The United States is dangerous for children. How can we help more of them live to see adulthood?

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A recent study in the journal Health Affairs had some dismal news for U.S. children: They have a 70 percent greater chance of dying before they reach adulthood than their peers in comparable developed nations. While child death rates in the United States are still much lower than they were 50 years ago, children still face unique risks that resulted in an estimated 600,000 preventable deaths from 1961 to 2010.

Why is the United States so exceptionally dangerous for children? The report suggests that there are three primary groups of U.S. children at risk: children of all ages who die in car crashes, teenagers killed by guns and babies who die before their first birthday.

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The first group—representing about 1,000 children younger than 13 per year—is both the least complex and the most difficult to change. Passage or stricter enforcement of laws requiring that children be properly restrained in cars may help, as roughly 20 percent of child deaths in car accidents occur in situations where the victims are not wearing a seatbelt or in a safety seat. Also, about 20 percent of child deaths in car accidents are related to drunk driving, and any interventions to reduce drunk driving will also help to reduce child deaths related to the same. But Americans will continue to make most trips by car as long as our government subsidizes highways and encourages sprawl with all sorts of housing-related restrictions. As long as we are driving fast everywhere, we are going to keep getting into accidents, and it is not going to be easy to dramatically shift where we live and how we get around.

In the second group, there are 1,000 or more children who are killed by guns every year in the United States. Incidents such as the mass shooting at a high school in Florida on Feb. 14 are depressingly common, but gun deaths from suicide are now even more common than those from homicide. Some policies would keep people who might misuse guns from buying new firearms and thus put a small dent in gun deaths, but there are already over 300 million guns in the United States today that could still be misused at any time. The website FiveThirtyEight compiled an excellent report several years ago about interventions that can help prevent suicide and homicide even in a milieu where guns are available, but often these programs are underfunded, and access to much-needed mental health services is limited when people cannot pay for them.

Children face unique risks that resulted in an estimated 600,000 preventable deaths from 1961 to 2010.

Over 20,000 infants die in the United States every year, making the third at-risk group much higher than the other categories. Some have suggested that the discrepancy between the United States and other wealthy nations is due to the way in which our infant death statistics are counted. This does play a role—the United States more frequently counts deaths of extremely premature babies than other countries—but we still fail apples-to-apples comparisons of infant mortality.

Fortunately, there are many clear ways to work toward lowering this number. For one, we can make medical care more accessible to mothers and potential mothers. Medicaid covers prenatal care for any pregnant woman unable to pay for it, but so many factors that determine a child’s health are determined even before a woman gets pregnant. If someone is disconnected from the health care system and already struggling with health issues (including mental health issues, which can raise the risk of preterm birth and thus death) before becoming pregnant, her child is all the more at risk from suffering a complication—all the more so if there is a delay in accessing care. I personally knew a young woman who got an abortion because she could not afford prenatal care and did not even realize the costs would be covered.

There are three primary groups of U.S. children at risk: children of all ages who die in car crashes, teenagers killed by guns and babies who die before their first birthday.

Many factors related to preterm birth and infant mortality are related to behaviors like smoking or drug use, but this is not an excuse to throw up our hands when an innocent child is affected by their parents’ behavior. If we genuinely care about these children, we will find ways to get the necessary resources and support to people who struggle with substance abuse, poor eating habits or the general life chaos that often accompanies parents living in poverty. If we decide not to spend time, energy and money improving our health systems and caring for struggling mothers, we allow the cycle to continue to another generation (if the children in question do not die first). There is no excuse for not ensuring that every citizen in the United States has meaningful access to preventative and chronic health care.

When we fail to create a society that is expressly intended to help children grow and heal, that failure shows up in the number of children who die every year. These shortcomings can occur in relatively mundane things like transportation or in more complex and challenging fields like criminal justice and health care. Yet even those complex systems have clearly identifiable solutions, like violence interruption programs and universal health coverage, that would surely make an impact. And there is no substitute for Christians who want to love their struggling neighbor by choosing to share life with them and walk with them through life’s difficulties. If we do not want to see so many children continue to die, we must choose to restructure the broadest national policies as well as the way that we individually spend our days.

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J Cosgrove
2 months 4 weeks ago

This would argue against bringing children here as immigrants. Why would anyone want their children to come to such a horrible place?

Vincent Gaglione
2 months 4 weeks ago

Ways to make America great again...enforce auto regulations and laws, control gun ownership, and provide health care? Oops, wrong administration!

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Vince
Oops ....these statistics cover the last 8 years...your favorite Administration. The current administration has been here for just a year.

Criss Cole
2 months 4 weeks ago

This post could have been written by ACLU for all we know. 600,000 preventable deaths since 1961? Give me a break. More like 60 million preventable deaths, thanks to abortion. Don't give me the healthcare speech until you recognize abortion as the leading cause of death among people and kids in the U.S.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 4 weeks ago

Yes but Criss, You need to research your issue more. Illegalizing abortion and birth control or simply making it harder to access actually increases abortion in every nation and I believe that is what you are hinting towards. If you want to see abortion drop you need to support a different reaction to abortion than criminalizing it. You need to support paid government health care for all citizens so debt from health care does not scare women into aborting (and it does and that is a fact not opinion). You need to support government funded quality day care for all children. You need to support much longer paid paternity and maternity leaves for all adult citizens protected by law, like the western countries with the least abortion rates do. But from the sounds of your comment you are still hiding from the truth on this issue and that makes you complicit with the ongoing large number of abortions in the U.S.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
Your state that : " Illegalizing abortion and birth control or simply making it harder to access actually increases abortion in every nation."

The statistics developed by the World Heath Organization and the Guttmacher Institute in 2016 do not support that statement. First your statement asserts it is true "in every nation"......Guttmacher makes it clear that the reaction to restrictions on abortion is very much dependent on and variable based on whether the nation in question is a "developed nation" vs a "developing nation" and such reaction is certainly not uniform.
Second, the best the Guttmacher institute can conclude is that restrictions have very little net overall effect on the rate of abortion. It must be noted that Guttmacher is one of the leading proponents of abortion rights and that it would have dearly liked to have reached the conclusion you posit.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Dear Stuart,

What you are failing to recognize is that most countries without access to birth control are third world countries or developing slower than the rest because of the lack of access to birth control. My statement is not incorrect and The World Health Organization's stats agree. If you know of several countries with strict access to birth control and abortion that are developed and have lower rates of abortion than Western European Countries, by all means, please offer those statistics from a nationally accepted source alike to The World Health Organization which agrees with Guttmacher's statistics. One can be liberal or conservative and not lie about their research. In this case, Guttmacher does not need to lie about anything, its liberal ideals are supported by the facts and realities of the world.

I will give you this one exception however, Sweden. Sweden has very high abortion rates despite its liberal abortion laws and excellent family benefits and easy access to birth control. However, there is no evidence to indicate that Sweden's high abortion rate would not simply increase even more if they were to illegalize abortion.

I personally support birth control for all women who want it, and support that it be governmentally funded in every nation. I support this because I don't support, morally, the choice to abort for any reason. So even though I won't support illegalizing abortion, as facts, not opinions (that anyone can freely and easily research online) prove this is a choice of reaction that causes abortion to increase on a global scale, I am actually against the act and believe it is a grave sin to commit.

Not liking the facts, does not make them no longer facts. You need to give opposing (as specified above), reputable, source data for me to be incorrect. Until then, I am correct, and my statement is true.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
Your statement was that "restrictions on abortions and birth control actually increases abortion in EVERY nation"
That statement stands as incorrect for the reasons stated: it was a sweeping generalization not based on facts.
Your above response admits as much by differentiating between countries access to both birth control and abortion resulting in different (allegedly attributable) results between those countries.
The 2016 Guttmacher Report takes the position that restrictions on abortion do not reduce abortion rates. But it does not conclude that such restrictions....".actually increases abortion" , which was your statement.
If you simply consider the variation in religious principles, ethnic taboos, restrictive/non restrictive laws, availability of contraception, expense of contraception in poor countries, economic conditions,etc between various countries it is impossible to conclude a result applicable "...in every nation", as you have. Similarly such variations make it impossible to pin point a causal relationship to any single factor which accounts on a uniform basis to ."...every nation.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

I am actually going by the The World Health Organization's Stats which agree with what I have written originally. Again, if you have several examples of developed countries with difficult access to both birth control and abortion, that have lower rates of abortion than the Western European countries, which offer fairly easy access to both, I am more than happy to look at those stats as long as they are from a reputable source. The truth is that you don't because they don't exist. Most under developed countries are under developed due in large part to the lack of access to birth control. Again, these are facts not opinions and easily evidenced from many long term research sources.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Evidence indicates this is correct:

My statement was that "restrictions on abortions and birth control actually increases abortion in EVERY nation".

What evidence, from what countries, do you have that support very limited access to abortion AND BIRTH CONTROL (WE WERE NEVER JUST DISCUSSING ABORTION RATES INCREASING ONLY FROM A LACK OF ACCESS TO ABORTION BUT FROM BIRTH CONTROL FROM THE START OF OUR DIALOGUE (I HAVE NO DOUBT GUTTMACHER WOULD SUPPORT LACK OF ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL CONTRIBUTES TO GREATER AMOUNTS OF ABORTIONS EVERYWHERE.) has no effect on abortion rates? None!! Because if you had any examples, you would have used that information by now in your comments.

Again, not liking the facts does not make them no longer facts. Abortions are high where contraception and abortions are not easily accessible. This is a fact which makes me correct and you incorrect. When countries have made access easier to birth control, and/or abortion, like in the U.S., recently, abortion tends to decrease.

The rate of abortion in the US reached a lower level in 2014 than in any other year since the procedure first became legal, a study has found, a decline that appears to be due to the widespread use of contraception producing a drop in unintended pregnancies.

From an article last year:

Nineteen percent of pregnancies ended in abortion in 2014 – the lowest abortion rate since the supreme court handed down Roe v Wade in 1973, legalizing the procedure – and the number of abortions between 2011 and 2014 also fell, by 12%.

But the researchers found strong indications to link the decline in the abortion rate to the wider availability of highly effective contraception – which could be imperiled by efforts to repeal Obamacare by the incoming Republican administration.

The study appears in the latest issue of Guttmacher Institute’s scholarly journal, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, and was conducted by two of the institute’s researchers, Rachel K Jones and Jenna Jerman.

The researchers made an estimate of the number of abortions by surveying local health department data and abortion clinics, which may be hampered by clinics that did not respond. Guttmacher is a thinktank that supports access to reproductive care, but its data is widely trusted by supporters and opponents of abortion rights alike.

Now the right tried to push the idea that some Western states had made their abortion laws stricter and that is what may have caused the downward turn. However, since those laws had not been put into effect yet when rating this decline in abortions, it can't be a reason for the downturn. However, they may cause an upturn of abortions in those states, so that is something to watch for, or cause an increase in out of state abortions so we should be keeping an eye on neighboring states.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
The bottom line is quite simple: there is no study that creates a causal connection between a single factor increasing or decreasing the number of abortions in a given country , nonetheless a sweeping generalization covering all nations. There are simple to too many variables based on personal religious beliefs, economic and social circumstances, as I noted above. Your original statement that restrictions on abortions and/ birth control actually increase abortions in "every nation" alleges a cause and effect which is unsupportable.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Well both Guttmacher and The World Health Organization disagree with you. And I did not state one factor but two. A lack of access to both Abortion and Birth Control. I have actually cut and pasted the most recent info. on Guttmacher to your comment a few comments below this one. It does indeed state that lack of access to birth control supports the increased amounts of abortion in the countries which are non-Western European and which DO have the highest abortion rates.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
read what you just wrote vs your original comment..."every nation"
Now you are subdividing into non Western, developing, no access to birth control.....not a very good demonstration of your original "EVERY NATION" comment

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

That is correct. Western countries all have better access to birth control and therefore have lower rates of abortion than they would have if they didn't have that better access than all non Western European countries because they don't have that access. All Western European countries are the countries that have the best access to birth control. The united States and Australia and new Zealand have low rates of abortion too due to easier access to birth control and abortion. I really can't spell it out any more clearly than that. I have not changed any part of my original statement. I think you are picking at semantics now due to your lacking any real evidence to support your side of the debate. Sometimes you just need to admit you are wrong

Randal Agostini
2 months 4 weeks ago

I'm sorry - I must be stupid. When I read this article there are 600,000 preventable child deaths per year in the USA, but only 22,000 are identified, of which 2,000 die from guns and car deaths. Then the cure all for Matthew is that huge pile of available OTM. - presumably not his.
I received a circular today with the headline: "Fewer people are religious, but they still want prayer if they are sick.
How are these two thoughts connected?
If I read my scripture correctly Jesus Christ expects us to: 1 - to believe in Him and 2 - follow his way.
If society keeps building and worshiping all kinds of selfie Gods, maybe there will be consequences. This subject is covered quite extensively in the Old Testament.
Is this worth thinking about?

Chuck Kotlarz
2 months 4 weeks ago

Randall, the 600,000 preventable deaths is the estimated fifty year total from 1961 to 2010.

Christ’s healing the sick perhaps expands upon the Old Testament wisdom.

Dan Acosta
2 months 4 weeks ago

If we want to make America safe for children, we should begin by making abortion illegal. 60 million children were murdered since Roe v. Wade.

Chuck Kotlarz
2 months 4 weeks ago

Dan, what is the point of this comment? In Mississippi, the infant mortality rate runs twice the abortion rate.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Chuck
And in California the abortion rate is over 19% vs infant mortality of 4.5%. So the point of your Mississippi rejoinder comment is what?
My point: There are innumerable statistics with at best only an attenuated relevance to this topic. What is irrefutable is that the absolute annual number of intentional infant deaths via abortion is incomprehensibly greater than accidental , albeit potentially correctable, infant deaths in the same year.

Chuck Kotlarz
2 months 3 weeks ago

Stuart, Mississippi’s infant mortality rate running twice the abortion rate shows yet another example of the PLINO (Pro-Life in Name Only) party. Compare the most recent six years of a PLINO white house with Obama. Fourteen percent fewer total abortions occurred under Obama than Bush.

For PLINO, It’s all about the abortions. Nearly half of those receiving abortions live on poverty wages. Aristocracy, of course, thrives on poverty wages.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Chuck
You provide more statistics unmoored from any relevant cause and effect relationship.
For instance when you check Guttmacher and the CDC numbers as of January 2018 the rate of abortion in California (19.5%) is about 5 times the abortion rate in Mississippi (3.8%) . The infant mortality rate in California is 4.2% about 1/2 of the Mississippi infant mortality rate of 8.6%. Further the median income of California is 150% higher than median income in Mississippi ($65,500 vs $40,500) . Taken together what do all of these comparative statistics demonstrate as a cause and effect matter?.......ABSOLUTELY .NOTHING!
Now I could postulate all kinds of crazy and less crazy hypothesis based on combining these statistics but statistics cannot demonstrate as fact that any of them are accurate..

Using the above statistics I suppose I could say: " rich people have a 5 times greater rate of abortions than poor people".........
But in fact if you check Guttmacher and the CDC who have focused on this point , you will find exactly the opposite is true!. Indeed you yourself point out 1/2 of all abortion users live on poverty wages . Yet a comparison of just California and Mississippi abortion rates and income ( the states you picked) would indicate you are wrong!
Bottom line you are citing and abusing unrelated statistics to attempt to demonstrate "a cause and effect proposition " that seemingly supports and validates a particular narrow political viewpoint which you prefer.

Lisa Weber
2 months 4 weeks ago

Thank you for a good article on how the USA could better care for its children. None of the interventions mentioned are new or innovative. We are simply failing to do what we know we could do.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 4 weeks ago

Amen. Step number one stop hiding your ears and eyes from the truth.

Mike Theman
2 months 4 weeks ago

We must continue to promote recreational and unmarried sexual relations in all media at all costs. Porn, TV shows for all ages, movies, commercials, all - thank God - depict recreational sex as inconsequential, indeed, something to aspire to. The Church's teaching that men and women should abstain from sex until marriage is so antiquated and unnecessarily assigns guilt to men, women and children. /sarcasm

No, of course we will not stop unwed pregnancies, pregnancies by those who are in no position to be raising children (e.g., those who cannot afford health care), but as long as we consider recreational sex between unmarried partners to be regular behavior, and as long as we view single motherhood with government subsidies equal to married parenthood, this is going to be the trade-off.

Government support of those who should not be having children just increases the behaviors that lead to the deaths of infants. This is all controllable through will and acceptance of the teaching of the Church. There is a reason that freedom of religion is a Constitutional right, but health care and sex are not.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 4 weeks ago

Wow! you could not be much more wrong Mike.

The wild and crazy countries of Western Europe are the ones with some of the most lenient abortion and contraceptive laws and the best access to both, mostly paid by government (whether you are married or not) yet they have the lowest abortion rates, and lowest maternal and infant mortality rates. They also have universal health care for all people, paid day care for all citizen's children so both parents can easily work, and much better paternity and maternity and labor laws overall.

Whereas the good Catholics that are super religious in behavior and comprise the poor countries in Africa, South America and Asia, and have the least access to any form of abortion or contraception and health care or day care or decent labor laws have the highest abortion rates, and the highest maternal and infant mortality rates on a global scale. This article is comparing the U.S. to other industrialized nations and we do come out very poorly in that comparison.

Mike Theman
2 months 3 weeks ago

Sorry, Nora, but that's an apples to oranges comparison that, given the differences in history and culture between the US and other countries, is virtually meaningless. A more credible assessment is to look at the US now compared to, say, 60 years ago and look at what's changed. Heck, one could more easily make the argument that US policies that emulate Western Europe are actually the cause of our problems.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Not really, since O'bama care's easier access to birth control may have brought us to a level of abortion so low that it is about the same percentage rate as existed in the 1950's before abortion was legal. In fact, since records back in the 50's were likely not showing the true amount of abortions due to it being illegal, we may be at an even lower rate than then.

There is no apples and oranges, country to country, is a legitimate comparison when judging things globally, as this article aimed to do. Perhaps you need to research facts instead of Trumpisms.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
You are presenting a false picture of the relative abortion rates " in the Wild and crazy counties of Western Europe" .
There is a complete country list compiled by Wm Robert Johnston as of February 2017 which demonstrates the error of your sweeping generalization that "those countries have the lowest abortion rates". Guttmacher'S statistics are slightly different but that is attributed in part by the differences in the "definition of abortion" used in various countries. Interestingly and importantly some countries catagorize post viability procedures as "pregnancy terminations" and they are not included in their abortion totals . I believe the US abortion numbers also include its " termination of pregnancy" figures.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Again Stuart, if you are going to state my comment has any errors, you need to offer opposing facts from legitimate sources. Where are the countries that have higher abortion rates than western European countries per pregnancy, that are either developed or under developed countries, but also have very difficult access to both birth control and abortion? This should be a simple question to answer unless you are incorrect in your critique and have no countries as evidence to support your rebuttal of my original statement based on the facts and research of The World Health Organization. Where is the country list showing Germany has more abortions than India per 100 pregnancies or more than Brazil per 100 pregnancies? Source please before you critique. Thanks.

Also I looked up the source's stats which you gave and it was already incorrect compared to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list U.S. where all legal abortions rated at 12% in 2015 percent but your source stated it was 17.13 percent. It also reported Greenland at a much higher rate than it was for the year your source indicated. I only check a few and none came out accurate from your source to The World Health Orgs. stats.

From Guttmacher regarding lack of needed contraception increasing abortion rates - please read the bottom line:

REGIONAL INCIDENCE AND TRENDS:

• The highest annual rate of abortion in 2010–2014 was in the Caribbean, estimated at 59 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, followed by South America, at 48.

The lowest rates were in Northern America, at 17, and Western and Northern Europe—at 16 and 18, respectively.

• Across regions, Eastern Europe experienced the largest decline in the abortion rate, from 88 in 1990–1994 to 42 in 2010–2014. Despite this decline, there is a persistent gap in rates between Eastern and Western Europe (42 vs. 16) likely reflecting lower use of effective, modern contraceptive methods in Eastern Europe.

• The overall abortion rate in Africa was 34 per 1,000 women in 2010–2014. Subregional rates ranged from 31 in Western Africa to 38 in Northern Africa. There has been little if any change in abortion rates in these subregions since 1990–1994.

• For Latin America, subregional abortion rates range from 33 in Central America to 48 in South America. Rates have increased slightly since 1990–1994, but not by statistically significant amounts.

• Abortion rates in Asia have also fallen since 1990–1994, although not significantly. Asia’s subregions all have rates close to the regional average of 36 per 1,000 women.

• Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. When countries are grouped according to the grounds under which the procedure is legal, the rate is 37 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age where it is prohibited altogether or allowed only to save a woman’s life, compared with 34 per 1,000 where it is available on request, a nonsignificant difference.

• High levels of unmet need for contraception help explain the prevalence of abortion in countries with restrictive abortion laws.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
Look at the Johnston Stats referenced above. No set of statistics support the sweeping generalizations you make.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

I did and your source does not match any other legitimate source's data. You need to use globally acceptable sources if you want to put forth evidence for your argument. I have put down Guttmacher's latest information and it does in fact back what I stated and so does the World Health Organization. Countries with both restrictive abortion laws and contraceptive laws have higher abortion rates on a global scale. You have not disproved this fact. Using poor sources or deflecting obvious evidence with unsupported manufactured alternative hypothesis does not equate to you proving your point. Support your side of the argument with the continuously requested opposing evidence from viable sources and then there may be a point to continuing this dialogue. Otherwise, you are just another guy who can't handle losing a debate.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
I suggest you look to many publications like the Economist which use the Johnston stats .
Further WHO itself refers to its own stats respecting developing countries in footnotes as follows: "what information as is available is inevitably not completely reliable." And the UN Population Division refers to these WHO abortion statistics as..."quite speculative since hard data are missing for a large majority of countries".
In sum your basic argument was and is a gross generalization which also does a disservice to the people compiling the stats since they would never abuse them to reach such broad conclusions.

You have asserted that ...."restrictions on abortion and birth control increase abortions in every nation". You have relied on Guttmacher statistics as your primary source for this gross generalization. In point of fact if you look at Guttmacher' US abortion statistics you will find you have this argument exactly backwards: Guttmacher reports that in 1973 (a point after their 1965 ruling legalizing birth control) when the Court removed abortion restrictions the US abortion total was approximately 750,000. After the lifting of those restrictions the US abortion rate rapidly doubled to about 1,555,000 in 1980. It stayed at that annual number for the next 15 years until it began any perceptible decline to the recent current rate of about 925,000. If you are going to impute "a cause and effect relationship" between restrictions and abortion rates as you argue in your comments , then using your logic it is incontrovertible that the lifting of restrictions in the US must have "caused" a massive increase in the number of abortions!
Note that this is not my argument that there is a proveable "cause and effect" between the imposition of such restrictions and abortions but it is your argument. My position is there are so many variables in what causes , permits, encourages and facilitates abortions that no causal relationship can be established between establishing restrictions or removing restrictions and their effect on abortion rates . Indeed your own quote above from Guttmacher supports my position.: Guttmacher concludes there is no meaningful statistical difference in the rate of abortions in countries with restrictions on abortion and those countries with few if any restrictions. As a former subsidiary of the Planned Parnthood Foundation, Guttmacher would have been strongly inclined to reach a different conclusion if it could have!

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

I have been patient and you are just looking to be wrong. When the WHO states the underdeveloped countries data aren't completely reliable it is because in countries where it is illegal it is probably more often happening than it is reported not less. In America when abortion became legal it was still difficult to get and use birth control especially if the woman was married, in many states, which is why the greatest amount of abortions, early on, were by married women.
This is likely why legalization increased abortion here quickly. Now that we have had much better access to birth control here in the U.S., the rate of abortion has lowered substantially, and to as low, if not lower, than when abortion was illegal.

For the record, we also went thru a sexual revolution in our country during this time period, and I never claimed that abortion rates rose only due to a lack of BC access and strict abortion laws, but only that all countries do show higher rates of abortion that have bad or strict access to both, and this is still correct. Also I did use both WHO and Guttmacher and CDC stats, and Guttmacher did state lack of BC leads to higher abortion rate- see above comment. I have no idea what stats the Economist uses. However, that is for you to supply proof to support your argument. I have real doubts about much of any of your statements because you tend to twist and take out of context much of our previously discussed source information, proving to me that you don't really care about the truth of this issue but have some other agenda. I am done at this point and will let people research the information for themselves . I am satisfied I have proved my side. You have not given evidence to prove yours which again should have been easy to give to me if you were correct.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
I gave you the Johnston Stats.....you don't like them and disparage them as "not globally accepted"...I pointed out respected publications such as the Economist use them. It's accepted as a very respected "global"publication!
You asserted a cause and effect argument: that restrictions on abortion and birth control " cause an increase in abortion in every nation". I have simply countered that such a sweeping conclusion cannot be reached based on your statistics. And finally demonstrated with your own statistical sources that if your logic were applied based just on your own statistical sources that it could be shown that removing restrictions on abortion in the US would be deemed to have "caused an increase in abortions". You now revert to "other cultural variables" trying to explain that away. I think you will find that I cited those variables as the very reason your original statistical cause and effect argument was not valid .

Ps. I suggest that you take a look at the comparative statistics on all aspects of abortion that are produced by Guttmacher and the CDC. They frequently differ significantly enough that Guttmacher has launched critiques of the CDC numbers and methodology. The Economist published an article using in large part Johnston statistics which takes the position that Guttmacher generally overstates the numbers in its statistics. In many years the CDC has reported numbers which are 300,000 lower than Guttmachers. Guttmacher and CDC use entirely different methods of collecting their underlying data. In short there is no finite agreement on these numbers ...other than they observe on a hindsight basis the possible development of trends.

Chuck Kotlarz
2 months 3 weeks ago

Stuart, Johnston stats show Mississippi’s average abortion rate ran five percent lower during the Clinton presidency v. Reagan-Bush 41.

After Clinton, the average rate jumped over ten percent with Bush 43 in the white house. The average rate then fell 25% during Obama’s first six years.

Your comments please.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Chuck
See my extended comments above: to your earlier attempt at comparing California and Mississippi.....in sum you drag out unrelated statistics to attempt to create a causal effect that the stats themselves neither attempt or claim to prove.

Chuck Kotlarz
2 months 3 weeks ago

Stuart, perhaps we can just say, “a conservative in office had no effect”. I will continue to note favorable trends when a democrat held office. Readers can draw their own conclusion.

In Mississippi, a republican in the white house had no effect on the abortion rate. The average abortion rate fell 25% during Obama’s first six years.

In California, a republican in the white house had no effect on the abortion rate. The average abortion rate fell 35% during the Clinton presidency and 40% during Obama’s first two years.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

More no sources to back your statements. No countries to make comparisons with many sources to verify any of your statements are accurate. I have given evidence you obviously can't. As I said after abortion became legal here BC was still difficult to access. So again unless you change both issues you still have higher abortion rates until greater access to both is given.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
You claimed citation of "evidence" is your selective pick of a published statistic for which YOU then create "casualty" for a result that suits your own purposes. That potent combination is NOT evidence .......it is at best an exercise in creative writing. The politest excuse I can give you is that you do not know the difference between "correlation" and "causation".
I have not tried to prove anything. I have simply noted that your abuse of statistics to create sweeping statements of causality is intellectually dishonest. QED

Nora Bolcon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Stuart, I believe that what you are attempting to do is make people who read this dialogue believe that no matter how many legitimate sources disagree with your one preposterous one, no one can possibly come up with the obvious conclusion or answer that to help lower abortion worldwide, we need to give out free birth control to those women who wish to use it. (and I say that as a person who looked at your sources stats and it quoted that Greenland had an abortion rate of 85% of all pregnancies one year. Greenland disagreed with that stat.).

I think you just don't want to own the FACT that birth control clearly lowers abortions and therefore anyone who actually is Pro Life should be supporting free birth control and that includes the Roman Catholic Church.

Where is this article? (It isn't evidence unless you produce it in some way): Economist published an article using in large part Johnston statistics which takes the position that Guttmacher generally overstates the numbers in its statistics.

Where is this statement from CDC or its stat comparison? what year are you referring to? : In many years the CDC has reported numbers which are 300,000 lower than Guttmachers.
(Again this is not evidence without information to verify it against - quotes from actual articles or links to those articles etc. Otherwise the information you are using to back your debate could just be your misinterpretation of what you have read or a daydream you had.)

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Nora
I have not tried to prove anything.
I have critiqued your use of statistics to argue "cause and effect" where at best there is correlation. You draw bold conclusions of cause from data that is only correlated. .... you started this exchange by stating ".... Illegalizing abortion or birth control or making it harder to access ACTUALLY INCREASES ABORTION IN EVERY NATION" .....
The sources you referenced when challenged showed correlation of thes variables but not causation which is what you asserted......emphatically so by your phrase.".... In every nation"

There are references for why your use of statistical source references to create causality is abusive.
Since we are not allowed by this site to paste in such cross references , I have found two reasonable collections of the comparative statistics you request :See National Right To Life Foundation and click on their Download for "Abortion Statistics" where they have neatly created a chart ,side by side , of the numbers produced by Guttmacher and the CDC from 1973 to 2014. You will note that their respective numbers vary by as much as @300,000 abortions per year. The "Side Bar" to that Chart describes the entirely different methodology used by Guttmacher and the CDC..
Incidently the last entry in the Side Bar also tries, as you do, to impute "causality" where only "correlation" can be noted. To wit, the Side Bar notes that the number of Abortion Clinics declined by 65 after 2010 and states "that loss was is likely a big factor in the overall drop of 132,000 abortions seen in those[subsequent]three years". This statement of causality (while couched by "likely") cannot be made on the statistical information provided......viz: it is just as "likely" that a reduction in the number of demands for abortions in those three years was a factor in the closing of 65 clinics in those three years! There is only a demonstrable "correlation" between the closures and the drop in abortion numbers. There is no demonstrable cause and effect relationship.
See also a very neat summary of the critiques of the Guttmacher statistics using the Johnston Statistics that was published in The Washington Times in an Article by Crouse titled "PLANNED PARENTHOOD THINK TANK INFLATES ABORTION NUMBERS". , dated Thursday December 27, 2012.

Finally I refer you to any text book on Statistics to find a concise discription of the difference between "statistics demonstrating correlation vs causation"
"A correlation between [statistics representing] variables does not automatically mean that a change in one variable is the cause of a change in the values of the other variable. Causation indicates that the change in one variable is the result of the change in the other variable". (See e.g. Australian Bureau of Statistics-Statistical Language)
Statistics are a record of what happened not why it happened . They can indicate trends but the bar for using them to demonstrate causality is very high and depends on the elimination of all other variables or creating a control for them.
Indeed when I pointed out "the correlation" between the abortion numbers and the Supreme Court legalizing abortion in 1973 ----the massive increase in US abortions for @ 20 years (see Guttmacher) you immediately lept to deny that the Supreme Court change "caused" those abortions ......you did so by referencing other variables such as birth control, its cost, its availability etc.. As I noted I never said there was causality , I just applied your use of such statistics.

Again I have not tried to prove any of these statistics represent "the cause" of any event....but you have. ..."limiting access to abortion and birth control actually increases abortion in every nation". If you wish to believe that is true ...then fine. But asserting that you have statistically proved it is inaccurate at best. Of some note I believe this started many comments above by your assertion of your superior knowledge by reproving another commentator named Criss stating that "he needed to increase his research of issues " and still later by boldly calling out another commentator named Mike by asserting as your lead in line "WOW you could not be much more wrong Mike."

Chuck Kotlarz
2 months 3 weeks ago

Stuart, the stone age did not end because they ran out of stones.

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