The Corner

Jobs and Life

Prof. Glen Harold Stassen has argued that pro-lifers should support John Kerry because Bush’s economic policies have led to increased abortion rates. The National Right to Life Committee, among others, has responded to the bits of evidence and logic Stassen uses to reach these conclusions. Now Justin Taylor has posted Stassen’s response to the critiques. I don’t doubt that Stassen is sincere in wanting to reduce the abortion rate. But to my mind, his response is totally unpersuasive, as was his initial “study.” He doesn’t establish that higher unemployment or lower health-insurance rates increase the abortion rate, that Bush’s policies have caused unemployment to rise, or that abortion rates have even risen at all under Bush. For example, he does not deal with NRLC’s point that abortion rates and unemployment rates don’t appear to correlate with each other among states. Nor does Stassen attempt to deal with other factors that might have affected the data. Stassen also leans too much on his own family’s experience, in a way that attempts to guilt-trip people out of disagreeing with him.

One side-issue that has come up here is whether a statement that the professor signed in 1977 supported Roe v. Wade. If anyone has a copy of that statement and could post it, this issue, at least, could be resolved.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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