Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Who Cares?
A Guest Post by The Raving Atheist

As part of its "Who Decides?" campaign, NARAL Pro-Choice issues a report card for each state based on compliance with the organization's abortion-hungry agenda. She's a demanding teacher. Even in this post-Roe era, over a third of her students have flunked and the average grade is only a D+. California, of course, got an A+, and New York an "A", but Miss NARAL decidedly does not grade on a curve.

Not surprising, I suppose. But what baffles me is a statistic that's just sort of dropped in by way of an "Access Fact" box immediately beneath each grade. "98 percent of Kentucky counties have no abortion provider." "93 percent of Wisconsin counties have no abortion provider." What, exactly, is the relevance of the percentage? Who cares?

Technically, NARAL doesn't. If you read its report card methodology, you'll discover that the number of facilities plays no part in the grade. They refuse to come right out and say that a state is "bad" if it doesn't have an aboritorium in every county. After all, it's all about "choice." If 98% of the citizens decide they don't like abortions, don't need abortions, and don't choose abortions, it shouldn't be so shocking that "98% of ______ counties have no abortion provider."

But they throw it in anyway, just beneath the grade. And there it sits, ominously. Since the figure is over 90% for nearly half the states and over 80% in two-thirds, the intent is plainly to scare the reader into thinking "how terrible!" and into considering ways to get the numbers down to something respectable like 4% or 5%. (Perhaps we're were supposed to further consider whether the county is even the proper subdivision; maybe it would be better to have a clinic in every town, block, supermarket, or next to every ATM machine). Obviously there's some huge, untapped demand that isn't being met, some craving which, if "access" were proportionately increased, would ratchet the number of procedures up from a mere 1.3 million annually to a more proper 10-20 million level.

No no no—of course NARAL doesn't want that. Yes, their grading methodology does subtract points for laws that "codify the state's preference for childbirth over abortion," and yes it does subtract points for laws that force people to perform abortions over their moral objections. But they still like their abortions "rare." It's just that when they use that term, they're distinguishing it from "medium" and "well done.