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Roe v. Wade Statistics

This is not a political statement nor debate
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(+1, -2)
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On this 30th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the US of A...we are again (here in the states) subjected to listening to both sides present their arguments for or against this subject. While I will not reveal my opinion, since it is only an opinion and not relevant to the idea (I hope others will follow suit), it does occur to me that some valid statistics should be presented to the public. The "idea" is for these statistics to be gathered and presented objectively for informational purposes. (The gathering and presentation of these facts is the idea that I hope 1/2 Bakers will either croissant or fishbone)

The necessary stats are as follows:
1) The number of legal abortions since Roe v. Wade.
2) Based on the the above number, the number of people over the age of 18 that would now be alive in the US of A. if they had not been aborted
3) The estimated unemployment rate (by state and nationally) if these people were alive.
4) The estimated number of people under the age of 18 that would be currently in the US school systems if they were alive.
5) The estimated costs of healthcare and social programs that would have been utilized by the mothers of these children if they have been carried to term, delivered, and survived to at least the age of five. Along with this, a further breakdown an estimated cost to taxpayers for these programs.

Lest anyone think that my "political" bent is to use these stats to "prove" that legalized abortions "save" the country money...I would also like statistics on the following...

What percent of the populutation is at the "gifted" level...and what percent at the "genius" level? Based on the number of abortions then, exactly how many potential geniuses have we lost?

I know this tends to be an emotional issue for most people, but I, for one, would like some objective facts to consider. The final outcome of the hard facts would be to get away from the Murder/Women's Rights debate and embark upon a debate considering whether the "savings" are worth the "losses".

(I would consider moving this to another category...suggestions?)

Marassa, Jan 22 2003

Book on a related subject http://www.amazon.c...detail/-/0393310728
[krelnik, Oct 17 2004]

Hitler http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/hitler.html
[mrthingy, Oct 17 2004]

abortion = lower crime rate http://www.nber.org/papers/w8004
[mrthingy, Oct 17 2004]

2000 Abortion Data http://www.guttmach...urnals/3500603.html
From the Alan Guttmacher Institute [lyrl, Oct 17 2004]


       I'm not sure what the value is of those statistics, particularly from #2 down. What would we be able to determine using them? What's the point?   

       I've heard the number 43,000,000 tossed around a couple of times today. (I am astounded at that... 43 million people under the age of 30 - just gone.) It sounds like you're wondering if the loss of 43 million lives is worth the savings in health care costs and better employment numbers? Say that's not what you're talking about here, please.
waugsqueke, Jan 22 2003

       I hadn't heard the 43,000,000. Wow. The point of those stats would be to see (objectively) if the additional population would have seriously impacted upon the economics of this country. What would our estimated unemployment rate be if they were alive? How many additional homes would be needed to house them? What would the estimated cost of their healthcare and schooling have been to the taxpaying public? Then, conversely, what percentage of them would have been gifted individuals or geniuses who may have cured cancer by now.....   

       //Say that's not what you're talking about here// Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about because I think it is what people should discuss and think about instead of the emotional arguments. Your outrage proves my point that it would be an effective comparison to make.....
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       But what if we see those numbers, and they tell us that the unemployment rate would be sky high, that healthcare would be a luxury of the rich, etc? What then? Do we say, phew, it's a good thing we killed those 43 million people, or else look where we'd be?   

       I strongly agree with your last sentence, however. Who knows how many Thomas Edisons and Jonas Salks never made it out of the womb.   

       I had heard that number mentioned on two different CNN news stories today. I can't vouch for its accuracy. Astounding, though, isn't it?
waugsqueke, Jan 22 2003

       Exactly. Is the "savings" worth the "losses".   

       //Do we say, phew, it's a good thing we killed those 43 million people, or else look where we'd be?//   

       Or do we say, What has been lost just to save money? Did we lose another Van Gogh? Is another Shakespeare lost? Is this "worth" it to our society?
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       To me, the saving of 43 million lives is worth any loss. I don't need to see figures. It's life... it's the most basic thing there is. It's worth any loss.   

       But that's just my opinion, fervent pro-lifer that I am.
waugsqueke, Jan 22 2003

       Number (2) would be difficult to calculate. It's NOT identical to (1), because having not had those abortions would have altered lives in other ways.   

       Consider: a teenager who has an abortion, then 10 years later is married and has two children. Does that mean that minus Roe she would have had 3 now? Maybe, maybe not.
krelnik, Jan 22 2003

       I agree with BC. Although the author pleads with us not to make it so, it can't help but become a political debate. There are better places for this.
krelnik, Jan 22 2003

       I'm not sure. This isn't advocacy. I don't give one side credence over the other. The idea is to gather useful facts/statistics and present them as an educational tool. Whether these facts/statistics would be helpful is up to the reader to decide.   

       (wording on #2 edited for clarity)
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       I agree. This is not 'commentary on an issue', it is a specific idea to gather and publish a set of facts and statistics. It doesn't match up with any of the points made in the 'advocacy' section that I can see. There's no promotion or punishment involved.   

       I'm going to + this, because I think the numbers would be useful for advancing my view of this issue.
waugsqueke, Jan 22 2003

       //who would have otherwise been non-existent//
But that is a meaningless statistic, waugs. Suppose my theorized teenager stayed at home to take care of her kid. She never finished school, never met the guy she married in "this" reality. Never had another kid.

       The net effect of "erasing" that abortion is a DECREASE in the population now. That completely changes your results in (3), (4) and (5).
krelnik, Jan 22 2003

       I don't disagree with you krelnik. This idea is, foremost, an exercise in statistics. The issues you raise can be "normalized" by looking at average population issues. For example, what percent of teenagers who did have a child go on to have further children (and how many) and how many didn't.
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       Fishbone my statistics....a la "The Man in the High Castle"....but, please, bakers....no advocacy comments.   

       All of jutta's points are valid...woo-hoo! more things for the statisticians to work on.....
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       I have to say that I am in agreement with waugs and marassa, this idea is not pro/anti anything. Therefore it can't count as advocacy. This idea is purely for the gathering of facts and statistical analysis of the data in order to present a more balanced report based purely on fact and not on any emotional beliefs.   

       (+) from me for the presentation of unbiased facts to help in the education of the masses.
reap, Jan 22 2003

       What really scares me is that I bet if I worded it right, I could land a $10 million government grant to study these issues :-) hmmmmm....new career?
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       [Marassa]pssst,..they're probably reading this now,cheques in the post.
skinflaps, Jan 22 2003

       BC, I can honestly see why you would feel that way. However, this "he", having no personal experience with the issue nor having any one close to him have personal experience (to his knowledge) with the issue, is seeking a "how has this affected my life and world" answer to the issue. I realize, completely and fully, that the stats would all be conjuncture and subject to interpretation on every level. Yet, they would lead to a glimpse perhaps of how my life and my world has been affected by the issue. Sincerely, I have a small opinion....but personally, I don't know how much weight it holds even to me when I think about the other side...the other side based not on the emotional argument, but on the "how would have it all affected my life and world" side. I may truly be one of the few people who feels no real emotion concerning this issue.
Marassa, Jan 22 2003

       This collection of statistics would, I reckon, merely result in giving the the pro-lifers and pro-choicers a fertile new niche in which to bicker endlessly, namely the veracity of the statistics.
my face your, Jan 23 2003

       Speaking as someone who has compiled statistics on a professional basis I can tell you, Marassa, that statistics do not give answers. They only pose more questions.
DrBob, Jan 23 2003

       I disagree. I think this is a laudable if misplaced attempt to bring a measure of objectivity to a highly emotionally charged subject in order to facilitate some informed, rant free debate. Unfortunately I don't think this subject will ever become objective, for the reasons MFY sets out, and the statistical data will in itself become a point of contention, as so nearly happened here (kudos to waugs for remaining cool).
egbert, Jan 23 2003

       Waugs: you're missing the market wrinkle. Economics is a balance of jobs, markets, and the supply of people.   

       43 million new babies would mean an increased economic market, which would drive the economy and possibly spare us the huge baby boomer retirement bill that's coming due.   

       So you can't really say that you'd have 43 million new unemployed people, perhaps only a percentage, requiring a hefty demographic study. All of your projections as far as what drain it would have would be impossible to predict.   

       Japan for instance has a very low birthrate, and their economy has suffered because of it.
RayfordSteele, Jan 23 2003

       I would dispute the assumption that if 43 million legal abortions (I'll take waugs' word for it that that's the figure) hadn't happened, there'd be another 43 million people in the world. The chances are that a large proportion of those abortions would have happened illegally anyway and a lot more women would have been seriously injured or died as a result. The whole tone of the idea suggests that these potential people have been lost because of a law, which is hardly an unbiased position. One of the most difficult things about surveying is coming up with questions that don't skew the results or guide the respondents toward a particular set of answers. Hence my first anno. The only real 'fact' here is that these abortions happened. Everything else is conjecture and a debate about morality.
DrBob, Jan 23 2003

       Using the logic behind this idea, you'd also want to know how many of these aborted fetuses (feti?) would have become serial murderers, rapists, terrorists, etc (see link). In any event, while interesting, these stats aren't that helpful in deciding whether or not abortion should be legal in the U.S., because the legal argument is a Constitutional one.
mrthingy, Jan 25 2003

       What's wrong with this picture?

Pro-choice Vegan
thumbwax, Jan 25 2003

       No, he wasn't. See link.
mrthingy, Apr 03 2003

       43 million lives were not "lost" through abortion, they just didn't happen, it's the same as pregnancies prevented through other methods of birth control....imagine those stats.......   

       5.6 billions lifes lost to condoms !!!!
SystemAdmin, Aug 11 2003

       This idea, while decent enough, is doomed to failure. There are as many population models as there are statisticians. Every published prediction would have arbitrary assumptions placed upon it, but the pretence of using "raw data" would somehow give it authority.   

       Would it really make any difference to the pregnant women, the unexpectant father, or the doctors, nurses and counsellors? Can statistics be applied to morality anyway?   

       As much as people should be informed, I don't know that this would achieve that. It's not lying with statistics, as such, it's simply dressing up opinion as fact. You cannot predict what could be any more than you can predict what will be.
Detly, Aug 11 2003

       How many Einsteins, Van Goghs, Edisons, Hitlers and Stalins did not live because...   

       Because they were killed by a drunk driver at the age of 15 - because they drowned in a family swiming pool at the age of four - because they were aborted as fetuses - because their prosepective parents used birth control - because Debbie wouldn't have sex with me - because Bob never went to college and thus didn't meet Amy - because Bob's dad smoked, overeat and died at the age of 47 thus making Bob too depressed to get married and have kids -
wogoo, Aug 11 2003

       <because Debbie wouldn't have sex with me>   

       Who's Debbie?
mrthingy, Aug 12 2003

       Actually, Debbie relieved me of my virginity....I sure was grateful. Too bad about you.....
normzone, Dec 26 2003

       What you seem to be forgetting with those statistics is how much PRODUCTION capability those 43 million (or however many) people would have been able to contribute to our economy. You can't just tie such a statistic together with the unemployment rate and assume anything. Our unemployment rate is about 5.9% of the available work force nation-wide. Does that mean if there had been just 10 or 12 million more abortions then we'd have a 0% unemployment rate? The same holds true for the health care, social programs, and schooling statistics. There would be millions more people going through our public school systems, but there would also be millions more people paying taxes to pay for them. There would be more people with broken legs and diabetes, but there would be more people paying insurance premiums each month to pay for it. There would be more consumption, and there would be more production.   

       As long as everyone continues to produce more value than they consume, it doesn't matter economically if there were 40 million abortions, 80 million, or 0. (Except that you can generally conclude that a larger population would mean a stronger and more diversified capitalist economy.)
DarkEnergy, Dec 27 2003

       I don't understand why this wasn't thrown out for advocacy. The "statistics" don't mention the women's and men's careers that are, the educations that were not cut short. The "statistics" don't address how many single mothers are on welfare. The "statistics" don't enumerate how many desperate woman would have died (statistically) using a coathanger wire or some poison if they had no choice. (The well-off always had the choice of hopping over to a more liberal venue). The father of the scientist who would find the cure for cancer was killed in Nam - still a virgin..
hangingchad, Dec 27 2003

       //I've never heard the "43 million" statistic, but I'll wager it's only an estimate//   

       Yes, but a very good estimate, from the AGI - see the link for 2000 data, and scroll down to 'Methods.' It does NOT rely on CDC data. They also estimate that their survey data undercounted abortions by 3-4%.   

       As for the idea, all of the numbered stats except #1 are highly influenced by a large number of factors unrelated to abortion. Not possible to get an accurate estimate of any of them.   

       With the 'gifted' estimates, the same argument could be made against all birth control and abstinance. If the average children per woman went back up to 7 (what it was in the US before 1800 - when sheepskin condoms became widely available - and what it still is in third-world contries where BC is unavailable, and what it is among the Amish), we'd have a ton more gifted people. But I don't see anyone advocating for 7 children per woman.   

       Idea: provide more facts in the abortion debate - good. Idea: provide these facts - they're not directly relevant to the debate, so bad.   

       No vote from me.
lyrl, Dec 27 2003

       It's meaningless to attempt to calculate social costs of would-be citizens. There are millions of variables to take into consideration, and even the top staticians in the world wouldn't be able to agree on methods for even ballpark predictions.   

       Also, remember that even dry figures can appear biased depending on the wording and methodology used. For instance, you tacitly assume in your list that (a) the number of foeti legally aborted is entirely in addition to the number of illegal abortions, with no overlap, (b) objective costs can be attributed to individual citizens [by this argument, mass genocide of unemployed, unemployable, or otherwise unproductive people could be justified], and (c) that the variables you are estimating are linearly independent of each other.   

       Basically, yes, I agree that this debate could use a more objective approach, but I'm afraid that's next to impossible. What makes it interesting (and ferociously controversial) is that it calls into question predestination, the nature of humanity, the existance and instantiation of a soul, posession of one's own body (and whether one gains posession at conception, birth, or some other point). Since many of these issues are beyond the scope of science by their very definition, it's exceedingly dangerous to evaluate the issue in purely socioeconomical terms. Animal populations can be estimated this way, but that's only because we assume each member of the population to behave essentially identically. To employ this type of bean counting on humans (or would(n't)-be humans) essentially dehumanizes them.   

       Also, since we are all former foeti, it's impossible to look at it objectively in the first place.
OJCIT, Jun 06 2005

       This sounds like an idea from the "pro-life" movement.
10clock, Jun 06 2005


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