saying. Smarter people realize this and plan smaller families, knowing that you no longer need as many offspring and that it is damaging to have too many kids in the long run. Dumber people don’t recognize the importance of family planning and continue on as man did in prehistoric times.

What Lynn Bodoni said.

This idea fails to account for the appalling hypocrisy of many moralizers.

“A thousand laws for my neighbor and none at all for me.”

Also, the study fails to note that children do sometimes disagree with their parents.

And it just seems like a pretty crappy study, as Maureen notes.

Way to cite Kornbluth (sp?), continuity eror! :slight_smile:

My comment was in response to this:

Which implies that the legalization of abortion was a legislative process, which it wasn’t. It was a judicial process. So, the legalization process of abortion in the US does not disprove the hyopthesis.

Specious logic.

Abortion was not legalized by the SCOTUS.

Abortion was outlawed by the legislature. The SCOTUS clarified for us that said law was illegal under the US Constitution. Their decision did not legalize abortion, it repealed the criminalization of it (which was improper).