Friday, July 3, 2009

Do pro-life policies reduce abortions? Absolutely

In the recent coverage of the 2008 abortion decrease in Minnesota, what I found most interesting was this passage from an AP story:
Wendy Hellerstedt, a professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health who studies reproductive issues, said the declines may be explained by state policy changes in the past few years that deter abortions.

For example, she said, Minnesota now requires the notification of parents before minors can get an abortion. In addition, she said, all women now must receive state-specified counseling that discourages abortion, and they must observe a 24-hour waiting period.

"There has been an escalation of policies that limit access," Hellerstedt said.
It's not uncommon to hear that pro-life legislative efforts don't really affect abortion numbers. That's simply not true, as the U of M professor concedes. Dr. Michael New and others have demonstrated convincingly that modest pro-life policies -- such as parental notification requirements and (especially) limits on taxpayer funding of abortion -- reduce the number of abortions and save many innocent human lives.