Why Do Republicans Make Women Get Abortions?


Clearly, that’s the only question we should be asking in the face of this conclusive chart of abortion rate reduction under different presidents. (Here are a couple more charts.) Looking at these, you’d assume that Republicans were abortionplex investors. (via)

The messaging on abortion is tough, and I understand why some Democrats don’t want to get near it because they have to admit that they support legal abortions in order to make further points. But some variation on “safe, legal, widely available and rare”,  combined with a discussion of Obamacare and free contraception, is a winner for Democrats. Men and women like birth control, they understand that it reduces abortion and unwanted pregnancy, and one party wants to increase availability of contraception, while the other wants to limit it. That’s a clearly drawn issue where we’re on the right side, no matter how much slut shaming and sex negativity the right wing media wants to sling.

(By the way, I’m not taking this graph or the others overly seriously, but for once I’d like to see Republicans do a little bit of explaining when faced with an uncomfortable, but perhaps coincidental, set of statistics.)

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46 replies
  1. 1
    c u n d gulag says:

    GOP & Christianista POV:

    Those are so-called Libtard “facts” using so-called Libtard “numbers.”

    We BELIEVE those stats are not only wrong, but that they were sent by Satan himself!!!

    And belief, trumps any “statistics” any day!!!!!

    We BELIEVE that God created women to be subservient to men.
    To cook, clean, bear children, and STFU!!!!!!!!!!, when told to!

    So, you can take those stats, and stick them where the Sun, which circles the Earth, don’t shine, LIBTARDS!!!!!

  2. 2
    gnomedad says:

    Ethical incrementalism is for nerds. These guys get off on Holy War. Also, liberals invented abortion in 1973.

  3. 3
    seabe says:

    I don’t want them talking about this “safe, legal, rare” bullshit. Just as with gay marriage, I want them to wrap their arms around their media image as the “abortion party.” Why bother fighting it? It doesn’t matter if you’re Bart fucking Stupak, they will hate you if you have a D after your name.

    So forget “safe, legal, and rare,” and embrace Abortion on Demand and Without Apology

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just proving once again that in order to govern, one has to, you know, govern.

  5. 5
    Ken says:

    Anybody remember RIck Perry, when he was shown the stats that abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work? I’m not expecting anything better this time.

  6. 6
    TS says:

    Abortion – yet again – becomes the GOP topic of the moment when they have nothing else. I cannot believe that men are still discussing what should/should not be done to women’s bodies. That women have to re-fight this war EVERY year – and that they have to go to extremes to prove that abortion is a necessary health care option is slowly sending me insane.

    I’ll go with the on demand and without apology option – which I have been saying since the 1960s.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    The graph is no good. People are incapable of interpreting it correctly–my guess is that the average Republican voter will look at it and see blue/danger increasing under Democrats while red/good is too small. Reverse the color or choose neutral colors and also change the scale to make the Republican one look bigger and the Democratic one look smaller.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    The key words in your title are “make women.” The rest is merely embellishment.

  9. 9
    Monty says:

    These graphs are grossly inaccurate to the extent that they convey no useful information. Reagan/Bush/Bush governed in concert with a Democratic Congress; likewise, under Clinton/Obama, Congress has a largely Republican bent. In addition to that, I should think that individual state governorships would be a factor worth considering – but for some reason has been omitted from this “analysis.”

    The basic takeaway is that the choice of framing, “Abortion Reduction by President,” is hugely distortive and misleading.

    If there is a Republican out there with any brains at all, that’s how they’ll respond.

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    Republicans, is there anything they can’t make worse?

  11. 11
    dr. bloor says:

    That’s a clearly drawn issue where we’re on the right side, no matter how much slut shaming and sex negativity the right wing media wants to sling.

    Unfortunately, there are too many Democrats who think the American voters are as stupid as the Republicans do.

  12. 12
    cathyx says:

    It’s the economy, stupid. When republicans are in office, the economy tanks and people get more abortions because they can’t support another person. When the economy is better, usually during democratic presidents, people are more willing to take on the responsibility.

  13. 13
    Schlemizel says:

    @dr. bloor: And too often that American voters have shown that the suspicion is fully justified.

  14. 14
    MomSense says:

    I am watching the Staphylococcus round table try to discuss health care. Jonathan Karl is still portraying the CBO report as a job killer. No wonder we can’t discuss access to contraception and abortion in an intelligent way. Republicans slut shame and the media roll around in that catnip and forget the facts.

    One of the problems on the issue of abortion is that the fundamentalist Christians do not want women to have sex or use birth control. They don’t want teenagers to have comprehensive sex education. They want women to obey their strict sexual rules and to be punished if they don’t. They obsess about the fetus being kept alive but will take the food stamps away from that child born into poverty in a welfare queen second.

  15. 15
    the Conster says:


    I hope Huckabee decides to run and never shuts up about abstinence and libido and women’s character who use birth control. Men don’t want unwanted babies either, which seems to be lost on all of the old white GOP neanderthals. But I repeat myself.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @the Conster:

    I hope Huckabee and Santorum are neck and neck for the lead in the primary.

  17. 17
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    But to the abortions in the “R” column include back-alley abortions?

    I demand to see the correlation with coat-hanger sales!

  18. 18
    the Conster says:


    Yes, I mentioned yesterday that those two going at it hammer and tong for South Carolina’s teatard base would be epic FAIL. Fun to watch, but scary FAIL.

  19. 19
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @Monty: In politics, when your response has 3x the words of the accusation, the accuser is winning.

  20. 20
    Mark S. says:

    I don’t know the answer, but it has something to do with Uncle Sugar.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    Why Do Republicans Make Women Get Abortions?

    Aren’t the wimmins always supposed to be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant?

  22. 22

    This information is not just irrelevant, but meaningless to an anti-abortion conservative. They don’t think in terms of results. They think in terms of who has the moral high ground. They’re not trying to reduce abortions, they’re trying to make abortions illegal. They want the universal moral and legal framing to be that abortions are evil. It is almost exactly like their desire for abstinence-only sex education. They don’t want to reduce teenage sex, they want teenagers to believe that sex is wrong. Most of them magically believe that the only way to achieve the right results is to chant the right moral slogan anyway (a depressingly common human belief).

    In the case of abortion, they care about this issue strongly because yelling that baby killing is evil makes them feel wonderfully righteous about being sadistic assholes. That’s what drives their passion, though, not their thinking.

  23. 23
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    This suggests abortions are always being reduced. See, both sides do it.

  24. 24
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Monty: Yeah, I’m wondering if this is actually the result of better policy under Democratic Presidents, or if it’s that Democratic Presidents cause a massive reaction that drives Republicans to pass wacko anti-abortion laws and terrorists to kill abortion providers while they’re in office.

  25. 25
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Chart number two shows a steady decrease since about 1991. What happened then? Operation Rescue started civil disobedience to close down the Abortionplex.

    “Our group has been the single biggest reason for the decline in baby murders. Send your checks now.”

  26. 26
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …on that hypothesis, the Wikipedia list of anti-abortion terrorist acts is inconclusive:


    Clinic bombings went on without interruption during the GWB administration, but successful murders mostly happened during the Clinton years, and paused under GWB… then George Tiller was killed in 2009, when Obama was in office.

  27. 27
    RaflW says:

    Here’s the thing about both deficit scolds and abortion scolds: their motivation is not to actually reduce either of these things, their motivation is to have something to scold other people about, to have something to feel morally superior about, and to have something to hang other policy priorities on that masquerade as ‘solving’ these problems.

    I have no doubt that rank and file anti-abortion people really do want to limit/end abortion. I’m talking about the professional class that lords it over all of us, they are not in it to get what they say they are.

    And it’s nice to have some data to back that up. But data doesn’t tend to convince the rank-and-file anti-abortion voter. Though they are on to the fact that they’ve been used for decades as ATMs and votes by the GOP, and gotten little nationally. That’s why they’ve shifted to the states and – sadly – made progress on restricting women’s choices.


  28. 28
    Aimai says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: one hundred percent this.

  29. 29
    Citizen_X says:

    @seabe: @Monty: To quote LBJ, “I just want to make the the son of a bitch deny it!”

  30. 30
    auntie beak says:

    @c u n d gulag: well put, c u n d gulag. i wish people would understand that there is no argument you can make with republicans that will cause them to spend so much as a nanosecond rethinking their positions. show them numbers? “your numbers lie.” tell an anecdote? “pure fabrication.”

    the only time (our gracious host excepted) i’ve ever seen a republican change his mind about social issues is when it directly affects him/her. light dawns on marblehead! “my daughter shouldn’t have to bear the child of her rapist! that’s inhuman!” and even then, they put the narrowest interpretation possible on the issue. like, exceptions for good white girls in the case of rape or incest, but not for those slutty blahs.

  31. 31
    diana says:

    @auntie beak: yeah, I’ve noticed that whenever a Republican thinks we should expand the safety net or health insurance availability, it’s only because they themselves had a family member who became disabled or got sick. It’s never a policy change, only a personal one.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, the Dems look at things from a utilitarian perspective, while the Rethugs are theodouches, hellbent on punishing anyone who dares to have sex for any reason other than making a baby, which will be carried to term and then forgotten.

  33. 33
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @aunti beak, @diana

    This is exactly the reason that all possible misfortunes should be visited upon influential GOPers and their nearest and dearest.

    When Paul Ryan is sleeping under a bridge, slowly dying from a painful, treatable-but-too-expensive-to-treat disease, cold, hungry, broke, with DTs and addiction, and an emerging sense that yes, he is gay, then FINALLY he might GET IT.

    Until then, f’im.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Kinder, Kirche, und Küche

  35. 35
    WereBear says:

    I just finished a book, Remembering Satan, about the Satanic panic years, focusing on a particularly amazing case in Washington State. The writer felt it happened because the family was ” particularly suggestible” but I felt he missed the point. EVERY evangelical is taught not to think and do as they are told.

    That’s the real problem.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Shit, even Bob Dole in a wheelchair, on the floor of the Senate, could not persuade enough Rethug scum to approve the UN disability treaty. Which is based on ADA in many ways.

  37. 37
    Nutella says:


    rank and file anti-abortion people really do want to limit/end abortion

    No, they don’t. 99% of them are opposed to birth control, too, which means they don’t give a shit about abortion. They just want to punish women any way they can.

    You could show similar stats about the deficit and the size of federal government under recent D and R presidents. Anybody who really wants lower deficits would look at those and vote D forever, but again, they don’t care about deficits at all. They want to punish people who are not like them in any way they can while feeling all self-righteous about their superficially virtuous motives.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’ll bring this blog post from Libby Anne at LoveJoyFeminism back up again, because she has a theory about why the rate is going down that I haven’t seen anywhere else: quietly, long-term contraception methods like IUDs and implants have made a comeback, and the PPACA is making them affordable for every woman who wants one. This may be one of the reasons why conservatives are desperately flailing out at contraception — if women are deciding behind closed doors to prevent pregnancy in the first place, then the conservative jihad against abortion becomes more and more irrelevant.

  39. 39
    Ruckus says:

    I like it that some people try to give somewhat reasonable if wrong headed rational motives to conservatives. I like it better that others get the point. Conservatives want compliance to order and structure. Their order and structure. Anything else is not just wrong, it’s sin and has to be wiped from the face of the earth for them to get into heaven. They need to control not just their lives but everyone else’s lives or their entire system falls apart. That you don’t agree with them makes you worse than just having a fault or two because without total appeasement they will not get into heaven. You have to be stopped and controlled and brought into the fold or they have failed. You do not have self determination in their eyes. No one does.
    This is the fight, not abortion or gay rights, or any rights. You have no rights except to belong to the tribe 100% Any thing less is unacceptable. We are not arguing about the same things. We are arguing about pieces and they are arguing about the structure. It’s why they say they believe in the constitution, even though they don’t understand it. It was/is a structure, the word. We see it as a starting point to be strengthened and built upon in the evolving world, they see it as the last word, unchangeable, perfect.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:


    Some people are reachable — again, I bring up Libby Anne, who went from being a homeschooled believer who was the head of her college’s “pro-life” group to being a liberal atheist. It usually has to be part of a full package, but they’re reachable.

    There also are what I think of as “soft pro-life” people. They really hate the idea of abortion, but they’re fine with contraception. Those are the people who can be reached with things like “safe, legal and rare.”

    Of course, most of them are already Democrats because abortion is only one of the criteria on their list, but I don’t mind throwing people on our own side a bone every once in a while.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:


    That’s a really fascinating book — I remember reading it when it first came out. The psychology of the accuser was interesting — I think the author’s theory was that she really had been molested (by a non-family member) but thought she wouldn’t be believed, so she made up the whole “satanic abuse” part of it.

  42. 42
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: I leaned towards “implanted memories,” myself. The accuser had been told by a traveling evangelist that she had been abused, and the unhappy young woman decided that held the answer to all her problems.

  43. 43
    TooManyJens says:


    99% of them are opposed to birth control

    20%, not 99, according to the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. Unfortunately, they’ve redesigned their website I can’t find a link to the poll. (Redirects, people! Use them!)

    Which makes it that much more appalling that the 20% have managed to get such power and influence.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:


    I have no doubt that rank and file anti-abortion people really do want to limit/end abortion. I’m talking about the professional class that lords it over all of us, they are not in it to get what they say they are.

    I think the rank-and-file God-botherer is more about expanding the role of the Church in our lives than actually solving the problems they say the want solved, which is why they are also against sex education and birth-control. At some level they know what they are doing is going to be counterproductive, but they do not care. Opposing effective government programs – like sex education and access to birth control – interfering with the power their Church can have over you is all that mattes.

    See also why these same folks are hell bent against SNAP, Medicaid and any government sponsored means of cutting down on poverty and providing opportunities for poor people that does not involve increasing the role of their Church.

    The rank-and-file deficit-reducing folks actually want the deficit and debt to be reduced, but they are following the wrong people, i.e. conservatives and billionaires, who have want tax cuts financed by spending cuts that benefit the rank-and-file.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:


    If you’re interested in false and implanted memories, you may want to read Smoke and Mirrors by Terence Campbell. He walks readers through the techniques that bad therapists and ignorant prosecutors used to get “evidence” in cases like McMartin. Kids don’t lie about abuse … unless they think the adult in authority is signaling that they answered the adult’s questions wrong and they need to come up with the “right” answer.

  46. 46
    slag says:

    I agree with those who say that righties are far more interested in controlling thoughts than they are in achieving outcomes. That’s part of the reason that abortion protestors don’t see hypocrisy in their own abortions. And why Tax Cuts Uber Alles has become their anthem. Actual outcomes are nothing compared to their FREEDUMB.

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