Let's compromise on abortion: Readers of this blog know that I'm pro-life, but then again, so is Barack Obama. As recently as the last debate, he said that he's not for abortion--nobody is.
So, in the spirit of bipartisanship, let's work together find ways to reduce this problem. Let's do it this way: each side can offer up one idea, and we can next find out how effective the idea is.
You first. Expand public support of birth control for needy women, you say? Great, I'm all for the maximum use of contraceptives as a way to lower the abortion rate. So how effective is it? Well, using Guttmacher data for all 50 states, I calculated the correlation between the percent of needy women getting their birth control paid for by the state and the rate of abortion. It's -.22 (not statistically significant at the .05 level). Not very impressive, but hey, better than nothing (maybe).
Now my idea. Shrink, or at least do not increase, the number of counties around the country with abortion clinics. How much of a difference would this make? The correlation across all 50 states is .68. Much more impressive--it explains almost half of the variance--which is not surprising since it is a conservative idea, but let's not try to score points here. Let's hold hands on this one and do both ideas.