Dennis M. Howard
What is the most decisive issue in 2012?
By Dennis M. Howard
August 18, 2012

MT. FREEDOM, NJ — What's the most decisive issue for Election 2012? If you go by the numbers, it is far and away the issue that politicians least want to talk about — Abortion.

According to a fresh analysis just completed, abortion is already the most decisive factor in whether a state will vote "blue" (Democratic) or "red" (Republican.)
    Analysis of data in the 130th edition of the U.S. Statistical Abstract shows that 80% of the nation's 1.2 million abortions occur in Democratic "blue" states, while only 20% occur in Republican "red" states. That makes abortion the single most decisive factor in whether a state votes "red" or "blue." Politicians ignore it at their peril.
Not surprisingly, the issue is divisive. Fully 90% of all abortions occur in just 25 states, while the other 25 states make up "pro-life America" — with just 10% of all abortions. Federal funding for abortion-related services, needless to say, go disproportionately to the high abortion states.
    Like it or not, "pro-life America" is paying the bill for "pro-choice America."
The District of Columbia with an abortion rate of 50% — 2.5 times the national average — rivals New York City as the "abortion capital" of the United States. In New York City, the black abortion rate is even higher — 60% — while the rate for Hispanics is 40%, and for whites 20%.

High abortion states

Twelve states rank as high abortion states with rates above the national average of 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women, age 15-44. They are: New York (37.7), New Jersey (34.5), Maryland (31.3), Delaware (29.2), Nevada (27.7), California (26.9), Florida (26.7), Connecticut (23.8), Rhode Island (23.3), Hawaii (21.3), Massachusetts (19.8), and Michigan (19.5).

All of these states voted Democratic in 2008. Only Florida and Michigan are given much chance of switching parties in 2012.

Low abortion states

Meanwhile, 15 states have abortion rates of less than 10 per 1,000 women age 15-24. They are: Oklahoma (9.7), No. Dakota (9.6), Nebraska (9.1), Indiana (8.6), Wisconsin (8.6), Arkansas (8.4), So. Carolina (8.0), Missouri (7.0), West Virginia (6.7), Utah (6.4), Idaho (6.2), So. Dakota (5.1), Mississippi (5.0), Kentucky (4.5), and Wyoming (0.7).

Thirteen of these states voted Republican in 2008. Only two voted Democratic: Wisconsin and Indiana. Both have low abortion rates and both are given a chance of switching parties in 2012.

Moderate states split

The remaining 23 states have more or less average abortion rates. In 2008, they split politically — with 14 voting Democratic and 9 voting Republican.

However, as many as 6 of those in the Democratic column are considered toss-ups today. They include: North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, Minnesota, and Iowa. Which way they'll go will almost certainly determine the outcome of the election.
    What does that mean for voters and for politicians?
Pro-life voters need to speak up vocally about the issue. Pro-choice voters certainly will. Keep your favorite candidate's feet to the fire and don't let him or her brush the issue aside. Abortion is not only a moral issue. It's a powerful economic issue as well. Fight for what you believe in.

For pro-life candidates, it's not enough to simply please your favorite constituency. You must educate yourself about the issue from a moral, social, and economic standpoint as well. By becoming better at persuading marginal voters, you can help change voter opinion.

Major pro-life focus should be on states most likely to shift to the pro-life side — both politically and in terms of their current abortion rates. That's where progress is most likely to happen.

That doesn't mean giving up in "high abortion" states. Effective education and activism aimed at the 13-35 age group through churches and social media can bring about dramatic changes.

Voters need to realize that abortion is one of the leading factors behind today's economic crisis. More than 55 million abortions have occurred since 1967, causing a cumulative loss in national GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimated at $45 trillion. That's nearly 3 times current GDP.

Moreover, abortion has taken the lives of 30% of the under-45 generation, killing the famous "youth market" that drove the U.S. economy since World War II. This contributed to a huge decline in consumer demand for housing, education, health care and consumer products.

It also caused a huge loss of jobs in such fields as education, health care, construction, food production, automobiles, and a great many other consumer products.

The brunt of abortion's demographic impact coincided with the retirement of the Baby Boom generation — creating a "double whammy" that caused me to predict the approaching economic crisis as early as 1995, while other analysts were still predicting boom times head. This demographic impact is also one of the fundamental reasons for our current slow recovery.
    Demographic changes are like shifts in the earth's crust: They take place slowly and persistently over a long period of time, but when they hit, they hit hard.
Other factors such as trade policy, the mortgage and financial crisis, changing technology, and the transformation of America's communications and distribution infrastructure also played a role, but changing demographics and declining social values have a deeper, more persistent impact.

Right now, abortions are declining by a mere 1% a year — which is just what one would predict as a result of abortions 30 years earlier. Unless we can increase that rate of decline to 5% or 10% a year, abortion could be around for another 200 years.

If that happens, America won't survive. And that's the big reason why abortion should be the most decisive issue for 2012. The very survival of our nation is at stake.

© Dennis M. Howard


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Dennis M. Howard

(Dennis M. Howard passed away on May 6, 2021. His obituary can be read here.

Dennis M. Howard is founder and president of The Movement for a Better America, a non-profit, pro-life educational organization. Before starting MBA in 1995, he had a long and successful career in journalism and creative marketing. He has been writing since 1950, when he helped launch The Sun Herald of Kansas City, America's last attempt at publishing a Catholic daily... (more)


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