Abortion Industry / Planned Parenthood

Black Lives Matter? Then Let’s Talk About the Racial Disparity in Abortion Numbers

Why isn’t it more a matter of concern to the Left that so many black babies aren’t brought into the world?

“… abortion’s prevalence and the racial disparity ‘suggest that it is a major influence on the demographic, socioeconomic and cultural composition of the United States population’.”

America’s abortion wars may subside periodically, but neither side has surrendered and the latest flare-up could lead to a second government shutdown in as many years.

After videos surfaced that show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of parts from aborted babies, some conservatives in Congress vowed to block any spending measure that includes more money for the organization. …

Most Republicans, however, realize that a government shutdown over abortion would be no more successful than the one in October 2013 over the Affordable Care Act. The GOP majority in the Senate today is too narrow to overcome an inevitable veto from President Obama, and a sympathetic Washington press corps will be eager to ensure that the left’s shutdown narrative prevails.

In all likelihood, it will take a Republican in the White House to reverse ObamaCare and a pro-life president to end taxpayer-funded abortions. Shutting down the government when Republicans control the House and the Senate would only allow Democrats to argue more credibly that the opposition cannot be counted on to reduce legislative gridlock and govern responsibly.

Further, Hillary Clinton, on her quest to make history for the sisterhood, is all too happy to shift the media discussion from her classified emails, her flagging poll numbers and the Bernie Sanders surge to what will be portrayed as Republican attacks on reproductive rights. Mrs. Clinton knows that the GOP’s chances next year may well turn on its appeal to women and younger, non-white swing voters, who tend to be pro-choice.

But if we are destined for an autumn abortion row, Republicans might use the opportunity to educate voters on the fallout from Roe v. Wade and press Democrats on their commitment to President Bill Clinton’s notion that abortion should to be “safe, legal and rare.”

Terminating an unwanted pregnancy has been lawful for decades and, statistically, is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the U.S.  [Ed. without accurate data documentation of maternal morbidity and mortality, there is no way to verify this statement.]

But “rare”? Well, the U.S. abortion rate has declined somewhat steadily since the late 1980s, yet the rate for black women is nearly five times higher than the white rate and well above the national average.

The political left obsesses over racial disparities in bank loans or college admissions or police shootings, but “largely missing from the debate,” wrote Zoe Dutton in the Atlantic magazine last year, “is discussion of abortion’s racial disparity.”

In New York City, home to the largest black population of any U.S. urban area, more black babies are aborted than [are] born.

New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported in 2014 that black babies constitute 42% of all abortions in a city where blacks are 25% of the population. In Georgia, where whites outnumber blacks 2 to 1, more than 53% of abortions involve black babies, and black women terminate their pregnancies at nearly 2.5 times the rate that white women do.

“Large racial differences have been consistently observed for a number of years in pregnancy rates, average lifetime pregnancies and induced abortion rates,” wrote James Studnicki, a professor of public-health sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who, along with Sharon J. MacKinnon and John W. Fisher, analyzed pregnancy outcomes between 1990 and 2008.

The study, published in the Open Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2014, concluded that abortion’s prevalence and the racial disparity “suggest that it is a major influence on the demographic, socioeconomic and cultural composition of the United States population.”

A popular explanation for the racial divide is that abortion rates are a function of poverty.

Low-income women are more likely to terminate a pregnancy, and black women are more likely to be low-income.

Yet there are limits to this argument.

Hispanic households are comparable to black ones in finances, sexual activity and use of birth control. Yet Hispanic women choose to abort at a rate much closer to that of white women than black women. Even when controlling for income, according to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, black women still have significantly higher rates of abortion.

The sad truth is that many black women are not acting irrationally when they decide to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. They are playing the odds.

Out-of-wedlock Hispanic birthrates are above average, but Hispanic marriage rates are comparable to those of whites, which is not the case among blacks. Most Hispanic children are raised by two parents, while most black children are not.

Many black women may be choosing to abort because they don’t believe the father will stick around to help raise the child.

The Left plays down the discomforting incentives and unintended consequences that have resulted from Roe v. Wade.

If liberal activists and their media allies are going to lecture America about the value of black lives, the staggering disparity in abortion rates ought to be part of the discussion.

Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014).
[Sept. 15, 2015, Jason L. Riley, http://www.wsj.com/articles/lets-talk-about-the-racial-disparity-in-abortions-1442356170 ; 16 Sept N. Valko RN]