The Corner

Law & the Courts

Yes, Abortion Restrictions Can Reduce Abortion Rates

Over on the homepage, Kyle Blanchette has an excellent piece debunking the notion that abortion laws are ineffective — i.e., that they fail even to reduce abortion rates, and instead replace safe abortions with unsafe ones in “back alleys.” He points out methodological flaws in the research used to make this claim and highlights other, more rigorous studies that contradict it.

As if on cue, the National Bureau of Economic Research has a new one for the pile:

We conduct a comprehensive analysis of the effect of parental involvement (PI)
laws on the incidence of abortions to minors across a span of nearly three decades. . . . We find that, on average, PI laws enacted before the mid-1990s are associated with a 15% to 20% reduction in minor abortions. PI laws enacted after this time are not, on average, associated with declines in abortions to minors.

Of course, it’s alarming (to pro-lifers) that these laws have been less effective in states that have passed them more recently. Unfortunately, the researchers weren’t able to tease out exactly why this happened, but they do float some ideas for further research: “One possibility is . . . differential changes in the composition of teens at risk of abortion due to differences in the use of contraceptive technology, access to medication abortion and to changes in parent-child relationships. Differences in the availability of judicial and physician bypass may also play an important role in some settings.”

Most Popular

Education

An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions ... Read More
Elections

A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats

The crisis of the Democrats is becoming more evident each week. Those of us who have been loudly predicting for years that the Russian-collusion argument would be exposed as a defamatory farce, and that the authors of it would eventually pay for it, are bemused at the fallback position of the Trump-haters: that ... Read More
White House

MoveOn.GOP?

Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More
Elections

Why ‘Stop Sanders’?

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” T. S. Eliot asked. “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” And where is the intelligence we have lost in cleverness? Cleverness is the plague of our political classes, an influenza of the intellect. The consultants are always trying to ... Read More