Wherein Fr. Z assigns some worthwhile reading - At First Things there are two outstanding pieces to which I direct your attention. Firstly, run, don’t walk, to read Martin Mosebach’s beautiful essay abou...
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As every good liberal pretends to know, the cause of high abortion rates is religious conservatives’ refusal to cooperate with “family planning” advocates, toward the supposedly common goal of reducing the number of abortions. If only those snake-handling bumpkins would see the wisdom in making abortion “safe, legal and rare,” the argument goes, fewer abortions would be “necessary.” Thus, the liberal media explain, those simple-minded anti-abortion activists are unwittingly defeating their own cause.
It follows, then, that abortion rates should be lowest in places where social conservatives have the least influence. Then why aren’t they? According to New York City’s Department of Health, 41 percent of all pregnancies there end in abortion. Planned Parenthood, feigning displeasure with that figure, is blaming it on the city schools for not embracing its preferred sex education curriculum. So you see, even in one of the most liberal cities in America, the frequency of abortion is the fault of those meddlesome right-wing Christians, as usual.
But wait a minute. The same week that the NYC health department report was published, the Alan Guttmacher Institute released its figures on the state-by-state abortion rates for 2008, the most recent year on record. The Guttmacher Institute was originally created as the research division of Planned Parenthood, and was named after a former president of that organization, so the pro-abortion side presumably wouldn’t dispute its findings. The five highest per capita abortion rates were in the decisively blue states of Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and California. The five lowest were in Wyoming, Mississippi, Kentucky, South Dakota and Idaho.
How can the “don’t call us pro-abortion” crowd look at those statistics, and still claim with straight faces to be striving to lower the abortion rate? If they say the carnage in New York City is due to a lack of liberal sex education, then how do they explain abortion rates being lowest in the Southern and Western red states, whose schools are not likely to invite Dr. Ruth Westheimer as a guest lecturer? It turns out they don’t have to, because few in the media ever examine the pro-abortionists’ claims, regardless of how counterintuitive they may be.
Only by indulging in mindless go-along-to-get-along bipartisan feelgoodism could anyone possibly expect abortion advocates to cooperate in lowering the abortion rate. Planned Parenthood owns and operates the largest chain of abortion clinics in the world. When their employees “counsel” pregnant women, they do not merely present abortion as one among several options, let alone as being less desirable than the others. Their job is to sell abortions. Crisis pregnancy centers that counsel women against abortion are stealing their customers. It should be needless to say that this arrangement precludes any cooperation between the two sides.
The only thing that disturbs the abortionists and abortion salesmen about a 41 percent abortion rate is the fact that it has been made public. That number represents not only a great deal of money to them, but also the fulfillment of their purpose, which is not “women’s health” or “reproductive freedom,” but population control. Sure, they promote contraception and sterilization for the same reason, but the effects of those things cannot be quantified. There’s no way for them to know when they’ve prevented the birth of a child who’s never existed. Only abortion provides them with affirmation of their success.
RedState has uncovered evidence - confirmed by the CDC’s own press office - that the Obama administration is deliberately playing “hide the ball” on nationwide abortion statistics. For apparently the first time in 40 years, the CDC’s annual “Abortion Surveillance Report” was not published, and there are “no plans” for the data to be produced at this time.Can there be any doubt that it's such an increase in abortion numbers as to embarrass even Obama, who once asserted (contrary to the clear evidence of his own voting record) that "no one is 'pro-abortion'"?
Whatever you feel about abortion and its legality, virtually all people agree that transparency and factual accuracy are important in the abortion debate. That is why even Planned Parenthood spends a substantial amount of money each year funding the Guttmacher Institute’s studies on abortion statistics. While pro-life groups have long contended that Guttmacher’s methods systematically undercount abortions, that is beside the point; the Guttmacher studies have long provided a consistent source for studying abortion trends over time. Which aggregate data, we re-emphasize, is important not only for both sides of the ideological debate, but is also important medical information.
Yet, in the wake of numerous damaging disclosures about unscrupulous practices by abortionists (from Kermit Gosnell to Planned Parenthood clinics across the country), the Obama Administration has apparently ordered that the only Federal government report on abortion statistics – again, a report that has run continuously for 40 years – be deep-sixed. The immediate question this raises is: what is the Obama administration trying to hide? [Emphasis added.]