Abortion rates by income

That didn’t take long.

CTMirror reports, “One of U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro’s first acts after winning election as the Appropriations Committee chair will be to convene an informational hearing next week on the Hyde Amendment, the ban on Medicaid spending for abortion regularly renewed by Congress since passage in 1976.”

Don Pesci

DeLauro added, “I believe it is discriminatory policy, and it’s a longstanding issue of racial injustice,” DeLauro said in an interview Friday. “It’s routinely considered every year, but I think we are in a moment.”

DeLauro did not pause to explain in what sense an amendment applicable to everyone that prohibits the federal government from financing abortions may be discriminatory. The Hyde amendment is universal in its application, and discrimination always implies the partial application of the law. If the Hyde amendment were to prohibit the financing of abortion only for low-income African Americans and allow the federal financing of abortions to millionaires such as DeLauro, the amendment might justly be characterized as invidiously discriminatory. That is not the case.

Abortion figures in the United States indicate that abortion, not yet federally financed, is much more prevalent among the poor than other groupings, and some have wondered whether such is the case because of the siting of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in urban areas.

According to a June 2011 report in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Changes in Abortion Rates Between 2000 and 2008 and Lifetime Incidence of Abortion, “Slightly more than one in five U.S. pregnancies ends in abortion,1 and abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures experienced by U.S. women. Although the number of abortions and the abortion rate declined every year between 1990 and 2005, decreases in abortion were not experienced by all groups of women. For example, although the abortion rate decreased 11% between 1994 and 2000, it actually increased 25% for poor women. In addition, some groups have typically been overrepresented among abortion patients, including women in their 20s, cohabiting women [unmarried women living with male partners], and African American women.”

Like most businesses, Planned Parenthood sites its operations where demand is greatest, among the urban poor and “unfit” whom the founder of Planned Parenthood, eugenicist Margaret Sanger, sought to eliminate through birth control.

“Such is the object of the American Birth Control League (104 Fifth Avenue, New York City)” Sanger wrote in 1921, “which aims to arouse interest among the American people to bring to birth a better quality in our race, as well as to establish clinics in all thickly populated districts where poor overburdened wretched mothers may be instructed in the methods of birth control.

“We need one generation of birth control to weed out the misfits, to breed self-reliant, intelligent, responsible individuals.”

One wonders whether such siting is, ahem, discriminatory. There is little doubt that “free” – i.e. federally taxpayer funded abortions – will increase total abortion numbers, a net benefit for Planned Parenthood, struggling with a general decrease in the abortion rate.

The likely increase in abortions owing to an infusion of taxpayer funding will also benefit politicians such as DeLauro and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, whose campaign financing have regularly been boosted by abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, an international mega business that has suffered in the recent past from the 11% decrease in the abortion rate among the non-poor, a loss offset by a 25% increase in abortions among the poor.

Campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood to Democrats are wildly disproportional.  No doubt DeLauro would not consider the perfectly legal imbalance – 99.85% to Democrats, 1.5% to Republicans — an instance of invidious discrimination. As accountant for the mob in the 1930’s Otto Berman used to say, “nothing personal, it’s just business.”

Morality looms large in DeLauro’s world view. In the same CTMirror story, the heterodox Catholic proclaimed, “I think it’s a moral imperative that we move as quickly as we can, because people are in desperate shape, hoping beyond hope to get some relief for their jobs and small businesses, which are collapsing,” she said. “Restaurants shutting down. The whole child care industry at great risk.”

Who in Connecticut, it may be morally justifiable to ask, is responsible for the shutdowns of restaurants and the child care industry, not to mention the fatalities that have and continue to occur after eight months of inattention in the state’s nursing homes? Would it be too indelicate to ask whether the child care industry will be adversely impacted if the Hyde amendment were to be repealed? Fewer babies, less child care. It’s not often that arsonists get to play fire chief while brandishing their moral bona fides.

Hours after DeLauro’s moral effusions, Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi agreed to a budget and coronavirus rescue package that she had stoutly rejected for four months when it seemed likely that President Donald Trump might be with us for four more years. The speedy arrival of the Trump vaccine and Biden’s impending victory, Pelosi said are a “game changer,” a frank admission that opposition to the Republican relief plan by Pelosi, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Blumenthal and DeLauro was rooted in political expediency. While Democrat opposition may be, in some sense beyond finding out, successful, it is by no means morally acceptable.

Donald Pesci lives in Vernon and is the writer of the Red Notes from a Blue State blog.

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