There’s a belief, rumor if you will, that abortions decrease under a Democrat administration due to increased access to contraception and other preventative measures. This line of reasoning is used by people who want to vote for a pro-abortion president, despite claiming that they are pro-life. It’s not entirely true and is actually a misinterpretation of the facts.
Between 2008 and 2009, the last year of the George W. Bush administration and the beginning of the Barack Obama administration, abortions dropped 5%. In the years before, the largest decrease in abortions was 3.1% and the least was 0.1%. Why did that happen? Though the reason is not entirely known, some of it could be due to simple politics.
While a Democrat president is in office, Republican states are more likely to adopt pro-life legislation to counteract any pro-abortion legislation that could come from the president or Congress. This is done through the governor and state legislature.
In 2008, The New York Times reported that there were 29 states led by Democrat governors and 21 states led by Republicans. By 2010, just two years into the Obama administration, that number had drastically dropped to 20 governorships for Democrats and 29 for Republicans, with one independent. In 2012, Republicans gained another governorship, flipping the state of North Carolina.
Based on those trends, is it more likely that the Obama administration was responsible for the decrease in abortions, or that it was the result of a massive gain for Republican governors who could work with pro-life legislatures to enact specific pro-life state policies on abortion?
I would argue that the latter had a greater influence here than the former.
Especially as Republican governors are more inclined to approve pro-life legislation since the Democrat president could increase abortion access.
After the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and the growing possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, certain states have made the decision to either adopt pro-life legislation, like Louisiana’s Love Life Amendment, or increase abortion access, like Massachusetts.
Currently, the Commonwealth is revisiting a radical piece of pro-abortion legislation, which would strip the state of many of its various abortion regulations.
“We are very concerned that Massachusetts’ women’s reproductive rights are under threat at the national level,” House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka said in a joint statement last week, The Boston Globe reports. “We are therefore committed to debate measures in the House and Senate this session that would remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade.”
Last year, the Pilgrim State had been debating the ROE Act, which would do several things, including eliminating the requirement that minors have parental consent before an abortion, allowing abortion after 24 weeks in the event of a fatal birth defect, remove the 24-hour waiting period and require the state to cover abortions for low-income women.
The bill would also deny care to babies born alive after a failed abortion. In a statement to The Daily Citizen, Melissa Ohden, an abortion survivor, said, “There is no circumstance, ever, that would justify the denial of giving medical care to a baby born alive after an attempted abortion. It has nothing to do with women’s rights, access to abortion, or any of the abortion industry talking points. That baby is completely helpless and if it were born in any other situation, that baby would be immediately transferred to NICU instead of being left to die. There are at least hundreds of survivors of abortion in this country, including several in Massachusetts. Lawmakers cannot dehumanize a subset of the population, telling them they are worthless, and expect silence. We are speaking out for those infants left to die and who deserve medical care and love.”
The Massachusetts House Speaker is pushing for a vote as soon as this week, which, if passed, would hopefully be blocked by the state’s Republican governor.