The Christian Post recently ran a provocative column entitled Hillary Clinton Is the Best Choice for Voters Against Abortion
It’s not click bait. The author means it. And so it demands a corrective reply.
First, we need to understand with laser clarity that abortion is not a woman’s choice. It is a deeply immoral, gender-indifferent act.
Eric Sapp, the author of the piece, does not dispute that and is apparently pro-life. His primary point — other than seeing hypocrisy only in Republicans — is that statistically abortions always rise under Republican presidents and stay steady or decline under Democrat presidents. He claims this makes sense because Democrats are better at reducing poverty — a metric associated with abortion.
Sapp writes: “Abortions rose steadily during the tenure of the first ‘pro-life’ Republican President, Ronald Reagan. They reached their highest level under President H. W. Bush. Abortions then dropped dramatically under President Clinton, falling to 60% of the high under his pro-life Republican predecessor. That downward trend stalled during most of President W. Bush’s tenure, and remained basically flat until the final two years of his term when Democrats retook Congress. And then abortions plunged again under Obama, falling to their lowest point in 40 years.”
This summary paragraph presents several fallacies and a few simple falsehoods. But it is exemplary of the overall dishonesty of the article.
- First, the statistics are dishonestly cherry-picked. The charge that abortions rose steadily during Reagan is true. But they also rose steadily under Carter, also. Sapp leaves the Democrat president out of his stats because it does not fit his conclusions. The Roe v. Wade ruling was still fairly new and the culture was going through the sexual revolution. That they rose under both presidents makes sense, but he cherry-picked only one. Dishonest.
- Second, he is factually wrong on his assumption that they reached their highest level under George H.W. Bush, then declined under Clinton. His own reference shows abortions declining in 1991 and 1992. Both years were part of George H.W.’s presidency. Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 and his policies kicked in in 1994 at best — four years after the decline started. So he is factually wrong using his own citation. Did he and the Christian Post think no one would check? Dishonest.
- Third, he claims abortions “stalled” under W. Bush. That’s a fun sleight-of-hand way of just flat out lying. Abortions continued to decline six out of eight years under George W. Bush until 2006 — when the housing and banking crisis hit (propelled largely by Democrat lending policies and Republican negligence) and people got very scared. So factually wrong and dishonest. Again.
Sapp uses overarching stats, which we have demonstrated to be totally dishonest, to make a causal point, when the best they can show is correlation. He may understand this, and so he tries to create the causal link by overlaying poverty.
Here is his somewhat snooty case:
“Want to guess which political party is more effective at reducing poverty and unwanted pregnancies? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the ‘pro-life’ Party that in this last Congressional session alone fought to cut medical care for poor mothers and children, food programs for kids, and contraception coverage and access for women.”
He betrays a lot of his personal politics in this paragraph. But notice what is missing? And it is missing from the rest of the article on this point.
Right. Statistics. He provides no links to any stats. He does not even try to back it up like he dishonestly tried to in the previous paragraph I quoted. Apparently, he actually uses his own fallacy for proof by claiming Democrats reduce poverty because they talk about reducing poverty. Words. Actually using facts, it is clear that Democrat policies do not reduce poverty. We can take a measure of the policies from the Great Society onward and see that after trillions of dollars in transfer payments, poverty is largely unmoved.
But let’s use the author’s admittedly weak method. This chart is from Wikipedia, as his above was. (See larger here.)
Looking at poverty overlaid with Republican and Democrat presidents, we see no correlation. Actually, poverty declined under Reagan, rose under H.W. Bush (recession) declined under Clinton, was flat under W. Bush and actually has risen under Obama.
So it turns out there is a good reason he did not use any facts to back up his smug “Want to guess which party…” sentence. There are none.
This is a wholly dishonest article, from logic to facts to reason. It’s sad that the Christian Post published it as something legitimate.
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