The Numbers Game

July-August 2012

On the heels of the ballyhooed Gallup report (see the previous New Oxford Note), the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released its latest National Vital Statistics Report (vol. 60, no. 7; released June 20), an exhaustive report on the “Estimated Pregnancy Rates & Rates of Pregnancy Outcomes for the United States, 1990-2008.” As with the Gallup report, the results of the NCHS report were immediately championed by pro-lifers as documenting further the strides the movement has made in combating the abortion juggernaut.

The NCHS’s report documents the number of pregnancies, births, miscarriages, and abortions in the U.S. on a year-by-year basis from 1976 to 2008. The year 1990 set the record for abortions in the period under study: According to the NCHS, 1,609,000 of all pregnancies that year ended in abortion. By contrast, in 2008, the most recent year of the NCHS study, 1,212,000 pregnancies ended in abortion. Quick to capitalize, LifeNews.com gleefully reported (June 20) that “the abortion rate in the United States has dropped 25 percent since 1990.” Twenty-five percent! Wow. This eye-popping drop, LifeNews.com tells us, proves that “the pro-life movement is making progress in stopping abortions.”

That’s certainly cause for a round of congratulations.

But before we start chest-bumping and high-fiving, let’s take a deeper look into the NCHS study. It so happens that 1990 was the high-water-mark year both for abortions and pregnancies in the U.S. There were more pregnancies and abortions in 1990 than in any other year between 1976 and 2008. So, we must account for the fact that there were fewer babies in the womb to abort in 2008 than there were in 1990. Let’s do the math.


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New Oxford Notes: July-August 2012

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We must defend the object of faith as "the first truth" as stated
Dionysius in Div. Nom . VII in in Saint Thomas Aquinas Summa ( Pt II-II question 1 first article)
Reference books to use to defend our faith should be
Bible with traditional teachings of the Church ( Saint Thomas Aquinas Summa Theology - Science of Geometry and formal aspect of the science is the mean of demonstration , Aristotle volume 1 and 2 And the Church Encyclicals )
Posted by: laguerre12
July 27, 2012 11:15 AM EDT
In addition to defending our faith with certainty: another reference work for a better understanding of Saint Thomas Aquinas Sumna Theology terminology : Latin- English dictionary of Saint Thomas Aquinas based on the Summa Theological and selected passage (author Roy J. Deferrari)
Justice and truth is the object of the intellect which equals human dignity and respect in our society.
Posted by: laguerre12
July 27, 2012 02:16 PM EDT
It is very clear who LifeNews is trying to flatter in distorting the stats: foremost, the American hierarchy and clerical machine. It's as though, now, we can rest on our laurels about all the systemic problems in the Church today, because finally we see "results" from the efforts of our leaders. Results, that is, on the number one moral issue of our time. It's about giving validation to certain figures rather than to the philosophy of the cause itself.
For years, an effort has been underway, led by EWTN's Colleen Carroll Campbell, to convince the public that younger generations are turning to orthodoxy and away from secularism. I guess that's why half of millennials support gay marriage then? And fewer endorse "organized religion" than prior generations? See, it's not about validating the substance of orthodoxy, but rather neoconservative support for clericalism, exalting the papacy of John Paul II and the American hierarchy.
Posted by: jjackson
July 24, 2012 01:07 AM EDT
Our youth in parochial schools are being dehumanized by sexualized catechetics. Beginning in kindergarten youth are taught they have a right to choose their own methods to appease their lower passions. See motherswatch.net part l and 2. New barbarians are being raised by these curriculae. When will pro-life groups go to the root cause of abortion - sex education in classrooms? I've given up giving to them because they will not combat those who mandate sex ed in parochial schools. Posted by: Bayleaf
August 31, 2012 08:49 PM EDT
It is still a 25% reduction based on your numbers.
A reduction from 24% to 18% is still a 25% decline not a 6% decline. A decline of 6% from 24% would produce a rate of approximately 22.6%. I agree this is way to high and we should not celebrate that almost one in five pregnancies ends in an abortion.
Posted by: jlenchek
September 09, 2015 11:33 AM EDT
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